Riverside Museum

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Caley loco 123’s latest race … to Riverside

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Caledonian Railway locomotive 123 away from its former location up against a wall in the Kelvin Hall. Our decant team wrapped the locomotive in protective sheeting shortly after this photograph was taken. Visitors will get a much better view of the locomotive in the Riverside Museum.

The latest locomotive to leave Glasgow’s Museum of Transport in Kelvin Hall is the Caledonian Railway 123. This famous locomotive was built in Springburn in 1886. Workers took just 66 days to build the loco in time for that year’s Edinburgh International Exhibition where it was displayed as an example of cutting-edge locomotive technology.

But perhaps its greatest claim to fame was its participation in the celebrated “Race to the North” among railway companies in 1888. The various companies were keen to show they could get passengers to Edinburgh in the quickest time. Crews on locomotives such as Caley 123 pushed their engines to the extreme limits of safety to speed their trains up both the east and west coast lines. Surely something that will never be seen again!

After a working life of almost 50 years, it was stored away until the late 1950s. At that time staff at British Railways decided to restore Caledonian 123 to its former glory so that thousands of passengers could once again have the experience of being in a train pulled by this famous locomotive.

Finally, locomotive 123 was brought to Glasgow in 1966 when it became part of the collection at the Museum of Transport. Last week, its move to Riverside Museum was Picture of the Week.

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Written by jmessner

September 22, 2010 at 10:15 am

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