Research Report Locomotive No. 1 The first passenger train of New South Wales by Hassan Saleh Name of the design: LOCOMOTIVE NO.1 Name of the designer: J. E. McConnell Date of its making: 1854 Materials of which it has been made: steel Historical period: Early Victorian Era History and historical context: Locomotive No…
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But its first real passenger run was made on May 24th 1855, Queen Victoria's birthday, in itself significant of the period it represented. At the time, the transportation of merchandise was problematic, mostly because although explorers opened new ways throughout the land, the roads were built in a very rough way, with consequent increase in the time and cost of transportation, for both goods and people. This was, however, also the time in which railway expansion was being hailed as the best possible solution for fast and cost-effective transportation, a reliable alternative to those crudely made roads, something which held even more true in new territories such as Australia. Thoughts of a railway in New South Wales started as early as 1830s, but it was to take another 20 years for the dream to become a reality. The railway met with many problems, most conspicuously the cost of its making and the New South Wales Government had to take over in September 1855. The line opened officially on September 26th of that same year, although on that day another two engines run and not Locomotive 1. The line was then 14 miles long with five stops: Newtown, Ashfield, Burwood, Homebush and Parramatta. Over 3500 passengers were carried in that day, and the fact that they all dressed in their finest is witness to the importance of the event in the society of the time. With time lighter locomotives were designed for passenger transportation, while the heavier original ones remained in service for goods. By October 1859 the line had evolved to the point of having six trains per day during the week going to Paramatta, and the trip took 50 minutes to complete. Locomotive No. 1, the initiator of it all, run for 22 years of service and was withdrawn on March 15th 1877. Although it was at some point refitted with some parts from other engines, it is still the only surviving specimen of its kind. It seems also a kind of poetic justice that during its conservation process it was found to include parts of locomotives 2, 3 and 4, as if in just he one engine all four of the original team somehow survived. The Victorian era was certainly concerned with progress and efficiency as witnessed by the Great Exhibition of 1851, showcasing the greatest inventions of the world at the time in the famous Crystal Palace. It was also the time for the Industrial Revolution and the consequent changes it brought socially. It is no wonder then, that in this Renaissance-like atmosphere the railway took such an important place in both industry and imagination alike, being a harbinger of power, speed, efficiency and comfort. Related designs: The first road steam engine was invented in 1801 by Robert Trevithick, a small vehicle that managed to take four men up the Camborne Hill in Cornwall. This was the beginning, with a newer and improved version he called the London Steam Carriage, which ran from Holborn to Paddington and back, a reproduction of the Puffing Devil but still uncomfortable for passengers and expensive to run. Here is a drawing of the London Steam Carriage: However, the locomotive's true ancestor can be said to be the Pen-y-Darren Locomotive, which became famous in 1804 for successfully pulling 10 tons of iron. This is a replica of Trevithick's railway locomotive hosted at the National Waterfront Museum in Swansea. Trevithick's 1804 locomotive, full-scale replica 1) 2) Motivations and effect of the design: Although the study of steam as a source of power goes back
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