On Christmas Day, December 25, 1830, the first regularly scheduled passenger train in the United States began operation. Chartered in 1827, the same year as the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, the South Carolina Canal and Railroad Company steamed out of Charleston along a six mile line of track. According to the previous day's Charleston Mercury regular times for leaving the station would be "8 o'clock, at 10 A.M., at 1, and at half past 3."
The new service's locomotive steam engine, named Best Friend, purchased from one Mr. E. L. Miller, was the first in the U.S. to pull an entire string of cars. According to the Mercury article, "It is said to have moved on some occasions at the rate of 30 miles per hour…When drawing two Cars with 41 Passengers, it went at the average rate of nearly 16 and where the Road was straight, at the rate of 20…per hour." This breakneck speed was achieved by a six horse power engine weighing three tons "exclusive of the wood and water for keeping it in continued action."