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In 1822, Stockton witnessed an event which heralded the dawn of a new era in trade, industry and travel. The first rail of George Stephenson's Stockton and Darlington Railway was laid near St. John's crossing, Bridge Road, Stockton. Hauled by Locomotion No1, the great engineer himself manned the engine on its first journey in 1825. His friend, and rival engineer, Timothy Hackworth acted as Guard. This was the world's first passenger railway. The line also carried coal to the riverside docks, bringing great prosperity to the Stockton area.