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Locomotive No. 1


Dec 16, 2021

Locomotive No. 1 hauled the first passenger train in New South Wales, Australia. It was built by Robert Stephenson and Company. In 1846, the Sydney Railway Company[1] was formed with the objective of building a railway line between Sydney and Parramatta. No. 1 was one of four locomotives that arrived by sea from the manufacturer in January 1855. The first passenger train hauled by No. 1 was a special service from Sydney Station to Long Cove viaduct (near the present site of Lewisham) on 24 May 1855, Queen Victoria‘s birthday.

Locomotive No. 1

Powerhouse Museum static display
Type and origin
Power type Steam
Designer James McConnell
Builder Robert Stephenson and Company
Serial number 958
  Whyte 0-4-2

4 ft 8+12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge

Driver dia. 5 ft 6 in (1,676 mm)
Length 14 ft 2 in (4.32 m)
Loco weight 26 long tons 1 cwt 1 qr (58,380 lb or 26.48 t)
Tender cap. 4 long tons
(4.064 tonnes; 4.480 short tons) coal,
2,000 imperial gallons
(9,100 litres; 2,400 US gallons) water
  Firegrate area
13.8 sq ft (1.28 m2)
Boiler pressure 120 lbf/in2 (830 kPa)
Heating surface:
1,060 sq ft (98 m2)
  Firebox 85.3 sq ft (7.92 m2)
Cylinders Two
Cylinder size 16 in × 24 in (406 mm × 610 mm)
Performance figures
Tractive effort 8,900 lbf (40 kN)
Operators Sydney Railway Company
Class 1
Number in class 4
Delivered January 1855
First run 24 May 1855
Last run 15 May 1877
Retired 1877

A common misconception is that Locomotive No.1 hauled the first train at the grand opening of the first New South Wales railway, on 26 September 1855. In fact, No. 1 was in need of maintenance that day and not in steam. Its identical sister locomotive No. 3 worked the first passenger train from Sydney at 9:00 am and this was followed by the official train at 12:00 noon hauled by No. 2, driven by William Sixsmith and fireman William Webster.[2]

. . . Locomotive No. 1 . . .

Drawing General Arrangement

Locomotive No. 1 is the only locomotive designed by James McConnell to have been preserved.[3] McConnell was the Locomotive Superintendent of the LNWR’s Southern Division at Wolverton railway works and the Sydney Railway Company’s Consulting Engineer at the time of the railway order.

The design of Locomotive No. 1 was a 0-4-2 modification of the ‘Wolverton Express Goods’ 0-6-0 introduced on the LNWR in 1854. James McConnell appointed William Scott to supervise the construction of the first engines at Stephenson’s Newcastle Works who then proceeded to Sydney to organise their erection.[4]

Locomotive No. 1 arrived by ship on 13 January 1855 and hauled to a temporary shed on the site of the Eveleigh Railway Workshops.[5] The Locomotive Engineer William Scott supervised assembly and the engine commenced running on 15 May 1855 with ballast trains for railway construction.[6]

Locomotive No. 1 was used for hauling goods and passengers between Sydney, Campbelltown, Richmond and Penrith, and as newer locomotives arrived was confined to goods services to Picton and Penrith.[7] The locomotive was initially fuelled by local timber and later modified to allow the burning of coal.

The first accident involving Locomotive No.1 was a derailment on 10 July 1858. Two people were killed when a passenger carriage left the rails and toppled down an embankment near Homebush.[8] On 6 January 1868, a man was killed when Locomotive No. 1 collided with a passenger train at Newtown Station.[9]

Locomotive No. 1 ended its service on 15 May 1877 having travelled 156,542 miles (251,930 km).[10]

. . . Locomotive No. 1 . . .

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. . . Locomotive No. 1 . . .