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The LION on display

Manchester Museum of Science and Industry, UK

photographs by Howard Freed



The Lion locomotive was one of a pair (the other was called Tiger) built by the Todd, Kitson & Laird Company of Leeds in 1837 to pull goods trains on the Liverpool and Manchester line. It was used until 1859 and was restored to working condition for the anniversary of the opening of the Liverpool to Manchester Railway in 1930. Lion has a staring role in the 1952 Ealing Comedy ‘The Titfield Thunderbolt’.


The Lion belongs to the National Museums and Galleries on Merseyside and was displayed with the museum's transport collection at the Central Museum in Liverpool. It was steamed until 1992.  It returned to Manchester while the Liverpool Museum undertakes major building work.    


Of the original 1838 engine many parts still survive in Lion today. The boiler is thought to be a replacement fitted in about 1845. When examined at Crewe in 1929, it was found to be in good condition and only a few tubes needed to be replaced.  


Some new parts were made at that time to replace those which were missing, such as the chimney. They were produced on advice from the firm of Robert Stephenson, the tender being made from drawings of one supplied by that firm to the Furness Railway at about the same time as Lion was built. The polished metal cover over the firebox was also added at that time, though it is not thought to have been fitted originally.


(click on thumb nails for larger image)






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