Archaeology Magazine

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200-Year-Old Wooden Railway Unearthed in England

Friday, July 26, 2013

(Courtesy The Archaeological Practice)NEWCASTLE, ENGLAND—Wooden rails from the end of the eighteenth century have been uncovered along the banks of the River Tyne. The rails were part of a railway used by wagons for hauling coal at the shipyard. This 75-foot stretch of track is thought to be the earliest surviving example of the standard gauge railway. “One of the gifts of the North East to world history is the development of the railways. Coal and the railways are Tyneside’s heritage and this wagon way was part of that because without the wagon ways the coalfields would not have developed,” said Newcastle historian Les Turnbull.