Beyer Peacock Works No 2605 Cecil Raikes   0-6-4T Mersey Railway


Power Classification
CompanyMersey Railway
Weight – Locomotive67t 17cwt
Driving Wheels4ft 7ins
 Boiler Pressure150psi
CylindersInside – 21in x 26in
Tractive Effortlbf
Valve Gear

Cecil Raikes is one of a class of nine engines built by Beyer Peacock & Co (Works No 2605) in 1885 for working trains through the tunnel of the Mersey Railway between Liverpool and Birkenhead.

The Mersey Railway opened between Green Lane station in Birkenhead and James Street station in Liverpool in 1886, via Birkenhead Central and Hamilton Square stations, both in Birkenhead. In 1888 a branch to Birkenhead Park station opened, with a connection to the Wirral Railway. This was followed in 1891 by an extension from Green Lane to Rock Ferry with a connection to the Birkenhead Railway. In 1892 the tunnel was extended from James Street to a new Low Level station at Liverpool Central. The total length of the tunnel was 3.12 miles and by 1890 it was carrying 10 million passengers a year.

Cecil Raikes was one of the initial batch of eight locomotives delivered to the Mersey Railway by Beyer Peacock and Co Ltd, of Gorton, Manchester, prior to opening. With gradients of very powerful engines were required, and these were among the largest of the day.

The severe gradients out of the tunnel at each end (1 in 27 and 1 in 30) required extremely powerful steam locomotives but they proved an uncomfortable way to travel underground and as a result were not very popular. Condensers were fitted to convert the engine’s exhaust steam back into water and so prevent the tunnel being filled with steam. Unfortunately, these caused operational problems and smoke was still a problem.

To counteract this problem the Mersey Railway was the first steam railway in Britain to be converted to electric traction in May 1903.

The steam locomotives were sold off and four to J. & A. Brown of New South Wales, Australia, where one, number 5 (former Mersey Railway number 1 The Major), is preserved at the New South Wales Rail Transport Museum.

Cecil Raikes was one of two which were sold to Shipley Colliery in Derbyshire in 1904, where it worked for the next fifty years. Following storage at Derby Locomotive Works for a number of years, Cecil Raikes was presented to National Museums Liverpool by the British Railways Board in 1965.

After the electrification of the Mersey Railway in England, four of its 0-6-4T locomotives were sold

It is currently in store.

In October 2021 it was reported that the locomotive was destined to go on display at a transport museum in Birkenhead. Work on the new museum is expected to commence in 2022 and take two years to complete.

Home BaseCurrent StatusOwner
  Museum of Liverpool – in store at Bootle  Not on public display  Museum of Liverpool  
Cecil Raikes inside Southport shed – May 1980
Cecil Raikes at Steamport, Southport - September 1988.jpg
Cecil Raikes at Steamport, Southport – September 1988
Cecil Raikes at Steamport Southport - August 1989.jpg
Cecil Raikes at Steamport, Southport – September 1988
2605 Cecil Rakes on display in the open air at the Albert Dock in Liverpool – 1990

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