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.

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A short biography of Robert Stephenson can be seen here

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March | Wed 15th | 13:00

Book launch: Rocket Man with Cousin Jacks: Robert Stephenson in Columbia 1824-27 FREE

This new book about the great civil and mechanical engineer Robert Stephenson, reveals for the first time the full account of his 3 years in the northern part of South America – mainly Colombia - as a mining engineer between 1824 and 1827.

Bob Longridge, chairman of the Robert Stephenson Trust and author of the book said 'It is based on 111 letters from him to his boss in Bogotá, Richard Illingworth. The correspondence reveals an extraordinary series of challenges and frustrations with which he had to contend at a time when the country of Colombia was just recovering from a brutal war with the Spanish rulers - won by Simon Bolivar – and from a series of devastating earthquakes'.

 
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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.


 
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