Remember the children’s story about the train that could? The little choo-choo made it to the top of the hill, pulling its load, by will power, courage, strength and thought, “I think I can, I think I can.”
Well, this story is about another train that could and did.
On September 27, 1829, a locomotive belonging to England’s Stockton and Darlington line, pulled a passenger train down the tracks. It was the first time an engine -- not a horse -- had accomplished this.
The locomotive, The Rocket was designed by George Stephenson with the help of his son Robert. It was the first truly successful steam locomotive, able to pull a train on smooth rails. (The very first steam engine locomotive was built by Richard Treithick, also of England, in 1804.)
Critics were a little wary of the iron horse. One said that it would make stay-at-homes into gadabouts; honest men into liars and be the downfall of an intellectual society. Some choo-choo, eh?