THE locomotive which started the world railway preservation movement is set to return. It was in 1839 that Invicta, the 20th locomotive built by Robert Stephenson & Company in Newcastle-upon-Tyne for the Canterbury & Whitstable Railway, was placed into storage after failing to find a buyer.
This came nine years after the opening of the Liverpool & Manchester Railway, the world’s first inter-city line, and two years after Queen Victoria came to the throne.
Invicta, built in 1829, was next off the production line after Rocket.
The locomotive had been made redundant in 1836 by retro-technology, in that the Kent line replaced locomotive haulage with stationary steam engines and cable haulage.
Set aside, Invicta came into the ownership of the South Eastern Railway and was exhibited at the Golden Jubilee of the Stockton & Darlington Railway in 1875 and at the Newcastle Stephenson Centenary six years later.
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