• In 1806 a horse-drawn railway was built between Swansea and Mumbles(in South Wales). In 1807 this railway started carrying fare-paying passengers - the first in the world to do so. The first successful steam-operated railway, the Stockton and Darlington Railway, ran in northern England in the 1820s. This was soon followed by the Liverpool and Manchester Railway, which proved the viability of rail transport. Of course, the first horse tracked vehicles, drawn wagonways appeared in Greece, Malta, and parts of the Roman Empire at least 2000 years ago using cut-stone tracks. They began reappearing in Europe, from around 1550, usually operating with crude wooden tracks. It is arguable that those primitive "railways" were the first commercially used tracks.
  • The first commercial railway was the Surrey Iron Railway, which ran from Wandsworth in London to Croydon. It was authorised by an Act of Parliament of 21st May 1801 and was opened throughout on 26th July 1803. It was extended to Merstham in Surrey under the provisions of the Croydon, Merstham & Godstone Iron Railway Act of 17th May 1803 and was opened to Merstham on 24th July 1805, thus predating the Mumbles Railway by a year if we consider the ultimate terminus of Merstham, or by 3 years if we consider the opening of the initial line from Wandsworth to Croydon
  • 'The Diolkos (Δίολκος, from the Greek διά, dia "across" and ὁλκός, holkos "portage machine") was a paved trackway near Corinth in Ancient Greece which enabled boats to be moved overland across the Isthmus of Corinth. The shortcut allowed ancient vessels to avoid the long and dangerous circumnavigation of the Peloponnese peninsula. The phrase "as fast as a Corinthian", penned by the comic playwright Aristophanes, indicates that the trackway was common knowledge and had acquired a reputation for swiftness. The main function of the Diolkos was the transfer of goods, although in times of war it also became a preferred means of speeding up naval campaigns. The 6 km (3.7 mi) to 8.5 km (5.3 mi) long roadway was a rudimentary form of railway, and operated from c. 600 BCE until the middle of the 1st century CE. The scale on which the Diolkos combined the two principles of the railway and the overland transport of ships remained unique in antiquity.' Source:

Copyright 2020, Wired Ivy, LLC

Answerbag | Terms of Service | Privacy Policy