The Granite Railway was one of the first railroads in the United States, built to convey granite from Quincy, Massachusetts to a dock on the Neponset River in Milton, Massachusetts. From there boats carried the heavy stone to Charlestown for construction of the Bunker Hill Monument. The Granite Railway is popularly termed the first commercial railroad in the United States, as it was the first chartered railway to evolve into a common carrier without an intervening closure. The last active quarry closed in 1963.
The railway ran three miles (4.8 km) from quarries to the Neponset River. Its wagons had wheels 6 feet (1.8 m) in diameter and were pulled by horses, although power supplied by steam locomotive had been in operation in England for two decades. The wooden rails were plated with iron and were laid 5 feet (1,524 mm) apart.
In 1830, a new section of the railway called the Incline was added to haul granite from the Pine Ledge Quarry to the railway level 84 feet (25.6 m) below. Wagons moved up and down the 315 foot (96 m) long Incline in an endless conveyor belt. The Incline continued in operation until the 1940s.
The railway introduced several important inventions, including railway switches or frogs, the turntable, and double-truck railroad cars. Gridley Bryant never patented his inventions, believing they should be for the benefit of all. (Wiki)