The Robert Stephenson Trust promotes the greatest engineer of the nineteenth century with the aim of making today's generation aware of his work and humanity to insire a new generation of engineers through his achievements.

These pages give news of the Stephensons, their associates, works and activities.
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A short biography of Robert Stephenson can be seen here

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Liverpool and Manchester Railway - View near Liverpool, looking towards Manchester.
Liverpool and Manchester Railway - View near Liverpool, looking towards Manchester.

About this event

After last year's success, when the Smeaton lecture sold out weeks in advance and attracted nearly 300 delegates, this key annual event is back for its 2016 edition.

This year’s topic will look at the design and construction of the Liverpool to Manchester railway.

Opened on 15-16 September 1830, the Liverpool to Manchester Railway is the first main-line and intercity railway in the world. As such it was a prototype project, and remains of global interest, most famously for the establishment of steam locomotive traction as a prime mover, paving the way for a transport revolution that transformed the world over the next 50 years. The Railway was a showcase for British engineering establishing a demand for British engineering expertise all over the world.

The lecture will describe the planning, procurement, design, management and construction of this pioneering engineering work and its initial operation. It will consider the project in the context of the state of civil engineering in the 1820s and its significance today.

The line involved many major engineering works: tunnels and deep cuttings through sandstone, long crossings of deep bogs, inclines considered too steep for locomotive working, and majestic bridges and viaducts. The total quantity of excavation for the railway was about 3m. cubic yards.

The station at Liverpool Road, Manchester is the oldest passenger station in the world and sufficient of its 63 bridges and infrastructure survive to justify its inscription as an ASCE International Civil Engineering landmark in 2016.

Posted By Robert. Stephenson
by  Janet Plater
Directed by Robert Webb
Starring  CHRIS CONNEL as ‘George Stephenson’
15th – 19th July in KILLINGWORTH
  The extraordinary story of an ordinary man from Tyneside who changed the world.
A community play celebrating the bicentenary of George Stephenson’s first locomotive ‘Blücher’ in Killingworth. Debuting children from George Stephenson School and volunteers from the local community, this world-premiere play stars CHRIS CONNEL (‘The Pitmen Painters’, Broadway, Live Theatre, National Theatre, ‘George Gently’, ‘Goal’ and ‘Emmerdale’). Also featuring CATHERINE DRYDEN (‘The Pitmen Painters’), ZOE HAKIN and the BACKWORTH COLLIERY BRASS BAND.

Posted By Robert. Stephenson
The Stephenson Phenomenon....... SLS event. Friday 9 May, National Railway Museum, York (Added 17 February 2014)

Inauguration of the new SLS President & The Stephenson Phenomenon: 200 Years On

To mark the start of Dr Michael Bailey’s tenure of office a day of celebration of the SLS and the bi-centenary of George Stephenson’s first locomotive is taking place at the National Railway Museum, York on Friday 9 May 2014 commencing at 11.45.

The Chairman will open proceedings at 12 noon and after a short hand-over ceremony, lunch will be taken c 12.30. Then at 13.45 members and guests will make their way to the ‘Evening Star’ theatre for a series of 30 minute seminars, each with 10 minute question and answer sessions. There will be a refreshment break during these seminars and the whole event will close by 17.25. Details of the seminars are shown below.

The NRM are also planning to have a selection of their Stephenson memorabilia available for viewing in Search during the event period.



Members and guests assemble by the side of Gladstone in the Peter Allen building, a short distance from the museum’s main entrance.

12 noon – 12.30

Inauguration of the President

Welcome to guests and members – Bob Bemand, SLS Chairman.

Early Years of the SLS – Andrew Dow, SLS Past President

Formal ‘hand-over’ of ‘badge of office’

The SLS in More Recent Times – Dr Michael Bailey, SLS President

12.30 – 13.45


The Stephenson Phenomenon: 200 Years On

14.00 – 14.45

Why Displace the Horse? – John New

14.50 – 15.30

The Development of Railway Track up to 1835 – Andrew Dow

15.30 – 16.00

Break for Refreshments

16.00 – 16.40

George Stephenson’s Earliest Locomotives – Dr Michael Bailey

16.45 – 17.25

George Stephenson’s Rope-Hauled Railways – Colin Mountford

Non-members are welcome (subject to space) - advance booking essential. as places are limited. Cost - Seminar - Free to members and the public (Refreshments extra). For further information and to reserve a place contact John New (SLS Publicity Officer)

Posted By Robert. Stephenson

Posted By Robert. Stephenson

Crossing the Tyne

18 January 2012 at 12.30pm 

A talk about the seven Tyne bridges with J. Michael Taylor (MBE), Institution of Civil Engineers,Trustee Robert Stephenson Trust

To book a free place, or find out more information, please call the museum on (0191) 456 8740

In association with the Crossing the Tyne exhibition.



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