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Steam engine on wheels

The invention of the steam engine in 1765 triggered the start of the industrial revolution. It wasn't long until the first steam train was built in England. The Netherlands refused to be left behind.


From 1765 to 1830

Nowadays you can go anywhere by train. Two hundred years ago, people travelled very differently than they do now. Large distances were travelled on foot, by carriage or by barge. Barges were pulled by horses. Here are the events that led to what NS is now. 

Revolutionary invention

James Watt invented the steam engine in England in 1765. In 1804 the Englishman Richard Trevithick came up with a simple but brilliant idea. He placed iron wheels under the steam engine and put it on rails, thus combining maximum force with minimum resistance. His primitive steam locomotive harnessed a hundred horsepower and was able to pull extremely heavy carts filled with iron ore. Trevithick himself had not yet realised how revolutionary his discovery would be for the mobility of people and freight.

High speed

In 1825, the first railway in England was completed. There were several proponents of the construction of a railway in the Netherlands, but various politicians and skippers were against the idea. They were worried about losing work because of this new mode of transport. Farmers were worried about their livestock being spooked. Doctors were concerned that their patients would be endangered by the 'high' speed (35 kilometres). They claimed that trains were not suitable for the transportation of people. The opposed parties think that railway transport is superfluous and that nobody would use it.

Later, improved versions of Trevithick's machine, designed for passenger transport, were constructed. In 1830, the worlds first important railway was put into use; running from Liverpool to Manchester.