Where history happened: The birth of the railways

The first steam locomotives helped make Britain the most powerful nation in the world. We visit eight places associated with the dawn of rail travel

Watercolour by John Dobbin showing crowds gathered at the opening of the Stockton & Darlington Railway. (Photo by SSPL/Getty Images)

Watercolour by John Dobbin showing crowds gathered at the opening of the Stockton & Darlington Railway. (Photo by SSPL/Getty Images)

This article was first published in the January 2010 issue of BBC History Magazine

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