Railway Age, The By L W Cowie Hard Cover 1978, 1979 printing  61 Pages

Railway Age, The By L W Cowie Hard Cover 1978, 1979 printing 61 Pages

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Railway Age, The By L W Cowie Hard Cover 1978, 1979 printing 61 Pages
 
The Railway Age By L W Cowie Hard Cover 1978, 1979 printing  61 Pages
At the beginning of the 19th century most people did not travel far from their homes : it was much too difficult and expensive. There were few good roads, and most people walked from place to place. For long distances there were stagecoaches, but these were not very convenient. The horses were changed every 16 kilometres and a coach could travel over 160 kilometres in a day, but it only carried 12 passengers at a time, and the journey was cramped and uncomfortable as well as costly.
Even on the best roads, horses could not carry very heavy loads. The only way of transporting goods was by boat - along rivers and canals. The boat was pulled by a horse which walked, along the bank, and travelled about three kilometres an hour. In the 18th century, in north-east England, horses were also used to pull coal trucks along rails from coal mines to cargo boats at river quays. This could be called an early form of `railway'.
George Stephenson worked as a fireman at a colliery which was served by one of these early 'railways'. He was in charge of the steam engine which pumped water out of the mine. The steam engine had been invented in the 18th century, and, in 1814 Stephenson built a steam locomotive which was as powerful as forty horses. It hauled coal along a railway track to the River Tyne.


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