Railways to the End of the Nineteenth Century By T M Simmons Soft Cover 1964, SE
Railways to the End of the Nineteenth Century By T M Simmons Soft Cover 1964, SECOND impression 1966 A Science Museum illustrated booklet 20 Pages
Twenty color photos or illustrations w/accompanying historical and informational text.
During the early part of the nineteenth century such great strides were made in the design and construction of railway locomotives and in the laying down of many miles of railway track, that this period is often considered as the beginning of the railways. In fact, they began much earlier. This booklet will illustrate, somewhat briefly, early railway history to the end of the nineteenth century, whilst a second publication will deal solely with railway development during the twentieth century.
The rail track can be traced back to the mines of the early sixteenth century. At this time, mined material was transported to the pit bottom on sledges and wheelbarrows. When the floor of the roadway was soft, the wheel of the barrow and the sledge runners penetrated into the ground ; this difficulty was overcome by the laying of planks. The two planks on which the sledge was hauled, generally by children, was in fact the embryo rail track. The Germans replaced the sledge with a mine tub known as the "Hundt" (dog) ; which had four wheels, the leading two being smaller and nearer together than those at the rear. It was also provided with a circular disc of wood projecting downwards from the base, and between the two front wheels, which ran between the two planks and thereby kept the wheels, and hence the tub, on its proper path (Agricola: De re Metallica, 1556).
As far as is known the first rail track to be installed in England was by Huntingdon Beaumont in 1604 at the Woollaton Colliery, near Nottingham. This track carried coal for a distance of two miles.
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