Novelty was an early steam engine built by John Ericsson and John Braithwaite to take part in the Rainhill Trials in 1829 on the Liverpool and Manchester Railway. With its unique design, it is now regarded as the very first tank engine.
Novelty was seen in a flashback in the form of illustrations. It competed against Stephen, Sans Pareil, and a horse-drawn cart in a race trial. Novelty was lighter and considerably faster than the other engines in the competition. Despite this, Stephen implied that Novelty broke down first during the trials. With the edition of the failure of Sans Pareil, this allowed Stephen to win the race. (TVS; King of the Railway)
Novelty is based on the real Novelty locomotive, one of the engines that competed against Stephen's basis, Stephenson's Rocket in the Rainhill Trials in 1829. It was an 0-2-2WT locomotive and is now regarded as the very first tank engine. It had a unique design of boiler and a number of other novel design features. Unfortunately, several of the major components had significant design weaknesses which ultimately resulted in its failure at the Trials.
Novelty was transferred to the St Helens and Runcorn Gap Railway and worked there for a few years. During its time there (around 1833) it received new cylinders and a new boiler. Two replicas exist today, one using parts from the original locomotive, which is currently preserved at the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester, England.
Novelty is painted brown with a blue running board, bufferbeams, and wheels. It has black pipes and inner workings.
Unlike its basis, Novelty's boiler appears to be sightly larger. Its bunker resembles more of a square rather than a trapezoid shape, and its funnel is considerably longer. In edition, there is an added square merged at the front of the boiler, so as to accommodate a square face.
- In reality, many people wanted the Novelty to win the Rainhill Trials due to its simplicity, elegance, and familiarity to horse carts. However, it ironically kept breaking down because of those reasons.
- Unlike most steam locomotives, Novelty's fuel type was coke instead of coal. Coke is a fuel with few impurities and a high carbon content, usually made from coal.
- Stephen's flashback was a recreation of the Rainhill Trials in 1829; the real Novelty competed against Stephenson's Rocket and Sans Pareil. Although Perseverance, another early steam locomotive, and Cyclopede, a horse-powered locomotive, also appeared for the trials, but were not present in the flashback.