49  Columbine  2-2-2  Grand Junction Railway


Power Classification  
Introduced 1845
Designer Alexander Allan
Company Grand Junction Railway
Weight 18t 0cwt
Driving Wheels 6ft 0ins
Boiler Pressure 120psi
Cylinders Outside – 15in x 20in
Tractive Effort lbf
Valve Gear  

The LNWR was formed in 1846 with the merger of the Grand Junction Railway (GJR), the London and Birmingham Railway and the Manchester and Birmingham Railway.

The GJR and the Liverpool & Manchester Railway initially had their workshops at Edge Hill. The London & Birmingham workshops were at Wolverton. The Grand Junction built a new works at Crewe which opened in 1843, while the Manchester and Birmingham’s works was at Longsight.

Columbine was believed to be the first locomotive to be built at the newly opened Crewe Works on the Grand Junction Railway in 1845 which is why it was preserved. Subsequent research has revealed that it was actually about the 20th engine to be built there. Prior to the Crewe Works being opened the Grand Junction Railway had its works at Edge Hill, Liverpool.

It was the first of a long series of locomotives designed by Alexander Allan, The particular feature of which was the combined cylinders and smokebox, these together forming a most graceful series of curves at the front end of the engines, and a distinctive type of framing with a deepened extension at the front end to support the slide bars carrying the crosshead for the pistons.

Columbine hauled passenger trains from Birmingham to a junction with the Liverpool and Manchester Railway.

It was renumbered 1868 in 1872 and was transferred to the Engineer’s Department in 1877 as Engineer Bangor, being replaced on that duty in 1902.

Thereafter it was preserved in the paint shop at Crewe, and was eventually transferred to the old York Railway Museum. It was later housed in the National Railway Museum at York but is now in the London Science Museum.

Home Base Current Status Owner
London Science Museum Static display National Railway Museum

NRM Object Number{1975-7016}

49 Columbine in the British Transport Museum at York
Columbine in York Railway Museum – 1982
Columbine in the Science Museum at South Kensington – March 2007
Columbine in the Science Museum, London – May 2017

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