The role of the North East in pioneering the development of the passenger railway and steam locomotion is perhaps the Region's most important contribution to national, and indeed world, history.
From the 1600s the Great Northern Coalfield invented increasingly complex systems to carry coal from the mines to navigable water, with ever increasing efficiency. Until later 1700s, horses and gravity were the sole means of propelling wagons along wooden waggonways.
From then on however a series of improvements were introduced, including better brakes, better track, stationary hauling engines and finally locomotives. These innovations, ushered in the railway system.
Even today this railway engineering tradition continues.
Map of the Newcastle upon Tyne Electric Supply Co Ltd (NESCo) and The County of Durham Electrical Power Distribution Co Ltd electric power distribution network, about 1907