The Wikipedia article of the day for September 27, 2015 is Stockton and Darlington Railway.
The Stockton and Darlington Railway operated in north-east England from 1825 to 1863. The world's first public railway to use steam locomotives, its first line connected coal mines near Shildon with Stockton-on-Tees and Darlington, and was officially opened on 27 September 1825. The movement of coal to ships became a lucrative business, and the line was soon extended to a new port and town at Middlesbrough. Passengers were carried in coaches drawn by horses until carriages hauled by steam locomotives were introduced in 1833. The company suffered severe financial difficulties at the end of the 1840s and was nearly taken over by the York, Newcastle and Berwick Railway, before profiting from the discovery of iron ore in Cleveland. The company was taken over by the North Eastern Railway in 1863, transferring 200 route miles (320 km) of line and about 160 locomotives, but continued to operate independently as the Darlington Section until 1876. Much of the original route is now served by the Tees Valley Line, operated by Northern Rail. The railway's opening in 1825 was seen as proof of the effectiveness of steam railways, and its anniversary was celebrated in 1875, 1925 and 1975.