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Gravity Locomotives

By the 1830's the region was sprinkled with numerous shortline gravity railroads unsing inclined planes. Iron or wooded cars which held about one ton of coal a piece rolled down the tracks by gravity and were hauled back to the mines by mule power or stationary engines. The pioneer railroads ran from a point on a canal or river to the mine. The earliest gravity railroad was at Mauch Chunk in 1828. In 1828 an "Iron Railroad" was projected from Philadelphia to Columbia on the Susquehanna near Lancaster to connect Philadelphia with the trade of that area. It later bacame the first railroad link in the State Works Pennsylvanias state canal system. It was completed by 1834, the first railroad in the world built by a government.

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