Hetton Colliery, Hetton-le-Hole, County Durham, c 1822.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Lithograph by J D Harding showing the Hetton colliery which was started in 1819, and opened in 1822. Hetton colliery was notable for being the home of the first extensive private railway. The colliery used both stationary steam engines and locomotives under the direction of manager, Nicholas Wood, and the great engineer, George Stephenson, who went on to create the world's first public railway. The three locomotives - named 'Dart', 'Tallyho', and 'Star' after local racehorses -were designed to haul the coal from the pit to the newly erected staith on the banks of the Wear near Sunderland. At the opening of the railway on 18 November 1822 crowds of people came to see the locomotives pulling 17 loaded wagons, averaging sixty-four tons, at four miles an hour.