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The life of George Stephenson: Open Library

"He (George Stephenson) proceeded to bring the subject of constructing a "Travelling Engine," as he then denominated the locomotive, under the notice of the lessees of the Killingworth colliery, in the year 1813. Lord Ravensworth, the principal partner, had already formed a very favourable opinion of Stephenson, from the important improvements which he had effected in the colliery engines, both above and below ground; and, after considering the matter, and hearing Stephenson's statements, he authorised him to proceed with the construction of a locomotive, though his lordship was, by some, called a fool for advancing money for such a purpose. "The first locomotive that I made," said Mr. Stephenson, many years after, when speaking of his early career at a public meeting in Newcastle, " was at Killingworth colliery, and with Lord Ravens worth's money. Yes, Lord Ravensworth and partners were the first to entrust me with money to make a locomotive engine. That engine was made thirty-two years ago, and we called it ' My Lord.' I said to my friends, there was no limit to the speed of such an engine, if the works could be made to stand it."

Britain's historic railways are privately owned and include both narrow and standard gauge railways and steam and in some cases diesel locomotives. A typical heritage railway will hold special events throughout the year that such as Wartime Britain, Days Out with Thomas, and various dining experiences. The Heritage Railway Association provides detailed information on what Britain's heritage railways have to offer.

Some of the best heritage railways......

England: Great Central Railway.
England: Bluebell Railway.
England: West Somerset Railway
Scotland: Strathspey Steam Railway
Wales: Snowdon Mountain Railway

Recommended ......

Read: The life of George Stephenson and of his son Robert Stephenson; comprising also a history of the invention and introduction of the railway locomotive (1868)

Read: Rails Through the Forest: The Severn & Wye Railway, Norchard to Coleford, Cinderford and Lydbrook 1945-2012 (Railway Heritage)

Read: Great Britain's Heritage Railways: The Rise of the Railway Preservation Movement (Railway Heritage)

Read: The Essential Guide to Welsh Heritage and Scenic Railways (X Series)

Read: British Steam: Scottish Railways

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