Liverpool & Manchester Railway
The Liverpool & Manchester Railway forms the vital link between locomotive development over its first, sometimes shaky twenty-five years to the Rainhill Trials onto its rapid development in parallel with the spread of railways in the late 1830s/1840s. Nevertheless, it needs to be remembered that the Liverpool & Manchester Railway formed a remarkable nursery for the development of the locomotive, initially from the works from Robert Stephenson, but once the L&MR had become dissatisfied with the Stephensons from elsewhere. The demand for fast and frequent travel between the two cities was a key influence, and it is absurd that no attempt has ever been made in modern times to provide a state-of-art railway system between the two cities: most of the current train service is only worthy of a very minor banana republic.
The Liverpool & Manchester Railway. London: Batsford, 1960. 264pp.
Ottley 12199. Foreword by Jack Simmons. Chapter 9: Locomotives & rolling stock. Other chapters describe the working conditions of the early railway workers, including the very high rate of fatalities and serious injuries, and the experience of the new form of travel. Sources are quoted moderately fully.
At the end of the Rainhill Trials the following locomotives were available: Twin Sisters, Rocket and Sans Pareil. The Lancashire Witch was still working, but the B&LR was requesting its return.
The Board ordered four Rocket-type locomotives from Robert Stephenson & Co.: Wildfire (renamed Meteor), Comet, Dart and Arrow. These were followed by Phoenix and North Star with smokeboxes and larger cylinders.
In 1833 Novelty was rebuilt by Robert Daglish and supplied to St Helens & Runcorn Gap Railway on 3 August 1833.
Northumbrian was supplied with a firebox integral with the boiler. It had stronger frames, 132 tubes and achieved 40 mile/h on trial.
In June 1830 the locomotive stock was numbered.
No. 9 Planet had cylinders inside the frames and on 23 November 1830 ran from Liverpool to Manchester in one hour. Six furher of the type were ordered from Robert Stephenson & Co.
These were followed by two powerful locomotives to help freight up the inclines. These were 0-4-0 with 14in x 20in cylinders: Nos 13 Samson and 15 Goliah [sic].
Braithwaite & Ericcson supplied William IV and Queen Adelaide but these were unsuccessful. Gurney also offered one of his coach engines.
Murray & Wood which became Fenton & Murray of Leeds supplied Nos. 19 Vulcan, 21 Fury and 30 Leeds: these were of the Planet-type and Robert Stephenson & Co. had sent the drawings to Leeds for their manufacture.
In May 1831 the L&MR invited tenders for locomotives.
Bury supplied Bee to the Bolton & Leigh Railway and Bury No. 26 Liver ran trials against Planet in June 1832 when it was found that Liver was more economical yet there were no further orders.
Sharp, Roberts supplied No. 32 Experiment.
Galloway, Bowman & Glasgow of the Caledonian Foundry was established in 1831 in Manchester. The L&MR purchased an 0-4-0 with vertical cylinders: No. 28 Caledonian: this was involved in a fatal collision with Star on 28 February 1835. (Jack page 74 notes the use of Caledonian as a ballast engine on the London & Birmingham Railway).
Star was one of three locomotives supplied by the Horsley Iron Co. of Tipton, Staffs to the St Helens Railway in 1833. The collision happened whilst Star was still the property of Horsley and the lcomotive was sold to the Dublin & Kingstown Railway for £700.
In August 1832 Robert Stephenson & Co. supplied No. 27 Pluto and this was folowed by 29 Ajax and 31 Firefly. 2-2-2 No. 33 Patentee was constructed for Robert Stephenson & Co. and this was the final Robert Stephenson locomotive to be supplied to the L&MR.
From 1835 there was a growing reaction against both the Stephensons: the early locomotives were not very durable and this was not helphed by the reckless behaviour of their drivers. Repairs were performed by outside firms.
In November 1835 Tayleur supplied 0-4-2 with 12in x 18in cylinders: 40 Eclipse and 42 York.
Haigh Foundry supplied 2-2-2 Nos. 43 Vesuvius, 45 Lightning and 46 Cyclops.
Four were supplied by Tayleur including 47 Milo and 49 Phoenix; four from Mathew Dixon including 48 Dart and two from R.&W. Hawthorn: 53 Sun and 56 Vesta. (Jack page 74 notes the use of Sun as a ballast engine on the London & Birmingham Railway).
Todd Kitson & Laird supplied No. 57 Lion and 58 Tiger. The former is still extant and was descibed in Reed, C.W. The iron 'Lion' locomotives, pump engine, film star. JSLS, 33, 312
In 1839 coke consumption of the L&MR (57lb/mile) was compared with that of the London & Birmingham Railway (39lb/mile).
Edge Hill works became fully operational in 1841.
John Dewrance was responsibe for new locomotives of the Bird class: 2-2-2 with 12in x 18in cylinders with a freight version (2-4-0) with 13in x 20in cylinders: No. 69 Swallow (2-2-2) entered service on 8 September 1841.
In July 1842 trials took place between Stork and GJR Hornet between Liverpool and Birmingham.
An apprentice sheme was introduced at Edge Hill works.
The above account based on Thomas is the main chronology: he also
cited the following developments in rather skeletal form:
Lord Dundonald's rotary engine was evaluated on the Rocket.
There was vague interest in the Gurney steam carriage type of engine.
Perkins tubular boiler
Hall's patent system for burning coal
Melling patent (1837?) link valve gear
Gray valve gear (horse-leg motion of 1838): Cyclops fitted in 1839 and this led to a 12% fuel saving. (David Joy: The introduction of expansive working by John Gray's expansive motion. Engineer, 1890, 69, 14 Feb.)
John Melling improved feed pump evaluated in 1834.
steam jets used to clean rails
Firefly was fitted with friction wheels to increase adheion (patented July 1837)
John Gray: double grated firebox of 1835 designed to burn coal with coke.
John Dewrance experimented with coal buring on Condon.
Hot water was used to replenish locomotives: boilers were provided at Liverpool, Manchester and Parkside.