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1842 in rail transport

December - William Maxwell succeeds James Bowen as president of the Erie Railroad.

1843 in rail transport

John Cooke, future founder of Cooke Locomotive Works, is promoted to superintendent at American steam locomotive manufacturing company Rogers Locomotive and Machine Works.

1844 in rail transport

Egide Walschaerts of the Belgian State Railways originates Walschaerts valve gear for steam locomotives.

1845 in rail transport

William Swinburne, shop foreman for Rogers, Ketchum and Grosvenor, leaves Rogers to form his own locomotive manufacturing company, Swinburne, Smith and Company. Walter McQueen becomes chief mechanical engineer for the Hudson River Railroad.

1846 in rail transport

December 17 – The Lancaster and Carlisle Railway is opened throughout to Carlisle.

1847 in rail transport

John Urpeth Rastrick retires from Foster, Rastrick and Company, the English firm that built the first steam locomotives for the Delaware and Hudson Railroad.

1848 in rail transport

Tredegar Iron Works Richmond, Virginia manager Joseph R. Anderson becomes the owner of the company.

1849 in rail transport

The North Carolina General Assembly incorporates the North Carolina Railroad to complete a rail line from Goldsboro through Raleigh and Salisbury to Charlotte. Train ferry PS Leviathan, designed by Thomas Grainger for the Edinburgh, Perth and Dun ...

1850 in rail transport

Construction begins on the first transcontinental railroad to be completed, the Panama Railway. The Richmond and Danville Railroad begins operation in Virginia.

1851 in rail transport

The oldest line to become a part of the Southern Pacific Railroad system, the Buffalo Bayou, Brazos and Colorado Railway begins construction between Houston, Texas, and Alleyton, Texas. The Mohawk and Hudson Railroad changes its name to the Mohaw ...

1852 in rail transport

The first 2-6-0 steam locomotives are built. Great Southern and Western Railway of Ireland builds first locomotive at its Inchicore Works, Dublin. John Edgar Thomson becomes president of the Pennsylvania Railroad. John Cooke steps down from the s ...

1853 in rail transport

American steam locomotive builder Manchester Locomotive Works opens. The Monon Railroad opens its 300-mile 480 km route between Chicago, Illinois, and Louisville, Kentucky

1854 in rail transport

Henry Farnam becomes president of the Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railroad. Aretas Blood purchases the steam locomotive manufacturing business of Amoskeag Locomotive Works and folds it into Manchester Locomotive Works. Opening of first secti ...

1855 in rail transport

The Wilmington and Raleigh Railroad in North Carolina is reorganized as the Wilmington and Weldon Railroad.

1856 in rail transport

December 1 – Opening of first steam-operated passenger railways in Sweden, from Gothenburg to Jonsered 15 km or 9.3 mi and Malmo to Lund 17 km or 11 mi.

1857 in rail transport

Locomotion No. 1 is placed on display in Darlington, England, the first historic steam locomotive to be publicly preserved. Aretas Blood succeeds O. W. Bayley as superintendent of American steam locomotive builder Manchester Locomotive Works. Gin ...

1858 in rail transport

John W. Garrett becomes president of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad.

1859 in rail transport

Compañia de los Caminos de Hierro del Norte de España of Spain introduces its standard 0-6-0 goods locomotives, almost all of which will be in service for more than a century.

1860 in rail transport

Kingston Locomotive Works, predecessor of the Canadian Locomotive Company, declares bankruptcy. The first 2-6-0s with leading trucks are built by the Baldwin Locomotive Works for the Louisville and Nashville Railroad.

1861 in rail transport

Jean-Jacques Meyer patents the Meyer locomotive. Budapest-Deli Railway Terminal opens to serve the line to Fiume. Jackson and Woodin Manufacturing Company in Berwick, Pennsylvania, later to become part of American Car and Foundry, begins manufact ...

1862 in rail transport

Bergisch-Markische Eisenbahn opens Essen Hauptbahnhof station. Patna–Digha Ghat line opens in British India. Cornelius Vanderbilt acquires the New York and Harlem Railroad.

1863 in rail transport

Henry Farnam retires from the presidency of the Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railroad. Jackson and Sharp Company, later to become part of American Car and Foundry, is founded in Wilmington, Delaware.

1864 in rail transport

Cornelius Vanderbilt acquires the Hudson River Railroad. Murray, Dougal and Company, later to become part of American Car and Foundry, is founded in Milton, Pennsylvania.

1865 in rail transport

A group of businessmen in San Francisco, led by Timothy Guy Phelps, found the Southern Pacific Railroad to build a rail connection between San Francisco and San Diego. Erastus Corning resigns from his executive post for the New York Central Railr ...

1866 in rail transport

The Richmond and Danville Railroad acquires the Piedmont Railroad. The John Bull, eventually to become the oldest operable steam locomotive in the world, is retired from active service on the Camden and Amboy Railroad. Construction on the Kansas ...

1867 in rail transport

Construction on the Union Pacific Railroad reaches Cheyenne, Wyoming. Cornelius Vanderbilt acquires control of the New York Central railroad. The Lehigh Valley Railroad places the first 2-10-0 steam locomotives in the world into use. An early for ...

1868 in rail transport

First Meyer locomotive to the patent of Jean-Jacques Meyer, LAvenir, is built by Cail in France. Leland Stanford succeeds Timothy Guy Phelps as President of the Southern Pacific Company, parent company of the Southern Pacific Railroad. Calcutta & ...

1869 in rail transport

William Henry Vanderbilt, son of Cornelius Vanderbilt, is promoted to Vice President of the New York Central and Hudson River Railroad. The first railroad built in New Jersey, the Camden and Amboy Railroad, is merged into the United New Jersey Ra ...

1870 in rail transport

Northwestern Pacific Railroad predecessor San Francisco and North Pacific Railroad begins service between San Francisco Bay and Santa Rosa, California. The Southern Pacific Railroad and Central Pacific Railroad operations are merged under the Sou ...

1871 in rail transport

The owners of the Wilmington and Raleigh Railroad and the Wilmington and Manchester Railroad begin using the name Atlantic Coast Line in advertising to describe the two railroads. Ensign Manufacturing Company, later to become part of American Car ...

1872 in rail transport

The Wilmington, Columbia and Augusta Railroad leases North Carolinas Wilmington and Weldon Railroad. Strasburg, Colorado – joining of rail over river completes transcontinental railway. Transcaucasian Railway from Poti on the Black Sea to Tbilisi ...

1873 in rail transport

St. Charles Car Company, later to become part of American Car and Foundry, is founded in St. Charles, Missouri. Under the direction of Cornelius Vanderbilt, the New York Central and Hudson River Railroad tracks reach Chicago, Illinois. Matthew Ba ...

1874 in rail transport

The Wm. Mason, an 0-6-6 Mason Bogie by William Mason locomotive builder, is the first locomotive with Walschaerts valve gear built in the United States. Dr. Livingston Stone of the U.S. Fish Commission which later becomes the United States Fish a ...

1875 in rail transport

First Caspar Lumber Company steam locomotive begins operation on what will become the Caspar, South Fork and Eastern Railroad The Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad purchases the line between Topeka and Kansas City, Kansas. Russian engineer a ...

1876 in rail transport

The first regularly operated compound locomotives, a series of small 2-cylinder compound 0-4-2 tanks, are built to the design of Anatole Mallet by Schneider of Le Creusot for the Bayonne–Biarritz Railway, France. The Atjeh Staats Spoorwegen, a na ...

1877 in rail transport

William Henry Vanderbilt, son of Cornelius Vanderbilt, is promoted to President of the New York Central system. Second railway in Estonia connecting Tapa on the Tallinn–Saint Petersburg line with Tartu, the biggest city in Southern Estonia at thi ...

1878 in rail transport

The Richmond and Danville Railroad acquires the Charlotte, Columbia and Augusta Railroad. The Wilmington, Columbia and Augusta Railroad, lessee of the Wilmington and Weldon Railroad, declares bankruptcy. The Canadian Engine and Machinery Company ...

1879 in rail transport

Southern Pacific Railroad engineers experiment with the first oil-fired steam locomotives.

1880 in rail transport

February 12 – The Tawas and Bay County Railroad in Michigan purchases the Lake Huron and Southwestern Railway. February 18 – Adna Anderson succeeds William Milnor Roberts as Engineer-in-Chief of Northern Pacific Railway. February 9 – The Atchison ...

1881 in rail transport

The first standard gauge railroad in China is opened from Tangshan to Xugezhuang 10 km 6.2 mi) for coal traffic. The French Compagnie Universelle du Canal Interoceanique purchases a controlling interest in the Panama Railway Company. E.W. Clark & ...

1882 in rail transport

Spring – The Atlantic and Pacific Railroad, later to become part of the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad, building westward from Albuquerque, New Mexico, reaches Canyon Diablo, Arizona. Minerva Car Works, later to become part of American Ca ...

1883 in rail transport

Franklin B. Gowen retires from the presidency of the Philadelphia and Reading Railroad. The National Railway Appliance Exhibition is held in Chicago, Illinois. William Henry Vanderbilt resigns from the presidency of the New York Central system an ...

1884 in rail transport

Charles Francis Adams, Jr. becomes president of the Union Pacific Railroad. Summer - The Atlantic and Pacific Railroad, later to become part of the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway, completes its connection between Needles and Mojave, Califo ...

1885 in rail transport

The New Zealand Government Railways become the first major railway to place a 2-6-2 steam locomotive into service, having ordered ten V class from Nasmyth, Wilson and Company of Manchester, England. Cornelius Vanderbilt II is promoted to presiden ...

1886 in rail transport

Grande Ceinture line around Paris completed. The first refrigerator cars on the Southern Pacific Railroad enter operation. The Southern Pacific Railroad wins the landmark Supreme Court case Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad which es ...

1887 in rail transport

Stuyvesant Fish becomes president of the Illinois Central. Rebuilding of Gare Saint-Lazare terminus of the Chemins de fer de lOuest in Paris is completed. Colorado Midland completes construction of the Hagerman Tunnel. Tapa–Tartu railway in Eston ...

1888 in rail transport

First section of metre gauge Brunig railway line in Switzerland opened by Jura–Bern–Lucerne Railway from Brienz over the Brunig Pass to Alpnachstad using the Riggenbach rack system. Spring – The Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway begins throug ...

1889 in rail transport

First section of Luanda Railway opens in Portuguese Angola. Darjeeling Himalayan Railway takes delivery of first four Class B locomotives from Sharp Stewart and Company of Glasgow: the design will remain in service into the 21st century. Riga–Psk ...

1890 in rail transport

Klien-Lindner axle patented. Hugh J. Chisholm forms the Portland and Rumford Falls Railway to link Androscoggin River papermills to the Maine Central Railroad. Leland Stanford begins his term as Chairman of the Executive Committee for Southern Pa ...

1891 in rail transport

Canadian Pacific Railway launches its trans-Pacific shipping route between Vancouver, British Columbia and Hong Kong. Geared steam locomotive designs in the United States: Charles L. Heisler builds a working prototype of what is to become the Hei ...

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