To many people, the history of the railway begins with the opening of the Liverpool & Manchester Railway in 1830. By that time, however, the concept of the railway in Britain was already over 250 years old, a fascinating but little-known period of experimentation, improvement and invention which included such remarkable features as an Elizabethan ''Scalextric'', an early ''JCB'' and an engine fitted with steam-powered legs. Innovations such as iron rails, inclines and the pioneering locomotives were gradually introduced, so that by 1830 the basic principles of the modern railway were already in place. Never again would the industry see such fundamental development; indeed, today both Britain and North America still use what is essentially a Georgian railway.
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