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Hardwicke locomotive 1892

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Hardwicke locomotive 1892

This locomotive, constructed at Crewe Works in 1892, is one of only two surviving engines designed by Francis Webb, despite the fact that some 4,000 locomotives were built during his remarkably long 32-year tenure as locomotive superintendent of the London & North Western Railway from 1871 to 1903.

Hardwicke locomotive 1892

Hardwicke locomotive 1892
TECHNICAL DATA
Introduced  1892
Builder  LNWR Crewe
Designer  Webb
Weight (loco)  35 tons
Boiler pressure  150psi
Cylinders (2 inside)  17  x  24 in
Valve gear  Allan

Driving wheel diameter  6 ft  9 in

Tractive effort 1859

Other number 5031
Withdrawn/preserved  1932 National Colln

No. 790 Hardwicke is one of Webb’s "Improved Precedent" - or ‘Jumbo" - class of 2-4-0 express passenger engines, of which 166 were constructed between 1887 and 1901. Its claim to fame is its outstanding achievement during the famous "Races to the North" when, on August 22, 1895, it reeled off the 141 miles of arduous road from Crewe to Carlisle in just two hours and six minutes at an average speed of 67.1mph, establishing a new record for the route. The long-distance runner continued to give sterling service to the LNWR and its successor, the LMS, until as late as 1932 - clocking up more than a million miles in the process.

By then, many larger, faster and more powerful locomotives had arrived upon the scene so, upon withdrawal that year, engine No. 790 was deservedly taken into preservation. In 1975 - the 150th anniversary of passenger railways - it was restored to working order and worked a number of main line steam specials, including one remarkable ‘little and large’ example in May 1976 when it piloted Flying Scotsman on the Cumbrian Coast line. Hardwicke took part in the Liverpool & Manchester Railway 150th anniversary in 1980 and is currently a static exhibit in the National Collection.

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