The book I read to research this post was The Railway Builders by Anthony Burton which is an excellent book which I bought from a local secondhand bookshop. The development of the steam train was impeded by the fact that the man who had the patent for the steam engine wouldn’t allow trains to be built although he didn’t mind them building water pumps for mines. The patent lasted from 1760 to 1800, once it ran out they started developing steam trains which initially were used for moving coal from coal mines. The first passenger railway was built in 1825 & was the Stockton to Darlington which used a train called the Rocket which in its own right revolutionized train travel. It was built by Robert & George Stevenson who were father & son & had a very close relationship because Robert’s sister died as a baby & his mother died a year later. Later in the century George Hudson amalgamated many of the railway companies into one company. Landowners were very much against the railways going on their land & parliament had to pass laws that enabled compulsory purchase of land for this purpose. Often surveyors had to sneak onto land to do their job. In one case the site of a church was moved along with the graveyard 3 times due to the line expanding. The early rails were made of iron which was prone to cracking although later trains became lighter & steel was used.

 

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