Bradyll (locomotive)

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South Hetton Colliery 0-6-0 ‘Nelson’ (c1840) built Thomas Richardson of Hartlepool, Shildon 29.06.2009 P6290065 (10192717144).jpg
Bradyll (or Nelson) preserved at Darlington Railway Museum.
Type and origin
Power type Steam
Builder Timothy Hackworth
(or Thomas Richardson)
Build date c1840
 • Whyte 0-6-0
Gauge 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) standard gauge
Operators Hetton colliery railway
Retired 1875
Current owner National Railway Museum, Shildon
Disposition static display

Bradyll is an early steam locomotive built by Timothy Hackworth at his Soho Works in Shildon, England in 1840. She is the oldest surviving locomotive with an 0-6-0 wheel arrangement.[1]


Bradyll was built to work on the South Hetton Railway, which ran from Haswell to Seaham Harbour.[2] She was named after Colonel Thomas Bradyll, who owned the mines and promoted the railway and new port built at Seaham.


Bradyll was obsolete by the 1870s, and in 1875 she was converted into a snowplough. This was done by removing her cylinders and motion, and adding a blade and weights. By World War Two, she had been withdrawn from this duty, but escaped the scrap drive as she was on an isolated piece of track.[1]

After the war, she was placed at the works gates to the Philadelphia Iron Works as a "gate guardian" and regularly painted with a tar-based paint, which helped to preserve her. Bradyll has never been restored, and is probably unique in this respect. The locomotive has an Adamson type firebox, and Wilson wheels, as used by Hackworth on the Stockton & Darlington Railway.[1]

Bradyll is currently on display at Locomotion, Shildon. She will be conserved, but no restoration will take place to return her to an "as built" appearance.[3]

Is it Bradyll or not?[edit]

Recent research by Dr Michael Bailey has led him to conclude that the locomotive is probably not Bradyll, but Nelson, a locomotive built c1840 by Thomas Richardson of Hartlepool for the South Hetton Colliery.[1] The December 1919 issue of the Locomotive Magazine states that the locomotive at the time bore plates identifying it as Nelson No.2.[4]


  1. ^ a b c d "National Railway Museum acquires rare locomotive". National Railway Museum. Archived from the original on 27 April 2008. Retrieved 2008-01-21. 
  2. ^ "Hawthorn Combined Mine". Durham Mining Museum. Retrieved 2008-01-21. 
  3. ^ "Conserve or Restore". Locomotion - The National Railway Museum at Shildon. Retrieved 2008-01-21. [dead link]
  4. ^ Hardy, Michael (April 18 – May 8, 2008). "Bradyll mystery". Steam Railway. Peterborough: EMAP (348): 38.