The first steam railway locomotive was tried out in 1804 at Merthyr Tydfil in Wales, but the first to be successful was the famous Puffing Billy, installed at Wylam Colliery near Newcastle-on-Tyne in 1813, and in use until 1872 when it was bought by the government to be kept as a museum piece. In 1825 the Stockton and Darlington Railway was opened for goods traffic using a locomotive supplied by George Stephen- son. Stephenson was the successful winner four years later, with his locomotive Rocket, of a competition to choose the locomotive for the Liverpool and Manchester Railway.
Stephenson’s locomotive drew thirty passengers at up to twenty-nine miles an hour. Today there are probably nearly a
million miles of railway in the world, and the French have a locomotive capable of speeds over 200 miles per hour (320 km).

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