You can now order what promises to be a stunning model of one of the most iconic and recognisable locomotives from the dawn of the railways thanks to Rapido Trains UK. We have joined forces with leading experts on early railways to develop a 1:76 scale model of the Liverpool & Manchester Railway’s famous locomotive Lion. Built in 1837 at a cost of £1,100, Lion, along with its sister Tiger, was the first locomotive built by Todd, Kitson and Laird in Leeds. Designated a ‘luggage engine’, Lion was first used as a banking engine before resuming luggage duties for several years before finally working as a ballast engine.
Lion was sold in 1859 to the Mersey Docks & Harbour Board where it was used around the docks before being turned into a stationary pumping engine. ‘Discovered’ by members of the Liverpool Engineering Society, Lion was presented to the society by the Dock Board in 1928. Society members then formed the Old Locomotive Committee, which continued to care for Lion for several decades.
The LMS created the shape of Lion as we know it today during its overhaul at Crewe works. It undertook a prominent role in the Liverpool & Manchester Railway’s centenary celebrations in 1930, where it hauled a train of specially-built 1830s-style coaches.
Lion was removed from its plinth at Liverpool Lime Street to make its film debut, in the 1937 film Victoria the Great. It left Liverpool again in 1938 for the centenary celebrations of the London & Birmingham Railway and again during the Second World War for the safety of the Crewe Works paintshop. Its next public appearance would really throw it into the public spotlight.
The producers at Ealing Studios need an antique locomotive to star in its new film about a local village that saves its branch line by running it themselves, with the help of an old engine from a museum. Lion was overhauled at Crewe and specially painted for its starring role, especially as this was the first Ealing Comedy to be shot in colour.
The Titfield Thunderbolt was released in 1953 and Lion went back into store. It made a brief appearance in 1961 for more filming, albeit the TV show Lookaround. Then, in 1967, Lion took up position in the City of Liverpool Museums’ new transport gallery. Due to its condition, it was cosmetically restored between 1968 and 1969.
Lion was awakened from its slumbers in 1979 in order for it to take part in the 150th anniversary celebrations of the Rainhill Trials. It was overhauled by apprentices at Ruston Diesels in Newton-le-Willows and starred at the Rainhill Cavalcade in 1980. It continued to appear in steam until 1984 when it required repairs.
Lion’s final spell in traffic was between 1987 and 1988 when it celebrated its 150th birthday. Sadly, once the celebrations were over, it was decided to withdraw Lion permanently. After display in Liverpool and Manchester, Lion moved into its new home, the re-vamped Museum of Liverpool, which opened in 2011. Lion is still one of the museum’s star exhibits.
Like all Rapido models, this exciting new release will feature high levels of detail coupled with a smooth and free-running mechanism.
- Die-Cast metal and injection moulded construction
- High quality motor and mechanism
- Next18 decoder socket
- DCC Sound option
- Lots of separately fitted details
- NEM coupler pocket on rear tender
- Compatible with other brands of period coaching stock
Order your model now by clicking on the item below: