This vertical boiler tram was built by Beyer Peacock & Company in 1885 as a demonstrator and exported to Sydney where it was by the NSW Government Tramways as a trial unit for comparison against the competing Baldwin steam tram design.
John Bull has two vertical cylinders which drive the wheels via a reduction gear, whereas the Baldwin steam trams used conventional horizontal cylinders driving directly onto the wheels via connecting and side rods. John Bull was also fitted with an innovative Wilkinson’s Patent Exhaust Superheater apparatus which was apparently designed to reduce smoke emissions – a significant issue for steam trams. Despite the innovations of the Beyer Peacock steam tram, the Baldwin design apparently prevailed and the NSW Government Tramways subsequently ordered many Baldwin steam trams.
John Bull is thought to have been used on certain colliery and railway construction jobs in the Illawarra between 1887 and 1888 prior to returning to the UK in 1889 where it become Beyer Peacock & Co. works shunter No.2.
It was was withdrawn from Beyer Peacock service in 1959 and repaired by the company before being transferred the National Tramway Museum at Crich, Derbyshire in 1962.
It remains at the Crich Tramway Museum.