Steam locomotives were first developed in Great Britain
The first steam locomotive, made by Richard Trevithick, first operated on 21 February 1804, three years after the road locomotive he made in 1801. The first commercially successful steam locomotive was created in 1812–13 by John Blenkinsop. Built by George Stephenson and his son Robert’s company Robert Stephenson and Company, the Locomotion No. 1 is the first steam locomotive to carry passengers on a public rail line, the Stockton and Darlington Railway in 1825. George also built the first public inter-city railway line in the world to use locomotives, the Liverpool and Manchester Railway, which opened in 1830. Stephenson established his company as the pre-eminent builder of steam locomotives for railways in the United Kingdom, the United States, and much of Europe.
1805 – The Croydon Merstham & Godstone railway opens; first commercial railway, connected to the Surrey Iron Railway
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
1808 – The Kilmarnock and Troon Railway was the first railway in Scotland authorized by Act of Parliament. It was a plateway, using L-shaped iron plates as rails.
1812 – First commercial use of a steam locomotive on the Middleton Railway, Leeds. Matthew Murray of Fenton, Murray and Wood, in Holbeck, designed a locomotive with a pinion that meshed with a rack. Murray’s design was based on Richard Trevithick’s locomotive, Catch me who can, adapted to use Blenkinsop’s rack and pinion system, and probably was called Salamanca. It was the first two-cylinder locomotive.
1814 – George Stephenson constructs his first locomotive, Blücher for the Killingworth wagonway. The locomotive was modelled on Matthew Murray’s. It could haul 30 tons of coal up a hill at 4 mph (6.4 km/h) but was too heavy to run on wooden rails or iron rails which existed in that time.
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. The line opened on 26 September 1825. The following day,550 passengers were hauled, making this the world’s first passenger railway, contrary to the claims of Liverpool five years later.
1826 January – the first section of the Springwell Colliery Railway, latter to become known as the Bowes Railway opened, this was the first six miles of what would become a 15-mile railway, using a mix of locomotive and rope (cable) haulage. Part of the original line is now a Scheduled Ancient Monument.
1827 June 30 – The first railway opened in France between Saint-Etienne and Andrézieux (horse-drawn carriage). Some tests had been run since May 1, 1827. The official opening ceremony on October 1, 1828 never really took place, this date being in fact the first fiscal year of the railway company.
1828 July 4 – the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad (B&O) began constructing a track. The South Carolina Railroad Company commenced construction a few months later.
1830 – The first public railway in the United States, the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad (B&O) opened with 23 miles of track, with mostly hardwood rail topped with iron. The steam locomotive, Tom Thumb (locomotive), was designed and built by Peter Cooper for the B&O — the first American-built steam locomotive. Trials of the locomotive began on the B&O that year.
1831 – First railway in Australia, for the Australian Agricultural Company, a cast iron fishbelly gravitational railway servicing the A Pit coal mine.
1834 – Ireland’s first railway, the Dublin and Kingstown Railway (D&KR) opened between Dublin and Kingstown (now Dún Laoghaire), a distance of six miles.
1835 – In Belgium, a railway opened on May 5 between Brussels and Mechelen : The line 25.In 1836 a second section between Mechelen and Antwerp opened. The line still exists and is used by a high speed train between Paris and Amsterdam.
1836, July 21 – First public railway in Canada, the Champlain and St. Lawrence Railroad, opened in Quebec with a 16-mile run between La Prairie and Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu.
1837 – Partial opening of the London and Birmingham Railway Line (L&BR) running from Euston to Birmingham, 112-miles (180 km), open throughout in 1838, becoming the capital’s first inter-city line. Euston was London’s first railway terminus.
1837 – The first Cuban railway line connected Havana with Bejucal. In 1838 the line reached Güines. This was also the first railway in Latin America and the Iberian world in general.
1837 – The first Austrian railway line connected Vienna with Wagram. In 1839 the line reached Brno.
1837 – Robert Davidson built the first electric locomotive
1839 – The first railway in the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies, Italy, opened from Naples to Portici.
1839 – The first rail line in the Netherlands connected Amsterdam and Haarlem.
1842, November 6 – First border crossing by rail between Mouscron (Belgium) and Tourcoing (France).
1844 – The first rail line in Congress Poland was built between Warsaw and Pruszków.
1846 – The first railway line in Hungary, connects Pest and Vác
1846 – First international railway connection between two capitals, Paris and Brussels.
1847 – First train in Switzerland, the Limmat, on the Spanisch-Brotli-Bahn Railway line. 1848 – First railway line in Spain, built between Barcelona and Mataró.
1848 – First railway in South America, British Guyana. The railway was designed, surveyed and built by the British-American architect and artist Frederick Catherwood. John Bradshaw Sharples built all the railway stations, bridges, stores, and other facilities. Financing was provided by the Demerera Sugar Company, who wished to transport their product to the dock of Georgetown. Construction was insections with the first, from Georgetown to Plaisance, opening on 3 November 1848. The opening day’s festivities were marred when the locomotive ran over and killed one of the railway’s directors. After this, multiple more railways were created, however, this is just the beginning timeline.
1853 – Railways introduced to India, train ran from Bombay (now Mumbai) to Thane.
1854 – The first railway in Brazil, inaugurated by Pedro II of Brazil on April 30 in Rio de Janeiro, built by the Viscount of Maua.
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, opened to the public on August 30.
1861 – First railway in Paraguay, from the station to the Port of Asuncion on June 14.
1862 – The first railway in Finland, from Helsinki to Hämeenlinna.
1862 – The Warsaw – Saint Petersburg Railway is opened.
1863 – First underground railway, the 4-mile (6.4 km) Metropolitan Railway opened in London.The adapted steam engines held condensed steam and let it out only at particular tunnel locations that had air vents.
1863 – First steam railway in New Zealand opened from Christchurch to Ferrymead.
1863 – World’s first narrow – gauge steam locomotive built, The Princess (Later named Princess) for the Ffestiniog Railway
1864 – First railway line opened in Mauritius The North line covered 50 km (31 mi) and started operation on 23 May.
1866 – Ruse-Varna is the first railway line completed in Bulgaria (then part of the Ottoman Empire), connecting the Danube port of Ruse with the Black Sea port of Varna.
1869 – The First Transcontinental Railroad (North America) completed across the United States from Omaha, Nebraska to Sacramento, California. Built by Central Pacific and Union Pacific.
1870 – The Paldiski-Tallinn-St Petersburg line is opened as the first railway line in Estonia (then part of the Russian Empire).
1879 – First electric railway demonstrated at the Berlin Trades Fair.
1881 – First public electric tram line, the Gross-Lichterfelde Tramway, opened in Berlin, Germany.
1881 – One of the first railway lines in the Middle East was built between Tehran and Rayy in Iran.
1882 – First line in Kingdom of Serbia: 12 km long 600 mm wide gauge track from Majdanpek copper processing plant to Velike Livade, constructed by the “Serbian Copper & Iron Co”.
1883 – First electric tram line using electricity served from an overhead line, the Mödling and HinterbrühlTram opened in Austria.
1893 – The first railway in Thailand between Bangkok to Samut Prakan opened.
1895 – Japan’s first electrified railway opened in Kyoto.
1895 – First mainline electrification on a four-mile stretch (Baltimore Belt Line) of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad.
1899 – The first Korean railway line connects Noryangjin (Seoul) with Jemulpo (Incheon).
1899 – Tokyo’s first electric railway, the predecessor to Keihin Electric Express Railway opened.
1913 – First diesel powered railcar enters service in Sweden. In Austria-Hungary, the first electrified metric railway was opened between Arad and the neighboring vineyards, facilitating transportation of goods and people and reducing travel time from half a day to just one hour (total distance around 60 km).
1924 – First diesel-electric locomotive built in Soviet Union (USSR).
1925 – The first electric train ran between Bombay (Victoria Terminus) and Kurla, a distance of 16 km.The first electric train of India.
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 opens in Tbilisi, USSR.
1938 – In England, the world speed record for steam traction was set by the Mallard, which reached a speed of 203 km/h (126 mph).
1953 – Japan sets narrow gauge world speed record of 145 km/h (90 mph) with Odakyu 3000 series SE Romancecar.
1968 – British Rail ran its last final steam-driven mainline train, named the Fifteen Guinea Special, after of a programmed withdrawal of steam during 1962-68. It marked the end of 143 years of its public railway use.
1975, August 10 – British Rail’s experimental tilting train, the Advanced Passenger Train (APT) achieved a new British speed record, the APT-E reaching 245 km/h (152.3 mph). The prototype APT-P pushed the speed record further to 261 km/h (162.2 mph) in December 1979, but when put into service on 7 December 1981, it failed and was withdrawn days later,resuming only from 1980 to 1986 on the West Coast Main Line.
1979 – High speed TGV trains introduced in France, TGV trains travelling at an average speed of 213 km/h (132 mph). and with a top speed of 300 km/h (186 mph).
1984 – The Kolkata Metro is a metro railway transport system serving the city of Kolkata and the districts of South 24 Parganas and North 24 Parganas in the Indian state of West Bengal. The Kolkata Metro was the first Metro Railway in India, opening for commercial services from 24 October 1984. The metro system has most of its stations underground. Being the first of its kind in India and in the entire South Asia, the metro system is proudly called “India’s First, Kolkata’s Pride.
1987 – World speed record for a diesel locomotive set by British Rail’s High Speed Train (HST), which reached a speed of 238 km/h (148 mph).
1989 – Cairo Underground Metro Line 1 is the first line of underground in Africa and Middle East Line length 44 kilometers (27 mi) with 34 stations Daily ridership 1 million passenger Operating speed 100 km/h (62 mph).
1990 – World speed record for an electric train is set in France by a TGV, reaching a speed of 515 km/h (320 mph).
2001 – HS1, Britain’s first high-speed rail line opens, allowing trains to run from London St Pancras to Paris on dedicated high-speed track.
2007 – High speed trains travelling at 350 km/h (217 mph) are introduced in Spain between Madrid and Barcelona.
2007 – Modified train set of France’s TGV had beaten its original world record when it traveled from Metz- Reims at a speed of 574.8 kilometers per hour (357.2 mph).
2010 – Shanghai Metro overtakes London Underground as the world’s largest urban transit system (now serving: 420 km (260 mi) with 278 stations (235 not including stations served more than once).
2015- Japan has a demonstration line in Yamanashi prefecture where test train SCMaglev L0 Series Shinkansen reached 603 km/h (375 mph), faster than any wheeled trains.
World’s largest rail networks:
United States 250,000km.
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