Replica of Planet operating at the Museum of Science and Industry
The ninth locomotive built for the L&MR, it was Stephenson's next major design change after the Rocket. It was the first locomotive to employ inside cylinders, and subsequently the 2-2-0 type became known as Planets. On 23 November 1830 No.9 Planet ran the approximately 50 km from Liverpool to Manchester in one hour.
Six further of the type were ordered by the L&MR from Robert Stephenson & Co. Three more were supplied by Murray & Wood in Leeds, to whom Robert Stephenson & Co. had sent the drawings for their manufacture.
The Planet locomotives appear closer to subsequent types, and conversely look quite different from Rocket although only a year separated these two designs (Stephenson's Northumbrian representing an intermediate evolutionary step).
Other improvements include:
- a steam dome to prevent water reaching the cylinders.
- buffers and couplings in a position setting a new standard.
A working replica was built in 1992 by the Friends of the Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI) in Manchester, and is operated by volunteers to provide rides for visitors. When not in steam the locomotive is on display in the museum's Power Hall. Planet has visited several other Heritage railways including Shildon Locomotion Museum.
Later engines named Planet
LMS Royal Scot Class 4-6-0 locomotive 6131 was originally named Planet when built in 1928 but was in 1936 renamed The Royal Warwickshire Regiment. In 1948, the name was applied to LMS Rebuilt Patriot Class No. 45545. British Railways Class 86 86218 carried the name Planet from 1979 to 1993.
- Michael R. Bailey (1996), "Learning Through Replication: The Planet Locomotive Project", Transactions of the Newcomen Society, 68, 109–136
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