William Huskisson was a British statesman, financier, and Member of Parliament. A leading advocate of free trade, Huskisson had been a highly influential figure in the creation of the British Empire, but he will always be remembered as the first widely-reported person in history to be fatally injured in a railway accident.
The tragic incident occurred during the opening of the Liverpool and Manchester Railway on 15 September 1830. The Liverpool and Manchester Railway was the first inter-city railway in the world, connecting the industrial city of Manchester with the nearest deep water port at the Port of Liverpool, 35 miles away. Although horse-drawn railways already existed elsewhere, the Liverpool and Manchester Railway was the first railway to rely exclusively on locomotives, and the first to provide a scheduled passenger service. The L&M was also the first to be entirely double track throughout its length, the first to have a signaling system, the first to be fully timetabled, and the first to carry mail.
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The Duke of Wellington's train being prepared for departure from Liverpool to Manchester, 15 September 1830.