The First Steam Locomotive 1804 (Unnamed)

The first full scale working railway steam locomotive was invented by a British mining engineer called Richard Trevithick.

Early Steam Trains

Timeline of Early Steam Trains


Catch Me Who Can 1808

This famous steam locomotive was built by John Urpeth Rastrick and John Hazledine for Richard Trevithick. It was successfully demonstrated in London in 1808.


Puffing Billy 1813

The Puffing Billy is the world’s oldest steam locomotive in existence today. It was built by a team of British engineers called William Hedley, Jonathan Forest and Timothy Hackworth who worked for Christopher Blackett, the owner of the Northumberland colliery at Wylam.


Wylam Dilly 1815

The Wylam Dilly was built by William Hedley and Timothy Hackworth, British engineers who had contributed towards the construction of Puffing Billy. They built Wylam Dilly whilst still working for the owner of the Northumberland colliery at Wylam, Christopher Blackett. The loco still exists today making it one of the oldest surviving steam locomotives in the world.


The Blucher 1814

The Blücher was invented in 1814 by a famous British civil engineer called George Stephenson (The Father of the Railways). It was a powerful steam locomotive for its time, capable of pulling a train of 30 tons at approximately 4 miles per hour. The loco was named after Gebhard Leberecht von Blücher, the Prussian general. One of the major improvements that George Stephenson made to the design of the Blücher steam locomotive was its increased boiler efficiency which was achieved by allowing steam to escape through a steam outlet from the cylinders into a smoke stack.

1829 The Rocket 1829

The Rocket was a famous steam locomotive produced by Robert Stephenson and Company at the Forth Street Works, Newcastle Upon Tyne in 1829 for the Rainhill Trials; a competition set up by Liverpool and Manchester Railway to select the best design to power the railway. The Rocket was the only loco to complete the Rainhill Trials and it became the winner in 1829. When Robert Stephenson designed and produced the Rocket, he had to consider its weight, size and speed if he was to become a serious contender in the Rainhill Trials. He built the steam locomotive using a lighter, faster and smaller design.

Timeline of Early Steam Trains

Early Steam Trains