The Surrey Iron Railway was one of two schemes for linking Croydon to Wandsworth and the Thames. The other scheme, a canal, was impractical, and the Railway won out, although it was nothing like what we think of as a railway today. Instead, it was an iron track that ran between Wandsworth and Croydon; and along the track moved a series of horse-drawn wagons.
The Railway was opened in 1803, and it was only used for freight, not passengers. Traders would take their own wagon down the line, drawn by their own horses.