Did you know? Tanfield Waggonway was 4' gauge; Hawks Waggonway (Gateshead) 4'3"; Wylam Waggonway used 5' gauge; Willington Waggonway 4'8", hence Killingworth Waggonway 4'8" & from there the Stephensons' influence spread to Hetton, the S&DR, the L&MR, across Britain & the world.

Saturday, 4 March 2017

Geoff's Bridge Club

A reminder that all TR volunteers are welcome at Geoff's Bridge Club's next meeting on Monday 6 March from about 7 pm.   
The Bridge Inn alongside G.Stephenson's 1826 Killingworth Billy
on R.Stephenson's 1849 High Level Bridge, viewed c1885
(photo Newcastle Libraries)
Another view of the Killingworth loco
(photo Newcastle Libraries)
Following George Stephenson's appointment as engineer by Sir Thomas Liddell (of the Grand Allies) in 1812, Killingworth became an extremely important colliery for the development of railways and the steam locomotive.   George recognized & built on the ideas & work of visionary contemporaries such as Trevithick.

GS's Killingworth locomotives encapsulated all of the best ideas of the early nineteenth century.   They were rebuilt & improved on a practical basis by GS, & led to the establishment of the world's first locomotive works, Robert Stephenson & Co in 1823 on Forth Banks in Newcastle.   George (& son Robert) developed locomotives & railways for Hetton Colliery in 1822, went on to Locomotion & the Stockton & Darlington in 1825, then Rocket & the Liverpool & Manchester in 1829.

The Killingworth loco shown in the photographs is now at the Stephenson Museum on North Tyneside.   It was built at RS on Forth Banks, but I've seen it dated as 1826 or 1830.

'The First Locomotive Engineers' by LG Charlton (published by Frank Graham, 1974) provides a brief interesting history of early days.

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