Railway Passenger Travel 1825 - 1880 Horace Porter 1962
Railway Passenger Travel 1825 - 1880 Horace Porter 1962

Railway Passenger Travel 1825 - 1880 Horace Porter 1962

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Railway Passenger Travel 1825 - 1880 Horace Porter 1962
Railway Passenger Travel 1825 - 1880 By Horace Porter Copyright 1962
From the time when Puck was supposed to utter his boast to put  a girdle round about the earth in forty minutes to the time when Jules Verne's itinerant hero accomplished the task in twice that number of days, the restless ingenuity and energy of man have been unceasingly taxed to increase the speed, comfort, and safety of passenger travel. The first railway on which passengers were carried was the " Stockton and Darlington," of England, the distance being 12 miles. It was opened September 27, 1825, with a freight train, or, as it is called in England, a " goods " train, but which also carried a number of excursionists. An engine which was the result of many years of labor and experiment on the part of George Stephenson was used on this train. Stephenson mounted it and acted as driver; his bump of caution was evidently largely developed, for, to guard against accidents from the recklessness of the speed, he arranged to have a signalman on horseback ride in advance of the engine to warn the luckless trespasser of the fate which awaited him if he should got in the way of a train moving with such a startling velocity. The next month, October, it was decided that it would be worth while to attempt the carrying of passengers, and a daily "coach," modelled after the stage-coach and called the "Experiment," was put on, Monday, October 10th, 1825,which carried six passengers inside and from fifteen to twenty outside. The engine with this light load made the trip in about two hours. The fare from Stockton to Darlington was one shilling, and each passenger was allowed fourteen pounds of baggage. The limited amount of baggage will appear to the ladies of the present day as niggardly in the extreme, but they must recollect that the band-box was then the popular form of portmanteau for women, the Saratoga trunk had not been invented, and the muscular baggage-smasher of modern times had not yet set out upon his career of destruction.
The advertisement which was published in the newspapers of the day is here given, and is of peculiar interest as announcing the first successful attempt to carry passengers by rail.

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