Why St Helens Borough?
The Rainhill Trials, held to decide the best motive power for the Liverpool & Manchester Railway, were famously held here in 1829, when Stephenson's locomotive, The Rocket, set a speed record of 47 km/h (29 mph). The Rocket proved to be the forerunner of all future steam locomotives.
The Vulcan works in Newton-le-Willows, opened by the Stephenson family in 1830, built and exported over 6,500 locomotives nationally and internationally, while the Viaduct Works in Earlestown was the UK's biggest wagon works.
Earlestown rail station was the world's first railway junction and today is one of only two triangular stations in the UK. Its station building is the world's oldest station building still in operational use.
As well as St Helens, the Liverpool City Region also has a strong claim to many historic firsts in railway developments. It is home to the world's oldest continuously used station at Edge Hill, the world's oldest continuously used terminus station at Liverpool Lime Street and also saw the last passenger steam train locomotive service run by then British Rail, among many other firsts.
The region also plays an integral role in current railway infrastructure with a strong rail industry cluster of organisations based in the area including Alstom, Stadler, Northern, Rock Rail & Road, RS Clare and Unipart Dorman.