Michael Ball



In 1825 the Stephenson's built  Locomotion No.1 for the Stockton and Darlington Railway, its place in history guaranteed as the first locomotive to haul passengers. George Stephenson drove the engine on the opening day, covering the nine mile journey in two hours - on the way back the speed reached a giddy 15mph, whereupon a passenger fell off. 

Effectively a pair of beam engines, with their cylinders half-buried in the boiler, it was  an evolutionary dead-end before the Rocket won the Rainhill Trials in 1829 and effectively laid down a blueprint for the steam engine which was continuously developed for the next 120 years. Locomotion had a short and unhappy career after the opening of the S&D. In 1828 the boiler exploded, killing her driver, but was rebuilt and ran until 1841, and retired for stationary pumping duties. The engine survived and is now at Darlington Railway Centre, and a full-sized replica runs at Beamish Museum.

Back in the day, Henry Greenly produced drawings for a model of Locomotion. More recently, Atelier MB in Switzerland has sold drawings and excellent castings for a 5” gauge Locomotion featuring a gas-fired tube boiler working at 3.5 bar, two vertical double-acting cylinders and loose eccentric valve gear.

This example is by Michael Ball, displayed at Brooklands.

January 19th-21st