The first railway line to be built between two cities was constructed from Liverpool to Manchester a distance of 48km (30 miles). The building of the line involved significant engineering expertise to cross Chat Moss bog, the Sankey Valley and cut through solid rock at Olive Mount. The term navvies (named after the navigators who had cut out the canals) was applied for the first time to the hundreds of travelling workmen, many from Ireland, who achieved this feat using little more than spades and pickaxes! Before the line was opened, the owners decided to hold locomotive trials to see which engine they would choose for their new railway.



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