The opening of the Liverpool & Manchester Railway, which runs exclusively on steam power, is a key milestone in the industrial revolution.

The Liverpool and Manchester Railway opens on September 15 1830, running – as its name suggests – between Liverpool and Manchester. It is the first railway to rely exclusively on steam power, and breaks ground by also achieving a number of other ‘firsts’: becoming the first line to be powered entirely by its own motive power; the first line not to permit horse-drawn traffic; the first line to operate according to a fully-mapped timetable; the first line to use a signalling system; the first line to run on double-tracks along its entire length; and the first line to be used as a mail carrier.

The line is described by the Delaware and Hudson Railway’s John B. Jervis as “opening the epoch of railways which has revolutionised the social and commercial intercourse of the civilised world”.