Sans Pareil – together at last

Both the original and replica versions of Timothy Hackworth’s Sans Pareil have been positioned together for the first time ever.

Together at last – standing side by side in the NRM outpost at Shildon are the replica and original incarnations of Timothy Hackworth’s Sans Pareil. NRM

Together at last – standing side by side in the NRM outpost at Shildon are the replica and original incarnations of Timothy Hackworth’s Sans Pareil. NRM

The locomotives are exhibits at Locomotion: The National Railway Museum at Shildon, and although the pair have lived under the same roof since the museum opened in 2004, this if the first time the replica and original iterations of Hackworth’s Rainhill Trials contender have been seen side by side.

The historic locomotives both have Shildon pedigree. Timothy Hackworth established his workshops in the town, where the original 0-4-0 was built in 1829 to compete alongside Robert Stephenson’s Rocket at the famous Rainhill Trials.

The working replica also hails from Shildon, having been built in British Rail’s workshops there by BR apprentices in 1979 to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the trials.

The North East could be welcoming another Rainhill competitor, if Newscastle-Gateshead’s bid to host the Great Exhibition of the North is successful. The original 1829-built Rocket, which currently resides in the Science Museum in London, could return to its birthplace as the exhibition’s star exhibit, if Newcastle is given the thumbs up. Read more on this story in SR458, on sale now.