The Surrey Iron Railway was the first public railway in England, probably in the world. The railway ran along this road on its route from Croydon to the mouth of the River Wandle, a distance of nearly nine miles. Goods wagons were pulled by horses along a track of cast iron plates laid on stone sleepers, some of which are set in the wall below. The gauge was 4'2. It opened in 1803, following the passing of the Surrey Iron Railway Act in 1801, and closed in 1846, the victim of the success of newer railways, powered by steam.
The Surrey Iron Railway (SIR) was a horse-drawn plateway that linked Wandsworth and Croydon via Mitcham, all then in Surrey but now suburbs of south London, in England. It was established by Act of Parliament in 1801, and opened partly in 1802 and partly in 1803. It was a toll railway on which carriers used horse traction. The chief goods transported were coal, building materials, lime,manure, corn and seeds.The Croydon, Merstham and Godstone Railway was built as an extension of the railway but by a separate company. It opened in 1805 and closed in 1838.The Surrey Iron Railway was commercially successful only briefly, until shortly after the opening of the canal between Croydon and London in 1809. It closed in 1846.