The first locomotive – Lancashire Witch
Shortly after the passing of the second Act the railway took delivery of their first steam locomotive, which had been ordered from Robert Stephenson and Company by the Liverpool and Manchester Railway in January 1828. The L&MR subsequently decided their order was premature and the locomotive was transferred to the B&LR by mutual agreement. This was the locomotive named Lancashire Witch at the opening of the line.
The Lancashire Witch had some innovative features, it was built with 45° inclined cylinders that allowed the axles to be sprung resulting in improved stability. The locomotive was also equipped an expansion valve that allowed the control of the flow of steam that entered the cylinders, which made it the first locomotive to feature expansive working.
By 1831, the railway owned at least three other locomotives. Union, which was built in 1830 by Rothwell, Hick and Rothwell, along with Salamander and Veteran, which were both built by Crook and Dean.
The second locomotive – Sans Pareil
In 1832 the railway hired Timothy Hackworth’s Sans Pareil at a rate of £15 per month, and then bought it outright for £110.
Sans Pareil was used on the railway until 1844, when it was sold to the Coppull Colliery, Chorley and used as a stationary engine up until 1863. It was then presented to the Patent Office Museum and is now on display in the National Rail Museum at Shildon. There is also a replica of the locomotive built for the 150th anniversary of the Rainhill trials in 1980. This is also at Shildon.
Growth of the fleet
In 1842 there were 14 locomotives in operation on the line:
‘Sans Pareil’ built by T. Hackworth
‘Nelson’ built by R. Stephenson & Co
‘Bee’ built by Edward Bury
‘Union’ built by Rothwell & Hick
‘Salamander’ built by W. Dean
‘Veteran’ built by W. Dean
‘Clarence’ built by Edward Bury
‘Utilis’ built by Hargreaves
‘Victoria’ built by Hargreaves
‘Wellington’ built by Tayleur & Co
‘Marquis’ built by Tayleur & Co
‘Pandora’ built by Tayleur & Co
‘Soho’ built by B. Hick & Sons
‘Castle’ built by Hargreaves
The early passenger accommodation on the trains comprised two coaches, named Elephant and Castle, which provided the inside accommodation whilst the external accommodation was wooden seats in open wagons.
In 1842 there were five first-class carriages each holding 24 passengers in three compartments, each carriage was 15’3″ long with an inside width of 6’6″. The carriages have spring buffers are painted green with the company arms on the panels, the insides are lined with blue cloth. Each carriage weighs about 3 tons and were built by Mr Cooper of Bradshawgate, Bolton, each costing £400. A sixth carriage was slightly different holding twenty passengers, sixteen in two regular compartments and four in a coupe.
There were also eight second-class carriages each holding 24 passengers in three compartments, the carriages are enclosed at the ends but open at the sides.