Stephenson's "steam powered train"

Photograph of George Stephenson's birthplace in Wylam
  George Stephenson was born in 1781 near Newcastle-upon-Tyne.

His family was not rich and his father worked with machines at a coal mine.

Photograph of inside cottage at Wylam

This is how the inside of his cottage looks today.

 As a boy George was interested in machinery and how it worked.

George went to work from the age of 8.

He didn't go to school and didn't learn to read or write till he was older.

He worked with cows and horses.

When he was 14 years old he worked with his father on the new machines at a coal mine.

George knew he had to learn to read, write and count if he wanted to get a better job.

He went to school 3 nights a week after work.

Drawing of Robert Stephenson from 1849

George got married and had a son called Robert.

 He invented a lamp for use in mines but moved to a better job working with engines.

In 1819 George Stephenson got the chance to build his first railway at Hetton Colliery.

In 1829 it was decided that there would be a railway built between Liverpool and Manchester.

Drawing of railway track

George Stephenson built the railway.

 The owners of the railway decided to have a competition to find the best kind of locomotive to pull heavy loads over long distances.

The competition was held at a place called Rainhill.

The competition took place over several days and each of the engines did the trial, on their own, against the clock.

Ten engines entered the competition originally.

Thousands of people came to watch this event.

At the end of the competition the judges decided that the 'Rocket' built by George Stephenson had won.

On 30th September 1830 the Manchester to Liverpool railway opened. It was a grand event.

There was a terrible accident on the day. A man was knocked down and killed by the engine 'The Rocket'.

Painting of George Stephenson

George Stephenson went on to build many other railways. George died in 1848.





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