Printed and hand coloured map 'Plan and Section of the intended Railway or Tramroad from Stockton by Darlington to the Collieries near West Auckland in the County of Durham : and Several Branches therefrom, and of the Variations and Alterations Intended to be made therein Respectively & also of the Additional Branch of Railway or Tramroad Proposed to be made. 1822'. Scales 3":2 1/2m (horiz); 1":300' (vertic).
This plan, the first enlarged plan of the Stockton and Darlington railway, belonged originally to George Brigham who surveyed the line for the opponents of the Bill. The first Act was passed 19 April 1821, the works were begun 13 May and the first rail laid 22 May 1822; the line was opened 22 September 1825 and connected the collieries of County Durham to Darlington and the port of Stockton, with branches extending from the main line.
Steam traction was in its earliest years during the construction of the Stockton and Darlington railway. Engines were often extremely unreliable, either performing poorly or proving to be dangerous. It was uncertain whether steam locomotives would be practically and financially superior over horse-drawn or canal haulage. Whether the link between the coalfields, Darlington and Stockton should be a ‘railway or tramroad’ was one of the questions faced by the Stockton & Darlington Railway Committee and an issue that various surveys of the route were asked to consider.
Gradient profiles are also featured at the bottom of the plan, showing the topography of the route. On the steepest gradients, neither a horse nor a locomotive would be able to pull heavy coal wagons, therefore, stationary engines came to be used on the inclines at Etherley and Brusselton.