In order to get coal from the Pictou mines to market, the General Mining Company constructed the Albion Mines Railway from their works to a point a little below New Glasgow, Nova Scotia, on which they hauled the coal by horses. About this time the use of locomotives on railroads had been tried successfully in England. Accordingly it was resolved to build a railroad from the East River to the Loading Ground, for the conveyance of their coal. The road was laid out and operations commenced in 1836. The railroad was the first in British America to use standard gauge and iron rails. The line was opened in 1839 when the first locomotives in British America ran upon it. These Locomotives, built in England by Timothy Hackworth were the Samson, Hercules and Hibernia. The Samson was the first in operation and hence had the distinction of being the first locomotive in British America to run on all iron rails.
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