BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific Arabic Spanish Russian Chinese Welsh

 You are in: UK: England
Front Page 
Northern Ireland 
UK Politics 
Talking Point 
In Depth 

Commonwealth Games 2002

BBC Sport

BBC Weather

Monday, 24 December, 2001, 21:39 GMT
First 'car' journey re-run
An outing for the replica
Signs marking the historic route have been put up
The world's first "car" journey has been recreated to mark the 200th anniversary of the historic event.

On Christmas Eve 1801 a steam-powered road locomotive built by engineer Richard Trevithick made its way up Camborne Hill in Cornwall.

It was the world's first self-propelled passenger carrying vehicle and so is considered to be the forerunner to the motor car.

Members of the Trevithick Society have spent five years creating a replica at a cost of 130,000.

Traction engines

To mark the anniversary on Christmas Eve the replica was driven through the streets of Camborne in front of crowds of onlookers.

Thirteen full-sized traction engines and three miniature machines joined the parade, travelling at three minute intervals up Camborne Hill.

Vice-chairman of the Trevithick Society, Kingsley Rickard said Trevithick made his locomotive to test a theory.

"He did it just to prove a point. He didn't make a vehicle to be a run about or for a taxi service.

"He built it to prove a machine could move itself."

He said building the replica had brought home to the members the scale of Trevithick's achievement.

"Even with modern engineering techniques we have had one or two problems," said Mr Rickard.

"It has made us realise what an amazing engineer Trevithick was."

See also:

06 Nov 01 | England
Roadsigns are 200 years late
Internet links:

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more England stories are at the foot of the page.

E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more England stories