"Locomotion" was not the first steam engine in the world, nor was she reliable or efficient, but these issues pale into insignificance by the mere fact of her place in history as the first locomotive to pull a passenger railway train.But this story is not just about a locomotive, but about people, and communities and the way their lives changed with the advent of this wondrous industrial revolution.
"We should like to linger over those brave old days when the Shildon mechanics were working long and weary hours...As time passed better tools, labour-saving machines and the greater reliability of the improved locomotives made the lot of the mechanic less burdensome, but the early training was in a hard school, and many a Shildon man with the practical experience thus obtained, and his ability and skill, travelled further afield, winning high repute, both by his own work and in the instruction of others." - Robert Young
The scene, on the moving of the procession, sets description at defiance; the welkin rang with loud huzzas, while the happy faces of some, the vacant stare of others, and the alarm depicted on the countenances of not a few, gave variety to the picture. Astonishment, however, was not confined to the human species, for the beasts of the field and the fowls of the air seemed to view with wonder and awe the machine, which now moved onward at the rate of 10 or 12 miles an hour...Durham County Advertiser, 1st October, 1825.'