Benjamin Outram's paper was first published in the periodical, Recreations in Agriculture. This periodical was almost entirely written by Dr James Anderson, a Scottish economist (also described as a lawyer, scientist, agriculturalist and writer) whose daughter, Margaret, married Benjamin Outram on the 4 June 1800.

Although Outram used the word 'railway’ to describe this form of transport, the word ‘tramway’ was already in widespread use and it came to describe rail systems that operated as feeders from quarries and coal mines, etc, to canals. There is no connection between the prefix ‘tram’ and Outram’s surname. The word ‘railway’ (or ‘railroad’) came into more widespread use following the opening of the Liverpool and Manchester Railway on the 15 September 1830, which used steam haulage running on I-section (edge) rails. Afterwards, the words ‘tramway’ and ‘railway’ remained in use to describe two distinct methods of rail transport. That is, tramways acted as feeders from quarries and coal mines to canals whereas railways carried goods and passengers over long distances. Synonyms of the word ‘tramway’ include: ‘tramroad’, ‘stoneroad’, ‘dramroad’, ‘gangway’ and ‘gangroad’.

Outram’s tramways used L-section cast-iron rails (also known as plates), one yard in length, which were secured to stone sleeper blocks with wrought-iron spikes driven into oak plugs inserted into holes in the sleeper blocks. Initially, the rails were laid directly onto the sleeper blocks; cast-iron saddles to support the rails were a later innovation. Workmen who laid rails were known as ‘platelayers’ and this word is still in use. This meant that L-section rails were flanged and waggon wheels were flangless whereas I-section (edge) rails were flangless and waggon wheels were flanged. With experience, it came to be recognised that I-section rails and flanged wheels made a better arrangement.

Rails resting directly on stone sleeper blocks.

Track section after the introduction of cast-iron saddles.