The 27th September 1825 was the day that changed the face of the world. We wouldn’t want you to forget that, so here is a handy key ring to help you remember. On this day, the world watched in wonder as the Stockton & Darlington Railway was opened for business – this was the start of the modern railway that we know today and soon the surface of the planet would have iron rails spreading far and wide across its surface.
On one side the wooden key ring has the calendar for September 1825 with the 27th circled and the text “The Opening of the Stockton & Darlington Railway”. On the other side the key ring proudly proclaims that this is the day that changed the face of the world.
At seven in the morning, on the 27th September 1825, 12 wagons of coal were led from the Phoenix Pit at Witton Park in County Durham, to the foot of Etherley Ridge and then hauled up 1100 yards up the North Bank by the stationary engine at the top. Then the wagons descended Etherley South Bank to the road to West Auckland. From West Auckland, the train was joined by another wagon filled with sacks of flour, and then led by horses across the level to the foot of Brusselton West Bank. Here thousands of people were waiting on the slopes of the ridge to see the 60 horsepower stationary engine at work on Brusselton ridge. These wagons, along with 21 others, were coupled to Locomotion No.1 along with the first railway carriage “Experiment” at New Shildon, on their way to Darlington and then to Stockton. This was the start of the modern railway network as we know it. Engineers would travel from across the world to see and learn how to run a railway. And so, by 7 am on the 27th September 1825, the day that would change the face of world, was underway. Railways spread across the world as more and more places adopted the train as a new form of public transport.