Working model of Express locomotive engine (Crampton)


Working model of Express locomotive engine (Crampton), Northern Railway of France, 1849, scale 3:20.

This is a working model of an express passenger locomotive from the Northern Railway of France, which was purchased at an unknown date by Thomas Crampton. Thomas Russell Crampton (1816-1888) was a prominent railway engineer. During the 1840s he developed his ideas for an express passenger locomotive which had a low centre of gravity while continuing to use large driving wheels carried on an axle behind the firebox. Locomotives of this design worked French express services from 1849 until about 1876, and a few of a similar design also operated in England. The model, constructed in 1855 by an unknown maker and made to scale 3:20, is of no.122 of the Northern Railway, built by Derosne et Ciel of Paris in 1849. It is generally considered to be one of the finest locomotive models of its period in existence. It came to South Kensington in 1876, when it was displayed as part of the Special Loan Collection of Scientific Apparatus. The model was also shown at the International Inventions Exhibition, held on a nearby site in 1885.

On display

Science Museum: Making the Modern World Gallery

If you are visiting to see this object, please contact us in advance to make sure that it will be on display.


Object Number:
Mr. T.R. Crampton

Cite this page


We encourage the use and reuse of our collection data.

Data in the title, made, maker and details fields are released under Creative Commons Zero

Descriptions and all other text content are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 licence

Using our data


Download catalogue entry as json

View manifest in IIIF viewer

Add to Animal Crossing Art Generator

Download manifest IIIF

Our records are constantly being enhanced and improved, but please note that we cannot guarantee the accuracy of any information shown on this website.