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Liverpool & Manchester Railway
 
George Stephenson's "Rocket"

Rail Album for railway and other photographs

    
Rainhill Trial Locomotive "Rocket"  (this page)
Rainhill Trials Locomotive "Sans Pareil"
Rainhill Trials Locomotive "Novelty"
Rules for Taking Part in the Rainhill Trials

 
Rail Album for railway and other photographs
The famous "Rocket" two cylinder steam engine was built by Robert Stephenson & Co in 1829 at the Forth Sreet Works in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, works number 19. She was originally named "Premium Engine", but was renamed as "Rocket".  It won the Rainhill Trials in October 1829, which were organised by the Liverpool & Manchester Railway to evaluate whether or not haulage by steam locomotives would be viable.
 
  
Rail Album for railway and other photographs
The revolutionary aspect of the design of "Rocket" was its boiler, which had a number of flues running through it, greatly increasing the heating area when compared to other designs.  This technology quickly became standard across the world.
 
 
         
  You may be interested in these railway books: On Track Railway DVD and Book Catalogue    
Farewell to Steam
Holborn Viaduct to Lewisham
         
 

Rail Album for railway and other photographs
Robert Stephenson's "Rocket".
Driving wheels 4' 8" diameter.  Secondary wheels 2' 6" diameter. Cylinders 8" x 17" O/S.
 
This locomotive won the Rainhill Trials, which took place between the 6th and 14th of October 1829.  As a result the Liverpool & Manchester Railway bought the engine for 500 and it became "No.1" "Rocket" in their fleet.
   
 
         
  You may be interested in these railway DVDs: On Track Railway DVD and Book Catalogue    
Along LMS Lines Part 2 Stoke - Stockport - Crewe
Settle - Carlisle Railway
Ffestiniog Railway Locomotives
         
 
Originally the cylinders were mounted at 35 degrees to the horizontal (as shown in the drawing), but they were lowered sometime around 1831.  This greatly changed the appearance of the locomotive.
 
In November 1837"Rocket" was sold to Lord Carlisle's Bampton Railway in Northumberland, where it worked in the Tindale area until it was laid aside around 1840. 
 
 
Rail Album for railway and other photographs
The nameplate of the original "Rocket" steam engine.
 
Some time around 1850 "Rocket" was returned to the Robert Stephenson works to be prepared for display at the 1851 "Great Exhibition", which was held in the famous Crystal Palace building in Hyde Park (later to be moved to Sydenham).  However, it seems that "Rocket" was not put on display at this event.
 
In 1862 the locomotive was donated to the Patent Office Museum in London (now the Science Museum) by the Thompson family of Milton Hall, near Bampton.
 
.Rail Album for railway and other photographs

The rear view of the original "Rocket", as preserved in the Science Museum in London.
Photographed 20th November 1983.  
   
Rainhill Trial Locomotive "Rocket"  (this page)
Rainhill Trials Locomotive "Sans Pareil"
Rainhill Trials Locomotive "Novelty"
Rules for Taking Part in the Rainhill Trials

  
 
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