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Railways first applied the term 'class' to the speed of the train not the fares or quality of accommodation. 'first class' trains being faster than 'second class'. By 1840 some railways were using 'first class and 'second class' to distinguish between rates of fare and quality of accommodation so the use of the phrase 'first class train suggests that the song dates from nearer 1840 than 1850 and that it may be a printing of something that had been in the oral tradition for some years

 

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