The Puffing Billy — “the oldest surviving locomotive in the world.” William Hedley, designer and builder. 1814. Collection: The Science Museum, London. Photography and formatting by George P. Landow. Courtesy of the Science Museum. [Click on images to enlarge them.]

According to the museum, “Puffing Billy is the oldest surviving locomotive in the world. Rather than carrying passengers, it hauled coal trains —  at little more than a walking pace — along a five-mile stretch between Wylam Colliery and the nearby River Tyne. There the coal was loaded onto ships for transport around the coast. . . . In a fifty-year working life the locomotive was rebuilt many times and uncertainty now surrounds how much of it dates to 1814. ”

A three-quarter rear view showing the firebox and part of the tender.

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Last modified 10 May 2014