The Chicago World’s Fair saw the newly united states of America taking its place on the world stage. And the renowned Baltimore and Ohio Railroad had successfully promoted the idea of making the celebration of transport a central theme. The accomplishments of engineering prowess and the continual overcoming of challenges is the legacy of the locomotive pioneers – a legacy they wanted to celebrate.
In England the plaudits and reputation afforded George Stephenson and the Liverpool and Manchester railway overshadowed the working of the Stockton and Darlington Railway. Timothy Hackworth was their superintendent, the man responsible for how their fortunes fared. A place of honour among the pioneers was planned for him at the World’s Fair but crucial information was lacking.
Was Timothy Hackworth the one who showed the way to make a railway pay its way? Had that all started with the locomotive ‘Royal George’? Finding that out would take the best efforts of three men in America…
Sam Holmes, eldest of Hackworth’s grandson, had an axe to grind. His advice to his cousin called on him to show the progress and developments of Timothy Hackworth and the times of George Stephenson in a new light.
Major Pangborn of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Company wanted to make the World’s Fair a success for the company he worked for. The splendour of the Transportation Department would be matched by a display of 11 acres of locomotives, and tell a story of the five pioneers.
The quest for Timothy Young was to push past the fog of history as he searched for fresh evidence of Hackworth’s extraordinary accomplishments. Was it his grandfather who had set the pace and kept the locomotive on the right rails?