Robert Stephenson & Hawthorns

Hunslet side 59400

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 Hawthorns 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 and Hawthorn Leslie and Company a further 2,783 making a total of 6,938. Robert Stephenson and Company (RSH) thus began with number 6938 for the locomotives produced by the combined organisation.

In 1938 the goodwill of the Kitson and Co and Manning, Wardle and Co companies was bought.

During the Second World War the plant was fully occupied building 0-4-0 and 0-6-0 saddle tanks for industrial use.

In 1943 RSH built 90 Austerity 0-6-0ST for the War Department. Eight of these have been preserved and are listed below.

In 1949-1950 RSH built 35 class L1 2-6-4T locomotives (67766-67800) for the Eastern Region. No members of the class have been preserved.

In 1950-53 RSH built 80 class 9400 0-6-0PT locomotives (9410-9489) for the Western Region and acted as sub contracted to the Yorkshire Engine Company for the building of a further 10 locomotives (9490-9499). 9466 has been preserved.

In 1955.RSH became part of English Electric

The last steam locomotives were built in 1958 (a conventional 0-6-0T) and 1959 (a fireless locomotive). 1960 The Forth Banks Works were closed in 1960 and the Darlington Works, continuing with diesel and electric locos, became English Electric Co Darlington Works.

Locomotive building at the Newcastle upon Tyne works ended in 1961 and at Darlington in 1964.

Preserved Locomotives

I have only included standard gauge locomotives which are preserved in Britain.

For details of preserved fireless locomotives built by Robert Stephenson & Hawthorn go to Fireless Locomotives.

Preserved Austerity Locomotives built to the Hunslet Design

In addition to building locomotives to designs produced by Robert Stephenson & Hawthorn the company also built ninety Austerity 0-6-0ST engines for the War Department during 1944-1946 as a sub contractor to the Hunslet Engine Company. Seven (68021-24, 68031-32 & 68070 ) of these were bought by the LNER in 1945-46. None of these have been preserved although 68077 and 68078 built by Andrew Barclay & Sons have..

Eight example of the ninety built by Andrew Barclay to the Hunslet Engine Company survived.

Works No Built Name Location
7086 1943 WD 76050    No 27 Embsay & Bolton Steam Railway
7097 1943 WD 75061   No 9 Strathspey Railway
7098 1943 WD 75062 Tanfield Railway
7136 1944 WD150    WD 75186  Royal Pioneer Peak Rail
7139 1944 WD 152  WD 75189  Rennes  NCB  No 8 Dean Forest Railway
7169 1944 WD 71515  68005  Mechanical Navvy Pontypool & Blaenavon Railway
7170 1944 WD 71516 Welsh Guardsman Severn Valley Railway
7289 1945 WD 71480   Fred Tyseley

Other Preserved Robert Stephenson & Hawthornl Locomotives

6947 1938 No 39 0-6-0T Darlington Railway Preservation Society
7006 1940 15 Roker 0-4-0CT Beamish Museum
7007 1940 Hendon 0-4-0CT Tanfield Railway
7031 1941 54 Pen Green 0-6-0ST East Anglia Railway Museum
7035 1940 Lysaghts   Donna 0-6-0ST Tanfield Railway
7042 1941 Yard No 361 Ajax 0-4-0ST Chatham Historic Dockyard
7058 1942 Olwen 0-4-0ST Gwili Railway 
7063 1942 Eustace Forth 0-4-0ST Peak Rail
7069 1942 Southwick 0-4-0CT Keighley Worth Valley Railway
7070 1942 Millfield 0-4-0CT Bressingham Steam Museum
7151 1944 No 9 0-6-0T Avon Valley Railway
7214 1945 George 0-4-0ST Midland Railway Centre
7298 1946 Christopher   Progress 0-6-0ST National Coal Mining Museum, Wakefield
7386 1948 Birkenhead 0-4-0ST Royal Deeside Railway
7409 1948 Sir Cecil A Cochrane 0-4-0ST Tanfield Railway
7412 1948 No 77  Norwood 0-6-0ST Locomotion, Shildon
7416 1948 No3 Agecroft No 1 0-4-0ST National Railway Museum – York
7485 1948 Agecroft No 2 0-4-0ST Ribble Steam Railway
7493 1948 Mars No 2 0-4-0ST Snibston Discovery Park
7537 1949 Nechell No 3    Richard III 0-6-0T Battlefield Line
7544 1949 No 1 Bonnie Prince Charlie 0-4-0ST Didcot Railway Centre
7597 1949 Zebedee 0-6-0T Peak Rail
7609 1950 NCB No 31    Meteor 0-6-0T East Somerset Railway
7661 1950 BEA No 2 0-4-0ST Embsay & Bolton Abbey Steam Railway
7667 1950 S&L No 56 0-6-0ST Great Central Railway – Nottingham
7668 1950 S&L No 57  Samson 0-6-0ST Spa Valley Railway
7671 1950 S&L No 60 Jupiter 0-6-0ST Colne Valley Railway
7673 1950 S&L No 62 Ugly 0-6-0ST Spa Valley Railway
7680 1950 No 1 Fulstow 0-4-0ST Fulstow Steam Centre
7681 1951 Agecroft No 3 0-4-0ST Whitwell & Reepham Railway
7683 1951 Meaford No 1 0-6-0T Stephenson Railway Museum
7684 1951 Meaford No.2        Nechells No 4 0-6-0T Great Central Railway
7705 1952 0-4-0ST Garw Valley Railway
7760 1953 No 44  9103/44 0-6-0ST Tanfield Railway
7761 1954 S&L No 63 Corby 0-6-0ST Great Central Railway – Nottingham
7763 1954 NCB  No 38 0-6-0ST Tanfield Railway
7765 1954 No 40 0-6-0T Wearside Railway
7796 1954 No 21 0-4-0ST Tanfield Railway
7800 1954 No 47 0-6-0ST Tanfield Railway
7817 1954 Castle Donington Power Station No1 0-4-0ST Midland Railway Centre
7818 1954 Castle Donnington Power Station No 2 0-4-0ST Yaxham Station
7845 1955 67345 0-6-0T Dales Countryside Museum, Hawes
7846 1955 North Downs No 3 0-6-0T Ferryhill Railway Heritage Trust
7849 1955 No 47  Moorbarrow 0-6-0ST Gwili Railway
7944 1957 No 16 0-6-0ST Tanfield Railway

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