Old Railroad Timeline
Quarry tramways are introduced in the United States.
John Stevens receives a state charter for a tramroad in New Jersey.
Stevens is granted a charter to build a railroad in Pennsylvania.
The Granite Railway near Boston opens as the first U.S. railroad to carry passengers and freight.
The Baltimore & Ohio Railroad is chartered to build a railroad between the Atlantic seaboard and the Ohio River in western Virginia, a distance of more than 350 miles.
The B&O inaugurates the first regularly scheduled passenger trains in the United States -- coaches hauled by horses for a distance of 13 miles.
By year's end, the South Carolina Railroad begins offering regularly scheduled, steam-powered passenger service; a railroad boom commences nationwide.
The B&O Railroad's Washington Branch opens, providing the first rail line to the nation's capital.
Henry R. Campbell completes the first 4-4-0 locomotive; later named the "American" type, it became the most popular nineteenth-century locomotive.
Samuel F. B. Morse makes the first successful tests of his "magnetic telegraph," inaugurating the age of instantaneous electronic communication over long distances.
Railroads open routes from New York to Chicago and across the Allegheny Mountains to make connections with midwestern railroads and the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers.
Congress hires surveyors to locate possible rail routes to California.
Financial panic temporarily halts most railway construction. Regional disputes lead to talk of civil war.