On the morning of 7 July 1839, three trains operated by the Habsburg monarchy's first steam railroad company, the Kaiser Ferdinands-Nordbahn, arrived at Brno/Brünn, the largest city in Moravia. As one local newspaper correspondent wrote, throngs of onlookers first “caught sight of the smoking locomotive with its line of carriages in quick flight.” In little time the first of three trains from Vienna pulled into the station. “With speed like the wind,” it had covered the roughly 130 kilometers from the imperial capital to Brno in just four and a half hours. The other two trains arrived shortly thereafter. Some of the train's passengers wandered through the city. Prominent state and local officials hosted several notable visitors, including the railroad company's main financial backer, Salomon Mayer von Rothschild, and his leading engineers.
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