Locomotives named Stephenson Last updated 1 October 2009
This page gives brief overview summaries about several locomotives called Stephenson; also where other content relating to locomotives called Stephenson exists elsewhere on the site, a linking index to that content, is given. Where other pages do carry info' about these locomotives, for example with the Class 87 information, there is inevitably some overlap of content but this duplication has been minimised.
The page is still under construction - additional material covering further locomotives is expected to be added roughly monthly.
AC Electric locomotives numbers - 87 001 / 87 101
WCML electric locomotive 87 001 "Stephenson" at Crewe Works Open Day after naming - 1 June 2003. Photo © Ian Johnson.
Nameplates from this locomotive were attached in association with the SLS and are also featured on our nameplates page.
The most recent locomotives to carry the Stephenson name were two Class 87 AC electric locomotives. One of these survived and is preserved in the National Railway Museum collection. Nameplates from the Class 87 are now on public show at the Locomotion Museum in Shildon. Two further "Stephenson" nameplates as carried by class 87 loco's are also preserved in the nameplates collection and available for members to view in the Society Library.
More about the Class 87's named Stephenson can be found on the Locomotives Associated with the SLS page and the history of the two locomotive namings and additional photographs of the AC electrics is also written up on a page on the site here.
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LNWR Experiment Class 4-6-0 2052 Stephenson
LNWR Experiment Class 4-6-0 2052 Stephenson was built at Crewe in December 1906. This locomotive was to be badly damaged in the high speed derailment at Shrewsbury on 15 October 1907 when 18 people were killed including the driver and fireman. The locomotive was repaired and became LMS 5483 in August 1926. It was withdrawn in December 1930. The line drawing above is reproduced from a back issue of the SLS Journal. Copyright SLS.
Above image by John New 2009.
One of the nameplates from 2052 survived and is now part of the SLS Nameplate collection. In March 2009 this nameplate went on display, with other Stephenson plates, at the NRM's Locomotion Museum at Shildon.
In the SLS collection we also have photographs of 2052 following the Shrewsbury accident.
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Mount Washington Cog Railway No.2 George Stephenson
Image details (as at 13 Sept 09)
The photograph is out of copyright as the locomotive was scrapped over 130 years ago!
The original source and photographer are currently unknown; the copy displayed is reproduced courtesy of an SLS member’s private collection.
However we are attempting to trace details of the history of the photograph so that, if possible, it can ultimately be correctly credited.
Surely the most unusual locomotive to bear the Stephenson name was Mount Washington Cog Railway No.2, George Stephenson. This vertical boiler rack locomotive was an 1869 reconstruction by Walter Aitken from an earlier No.2 built the year before by Campbell Whittier & Co of Roxbury, Maine, USA. Both these ‘No.2s’ resembled the world-famous No.1, originally Hero, but later and immortally named Old Peppersass (i.e. pepper sauce, from its resemblance to a sauce bottle; see for example ‘Tabasco’ bottles still).
The MWCR starts at an elevation of 830 metres and climbs about three miles to the 1,917 metre summit of Mount Washington, New Hampshire. Currently this still-operating tourist line possesses seven steam locomotives and one bio diesel. Old Peppersass is retired, but on display. George Stephenson was scrapped back in 1878.
The American Society of Mechanical Engineers has an excellent pdf on their website covering the Mount Washington Cog Railway prepared jointly by the ASME and the The American Society of Civil Engineers. If you scroll down, p5 has a picture of the locomotive George Stephenson (spelled by them incorrectly as George Stevenson). This has been checked by an SLS researcher and the real thing was Stephenson, correctly.
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