Agenoria  0-4-0  Shutt End Railway


Power Classification
CompanyShutt End Colliery Railway
Weight11t 0cwt
Driving Wheels4ft ¾ins
Boiler Pressure
Cylinders8½in x 36in
Tractive Effort
Valve Gear

This engine was built in 1829 by Foster Rastrick & Co of Stourbridge, for the Earl of Dudley’s Shutt End Colliery Railway at Kingswinford in Staffordshire. It was almost identical to the Stourbridge Lion engine which had been built a year earlier by the same firm and sent to Amwerica where it was the first locomotive to run on rails in America.

On its first outing, it reportedly carried 360 people in 8 trucks at a speed of 7.5 mph, which would have been 45 people to a truck, though some may have been children.

In common with many early locomotives, the Agenoria had two pivotted beams high over the boiler, with an assortment of rods connected to the coupling rods on the wheels. As these moved vigorously during motion, people living along the line reputedly nicknamed the locomotive The Grasshopper.

As it was also built in 1829 Agenoria was an exact contemporary of Rocket but unlike the latter, which with its direct cylinder drive, and multi-tubular boiler with exhaust steam draughting, became the forerunner of almost all subsequent (c.650,000) steam locomotives, Agenoria with its indirect cylinder drive, and single flue boiler with ‘natural’ induced draughting via its exceptionally tall chimney represented a complete dead end in locomotive development which gave no scope for progressive increase in size and power.

A doubly unusual feature of Agenoria, however, is the incorporation of balance weights in the coupled wheels, it is uncertain whether this was an original detail (locomotives let alone their dynamic balancing were in their extreme infancy at this period), but the name Agenoria is actually cast into the balance weights, which suggests it could indeed be original.

Agenoria worked until about 1864, and was for many years thereafter on exhibition at the Science Museum in Kensington. It later transferred to the LNER Railway Museum in York before moving into the National Railway Museum in York when that opened.

It remains part of the National Collection and is on static display at the National Railway Museum at York.

Home BaseCurrent StatusOwner
National Railway Museum – YorkStatic displayNational Railway Museum NRM Object Number{1884-92}
Agenoria in the National Railway Museum at York – 2009.

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