Legendary steam locomotive Rocket, designed by George and Robert Stephenson and built in 1829 for the Rainhill Trials, has arrived at the National Railway Museum, York, where it will be on display for at least ten years.
Rocket, which now joins the collection’s other legends of the steam age, including Mallard and Flying Scotsman, travelled to York after the final leg of a national tour of UK museums, organised by the Science Museum Group.
As reported earlier on Rail Insider, Rocket will form part of a new exhibition, ‘Brass, Steel and Fire’, from 26 September 2019, that will tell the story of the first 100 years of railway models.
To reach York from the last stop on Rocket’s tour, the Science and Industry Museum in Manchester, which is actually based on the site of the Liverpool and Manchester Railway , the famous locomotive travelled by road in a special protective crate with its chimney removed – it was reattached once the crate was unpacked and Rocket was positioned in the Station Hall alongside the museum’s collection of royal carriages.
Once it reached York, Rocket was welcomed by actor Sir David Jason, who not only starred in Only Fools and Horses but has also made a travel documentary series Planes, Trains and Automobiles.
Brass, Steel and Fire, which is supported by Hornbeam Park Developments and players of the People’s Postcode Lottery, will open at the National Railway Museum on 26 September and will be free to enter. After leaving York, the exhibition will travel to the Science Museum in London, although Rocket will remain at the National Railway Museum.