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The Rocket

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The Rocket

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The Rocket

When the Liverpool and Manchester Railway was nearing completion in 1829, the owners held a competition to discover if one of the new-fangled “steam locomotives” would be capable of pulling their trains along the 35-mile track. Only one locomotive finished the course, winning the £500 prize by default. The locomotive was "Rocket" – not really an appropriate name by modern standards as she averaged only 12 mph! Designed by a father and son team, George and Robert Stephenson, “Rocket” was the result of 25 years’ experimentation with steam engines by many different engineers. Nearly all steam locomotives built after her were based on “Rocket’s” revolutionary design, which used a multi-tubular boiler to produce the steam. The L and M Railway bought “Rocket” and four other locomotives just like her to form the fleet for the first passenger service in the world. Unfortunately, this was not the only first in “Rocket’s” history. She was also responsible for the world’s first railway accident, running down and killing Liverpool MP William Huskisson at the opening ceremony of the L and M Railway on 15 October, 1830.

Photo: TopFoto.co.uk


Your comments

Symbol of the railways and the steam engine which England invented and which then changed the world.

David Faulkner

Symbol of the steam engine which England invented and gave to the world.
David Faulkner

The pioneering locomotive and the Stephenson 'father & son' dynamic partnership.
Bruce Baker-Johnson

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I nominate the English weather.