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George Stephenson. Portrait of George Stephenson (1781-1848), British engineer and pioneer of railway locomotives. At the age of 14, Stephenson began a job as a steam engine tender at a coal mine. He taught himself about engineering and in 1811 showed his skill by modifying a steam engine which was used for pumping water out of a mine. He built many more mine engines before completing his first steam locomotive in 1814. In 1825, one of his locomotives provided a passenger service from Stockton to Darlington at a speed of 24 kilometres per hour. He also designed and built the Liverpool to Manchester railway, which was opened in 1830.
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