'Planet Engine', 1831.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Engraving by I Shaw Junior as part of a series of images from the Liverpool & Manchester Railway. The Planet was built by Robert Stephenson & Co for the Liverpool & Manchester Railway from 1830. It marked a great advance on 'Rocket', the Rainhill Trials winner of 1829, in having its two cylinders placed at the front end between the frames under the smokebox, and in having an enclosed firebox. These and other improvements gave it a great increase in power over Rocket- type locomotives. The design of Planet formed the basis on which much of the later development of the steam locomotive was founded.