40 years ago – Rainhill Cavalcade 1980, also known as 'Rocket 150'


The last BR steam locomotive Class 9F No 92220 Evening Star. © Philip Benham


The Liverpool & Manchester (L & M) Railway opened the first ‘InterCity’ railway in the world one hundred and ninety years ago in 1830. The previous year the Railway held a competition to decide on the best locomotives to use. Famously this was won by Rocket, designed and built by Robert Stephenson at his works in Newcastle.


Representing more modern traction, Class 55 Deltic No 55015 Tulyar pulls electric Class 86 86214 and Class 76 EM1 No 26020. © Philip Benham


To commemorate 150 years since the opening of the L & M Railway, forty years ago during the Spring Bank Holiday, British Railways London Midland Region held a cavalcade of locomotives old and new at Rainhill. The locomotives had travelled from all over the country, many under their own power, with the cavalcade assembled at nearby Bold Colliery.

LNER Class V2 No 4771 Green Arrow. © Philip Benham


Thirty-six locomotives, the Advanced Passenger Train, a High Speed Train and a steam breakdown crane, took part. The National Railway Museum was very well represented with twelve steam locomotives, together with the Manchester, Sheffield & Wath EM1 electric loco, appearing from the National Collection.

Midland Compound No 1000 4-4-0. © Philip Benham


Replica Sans Pareil with crew and passengers in open wagon suffering from the inclement weather. © Philip Benham



Southern Railway 4-6-0 No 850 Lord Nelson All photos:© Philip Benham


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