George Stephenson blue plaque in Darlington

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Locomotion No 1 Locomotion was built to a design originated by George Stephenson, the first President of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers. On the opening day of the Stockton and Darlington Railway, 27 September 1825, he drove this engine, hauling the inaugural train, on the world's first steam-worked public railway.

George Stephenson (9 June 1781 – 12 August 1848) was an English civil engineer and mechanical engineer who built the first public inter-city railway line in the world to use steam locomotives, the Liverpool and Manchester Railway which opened in 1830. Renowned as the "Father of Railways", the Victorians considered him a great example of diligent application and thirst for improvement, with self-help advocate Samuel Smiles particularly praising his achievements. His rail gauge of 4 feet 8 1⁄2 inches (1,435 mm), sometimes called "Stephenson gauge", is the world's standard gauge.

Source: dbpedia

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