Hackworth, Timothy

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b. 22 December 1786 Wylam, Northumberland, England
d. 7 July 1850 Shildon, Co. Durham, England
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English engineer, pioneer in construction and operation of steam locomotives.
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Hackworth trained under his father, who was Foreman Blacksmith at Wylam colliery, and succeeded him upon his death in 1807. Between 1812 and 1816 he helped to build and maintain the Wylam locomotives under William Hedley. He then moved to Walbottle colliery, but during 1824 he took temporary charge of Robert Stephenson \& Co.'s works while George Stephenson was surveying the Liverpool \& Manchester Railway and Robert Stephenson was away in South America. In May 1825 Hackworth was appointed to the Stockton \& Darlington Railway (S \& DR) "to have superintendence of the permanent (i.e. stationary) and locomotive engines". He established the workshops at Shildon, and when the railway opened in September he became in effect the first locomotive superintendent of a railway company. From experience of operating Robert Stephenson \& Co.'s locomotives he was able to make many detail improvements, notably spring safety valves. In 1827 he designed and built the locomotive Royal George, with six wheels coupled and inverted vertical cylinders driving the rear pair. From the pistons, drive was direct by way of piston rods and connecting rods to crankpins on the wheels, the first instance of the use of this layout on a locomotive. Royal George was the most powerful and satisfactory locomotive on the S \& DR to date and was the forerunner of Hackworth's type of heavy-goods locomotive, which was built until the mid-1840s.
For the Rainhill Trials in 1829 Hackworth built and entered the locomotive Sans Pareil, which was subsequently used on the Bol ton \& Leigh Railway and is now in the Science Museum, London. A working replica was built for the 150th anniversary of the Liverpool \& Manchester Railway in 1980. In 1833 a further agreement with the S \& DR enabled Hackworth, while remaining in charge of their locomotives, to set up a locomotive and engineering works on his own account. Its products eventually included locomotives for the London, Brighton \& South Coast and York, Newcastle \& Berwick Railways, as well as some of the earliest locomotives exported to Russia and Canada. Hackworth's son, John Wesley Hackworth, was also an engineer and invented the radial valve gear for steam engines that bears his name.
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Further Reading
R.Young, 1975, Timothy Hackworth and the Locomotive, Shildon: Shildon "Stockton \& Darlington Railway" Silver Jubilee Committee; orig. pub. 1923, London (tends to emphasize Hackworth's achievements at the expense of other contemporary engineers).
L.T.C.Rolt, 1960, George and Robert Stephenson, London: Longmans (describes much of Hackworth's work and is more objective).
E.L.Ahrons, 1927, The British Steam Railway Locomotive 1825–1925, London: The Locomotive Publishing Co.
PJGR

Biographical history of technology. - Taylor & Francis e-Librar. . 2005.

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