The Salamanca

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The Salamanca
The Salamanca
The Salamanca
Power type Steam
BuilderMatthew Murray
Build date1812
Gauge4 ft 1 in
Total weight5 tons
CareerMiddleton Railway

'The Salamanca' was the first commercially successful steam locomotive built in 1812 by Matthew Murray for the Middleton Railway in Leeds.[1]

The Salamanca was a rack and pinion locomotive using John Blenkinsop's design for rack propulsion. A single rack ran outside the narrow gauge tracks and was engaged by a cog wheel on the left side of the locomotive. The cog wheel was driven by two cylinders embedded into the top of the center-flue boiler.

Four such locomotives were built for the railway, and they worked until the early 1830s.


  1. Hamilton Ellis (1968). The Pictorial Encyclopedia of Railways. The Hamlyn Publishing Group, pp.20. 
Pre-1830 steam locomotives
v  d  e

Pen-y-darren (1804) • Catch Me Who Can (1808) • Puffing Billy (1812) • Wylam Dilly (1812) • The Salamanca (1812) • Blücher (1814) • Locomotion No. 1 (1825) •
Novelty, Sans Pareil, Rocket, Perseverance (all 1829)

See also: Rainhill trialsHistory of rail transport in Great Britain to 1830