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Who invented the first railway?

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Quick Answer

Edwin and Robert Stevens developed the first commercial railway in the United States. However, railway transportation predates the development of the steam engine, which was invented in 1698.

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Railways were first developed in Europe prior to the 17th century. Horses were used to pull carriages along wooden or iron rails. However, this form of railway was not very fast. Englishman Thomas Savery developed the first steam engine in 1698 as a way to move water out of mine shafts. By the 1800s, Savery's technology had been improved by inventors. The first steam engine locomotive was built by Richard Trethivick in 1803. George Stephenson built the first railway in 1825 after a number of years working specifically with locomotives for coal transport. In the same year, Colonel John Stevens designed the first American locomotive. His sons, Edwin and Robert Stevens, later developed the first American commercial railroad.

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