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Early Locomotives for North America
Built by Robert Stephenson


by Greg Martin

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Robert Stephenson had built his locomotives in various places, usually on his customer's premises. But things changed in 1823 when he established the first locomotive factory in the world. This was the Robert Stephenson & Company's works in Forth Street, Newcastle-on-Tyne. The partners in the business were Robert Stephenson, George Stephenson (Robert's father), Edward Pease and Michael Longridge.

The company's first loco was "Locomotion", a standard gauge 0-4-0 built for the Stockton & Darlington Railway in 1825.

Many of the company's locomotives were exported to other countries. The first loco for the USA was "Pride of Newcastle, a 4'3" gauge 0-4-0 built for the Delaware & Hudson Railroad in 1828. Whilst the first for Canada was "Dorchester", a 5'6" gauge 0-4-0 built for the Champlain & St Lawrence in 1836.

The first loco for Russia was "Prowornoi", a 2-2-2 built for the 6'0" gauge Petersburg & Pavlovsky Railway in 1836. "Adler" was the first of the company's locomotives built for Germany. This was a 4'10" gauge 2-2-2 built for the Nuremberg & Fürth in 1835.

Most famous of the locomotives built by Robert Stephenson & Company was "Rocket", a standard gauge 0-2-2 built in 1835 for the Rainhill Trials on the Liverpool & Manchester Railway (who subsequently bought the loco).


The following table lists the early Robert Stephenson & Company locos built for customers in the USA. The information was taken from the company's records, so please forgive any strange spellings:-
 

No.

Year

Gauge

Type

Customer

Name

12

1828

4'3"

0-4-0

Delaware & Hudson

Pride of Newcastle

17

1829

-

0-6-0

Boston & Providence

America
[loco lost at sea]

-

1831

Std

0-4-0

Mowhawk & Hudson

Robert Fulton

25

1831

4'9¼"

0-4-0

Camden & Amboy

John Bull

23

1831

Std

2-2-0

Newcastle & Frenchtown

Delaware

17

1831

-

2-2-0

Locks & Canals Co

Whistler

7

1831

-

0-4-0

Baltimore & Susquehanna

Herald

8

1831

-

0-4-0

Locks & Canals Co

Stephenson

5

1832

Std

2-2-0

Philadelphia Germanstown & Morristown

Pennsylvania

27

1832

-

2-2-0

Boston & Worcester

Boston or Meteor

28

1832

Std

0-4-0

Newcastle & Frenchtown

Maryland

32

1833

Std

2-2-0

Newcastle & Frenchtown

2 Pennsylvania

42

1833

-

4-2-0

Saratoga & Schenectady

Firefly

52

1833

Std

2-2-0

Newcastle & Frenchtown

Virginia

54

1833

5'0"

0-4-0

Charlestown & Colombia

Edgefield

60

1834

4'9"

4-2-0

Mowhawk & Hudson

Brother Jonathan

61

1834

4'9"

4-2-0

Mowhawk & Hudson

Robert Fulton

75

1834

Std

4-2-0

Saratoga & Schenectady

Davy Crockett

87

1834

5'0"

0-4-0

Charlestown & Colombia

William Aikin

99

1834

5'0"

2-2-0

Charlestown & Colombia

Elias Horry

103

1834

-

4-2-0

Richmond, Frederickburg & Potomac

Richmond

104

1834

-

4-2-0

Philadelphia & Colombia

Pennsylvania

105

1834

-

4-2-0

Philadelphia & Colombia

Philadelphia

106

1835

-

4-2-0

Philadelphia & Colombia

H Schultz

110

1835

-

2-2-0

Philadelphia & Colombia

Kentucky

112

1835

-

2-2-0

Philadelphia & Colombia

John Bull

113

1835

-

2-2-0

Philadelphia & Colombia

Atlantic

114

1835

5'0"

4-2-0

South Carolina

Sumpter

115

1835

5'0"

4-2-0

South Carolina

Marion

116

1835

5'0"

4-2-0

South Carolina

Ohio

117

1835

-

0-4-0

Philadelphia & Colombia

Albion

120

1835

-

0-4-0

Boston & Worcester

Mercury

121

1835

-

0-4-0

Boston & Worcester

Jupiter

129

1836

-

2-2-0

Lexington & Ohio

Nottoway

139

1836

-

2-2-0

Philadelphia & Colombia

Elkhorn

143

1836

-

0-4-0

Boston & Worcester

Comet

144

1836

-

0-4-0

Boston & Worcester

Rocket

146

1836

-

2-2-2

Wrightsville York & Harrisburg

Harrisburg

147

1836

-

2-2-2

Wrightsville York & Harrisburg

Wrightsville

151

1837

-

2-4-0

Baltimore & Susquehanna

Baltimore

152

1837

-

2-4-0

Baltimore & Susquehanna

Susquehanna

Notes:

  1. Robert Stephenson kept more than one works list. Some early works numbers were used more than once and some locos have no works number in the surviving documentation.

  2. The five Portsmouth & Roanoake locos are not mentioned in the surviving records.

  3. A few of the locos in the above list were later renamed by their owners. Some were subsequently rebuilt with different wheel configurations.

Early Robert Stephenson & Company locos built for customers in Canada were:-

No.

Year

Gauge

Type

Customer

Name

127

1836

5'6"

0-4-0

Chaplain & St Lawrence

Dorchester

763

1850

5'6"

0-4-0

Quebec & St Andrews

Pioneer

989

1856

5'6"

2-4-0

Grand Trunk, Canada

83 Ariel

990

1856

5'6"

2-4-0

Grand Trunk, Canada

84 Oberon

991

1856

5'6"

2-4-0

Grand Trunk, Canada

85 Prospero

992

1856

5'6"

2-4-0

Grand Trunk, Canada

86 Erebus

993

1856

5'6"

2-4-0

Grand Trunk, Canada

87 Cyclops

994

1856

5'6"

2-4-0

Grand Trunk, Canada

88 Ixion

 

     
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