This Day in History – October 8th, 1829


In the early days of steam locomotive railways, the Rainhill Trials in England was a competition that on this day in 1829 pitted five trains against each other in time trials on a mile length of track. The prize for winning this race was an exclusive contract with the Liverpool and Manchester Railway to build their trains for the newly opened lines. Of the five trains that competed only one managed to complete the trails, this was Stephenson’s Rocket.

Although the Rocket was not the first steam locomotive, it was the first to bring together several innovations to produce the most advanced locomotive of its day. It was built at the Forth Street Works of Robert Stephenson and Company in Newcastle Upon Tyne. It is the most famous example of an evolving design of locomotives by Stephenson that became the template for most steam engines in the following 150 years. The locomotive was preserved and is now on display in the Science Museum in London.

And then many years later British band The Men That Will Not Be Blamed For Nothing celebrated Robert Stephenson in 25% of this song . . .

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