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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 4, Issue 5 (September 1, 1929)

Wonderful Railway Museum

page 48

Wonderful Railway Museum

(From Our London Correspondent.)

On account of the distance separating the two lands, New Zealand railwaymen cannot, unfortunately make the trip to the Homeland as often as might be desired. Now and again, however, some fortunate individual finds his way to London town, and religiously “does” all the sights of the metropolis, paying particular attention to any item of railway interest. Apart from the better-known show places, there is one side-trip which might very well be commended to the attention of visiting railwaymen, and this is a pilgrimage to the Railway Museum established at York by the L. and N.E. line. Many of the old Homeland railway locomotives, and much ancient equipment, is housed in the Science Museum at South Kensington, London. The York Museum, however, probably possesses an even finer collection of historic engines and Railway relics, and is a veritable treasure-house of Railway history. Old locomotives occupying a place of honour at York include George Stephenson's Hetton Colliery engine of 1822, a Stirling single-wheeler built at Doncaster in 1870, and the daffodil-painted locomotive “Gladstone,” once run on the old London, Brighton and South Coast line. Examples of early railway carriages include a Bodmin and Wadebridge Railway coach of 1834, while in addition there are innumerable signalling, bridge and similar exhibits to delight the heart of the railwayman. Where is the man connected with the “Iron Way” who would fail to answer to the thrill of inspecting at close hand the world's first metal railway bridge, designed by George Stephenson, and erected at West Auckland on the original Stockton and Darlington line more than a century ago? This is probably the most interesting of the York exhibits, and it is certainly one of which any railway might be proud to possess.