Steam locomotive, 'Bauxite'

1874 in Gateshead
Black, Hawthorn and Company

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Science Museum Group Collection
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Industrial 0-4-0ST locomotive "Bauxite", built by Black, Hawthorn & Co Ltd, 1874.

Bauxite No. 2 is an industrial saddle tank locomotive which worked as a factory shunter for International Aluminium Co. Ltd.

The locomotive acquired its name due to the fact that aluminium is extracted from bauxite rock. Bauxite No. 2 worked in an aluminium smelting plant where it pushed wagons of bauxite rock into smelters. Its large buffers allowed the locomotive to shunt wagons of a range of different buffer heights.

In 1947 Bauxite No. 2 came to the end of its working life. It would have been cut up for scrap but in actual fact, it was donated to North Eastern Society of Engineering Historians by George Cohen, Sons and Co. who had been contracted to demolish the buildings of the aluminium smelting plant with Bauxite No.2 still inside it. One of the earliest locomotives to be preserved, Bauxite was saved by the scrap merchant rather than the state or a railway company.

Bauxite entered the National Collection in 1953, it has been preserved whilst at the museum but has not been restored – a sense of the tough and dirty conditions in which Bauxite No. 2 would have worked is palpable.


Locomotives and Rolling Stock
Object Number:
steam locomotive
North Eastern Society of Engineering Historians