Blenkinsop steam locomotive at Middleton colliery near Leeds by Robert Havell

Blenkinsop steam locomotive at Middleton colliery near Leeds

Robert Havell

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Product details Blenkinsop steam locomotive at Middleton colliery near Leeds

Blenkinsop steam locomotive at Middleton colliery near Leeds

Robert Havell

Blenkinsop steam locomotive at Middleton colliery near Leeds, West Yorkshire, 1814. From Costume of Yorkshire by George Walker, 1814. Mining engineer and inventor John Blenkinsop (1783-1831) designed the first practicable steam locomotive, the 'Salamanca', in 1812. It operated by means of a rack and pinion system. Richard Trevithick had built a steam locomotive in 1805 for Wylam colliery, but it had been too heavy for the cast iron rails it was meant to run on. Middleton colliery laid iron edge rails, which were stronger than those used at Wylam. Blenkinsop went on to build three further locomotives for the colliery, which carried on operating on the railway into the 1830s. In the meantime, further improvements in rail design meant that heavier adhesion locomotives could be used, superseding Blenkinsop's rack and pinion engines.

  • Image ref: 1633037
  • Stapleton Historical Collection / Heritage Images

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