Objects | Engineering


Stockton & Darlington Railway, 1871

Head of Steam - Darlington Railway Museum, Tees Valley

Railways, Firsts

1800 – 1899

The Stockton and Darlington Railway was opened on 27 September 1825 with the prime purpose of transporting coal from the South West Durham collieries to the River Tees at Stockton, for shipment to national and international markets.

The Stockton and Darlington Railway was by no means the first railway, but its opening in 1825 marked a very significant step in the development of railways by bringing together two features for the first time: the concept of a public railway, available to all, for transport of passengers and goods, and the use of steam locomotives.

This watercolour painting is by the artist John Dobbin, who exhibited at the Royal Academy. He was a landscape painter born in Darlington in 1815.

John was only a young boy in 1825 but it is believed that he attended the momentous opening day and painted the watercolour from memory, or sketches made by his father, over 45 years later. It is also said he even painted himself into the scene as a young boy!

Painting by John Dobbin (1815-1888)

On display at Head of Steam – Darlington Railway Museum

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