February 10 - Launceston and Western Railway opens as the first line in Tasmania, Australia, 45 mi (72 km) 1,600 mm (5 ft 3 in) gauge between Deloraine and Launceston.
June 8 – Devon and Somerset Railway opens its line to Wiveliscombe.
June 18 - The canton of Basel-Country grants a concession for the construction of a narrow gauge railway from Liestal to Waldenburg and eventually further to Langenbruck.
July 12 - The first narrow gauge railway in North America, the Toronto and Nipissing Railway, using a track gauge of 1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in), opens to Uxbridge.
July 22 - The Canada Central Railway holds an official groundbreaking ceremony at Renfrew for the railroad's section between there and Sand Point, Ontario.
August 5 - The New Haven and Derby Railroad, a predecessor of the New Haven Railroad in Connecticut, opens between New Haven and Derby Junction (Ansonia).
August 24 - Hans Gløersen publishes the first documented idea of building a railway between Norway's two largest cities, Bergen and Oslo, in the newspaper Bergensposten.
August 26 - The Eastern Railroad An express train crashes into the rear of a local at the tiny Revere station, killing 29 and injuring 57. Either a station-to-station telegraph system, or the Westinghouse air braking system, could have prevented this accident. Public outrage, lawsuits and regulations after this crash finally forces most railroads in America to install both.
September 17 - The Fréjus (or Mont Cenis) Tunnel (13.7 km (8.5 mi)) is opened carrying the Fréjus railway beneath Mont Cenis in the Alps and connecting Modane, France and Bardonecchia, Italy.
September 18 - The second narrow gauge railway in North America, the Toronto, Grey and Bruce Railway, using a track gauge of 1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in), opens to Orangeville, Ontario.
October - Portland gauge European and North American Railway is completed linking New England to the Maritimes.
November 2 - Finnish State Railways opened in Russia Sestroretsk spur line of Beloostrov to Sestroretsk rail station.
The United New Jersey Railroad and Canal Company, which owns the assets of the first railroad built in New Jersey (the Camden and Amboy Railroad), is merged into the Pennsylvania Railroad
The Richmond and Danville Railroad acquires the North Carolina Railroad.
The owners of the Wilmington and Raleigh Railroad and the Wilmington and Manchester Railroad begin using the name Atlantic Coast Line in advertising to describe the two railroads.
The Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad reaches Dodge City, Kansas.
The Portland gauge Maine Central Railroad converts to a standard gauge mainline from Portland to Bangor after leasing the standard gauge Portland and Kennebec Railroad.
Mason Bogie locomotive introduced in the United States by William Mason (locomotive builder).
Ensign Manufacturing Company, later to become part of American Car and Foundry, is founded in Huntington, West Virginia.
October – Robert Whitelegg, locomotive superintendent for London, Tilbury and Southend Railway 1910-1912, and for Glasgow and South Western Railway 1918-1923, general manager of Beyer, Peacock and Company 1923-1929 (d. 1957).
September 6 - John A. Poor, American entrepreneur, advocate of the Portland gauge (b. 1808).
October 18 – Joseph Hamilton Beattie, locomotive engineer for London and South Western Railway 1850–1871 (b. 1808).
November 5 - Edmund Morel, English-born civil engineer in Japan (b. 1840).
December 14 - George Hudson, English railway financier, "The Railway King" (b. 1800).
Robert B. Dockray, civil engineer on the London and Birmingham Railway in England (b. 1811).
1871 in rail transport Wikipedia
This article lists events related to rail transport that occurred in 1871.
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