Most people are under a misapprehension: the Rocket was t the first steam engine. Quite a few were built before it, but Stephenson's engine was the first successful steam locomotive. Colin Maggs tells the history of the steam engine from pre-Rocket days to British Railways building Evening Star, the last main line locomotive, through to the preservation movement and even new build locomotives of extinct classes such as the Tornado. This is also the story of the rolling stock, the 'train'. The early first-class coaches were based on a stagecoach design, while some second-class coaches had glass in the windows and passengers wore fine-gauge goggles to avoid getting cinders in their eyes. Third-class coaches were merely open trucks - after all, why t travel in the open as passengers had done on the outside of a stagecoach?
Colin Maggs is one of the country's foremost railway historians and has written over one hundred books. In 1993 he received the MBE for services to railway history. He lives in Bath.