In 1825 Edward Pease opened the Stockton & Darlington Railway. This was the world’s first public railway and the start of a transport revolution. Edward initially built the Railway to transport coal, but captured the public’s imagination by including a carriage called Experiment, which carried passengers alongside the wagons of coal on its opening journey. The steam locomotives could pull much heavier loads than horses and travel at faster speeds and so were much more efficient than canals or horse-and-cart. They soon became popular with local businesses and with passengers. As a result of the Railway’s success, new lines began to open across the area and a network of railways developed across the country. Edward became known as the ‘father of the railways’.
by William Miller, circa 1820-1850
© National Portrait Gallery, London