'Puffing Billy' locomotive

Made:
1813-1814 in Wylam Colliery
maker:
William Hedley
Locomotive 'Puffing Billy' with tender, 10 fish-bellied rails, 12 chairs, 6 sleepers, shovel, 3 firing irons. Driving Locomotive 'Puffing Billy' with tender, 10 fish-bellied rails, 12 chairs, 6 sleepers, shovel, 3 firing irons. Driving Locomotive 'Puffing Billy' with tender, 10 fish-bellied rails, 12 chairs, 6 sleepers, shovel, 3 firing irons. Driving Locomotive 'Puffing Billy' with tender, 10 fish-bellied rails, 12 chairs, 6 sleepers, shovel, 3 firing irons. Driving Locomotive 'Puffing Billy' with tender, 10 fish-bellied rails, 12 chairs, 6 sleepers, shovel, 3 firing irons. Driving Locomotive 'Puffing Billy' with tender, 10 fish-bellied rails, 12 chairs, 6 sleepers, shovel, 3 firing irons. Driving The National Railway Museum on tour in Swindon, April 1990.

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Locomotive 'Puffing Billy' with tender, 10 fish-bellied rails, 12 chairs, 6 sleepers, shovel, 3 firing irons. Driving
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Locomotive 'Puffing Billy' with tender, 10 fish-bellied rails, 12 chairs, 6 sleepers, shovel, 3 firing irons. Driving
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Locomotive 'Puffing Billy' with tender, 10 fish-bellied rails, 12 chairs, 6 sleepers, shovel, 3 firing irons. Driving
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Locomotive 'Puffing Billy' with tender, 10 fish-bellied rails, 12 chairs, 6 sleepers, shovel, 3 firing irons. Driving
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Locomotive 'Puffing Billy' with tender, 10 fish-bellied rails, 12 chairs, 6 sleepers, shovel, 3 firing irons. Driving
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Locomotive 'Puffing Billy' with tender, 10 fish-bellied rails, 12 chairs, 6 sleepers, shovel, 3 firing irons. Driving
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

The National Railway Museum on tour in Swindon, April 1990.
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Locomotive 'Puffing Billy'. Driving wheel diameter 3 feet 3 inches; cylinders 9 inches x 36 inches; working pressure 50lb; weight approximately 8 tons, exclusive of tender.

Puffing Billy is the world’s oldest surviving steam locomotive.

Dating to 1813-1814, it was built by William Hedley, Jonathan Forster, and Timothy Hackworth, for use at the Wylam Colliery near Newcastle-Upon-Tyne.

Built to replace the horses used on the tramway, Puffing Billy was one of three engines built by Hedley, the resident engineer at the colliery. It remained in service at the colliery until 1862, when it was lent to the Patent Office Museum in South Kensington, which became the Science Museum. The Museum later bought the locomotive.

It has been suggested that the colloquialisms “puffing like Billy-o” and “running like Billy-o” came from the locomotive’s name.

Details

Category:
Locomotives and Rolling Stock
Object Number:
1862-2/1
type:
steam locomotive
credit:
Captain Blackett