Puffing Billy, with its sister locomotive 'Wylam Dilly', is the oldest surviving locomotive in the world. Designed and built by the inventor and colliery official William Hedley (1779-1843) in 1813 for use at Wylam Colliery, Northumberland, this was the first commercial steam locomotive. Using smooth wheels on smooth tracks, it hauled coal trucks 5 miles between Wylam and the staithes at Lemington, Newcastle, from 1813 to 1861. The Science Museum acquired Puffing Billy in 1862, after nearly fifty years of service.
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