Stephenson's Rocket

Stephenson's Rocket changed the future in 1829

It's the most famous steam locomotive in the world... but what makes it so special?

The future then...

Rocket was the world's first modern steam locomotive. Its design set the standard for 150 years. After Rocket's success the railways expanded quickly and for the first time huge numbers of people were able to move across the world... many in search of a new life.

The future now...

What could public transport look like in the future? One idea being tested at Heathrow is a network of personal driverless pods. Gliding along tracks, these 'pod cars' will take passengers non-stop to their destinations, cutting down on congestion and pollution. If they're a success, we could see pod cars in cities all around the world.

'Rocket has a magical effect on visitors. I see grown men stop in their tracks and stare, like small boys, amazed that this is the real thing. Imagine their faces if they'd seen Rocket break that speed record!'

John Fergus, Gallery Warder

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