On Wednesday, 18 April London Midland moved a historic replica locomotive from it's home of more than 25 years at Telford Central station. The life size model of the Trevithick locomotive was lifted by crane into a low loader and taken the short distance to a new permanent home at the Hadley Learning Community.
The model is a full scale replica of the first steam railway locomotive in the world, designed by Richard Trevithick and built near Ironbridge by the Coalbrookdale Company in 1803, 26 years before Stephenson's 'Rocket'.
A plaque on the model states that the replica was built by Task Undertakings, a Manpower Services Commission project in Birmingham, under the guidance of Allen Gulliver, to drawings made for the IronbridgeGorgeMuseum by Stewart Johnson.
London Midland has donated the model to the Learning Community as part of a £1 million refurbishment of the station, part of the National Stations Improvement Programme (NSIP), a £150 million Government fund to improve station facilities.
There are just under one million passenger journeys at Telford every year, and London Midland is upgrading the station to improve facilities for passengers. The model has been moved to make way for new seating areas for passengers.
As part of the improvements at the station the booking hall, waiting areas and toilets will be completely refurbished, a new disabled accessible toilet installed, flooring will be upgraded and the outside walls will be fully glazed. A new waiting room and waiting shelter will be installed on Platform 2 while on the Birmingham-bound side; Platform 1, the platform canopy will be extended.
Head of Facilities at London Midland, Mike Hampson said: “The Trevithick locomotive has been an iconic landmark at Telford station over the years, and we believe it has been there since the station opened in 1986.
“With the improvements we are making to the station, there simply isn't the room any more for the locomotive. We therefore looked for somewhere where the replica would be appreciated for the great engineering feat it is and, would be accessible to lots of local people. We're delighted that the Learning Community have offered the prefect home for this important artefact.”
Director of Engineering at the Learning Community, Jeff Williams said: “Having the Trevithick Coalbrookdale locomotive sited at HadleyLearningCommunitySchool is a fantastic opportunity to celebrate the achievements of the Ironbridge industry.
“The Trevithick will be sited in our Engineering Gallery, a space to exhibit some large items and use as a teaching space, which is surrounded by glass, so it will be a constant reminder of the wonderful achievement and the importance of Ironbridge as a World Heritage Site.
“At H.L.C. we will be using it with pupils as a visual prompt to discuss the local industry and how that has developed over the last 200 years and to aid us with a project called 'how things work'. In addition, we have already set up a number of visits to the school from local primaries to use the locomotive as the beginning for their own project on inventors and inventions.“