The Stephenson Rocket is returning to its North East home next year.
Science Museum Group announced that it will loan Stephenson’s Rocket, one of Britain’s most iconic feats of engineering, to the Great Exhibition of the North 2018.
As Newcastle and Gateshead make preparations for the official launch of the Great Exhibition of the North in 2018, the Science Museum Group has confirmed that the historic locomotive will return to the city in which it was built, for the first time since it was acquired for the nation in 1862.
Manufactured in 1829 by Robert Stephenson and Company at Newcastle’s Forth Street Works, Rocket won the famous Rainhill Trials in that year to become the fastest locomotive designed up to that point.
The Rainhill Trails were held in 1829 by the Liverpool and Manchester Railway to find a new, more efficient form of locomotive. When Rocket’s turn came at the Rainhill Trials it completed the course of 70 miles at an average speed of 13 miles per hour. In their attempt to win the prize of £500 (worth approximately £50,000 today) the Stephensons brought together several innovations with their new locomotive Rocket to improve efficiency and performance.
The basic design proved to be ground-breaking and appeared in virtually all subsequent steam locomotive designs.
Great Exhibition of the North takes place from 22 June to September 2018 across NewcastleGateshead showcasing great art, culture, design and innovation from across the North of England, with exhibition hubs at Great North Museum: Hancock, BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art and Sage Gateshead.