Robert Stephenson & Co

Robert Stephenson and Company was founded in 1823 and was the first company established to specifically build railway engines. The company was set up in Forth Street in Newcastle-upon-Tyne by George Stephenson, his son Robert with Edward Pease and Michael Longridge. It was founded as part of the construction of the Stockton and Darlington Railway.

The first engine the company produced was Locomotion No 1 which opened the Stockton and Darlington Railway. Later it produced Rocket which won the Rainhill Trials and Invicta for the Canterbury and Whitstable Railway..

The company prospered to the extent that by 1899 around 3,000 locomotives had been built by the organisation which at that time became Robert Stephenson and Company Limited.

At the same time the works moved to Darlington where the first locomotive was completed in 1902.

Most railways in Britain were building their own rolling stock, so most of the output was for export.

During the First World War the company built some of the Robinson ROD locomotives which became the LNER O4 class.

In 1937 Robert Stephenson and Hawthorn was formed when Robert Stephenson and Company, which was based in Darlington, took over the locomotive building department of Hawthorn Leslie and Company, based in Newcastle upon Tyne. At the time Robert Stephenson and Company had built 4,155 engines.

Preserved Locomotives

There is one preserved steam locomotive built by Robert Stephenson & Co which was built for the Londonderry Port and Harbour Commissioners  – Works No 2738.

Works No Built Name Type Location
A4 1826 Billy 0-4-0 Stephenson Railway Museum
2309 1876 Haydock 0-6-0T Penrhyn Castle Industrial Railway Museum
2730 1891 No 3 Twizell 0-6-0T Tanfield Railway
3377 1909 No 5 0-6-2T North Yorkshire Moors Railway

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