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Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains , pages of information and , images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them. The line was 26 miles long, and was built between Darlington and Stockton-on-Tees and from Darlington to several collieries near Shildon in north-eastern England. The line was initially built to connect inland coal mines to Stockton, where coal was to be loaded onto sea-going boats.
Meeting held to promote the building of a canal or rail road. John Ralph Fenwick in the Chair and many named persons forming the Committee. Notice requesting proposals for supplying 1, tons of malleable iron rails and tons of cast iron chairs for the Stockton and Darlington Railway.
Applications to Francis Mewburn. Notice requesting proposals for supplying cast iron rails and other materials. Although Edward Pease receives the main credit, he could not have done it without the support of other men, mostly like him being part of the Society of Friends.
However, George Stephenson had been perfecting his engines at Killingworth for about seven years, and had built the Hetton Colliery Railway. With a deputation from Killingworth, he persuaded Edward Pease, on the day that the Act received Royal Assent, to allow him to resurvey the route and work it, at least partly, by steam.
Accordingly, a new Act of Parliament was obtained approving Stephenson's changes to the route, and a clause added to permit the use of "loco-motive or movable engines". This latter clause narrowly escaped being struck out of the bill due to officials not understanding the meaning. The bill also included provisions for transporting passengers though, at the time, they were regarded as little more than a sideline.
He had given up on the "steam springs" that were proving unsuccessful at Hetton, but retained other improvements, such as the direct connection of the pistons by crank rods, though the wheels were coupled by gears. He also made improvements to the track to overcome the problems with settling of the stone blocks on which they were laid, and used T-section malleable iron in fifteen foot lengths, for the rails, pioneered by John Birkinshaw at Bedlington in Initially his son Robert Stephenson assisted him, but then went to join William James in surveying a proposed new line between Liverpool and Manchester.
From Shildon the line was relatively level through Darlington to Stockton. The line's structures included one of the first railway bridges.
Designed by architect Ignatius Bonomi , the so-called 'first railway architect', the Skerne Bridge in Darlington is the oldest railway bridge still in use today.
The bridge was also commemorated on the Bank of England five-pound note. This influence appears to be the main reason that 4 ft 8. In a cast iron bridge was erected over the Gaunless river at West Auckland. It was replaced in See photograph on this page.
Steam locomotives were then a new and unproven technology, and were slow, expensive and unreliable. The initial impetus for steam power had come during the Napoleonic Wars, when horse fodder had become very expensive, and had still not settled down, while improving transport and mining methods was making coal more plentiful.
However, many people weren't convinced that steam engines were a viable alternative to the horse. Timothy Hackworth joins the company as Engineer. The official opening of the single track 25 mile line. The first steam-hauled passenger train ran and carried up to passengers.
The train consisted of the engine, tender, six wagons carrying coals and flour, an elegant covered coach for the dignitaries and then 21 for ordinary passengers and finally six carriages of coal - a total of 28 carriages. The first passenger train was not fast, taking two hours to complete the first 12 miles of the journey. Most of the passengers sat in open coal wagons but one experimental passenger coach, resembling a wooden shed on wheels and called "The Experiment," carried various dignitaries.
Favourable comments concerning the reduction in coal prices and the carrying of passengers. An experimental regular passenger service was soon established, initially a horse-drawn coach with horse provided by the driver. While passenger carrying was contracted out, locomotive coal trains were either paid by the ton, contractors providing their own fuel, which meant they tended to use the cargo, or by fixed wages, which meant they did not bother to economise.
The line's first engine was Locomotion No. Then, in , Stephenson introduced the Experiment with inclined cylinders, which meant that it could be mounted on springs. Originally four wheeled, it was modified for six. In Robert Wilson and Co of Newcastle, produced a locomotive for the line which, rather than use coupling rods, had four cylinders, two to each pair of wheels. Possibly because of its unusual exhaust beat, it became known as Robert Wilson and Co: After suffering a collision it was not rebuilt.
These early locomotives were slow and unreliable and Timothy Hackworth set out to produce an improved design and in introduced the Royal George , salvaging the boiler from the Wilson Chittaprat engine. He also invented a spring-loaded safety valve, because drivers had been tying them down to prevent them opening when the loco went over a bump. These were all horse-drawn.
In other engines used were the Liverpool built by James Kennedy ; the Planet by Robert Stephenson and Co and the Globe engine named from the dome on the top of the boiler designed and built by Timothy Hackworth. Steam traction was expensive in comparison to horse drawn traffic, but it soon proved that it was viable and economic.
Steam locomotives could haul more wagons, and haul them faster, so in a typical working day the expensive steam engine could haul more coal than the cheaper horse. It soon became apparent that mixing faster steam-hauled and slower horse-drawn traffic was slowing the operation down, and so as steam technology became more reliable, horse-drawn traffic was gradually abandoned.
This separation of track from trains resembled the canals, where canal companies were often forbidden from operating any boats. There was no timetable or other form of central organisation. Trains ran whenever they wanted, and fights often broke out when rival operators came into conflict over right-of-way on the tracks.
This chaotic situation was tolerable on completely horse-drawn traffic wagonways, but with faster steam trains it soon became unworkable, as the faster speeds meant a collision could have serious consequences. With the advent of steam, new operating methods had to be developed.
These methods of operation became standard on railways across the world. In they were running three trains a day from St. Helens, Auckland to Darlington and three from Darlington to Stockton. From Stockton to Middlesbrough there were 12 trains a day. In a number of drivers refused to take their engines out and were fined ten shillings each by Joseph Pease. The company also proved a successful training ground for other engineers: Henry Pease projected the line across the mountain ridge that separates Durham from Lancashire and Cumberland.
The records of the company show that between and there were no fewer than eleven new engines built chiefly at Stephenson's Works, Newcastle. In , five new engines were added, making the total number of engines then in the possession of the company eighteen. The Tees , built by A. Fossick and Hackworth built the Stockton , and Messrs. Neasham and Welch built the Whitton Castle in the preceding year. Up to other engines were built, including the Whig , in by A.
Between March, , when operations were first commenced, and The present time; the North-road Engine Works have produced locomotive engines, the great majority of which have been of the largest size. The total number of engines now belonging to the Darlington section is about , of which about are regularly in use.