Length of Blenkinsop's rack rail, c 1812.
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Replica of a 6-foot length of Blenkinsop's rack rail from the Middleton Colliery line, Leeds, Yorkshire. John Blenkinsop (1783-1831) designed a rack rail and driving wheel system in 1811. He worked at Middleton Collieries near Leeds and devised a rack and pinion system for railway locomotives. This consisted of a cogwheel on the locomotive which locked into special teeth in a rack on one side of the rail. This was particularly succesful in mountain railways.