Timeline of railway history

This is a timeline of rail transport history.

Seealso| Timeline of steam power.

* ca. 600 BCVerdelis, Nikolaos: "Le diolkos de L'Isthme", "Bulletin de Correspondance Hellénique", Vol. 81 (1957), pp. 526-529 (526)] Cook, R. M.: "Archaic Greek Trade: Three Conjectures 1. The Diolkos", "The Journal of Hellenic Studies", Vol. 99 (1979), pp. 152-155 (152)] Drijvers, J.W.: "Strabo VIII 2,1 (C335): Porthmeia and the Diolkos", "Mnemosyne", Vol. 45 (1992), pp. 75-76 (75)] Raepsaet, G. & Tolley, M.: "Le Diolkos de l’Isthme à Corinthe: son tracé, son fonctionnement", "Bulletin de Correspondance Hellénique", Vol. 117 (1993), pp. 233–261 (256)] Lewis, M. J. T., [http://www.sciencenews.gr/docs/diolkos.pdf "Railways in the Greek and Roman world"] , in Guy, A. / Rees, J. (eds), "Early Railways. A Selection of Papers from the First International Early Railways Conference" (2001), pp. 8-19 (11)] - A basic form of the railway, the rutway, [Lewis, M. J. T., [http://www.sciencenews.gr/docs/diolkos.pdf "Railways in the Greek and Roman world"] , in Guy, A. / Rees, J. (eds), "Early Railways. A Selection of Papers from the First International Early Railways Conference" (2001), pp. 8-19 (8 & 15)] existed in ancient Greek and Roman times, the most important being the ship trackway Diolkos across the Isthmus of Corinth. Measuring between 6 and 8.5 km, [Raepsaet, G. & Tolley, M.: "Le Diolkos de l’Isthme à Corinthe: son tracé, son fonctionnement", "Bulletin de Correspondance Hellénique", Vol. 117 (1993), pp. 233–261 (246)] [Werner, Walter: "The largest ship trackway in ancient times: the Diolkos of the Isthmus of Corinth, Greece, and early attempts to build a canal", "The International Journal of Nautical Archaeology", Vol. 26, No. 2 (1997), pp. 98–119 (109)] [Lewis, M. J. T., [http://www.sciencenews.gr/docs/diolkos.pdf "Railways in the Greek and Roman world"] , in Guy, A. / Rees, J. (eds), "Early Railways. A Selection of Papers from the First International Early Railways Conference" (2001), pp. 8-19 (10)] remaining in regular and frequent service for at least 650 years, and being open to all on payment, it constituted even a public railway, a concept which according to Lewis did not recur until around 1800. [ Lewis, M. J. T. (2001), p. 15] The Diolkos was reportedly used until at least the middle of the 1st century AD, after which no more written references appear.

16-17th century

*1550 - Hand propelled tubs known as "hunds" undoubtedly existed in the provinces surrounding/forming modern day Germany by the mid 16th century having been in proven use since the mid-1400s and possibly earlier. This technology was brought to the UK by German miners working in the Mines Royal at various sites in the English Lake District near Keswick (Now in Cumbria). [ An excellent and definitive, but currently out of print, book by Michael Lewis "Early Wooden Railways" should be consulted about pre-17th century railways, etc.]
*1603/4 - Between October 1603 and the end of September 1604 Huntingdon Beaumont, partner of the landowner Sir Percival Willoughby, built the first recorded above ground early railway/wagonway. It was approximately two miles in length running from mines at Strelley to Wollaton in Nottinghamshire, England. It is known as the Wollaton Wagonway. Beaumont built three further waggonways shortly after near Blyth in Northumberland related to the coal and salt trade. Shortly after the Wollaton Wagonway was built other wagonways are recorded at Broseley near Coalbrookdale in Shropshire. Further waggonways emerged in the English North East.

18th century

* 1758 Middleton Railway. The Middleton Railway was the first railway to be granted powers by Act of Parliament.
* 1761 Ralph Allen's Waggonway. First iron [ http://www.engineeringnews.co.za/article.php?a_id=120999 ] rails laid at Bath, England. Also 1767 CoalbrookdaleHorsehay.
* 1782 Scottish engineer James Watt invents first steam engine able to turn wheels. Although James Watt is generally regarded as significant in the evolution of the modern stationary steam engine the principles of using the expansion/condensing power of hot air and steam by the application of heat were known in antiquity as far back as the Roman Emperor Nero who used the technology to operate temple doors.
* 1789 English engineer William Jessop uses flanged iron wheels on iron edge rails on a coal railway, part of the Charnwood Forest Canal at Loughborough, Leicestershire.
* 1794 The Peak Forest Tramway opens, the first non-mine narrow gauge railway

19th century

*1802 The Carmarthenshire Tramroad, later the Llanelly and Mynydd Mawr Railway, located in south west Wales, was established by Act of Parliament.
*1803 The first public railway, the Surrey Iron Railway opens in south London. [cite web| url=http://www.stephensonloco.fsbusiness.co.uk/surreyiron.htm| title=Surrey Iron Railway 200th - 26th July 2003| publisher=Stephenson Locomotive Society| work=Early Railways| accessdate=2007-09-19| ]
*1804 First steam locomotive railway - Penydarren - built by Richard Trevithick, used to haul iron from Merthyr Tydfil to Abercynon, Wales.
*1807 First fare-paying, passenger railway service in the world was established on the Oystermouth Railway in Swansea, Wales. Later this became known as the Swansea and Mumbles Railway although the railway was more affectionately known as "The Mumbles Train" ( _cy. Tren Bach I'r Mwmbwls). The railway survived using various forms of traction until 1960.
*1808 The Kilmarnock and Troon Railway was the first railway in Scotland authorised by Act of Parliament and the first in Scotland to use a steam locomotive.
*1808 Richard Trevithick sets up a circular steam railway (didn't go anywhere) for the public to experience for 1 shilling each.
*1812 First commercial use of steam locomotives on the Middleton Railway, Leeds
*1814 George Stephenson constructs his first locomotive, "Blücher".
*1825 Stephenson's Stockton and Darlington Railway, the first publicly subscribed, adhesion worked railway using steam locomotives, carrying freight from a Colliery to a river port (Passengers were conveyed by horse-drawn carriages).
*1829 George and Robert Stephenson's locomotive, "The Rocket", sets a speed record of 47 km/h (29 mph) at the Rainhill Trials held near Liverpool.
*1830 The Canterbury and Whitstable Railway opens in Kent, England on the 3 May, Engineered by George Stephenson, 3 months before the Liverpool and Manchester Railway. A 5¾ mile line running from Canterbury to the small port and fishing town of Whitstable, approx. 55 miles east of London. Traction was provided by three Stationary Winding Engines, and "INVICTA"; Invicta was an 0-4-0 Loco, built by the Stevenson company, but only operated on a level section of track owing to the fact she produced a meagre 9 hp.
*1830 The Liverpool and Manchester Railway opens, and the first steam passenger service, primarily locomotive hauled, is started. The line proves the viability of rail transport, and large scale railway construction begins in Britain, and then spreads throughout the world. The Railway age begins.
*1831 First Passenger Season tickets issued on the Canterbury and Whitstable Railway.
*1832 railway switch patented by Charles Fox
*1834 Ireland's first railway, the Dublin and Kingstown Railway (D&KR) opens between Dublin and Kingstown (now Dún Laoghaire), a distance of six miles.
*1835 In Belgium a railway was opened on May 5 between Brussels and Mechelen. It was the first railway in continental Europe.
*1837 The first Cuban railway line connects Havana with Bejucal, in 1838 the line reaches Güines. This is also the first railway in Latin America and the Iberian world in general.
*1837 The first German railway line connects Leipzig with Althen near Wurzen, in 1839 the line reaches Dresden.
*1837 The first Austrian railway line connects Vienna with Wagram, in 1839 the line reaches Brno.
*1837 The first rail line in Russia connects Tsarskoye Selo and Saint Petersburg.
*1837 The first line in France opens between Le Pecq near the former royal town of Saint-Germain-en-Laye and Embarcadère des Bâtignoles (later to become Gare Saint-Lazare)
*1837 Robert Davidson built the first electric locomotive
*1838 Edmondson railway ticket introduced.
*1839 The first railway in Kingdom of the Two Sicilies, Italy, from Naples to Portici.
*1839 The first rail line in the Netherlands connects Amsterdam and Haarlem.
*1844 The first rail line in Congress Poland is built between Warsaw and Pruszków.
The first Atmospheric Railway, the Dalkey Atmospheric Railway opened for passenger service between Kingstown & Dalkey in Ireland. The line was 3 km in length & operated for 10 years.
*1845 The first railway line built in Jamaica opened on November 21. The line ran 15 miles from Kingston to Spanish Town. It was also the first rail line to be built in any of Britain's colonies. The Earl of Elgin, Jamaica's Governor presided over the opening cermonies, by the late 1860s the line extended 105 miles to Montego Bay.
*1846 James McConnell met with George Stephenson and Archibald Slate at Bromsgrove. It was at this meeting that the idea of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers came about.
*1848 Australia first railway Sydney Railway Company (SRC), Australia's first, in 1848. Capitalised at £100,000, it aimed to build railways to connect the port and capital of Sydney with the colony's two main inland towns of Bathurst and Goulburn.
*1851 First train in British India, built by British invention and administration.
*1852 The first railway in Africa, in Alexandria, Egypt.
*1853 Passenger train makes in debut in Bombay, India
*1853 Indianapolis' Union Station, the first "union station", opened by the Terre Haute and Richmond Railroad, Madison and Indianapolis Railroad, and Bellefontaine Railroad in the United States.
*1854 The first railway in Norway. Between Oslo and Eidsvoll.
*1854 The first line in South America, from Copiapó to Caldera, in Chile.
*1855 the Panama Railway completed, the first transcontinental railway
*1856 The first railway in Papal State, Italy, from Rome to Frascati.
*1856 First railway completed in Portugal, linking Lisbon to Carregado.
*1857 Steel rails first used in Britain.
*1857 The first railway in Argentina, built by Ferrocarril del Oeste between Buenos Aires and Flores, a distance of 10 km, was opened to the public on August 30.
*1858 Henri Giffard invented the injector for steam locomotives
*1863 First underground railway opened in London.
*1863 Scotsman Robert Francis Fairlie invents the Fairlie locomotive with pivoted driving bogies, allowing trains to negotiate tighter curves in the track. This innovation proves rare for steam locomotives but is the model for most future diesel and electric locomotives.
*1865 Pullman sleeping car introduced in the USA.
*1869 The First Transcontinental Railroad (North America) completed across the United States.
*1869 George Westinghouse establishes the Westinghouse Air Brake Company in the United States.
*1875 Midland Railway introduces eight and twelve wheeled bogie coaches.
*1877 Vacuum brakes are invented in the United States.
*1879 First electric railway demonstrated at the Berlin Trades Fair.
*1881 First public electric railway opened in Germany. One of the first railway lines in the Middle East was built between Tehran and Rayy in Iran.
*1882 Lavatories introduced on Great Northern Railway coaches in Britain
*1885 The Canadian Pacific Railway is completed 5 years ahead of schedule, the longest railway of its time, which links the eastern and western provinces of Canada.
*1888 Frank Sprague installs the "trolleypole" trolley system in Richmond, Virginia, making it the first working electric street railway.
*1890 First electric underground railway opened in London.
*1891 Construction begins on the 9,313 km (5,787 mile) long Trans-Siberian railway in Russia. Construction completed in 1904. Webb C. Ball establishes first Railway Watch official guidelines for Railroad chronometers.
*1894 Eugene V. Debs led the Pullman Strike.
*1895 First mainline electrification on the Baltimore Belt Line of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad
*1899 The first Korean railway line connects Noryangjin (Seoul) with Jemulpo (Incheon).

20th century

*1913 First diesel powered railcar enters service in Sweden.
*1915 First major stretch of electrified railway in Sweden; Kiruna-Riksgränsen (Malmbanan).
*1926 First diesel locomotive service introduced in Canada.
*1934 First diesel-powered streamlined passenger train in America (the Burlington "Zephyr") introduced at the Chicago World's Fair.
*1935 First children's railway is opened in Tbilisi, USSR.
*1938 In England, the world speed record for steam traction is set by the Mallard which reaches a speed of 203 km/h (126 mph).
*1939 In Persia the Trans-Iranian Railway was opened, built entirely by local capital.
*1948 Foreign-owned railway companies nationalised in Argentina on 1 March during the first term of office of President Peron.
*1960s-2000s many countries adopt high-speed rail in an attempt to make rail transport competitive with both road transport and air transport.
*1964 Bullet Train service introduced in Japan, between Tokyo and Osaka. Trains average speeds of 160 km/h (100 mph).
*1970 Penn Central goes bankrupt, the United States' largest corporate bankruptcy up to that time.
*1975 British Rail's Advanced Passenger Train achieves 245 km/h (152.3 mph) on 10th. August.
*1979 High speed TGV trains introduced in France, TGV trains travel at an average speed of convert|213|km/h|mph|0|abbr=on. and with a top speed of convert|300|km/h|mph|0|abbr=on.
*1987 World speed record for a diesel locomotive is set in Britain by British Rail's High Speed Train, which reaches a speed of convert|238|km/h|mph|0|abbr=on.
*1990 World speed record for an electric train, is set in France by a TGV, which reaches a speed of convert|515|km/h|mph|0|abbr=on.
*1990s Amtrak introduces the Acela Express on the Northeast Corridor in the United States.

21st century

*2007 High speed trains travelling at convert|350|km/h|mph|0|abbr=on is introduced in Spain.
*2007 France's TGV had beaten its original world record when it travelled from Metz- Reims at a speed of 574.8km approx 360 mph).

See also

* History of rail transport
* Years in rail transport
* History of rail transport by country
* Timeline of United States railway history
* Timeline of transportation technology


External links

* Waggonway Research Circle: [http://www.waggonways.fsnet.co.uk/woll_wag_leaflet_a4.pdf The Wollaton Wagonway of 1604. The World’s First Overland Railway] , August 2005
* Lewis, M. J. T., [http://www.sciencenews.gr/docs/diolkos.pdf "Railways in the Greek and Roman world"] , in Guy, A. / Rees, J. (eds), "Early Railways. A Selection of Papers from the First International Early Railways Conference" (2001), pp. 8-19 (10-15)

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