Richard Trevithick

AND COALBROOKDALE"S FIRST LOCOMOTIVE

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A remarkable full-scale operating replica of the 1802 Coalbrookdale locomotive, designed by Richard Trevithick (1771-1833), can be seen at Blists Hill Victorian Town, Telford, Shropshire.

Built by young apprentices, it provides a working example of an important local contribution to the history of the steam locomotive.

Richard Trevithick was a Cornish mining engineer by profession. In 1801, he built a steam-powered road carriage called Puffing Devil which exploded while stuck in a ditch when Trevithick and crew retired to a local pub. Most famously he built what is widely accepted to be the world’s first steam-railway locomotive in 1804, which ran on the Pen-y-Darren tramway near Merthyr Tydfil, Wales.

There was another locomotive, built two years earlier, about which less is known. In 1802 Trevithick was working with the Coalbrookdale Company, Shropshire, on high-pressure stationary steam engines - and, it seems, experimenting with steam-powered locomotives. The historical sources are patchy, but it seems as though this locomotive was built at Coalbrookdale, possibly by the Quaker industrialist William

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Steam