Meet the Mumbles Train September 29 2014

I was inspired to research railway history after checking out this very cool map of railroad growth in America the other day. One of the neatest stories I uncovered was that of the Mumbles Train, the very first fare-based passenger train in the whole wide world, which began running in 1807 in Wales.

It carried passengers from Swansea to Oystermouth, two towns only about five miles apart, but without a road between them. Originally built to carry horse-drawn wagons of coal and ore shipments, the railway quickly began ferrying people, for a fee, and was incredibly popular for about 20 years, when a road was finally built and cannibalized much of the passenger business.  

But how did the Mumbles Train get its name? The town of Oystermouth was also know as “Mumbles,” and the train quickly took on its nickname, assuring that the world’s first passenger train would also have the best (cutest?) name in all of railroad history.