Press Releases

Penydarren - watch her go!

It is full steam ahead at the National Waterfront Museum this Sunday 13 June (12-3.30pm), as plans are on track to see a working replica of the world's first steam locomotive.

This will be the locomotive’s first appearance this year and preparations are already underway for the big event.

“It’s a great opportunity for us to showcase how some of the fantastic collections we have on display were actually used,” said Head of Museum, Steph Mastoris. “It’s a popular attraction which, over the years, has proved successful with both visitors and those with a specialist interest in trains and networks. It’s something the whole family can enjoy and at the same time delve into the history that comes with it.”

The replica locomotive engine was first inaugurated in 1981. It is a copy of the pioneering tram road locomotive built in 1803-04 by the Cornishman Richard Trevithick for the Penydarren ironworks, Merthyr Tydfil.

On 21 February 1804, this locomotive ran on the nine-mile tramway from Penydarren to Abercynon, hauling a load of ten tons of iron and about seventy people who hitched an unofficial ride! This was the first successful journey made by a steam locomotive on rails and initiated a world-wide revolution in transport in the nineteenth century.

The replica, which is now on display in the Museum, has been abroad twice to celebrate the 150th anniversaries of both the Dutch and German state railway systems.


Notes to editors

For more information, or to set up a photo opportunity, please contact Marie Szymonski on 01792 638970.

Admission to Amgueddfa Cymru - National Museum Wales sites is free thanks to the support of the Welsh Assembly Government.

Amgueddfa Cymru operates seven national museums across Wales.

National Museum Cardiff

St Fagans: National History Museum

National Roman Legion Museum, Caerleon

Big Pit: National Coal Museum

National Wool Museum, Dre-fach

National Slate Museum, Llanberis

National Waterfront Museum, Swansea