Stockton & Darlington Railway History

Efforts that kept the mines afloat

The Northern Echo:

2:09pm Monday 16th June 2008

CHAPTER ONE: Before the birth of the railways in 1825, coal was hoofed over the hills of County Durham to the sea.

Railway the result of a race into the future

The Northern Echo: Railway pioneer: Edward Pease

2:19pm Monday 16th June 2008

CHAPTER TWO: As the summer of 1818 turned, the towns of the Tees valley were engaged in a race into the future. Stockton was ahead.

Lords left a-leaping in efforts to block the railway pioneers

The Northern Echo: "Thee must remember that they were the crooked ones with whom the railway had to deal when it was in the making," said Edward Pease later in life. The "crooked ones" were the landowners who were not in favour of the railway and forced it to take a circuit

2:26pm Monday 16th June 2008

CHAPTER THREE: Lord Darlington was desperate to stop the railway. So desperate, in fact, that he tried to break the bank.

How Pease's savings rescued the railway

The Northern Echo: The front page of Francis Mewburn's copy of the Stockton and Darlington Railway Bill, which was granted its Royal Assent on April 19, 1821

2:36pm Monday 16th June 2008

CHAPTER FOUR: The King is dead! Long live the King! The Railway Bill is dead! Will the railway ever come to life?

Kitchen table talks that changed railway history

The Northern Echo: A fanciful drawing of George Stephenson and Nicholas Wood arriving at Bulmer's Stone in Northgate, Darlington on April 19, 1821. They are either putting their shoes on, having walked barefoot from Stockton to save shoeleather, or they are taking them off

2:41pm Monday 16th June 2008

On the evening of April 19, 1821, two strangers approached the front door of Edward Pease's home in Northgate, Darlington.

The little rail that was to be 'a potent sceptre'

The Northern Echo: George Stephenson: The engineer in charge of building the Stockton and Darlington Railway

2:45pm Monday 16th June 2008

Some time in October 1821, in a field near the River Tees at Stockton, George Stephenson accosted some farm labourers.

How railway builders took on the fairies

The Northern Echo: The Act of Parliament passed on May 23, 1823, which gave the railway pioneers permission to use "loco-motives or Moveable Engines" for the "conveyance of passengers" on their line.

2:51pm Monday 16th June 2008

When, in the 17th Century, a Frenchman called Solomon de Caux predicted that one day everything would move by steam power, he was locked up in a Paris asylum.

Locomotive delay which held up start of railways

The Northern Echo: Brusselton Incline: A drawing done in 1875 showing one of the Stephenson company's stationary engines hauling a train of trucks up the incline near Auckland.

2:58pm Monday 16th June 2008

In principle, the idea was commendably simple. George Stephenson and his son, Robert, would be set up in business to build locomotives for the Stockton and Darlington Railway.

How first railway architect became a figure of note

The Northern Echo: Bonomi's bridge near John Street off North Road, in Darlington

3:30pm Monday 16th June 2008

Where brooks and becks stood in the way of the railway pioneers, George Stephenson was allowed to throw single span arches over them.

Lawyers and locomotives both provided headaches

The Northern Echo: Timothy Hackworth

3:35pm Monday 16th June 2008

As 1825 dawned, it looked like the Stockton and Darlington Railway was running out of steam. Problems were piling up all over the place, even as the pioneers’ first iron bridge over the River Gaunless was being washed away by winter floods.

No match for the advent of Locomotion

The Northern Echo: The Locomotion

3:54pm Monday 16th June 2008

And lo, the locomotive arrived, and the people were sore afraid...

Breakdowns and bruises, but the railway is still a runaway success

The Northern Echo: Historical moment: John Dobbin's watercolour of Locomotion No 1 crossing the Skerne Bridge in Darlington on Tuesday, September 27, 1825 - the moment which marked the opening of the Stockton and Darlington Railway.

3:59pm Monday 16th June 2008

The dawn of Tuesday, September 27, 1825, found thousands of people heading on foot, horseback and by carriage to see the entrance of a new era of transport: the railway.

Locomotion steams in the new era to 21-gun salute and nine cheers

The Northern Echo: Schoolboys' dream: Locomotion No 1 pictured at Bank Top Station in 1933, with young boys investigating.

4:06pm Monday 16th June 2008

It had taken Locomotion No 1 two hours to travel the nine miles from Brusselton to Darlington on the opening morning of the Stockton and Darlington Railway (S&DR).

After the triumphant start came railway's hard struggle to survive

The Northern Echo: First timetable: The Experiment poster from October 1825, which claims to be the world's first railway timetable.

4:13pm Monday 16th June 2008

The railway was up and running. The first train, triumphantly pulled by Locomotion No 1, had passed along the 20 miles from Shildon to Stockton via Darlington on September 27, 1825 – the culmination of seven decades of argument and ten years of overcoming obstacles.

A royal asset that rose from the ashes after Hope had died

The Northern Echo: The Royal George standing outside Hackworth's home in Shildon. His creation was described as 'the finest engine in the world'.

4:20pm Monday 16th June 2008

Timothy Hackworth solemnly rose to address the committee of the Stockton and Darlington Railway. "Gentlemen," he said. "If you will allow me to make you an engine in my own way I will engage that it shall answer your purpose."

Complex birth of first railway town

The Northern Echo: Joseph Pease pictured in 1832, two years after the founding of Middlesbrough as a 31-year-old.

4:28pm Monday 16th June 2008

Early in 1828, Joseph Pease sailed up the River Tees towards what he was calling Port Darlington. His brain was working overtime.

Momentous events that saw t'iron hoss triumph over the real thing

The Northern Echo: A Stockton and Darlington Railway timetable for summer of 1836 , the drawing at the top shows the Magnet, a passenger steam engine built in 1835 by Timothy Hackworth at his Soho Works in Shildon. It cost £1,050.

4:41pm Monday 16th June 2008

After eight years of operation, the Stockton and Darlington Railway, which celebrates its 175th anniversary next month, fully embraced steam power.

Southern Quaker who helped to shape North

The Northern Echo: Francis Gibson (1803 - 1859) of Saffron Walden and Teesdale who was a Quaker banker.

4:49pm Monday 16th June 2008

Went by railway from Darlington to Stockton by steam - 56 minutes - then down to Middlesbro'; inspected the clay as to a scheme for the establishment of a pottery, then walked thro' the town, much increased in two years.

The 'forgotten' railway station at centre of anniversary festivities

The Northern Echo: Inside North Road Railway Station in 1963.

4:57pm Monday 16th June 2008

THE world's first passenger coach, the Experiment, had been a shed fixed to wheels, so it is little surprise that the early stations on the world's first passenger railway were also wooden constructions in which nowadays we would keep spades and other gardening paraphernalia.

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