Discover more about this early, iconic locomotive built by Robert Stephenson and Company – and its victory at the Rainhill Trials of 1829.
Stephenson's Rocket Steam Locomotive was an early, iconic locomotive built by Robert Stephenson and Company at Newcastle upon Tyne in 1829. As the leading engine of its day, it became famous for its victory at the Rainhill Trials of October 1829.
Following service on the Liverpool and Manchester Railway, Rocket was used until 1840 to pull train services on Lord Carlisle's Railway around the villages of Tindale and Kirkhouse in Cumbria.
In 1862, Rocket was donated to the Patent Office Museum, and can still be seen today at the Science Museum in London, in pristine - and much modified – form, compared to its ground-breaking appearance at Rainhill over 180 years ago.
Posted on Thursday 15th September 2011 | 6:19 AM
HOW WAS THE WATER FED FROM THE LARGE BARREL IN THE TENDER TO THE BOILER --ON MODEL AND PICTURES I SEE NO LINE OR SOURCE OF FEED TO THE BOILER . SECONDLY, I BELIEVE I HAVE SEEN A OPERATING MODEL OF THE ROCKET SOMEWHERE IN THE UK TODAY-- COULD YOU GIVE ME THE URL FOR THE WEBSITE SHOWING THIS --I BELIEVE IT IS A TOURIST ATTRACTION OFFERING RIDES
Posted on Tuesday 25th October 2011 | 11:38 AM
Hi George, Your question raises a good point. Like other locomotives of the day, Rocket was fitted with a hand operated pump to get water into the boiler via a pipe with a one way flap called a clack. The water ran through a pipe under the engine from the barrel on the tender, as it is called. A Frenchman invented the steam injector later on which used steam pressure to drive water through a series of converging then diverging cones and into the boiler using kinetic energy created by the steam condensing in the cold water. It's a bit complicated but does work and is the method used today and has not been improved on in 150 years! The original Rocket is based at The Science Museum in London but a replica working version is based at The National Railway Museum in York. http://www.nrm.org.uk/research/index.asp