|Through the 18th century coal mines on Tyneside had been linked to the ports by tramways. These were wooden or iron tracks on which wagons were pulled by horses or cables powered by stationary steam engines. In 1804 high-pressure steam engines were developed almost simultaneously in the United States and Britain in Philadelphia, Oliver Evans was using a small engine with a steam pressure of 50 pounds per square inch. Two years earlier, Richard Trevithick, a Cornish mine engineer, had built a pumping engine with a steam pressure of 145 pounds or ten times the normal pressure of the atmosphere. It was Trevithick who first produced a steam locomotive to run on a railway. In 1804, he built his locomotive for the Penydarren ironworks near Merthyr Tydfil, in Wales. Which pulled five trucks loaded with 70 men and ten tons of freight, ten miles between Penydarran ironworks and the Glamorganshire canal, at a speed of five mph.|
|In 1814 George Stephenson built his first locomotive on Tyneside the Killingworth. To hall coal at Killingworth Colliery near Newcastle.||It was not a great success (the weight broke the rails). In 1808, Trevithick was charging the public five shillings a trip on a circular track near Euston Square in London.|
|In 1823 Stephenson was asked to survey a route for a tramway to carry coal from pits at Darlington to the wharves at Stockton-on- Tees. He became engineer to the line at a salary of £300 a year for working one week in each month. George Stephenson and his son Robert designed the Locomotion, and in 1825 the line was opened, for carrying both goods and passengers. George Stephenson was a colliery engineer who set up business to build both railways and locomotives. In 1829 trials were held to find the best locomotive a prize of £500 was offered for the best locomotive, and this was gained by the steam engine called the 'Rocket' built by George Stephenson.|
| This locomotive, ran on four wheels, weighed 4 tons 5 cwts., and the tender, consisting
of a simple cask, 3 tons 4 cwts.; the steam cylinders were 8 inches in diameter with 16½ inches of stroke;
the driving-wheels were 4 feet 8½ inches in diameter; the total gross weight drawn was about 17 tons; and
the speed attained was an average of 14 miles per hour, with an occasional speed of 29 miles per hour.
The engine of the 'Rocket' brought together three primary elements which, having been developed, make the efficiency of the modern locomotive - viz.
|George Stephenson (1781-1848) is regarded as the foremost engineer of the railway era. The Rocket, was built in 1829.||the internal water-surrounded fire-box and the multitubular flue in the boiler; the blast-pipe, from which the waste steam of the engine was exhausted up the chimney; and the direct connection of the two steam cylinders, one on each side of the engine, with the driving-wheels, on one axle.|
From these early locomotives two modern types, differentiated by the position of the cylinder, developed. In the inside cylinder locomotive the cylinder is situated within the framing, under the boiler, with the main driving-axle cranked at two points to receive the power from the two cylinders; while in the outside cylinder locomotive the cylinder is external to the framing and connected, not to the axle, but to the crank-pins fixed between the spokes of the wheels in connection with the nave.
Another point of advance on the early locomotive was in the number of the wheels, which varied from six to twelve, and in some locomotives, where heavy loads are drawn on inclines, a greater tractive power is secured by coupling three or even four wheels together upon one side. A system was adopted of putting four wheels in front of a locomotive on a small truck or bogie, which turns upon a central pivot and adapts itself to the curves of the lines, so that the tractional resistance is lessened. The principle of the expansion of steam in high - pressure and low - pressure cylinders was also adopted, in order to save fuel, in locomotives.
The passenger express-train steam-engine was a striking contrast to the engine of the 'Rocket;' it weighed nearly 50 tons in working order, and with the loaded tender, about 80 tons gross; its cylinders were from 17 to 19 inches in diameter, with a stroke of about 26 inches; the driving-wheels from 7 to 8 feet in diameter; and the speed attained, about 54 miles per hour. The engine of the goods-train was capable of drawing a train of wagons weighing 672 tons up an incline of 1 in 178, this being equivalent to a gross weight, including engine and tender, of 1816 tons on a level.