The National Iron & Steel Heritage Museum
The Stourbridge Lion

In 1823, the Delaware & Hudson Canal Company was chartered to build and operate canals between New York City and the coal fields of Carbondale, PA. While the line was originally planned as a canal system for the entire route, engineers began formulating plans to transform the route in 1825 to a railroad between the mines and the western end of the canal to transport coal.

Delaware & Hudson engineers began devising plans to demonstrate how the rail lines would work. Research trips to England to study the locomotives proved fruitful, and a locomotive named the Stourbridge Lion was ordered for an 1829 demonstration of how steam power would revolutionize the Delaware & Hudson system. The locomotive was assembled at West Point Foundry in New York and scheduled for its first run. On August 8th, 1829, the engineers set up a public display of the power of the Stourbridge Lion and its potential in Honesdale, PA, which impressed onlookers and influenced investors to support the growing movement of steam locomotive transport.