This locomotive was designed by Patrick Stirling, the chief designer of England's Great Northern Railway. Its elegant lines, gleaming paintwork, and polished brass trim combined to make it one of the most beautiful engines ever. The most noticeable characteristic of these locomotives was the huge 8-ft driving wheels, which allowed the engines to reach very high speeds.  Patrick Stirling died in 1895.Stirling Single - designed by Patrick Stirling

Until 1882, when passengers boarded a train, they had to stay in the same compartment until the train stopped - there was no way to move from one compartment to another. In that year, cars with a side aisle came into service. At each end of the aisle was a restroom - one for ladies, the other strictly for gentlemen.

When the Stirling's driver pulled the brake lever, a vacuum was created in the brake pipe. This pushed the brake shoes onto the wheels and brought the train to a halt.

Patrick Stirling - Designer

Patrick Stirling was better known for the latter part of his career (1866-1895) on the Great Northern Railway in England.  He became locomotive superintendent at Glasgow & South Western Railway in 1853 at the age of 33, and arranged for his works and departmental headquarters to be moved from cramped premises in Glasgow to a new site at Kilmarnock.
Stirling Single

Patrick and his younger brother James virtually standardised the very successful all-purpose mixed traffic 0-4-2 tender locomotive, gradually enlarged with each succeeding class, with a few 0-6-0s for heavily graded lines and mineral work. Main line passenger trains were hauled by 2-2-2 ‘singles’ soon uprating in power to 2-4-0 and 4-4-0 types under brother James after Patrick had moved on to Doncaster on the Great Northern Railway.



History of the Stirling Single.

Fifty-Three engines of this type were built between 1870 and 1895 at the Doncaster works of the Old Great Northern Railway to the design of Patrick Stirling. For a long time they worked a large part of the East Coast route and in this capacity achieved notable speed performances. Engines of this class figured in the Railway Race to Edinburgh in 1888 and the Race to Aberdeen in 1895.

The engines were distinguished mainly by their one big pair of single driving wheels, the diameter of which was 8 ft. 1 in. Outside cylinders (18 in. diameter by 28 in. stroke) were provided; the total heating surface of the boiler was 1,165 sq. ft. ; the working pressure 140 lb. per sq. in., and the weight of the engine, in running trim 38.5 tons.

The weight of later engines of this type was increased to 45 tons, and the working pressure to 160 lb. Among other distinctive external features of these engines was that the boiler carried no dome but, as was customary in all Stirling designs, was bare of mountings from the chimney right back to the safety-valves. No.1, the first of the Stirling "8-footers," can be seen in the Railway Museum at York.Stirling Single

These locomotives had a distinctive outward appearance, with their domeless boilers, outside cylinders and the sweep of the footplate over their 8 0' dia. driving wheels and the mechanical design enabled them to maintain a very high standard of reliability in all conditions of working. The original No. I locomotive of 1870 was not withdrawn from service until as late as August 1907 in which time it completed upwards of 1,400,000 miles. It is a remarkable life for an old locomotive which cost only £2,076 to build.

Although withdrawn from service in 1907, the No. I locomotive was again in steam in 1925, when it took part in the procession of locomotives between Stockton and Darlington on the occasion of the Railway Centenary celebrations. This locomotive was again brought into service In 1938, when It was given a general overhaul and provided with a train of old East Coast 6-wheel carriages, with which it made a number of excursions to mark the 50th Anniversary of the Railway Race to the North.




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