The replica Sans Pareil (left) and original Sans Pareil (right) are now on display opposite each other in the Collection Building at Locomotion: The NRM at Shildon.


Locomotion: The National Railway Museum at Shildon is delighted to announce that the original Sans Pareil locomotive, built in Shildon for the historic 1829 Rainhill Trials, is now on display in the Collection Building. Sans Pareil was built in Shildon by pioneering railway engineer Timothy Hackworth for the 1829 Rainhill Trials, a competition on the Liverpool and Manchester Railway which showcased the best of British railway engineeringdesign! Thousands of people from across the country travelled to Rainhill, near St Helens, to watch five locomotives – including Sans Pareil – compete to be the winner and claim the £500 prize money. Although more powerful, Sans Pareil proved not to have the speed of Stephenson’s Rocket, which was declared the winner. However, after the trials, the Liverpool and Manchester Railway bought Sans Pareil, and it was subsequently leased to the Bolton and Leigh Railway, where it ran until 1844. It was then used as a stationary boiler at the Coppull Colliery in Chorley. In 1864, it was restored and presented to the Patent Office Museum, the precursor of the Science Museum. The collection at The National Railway Museum at Shildon also features a replica of Sans Pareil, built in 1979 by apprentices at British Rail’s Shildon Workshop. It was first steamed in April 1980 for the 150th anniversary of the Rainhill Trials. Gary Campbell, Museum Manager at Locomotion: The National Railway Museum at Shildon, said: ‘We are very excited to have both the original and replica Sans Pareil locomotives now on display in our Collection Building. We’ve positioned the original locomotive opposite the replica locomotive, to give more visitors the opportunity to learn more about this locomotive’s colourful history.’ The National Railway Museum at Shildon is open from 10am to 5pm daily. Parking and admission are free of charge. For more information, please call the museum team on 01388 777999.