February 21, 1804 — The First Steam Train runs

The first ever steam train was built by Richard Trevithick in Wales in the early 19th century. On its maiden journey, on February 21, 1804, the unnamed steam locomotive hauled a train along tracks from the Pen-y-darren ironworks, near Merthyr Tydfil to Abercynon in south Wales. It was the world’s first ever railway journey. (The phrase ‘steam train’ would not be coined until 1822, but it applies to this vehicle.)

From there, the idea took off like wildfire. Railways opened up the vast plains of Australia and North America to settlement, while in Europe, they drove the Industrial Revolution to heights of productivity without precedent in human history. And although steam would in time give way to diesel and electricity as the fuel of choice for running railways, the importance of trains for hauling freight and passengers would only grow as the years went by.

TrevithicksEngine.jpg
By chris55.
Original uploader was Chris55 at en.wikipedia – Transferred from en.wikipedia; transferred to Commons by User:Igitur using CommonsHelper (all following user names refer to en.wikipedia):
2009-09-20 09:57 Chris55 1179×786× (164456 bytes), CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

As mentioned in:

It’s A Man’s Man’s Man’s World — James Brown

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