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GWR Route: Banbury to Wolverhampton

Moor Street Station: gwrms3885

Caledonian Railway 4-2-2 (Single) No 123 on display at Moor Street Station on 13th April 1960

Caledonian Railway 4-2-2 (Single) No 123 on display at Moor Street Station on 13th April 1960. This unique locomotive with it’s seven foot diameter single driving wheels was built in sixty-six days by Neilson and Company at their Hydepark Works (works No 3553) in Springburn, Glasgow for the Edinburgh International Exhibition of 1886. The locomotive was displayed as an example of cutting edge technology and awarded a gold medal. Subsequently the Caledonian Railway operated the locomotive on their express passenger services between Carlisle and Edinburgh which was. This was part of the famous ‘Race to the North’ routes. In 1914 the locomotive was renumbered No 1123. After the grouping in January 1923, Caledonian locomotives became LMS stock and this locomotive was repainted in crimson lake livery, renumbered No 14010 and given a 1P power classification. For a time the locomotive was allocated to work the director’s saloon, but the locomotive reverted to ordinary service in 1930 and withdrawn in 1935. The locomotive was placed in storage as the last example of a single wheeled express passenger locomotive to operate in Britain.

The locomotive was eventually restored by British Railways in 1958, after which it hauled a number of railtours and enthusiast specials. In 1960, this locomotive together with 4-4-0 No 3440 ‘City of Truro’ were displayed at Moor Street Station. In 1966 the locomotive was taken to the Museum of Transport in Kelvin Hall, Glasgow to be displayed as a static exhibit. This museum closed on 18th April 2010 and in September of that year the locomotive was transferred to become an exhibit at the new Riverside Museum in Glasgow.

Robert Ferris