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Sans Pareil

Sans Pareil
The original locomotive preserved at Shildon Railway museum
NameSans Pareil
CaptionThe original locomotive preserved at Shildon Railway museum
BuilderTimothy Hackworth
RailroadLiverpool and Manchester Railway,
Bolton and Leigh Railway

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'Sans Pareil' is a steam locomotive built by Timothy Hackworth which took part in the 1829 Rainhill Trials on the Liverpool and Manchester Railway, held to select a builder of locomotives. The name means, roughly, 'Without equal' in French. While a capable locomotive for the day, its technology was somewhat antiquated compared to George and Robert Stephenson's Rocket, the winner of the Rainhill Trials and the £500 prize money. Instead of the fire tube boiler of Rocket, Sans Pareil had a double return flue. To increase the heating surface area, the two flues were joined by a U shaped tube at the forward end of the boiler; the firebox and chimney were both positioned at the rear same end, one on either side.

Sans Pareil had two cylinders, mounted vertically at the opposite end to the chimney, and driving one pair of driving wheels directly - the other pair were driven via connecting rods, in the typical steam locomotive fashion.

At the Rainhill Trials, Sans Pareil performed very well but had a strange rolling gait due to its vertical cylinders. The 'blast' from the blast pipe was, in Hackworth's trademark style, very strong, so most of the coke was expelled out of the chimney unburnt; and it was this more than its antiquated design that caused its abysmal fuel economy . It was pulled out of the competition because of a cracked cylinder. After the trials, the Liverpool and Manchester Railway bought Sans Pareil as well as Rocket, and it exceeded Rocket's service life by serving on the Bolton and Leigh Railway for many years. Sans Pareil now resides at the Shildon Locomotion Museum on static display.


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