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Research Report Locomotive No. 1 The first passenger train of New South Wales by Hassan Saleh Name of the design: LOCOMOTIVE NO.1 Name of the designer: J. E. McConnell Date of its making: 1854 Materials of which it has been made: steel Historical period: Early Victorian Era History and historical context: Locomotive No.
But its first real passenger run was made on May 24th 1855, Queen Victoria's birthday, in itself significant of the period it represented. At the time, the transportation of merchandise was problematic, mostly because although explorers opened new ways throughout the land, the roads were built in a very rough way, with consequent increase in the time and cost of transportation, for both goods and people. This was, however, also the time in which railway expansion was being hailed as the best possible solution for fast and cost-effective transportation, a reliable alternative to those crudely made roads, something which held even more true in new territories such as Australia. Thoughts of a railway in New South Wales started as early as 1830s, but it was to take another 20 years for the dream to become a reality. The railway met with many problems, most conspicuously the cost of its making and the New South Wales Government had to take over in September 1855. The line opened officially on September 26th of that same year, although on that day another two engines run and not Locomotive 1. The line was then 14 miles long with five stops: Newtown, Ashfield, Burwood, Homebush and Parramatta. Over 3500 passengers were carried in that day, and the fact that they all dressed in their finest is witness to the importance of the event in the society of the time. ...
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