The Coalbrookdale Locomotive
Way back in 1802 Richard Trevithick designed what is perhaps the first steam locomotive to run on rails and it was built by the Coalbrookdale Company, Although of striking design it was not the safest of engines, after running for a short while there was an accident that resulted in an enquiry but it seems to have been hushed up at the time and the locomotive converted into a stationary steam engine.
It ran on "L" shaped rails made from cast iron and these often failed as cast iron was too brittle for the purpose.
Coalbrookdale is the home of the Industrial Revolution where Abraham Darby built his blast furnaces and started the wholesale development of the iron industry. The industry has long gone but, as is usual these days, the site has been converted into a museum, indeed a World Heritage Site, and at Blists Hill there is a Victorian town built around the remains of the furnaces and other industrial buildings.
The full size replica of the Trevithick engine, with some health and safety improvements, was built by GKN Sankey and presented to the museum in 1990 and there it runs up and down a short track on high days and holidays.
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