Catch Me Who Can

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Drawing of the locomotive Catch Me Who Can, from a card or admission ticket to Trevithick's "Steam Circus", summer 1808
Replica of the Catch Me Who Can during an exhibition in the Netherlands Railway Museum in 2014.
Contemporary (disputed) illustration of the steam circus in London, where Catch Me Who Can ran for just a few weeks.

Catch Me Who Can was the fourth and last steam railway locomotive created by Richard Trevithick, (after those at Coalbrookdale, Penydarren ironworks and Wylam colliery). Built in 1808 by Rastrick and Hazledine at their foundry in Bridgnorth, England. It was demonstrated to the public at a "steam circus" organized by Trevithick on a circular track in Bloomsbury, just south of the present-day Euston Square tube station in London.


The locomotive reached a top speed of 12 mph (19 km/h). It proved too heavy, however, for the relatively brittle cast-iron rails then in use and Trevithick closed his exhibition after a broken rail caused a derailment.


The mechanical arrangement of Catch Me Who Can was simpler than the previous locomotives. The horizontal cylinder, flywheel, and geared drive were replaced by a vertical cylinder, still encased within the boiler, driving one pair of wheels directly by means of connecting rods. The boiler was Trevithick's usual return-flue type, with an internal firebox.


A replica is under construction by the Trevithick 200 charity at the Severn Valley Railway workshops, close to the site where the original locomotive was built. As of December 2011, it is sufficiently advanced to turn over when set up on blocks, but not yet to move itself along, and work towards completion continues steadily.[1]

See also[edit]

History of rail transport in Great Britain to 1830

External links[edit]