Stephenson's Rocket, nicknamed "The Rocket", is an early 0-2-2 steam locomotive, and was one of the first successful steam engines to be made. A replica of the original engine was built in 1979, and works at the National Railway Museum on the demonstration line.
The Railway SeriesEdit
In the television series, the Rocket is represented as Stephen, an engine who works for the estate at Ulfstead Castle. Stephen has identified himself as being the original Rocket, describing the Rainhill Trials and the work that he used to do.
Stephenson's Rocket was built by Robert Stephenson at his company in Newcastle upon Tyne in 1829 to compete in the Rainhill Trials, a competition that was held to select the best locomotive design to power the railway. Rocket won the trials, and its innovative design laid the foundation for future steam locomotives. A few years after being built, the Rocket was overhauled with a smokebox, less angled cylinders and the firebox capacity was enlarged.
The Rocket worked on the Liverpool and Manchester Railway from 1830 to 1836, when it was sold to the Brampton Railway, a mineral railway in Cumberland which had been recently converted to standard gauge. It remained at Tindale until 1862, when it was donated to the London museum. The Rocket is currently on display in the Science Museum in London, England, and is featured in its post-Rainhill design. Many replicas of the Rocket have been built, but the most famous was built in 1979 for the 150th anniversary celebrations. The Rocket replica is based at the National Railway Museum in York, where it pulls trains along the demonstration line.
The 1979 replica of Stephenson's Rocket is painted yellow and black. It has golden boiler bands, and the exhaust pipes and domes are brass. It also carries two brass nameplates reading "Rocket" in black writing on each side of its boiler, and the engine is fitted with a tall white funnel. The water barrel on the tender is painted brown. The original Rocket is a rusted brown.
The Railway SeriesEdit
- The Rev. W. Awdry had a model of the Stephenson's Rocket, which was converted from an Airfix kit. The model is currently on display at the Narrow Gauge Museum in Twywn, Wales, as part of "The Awdry Collection".