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Birthplace of railway recognised

30 May 2019

Plaque marks engineering importance of the first, fare-paying passenger train line between two cities.

Birthplace of railway recognised

The Liverpool and Manchester Railway has been designated as an International Historic Civil and Mechanical Engineering Landmark.

The railway, which opened in 1830, was the world’s first passenger and goods train line, establishing the format for almost all future railways worldwide.

In recognition of its huge contribution to society, a joint international engineering landmark plaque is now permanently in place at Rainhill Station, near Liverpool.

The Rainhill Trials saw five engineers compete to find the best method for pulling the wagons.

Thousands of people watched as George Stephenson’s Rocket proved that steam locomotion was best.

Alan Williams, ICE North West Committee Member, said: “It’s an honour for ICE to be part of the celebrations, marking a moment that influenced the future of rail developments all over the world.

"The plaque is a fitting way to commemorate the railway and the Rainhill Trials, reminding future generations of the significance of this remarkable feat of engineering.”

Four engineering institutions came together from the UK and America to recognise the historic achievement; the Institution of Civil Engineers, the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, the American Society of Civil Engineers and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.

The plaque was unveiled by Brian Hayes, Chair of the Rocket 190 Committee, with Alan Williams former Chair of the ICE North West region, and Ian Weir, the North West representative of the ICE Panel for Historical Engineering Works, both present.

The public had been able to see the plaque on display locally prior to its permanent installation at the station.

  • Lynn Caddy, communications lead at Institution of Civil Engineers