Peter Wardropper’s



The Jenny Lind locomotive was the first of a class of ten steam locomotives built in 1847 for the London Brighton and South Coast Railway by E. B. Wilson and Company of Leeds, named after Jenny Lind, who was a famous opera singer of the period. The general design proved to be very successful that the manufacturers adopted it for use on other railways, and it became the first mass-produced locomotive type. The 'Jenny Lind' type was also widely copied during the late 1840s and 1850s, and into the 1860s.

David Joy was the Chief Draughtsman of E. B. Wilson and Company and was asked to visit Brighton railway works to make tracings of the drawings of a 2-2-2 locomotive designed by locomotive superintendent, John Gray, so that further examples could be built. However, before he had completed the task, Gray had been dismissed  and his successor Thomas Kirtley did not favour Gray's complicated horse-leg motion. It was left to Joy and James Fenton the works manager at E.B. Wilson to adapt the design. Joy had spent his formative years studying all the locomotives he came across, sketching them, making notes, and interrogating their owners and crews - and, if he could, getting rides on them.

The engine had 15” by 20” inside cylinders and 6’ diameter driving wheels. Gray's 'mixed' frame had an inside frame for the cylinders and driving wheels, with inside bearings, and an outside frame for the 4’ diameter leading and trailing wheels, with outside bearings. The inside frame stopped at the firebox, so that the latter was as wide as the wheels would allow and the overhang at each end minimized.

After strengthening,  the engine was three tons heavier than expected. However, it steamed freely and was economical on fuel and Joy's suspension arrangements made it smooth-running and stable. The name 'Jenny Lind' was given to the first one delivered to the London Brighton and South Coast Railway.

Wilson’s went on to build more than 70 examples for various railways, including 24 for the Midland Railway. It could be said to be the first standard locomotive, and a hefty premium was charged for variations. Later, in response to pressure, they built a number of 'Large Jennies'.

Other railways and locomotive builders also adopted the type.

This top award winning example, shown by Peter Wardropper at the Model Engineer Exhibition, is mainly to the design of LBSC in 3.5” gauge, published in English Mechanics in 1942.

Peter started the model in 1983 when Reeves re-introduced the design, originally as a ‘quickie’. However, he discovered an article in The Engineer in the 1880s written by David Joy, including drawings and engravings of the full size loco. Inevitably, detail was added.

After good progress a house move halted proceedings and then other projects intervened. Recently the model was “released from hibernation” and ready for new details from the drawings and visits to preserved locos of the era including Le Pierre at the French Railway Museum in Mulhouse.

Peter adds: “My intention has always been to build a useable working model while trying to replicate the essence of the full size locomotive rather than one that is solely for display.”