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The Jenny Lind (1846)


    We illustrate this week an engine round which very great historical interest centres. The Jenny Lind was in a very large measure the forerunner of the standard type of English locomotive. We believe that most of our readers will admit that even in modern eyes there is much to admire in the design, and it is probable that the engine was on the whole the handsomest locomotive that had been built up to that date. The origin of the design is very instructive, and we arc indebted to the private diaries of Mr. David Joy, which he has courteously placed at our disposal, for the following information. In 1846 Mr. Joy was chief draughtsman at the Railway Foundry, Leeds, Mr. E. W. Wilson being head of the firm. Mr. John Gray was locomotive superintendent of the London and Brighton Railway. At the end of November, 1846, Mr. Joy was sent to Brighton to see him about an order for ten locomotives. Mr. Joy was employed for some time taking tracings from Mr. Grays drawings and getting particulars. Then he travelled all over the line on various types of engines, among others, the curious locomotive with two pistons moving in opposite directions in each cylinder, designed by Bodmer. This engine some years subsequently ran off the road on the Lewes branch, killing both driver and fireman. The engine designed by Mr. Gray had six wheels, single drivers 6ft. in diameter, leading and trailing 4ft., cylinders 15in. by 24in., boiler 10ft. long by 4ft. lin. diameter. The fire-box was square, 3ft. 4in. by 8ft. 4in., and 4ft. 9in. deep. There were 700 square feet of tube surface, and 79ft. of fire-box, and 11 square feet of grate; pressure 100lb. There were two domes, both alike with square bases and lever safety valves. This engine was built by Hackworth, and ran very well, easily making forty miles an hour with heavy trains. There were on the line certain long boiler engines. These were much favoured, but those on the Brighton line rolled fearfully. Mr. Joy endeavoured to arrive at some conclusion as to what engine really would suit the line best out of all the types in use. lie returned with the tracings of the Gray-Hackworth engine to the Railway Foundry, and began new drawings for two engines, Nos. 60 and 61.

    These had scarcely been begun when Mr. Gray left the Brighton line. The drawings were stopped, and orders were given that the Railway Foundry should submit designs for a new type. By Mr. Fenton’s directions Mr. .Joy began to scheme on the lines of the last locomotive built; one for the Leeds and Dewsbury line, with a boiler 11ft.6in. long, outside cylinders, drivers fnr bock, and trailing wheels behind the fire-box, and with as much heating surface as possible. About a dozen engines were sketched, and none of them appeared satisfactory. Mr. Joy went home on Saturday afternoon with his mind full of his subject, and in the evening he began scheming again, and prepared a sketch of the engine subsequently known as the Jenny Lind, so called after the famous singer whose name was just then in every one's mouth. At that time a low centre of gravity was deemed essential to steadiness. The Jenny Lind had inside cylinders 15in. by 20in., and single driving wheels 6ft. in diameter. The driving wheels had inside bearings; the leading and trailing wheels outside bearings. In order to get as wide a fire-box as possible, the inside frames stopped short at the box, as shown in the annexed sketch.

    There were 800 square feet of surface, of which 80 were in the fire-box. The cylinders had the slide valves between them. The valve gear was the Stephenson link, the link being hung from the middle at one side only. Great care was taken to provide a free exhaust. The pressure was 120 lb., and the calculated weight full 21 tons. On Monday morning Mr. Joy took his sketch to the works. It was at once approved, and he began detail drawings; various parts were strengthened, and the finished engine weighed full 24 tons.

    This was the origin of the Jenny Lind type, which remained for years the standard engine built by the Leeds Hail way Foundry Company. It was the first high-speed really economical engine, the economy being due to excellence of workmanship and good proportion of parts; hut mainly, no doubt, to the then excessive pressure carried in the boiler. To Mr. James Fenton is apparently due the credit of making the advance from 801b. or 901b.,then usual, and 100lb., then exceptional, to 120 lb. .Mr. Joy says that he endeavoured to combine in the Jenny Lind all the good points of the Gray and various other engines, and we have here, no doubt, a design simple and harmonious.

    Our readers who are disposed to criticise it must not forget that in 1846 the design of the locomotive was in a chaotic condition; everyone was feeling his way, and all manner of designs were tried, the locomotive as we have it being essentially a survival of the fittest. The Jenny Lind constituted a remarkable advance on what had gone before it, and held its own for years to come with what followed it, and this is not wonderful when we consider what the performance of the engine was in actual work.

    In May, I847, the first Jenny Lind, No. 60.  on the Brighton line, was completed. The boiler was lagged with mahogany. The first run was made with it to Wakefield via Normanton, and returning, the engine was nearly run into by the Manchester mail train. The Jenny Lind was so much liked, that the Railway Foundry got numerous orders, and for some time built "Jennys” at the rate of one per week, a remarkable achievement in those days. A more powerful type of this engine was constructed with cylinders still 15in. by 20in., but with four driving-wheels instead of two, the diameter being reduced to 5ft. 6in.; the trailing driving-axle being as close to the fire-box as possible.

    In August, 1847, the last of the ten Jennys for the Brighton Company was finished. It had 6ft. 3in. drivers and 1000 square feet of heating surface. Our engraving is reproduced from a photograph of a Jenny Lind which was on the Midland Railway. We are indebted for the photograph to Mr. Johnson. In May, 1848, it was decided that a competitive trial should take place between a Jenny Lind and another engine.

    The Midland locomotive chosen was built by Messrs. Sharpe, Stewart, and Co. and was known as the Jenny Sharpe. The following table gives particulars of the two engines;—


    Jenny Lind

    Jenny Sharpe




    Total surface


    Driving wheels

    Weight loaded

    Weight, tender


    Load, 9 coaches 2 vans

    Total load

    No. 124,2in., 11ft. long

    720 square feet

    80 square feet

    800 square feet

    11in, by 20in.


    24 tons 1 cwt.

    15 tons 13 cwt

    39 tons 14 cwt

    64 tons

    103 tons 14 cwt.

    No. 161. 2in., 10ft. long

    847 square feet

    72 square feet

    919 square feet

    16in. oy 20in.

    5ft. 6in.

    21 tons 9 cwt.

    12 tons 11 cwt.

    34 tons

    64 tons

    98 tons

    Average rise of road from Derby for 20 miles, 1 in 330

                                                                          down, 1 in 330


    The trip was from Derby to Masbro’ and back. The trial took place on May 8th, 1848. The first run was made with the Jenny Sharpe. The average speed throughout was 49 miles per hour; up 1 in 330 it was 43 miles per hour. The total coke used, including getting up steam, was 16 cwt., or 44.8 lb. per mile; water evaporated. 10,290 lb., or 2371b. per mile, and 5.7 lb. per pound of coke; pressure. 8O lb.; time of running, 50min. 10.5 sec. The next day, May 9th, the Jenny Lind made the same trip. Average speed throughout, 52 miles per hour; up 18 miles of 1 in 330 it was 47 miles per hour; total coke, including lighting, was 13 cwt., or 36.4 per mile; steam pressure, 120 lb.; time running, 46 min. 32 sec. The highest speed reached was 59 miles per hour. The highest speed reached by the Jenny Sharpe was 58.5 miles per hour. Two runs were then made with heavier loads, the total for the Jenny Lind being 139 tons 10 cwt., and for the Jenny Sharpe 133 tons 16 cwt. The total consumption was 13 cwt. by the first and 16 cwt. by the latter, the consumption per mile being 33.6 lb. for the Jenny Lind and 44.8 lb. for the Jenny Sharpe. The average speed of the former up 1 in 330 was 41 miles per hour, and for the latter 39.3 miles.

    Here was very conclusive evidence in favour of the higher pressure. In a succeeding issue we shall give sections of the Jenny Lind. We have said enough, we think, to substantiate our statement that the type is one of unusual historical interest.


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