The steam-powered revolution
The history of the industrial revolution is irrevocably intertwined with that of the steam engine, and the names Richard Trevithick and George Stephenson. Trevithick, a Cornish mine engineer is credited with the invention of the first high-pressure steam engine. Trevithick’s engines were light enough to carry their own weight. He demonstrated Puffing Devil – a road-going steam locomotive in 1801, and in 1804 created a tramway locomotive which hauled 10 tons of iron, and 70 men between Penydarren and Abercynon in Wales.
Trevithick’s engines stimulated a feverish period of development. In Northumberland, George Stephenson designed the first successful flanged-wheel adhesion locomotive in 1814. He went on to design the Rocket with son Robert and was instrumental in the creation of the 35-mile Liverpool & Manchester Railway, opened in 1830 – the world’s first public transportation system to be wholly steam-powered.
Two centuries on, and McLaren Applied Technologies is helping to innovate and improve our experience of public transport, including rail, by leveraging race-bred network technologies.