The reference for locomotives and railcars


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London, Brighton & South Coast Jenny Lind Singles
Great Britain | 1847 | 10 produced
Drawing of the “Jenny Lind”
Drawing of the “Jenny Lind”
Practical Mechanics Magazine, Jahrgang 1848

The name “Jenny Lind” stands for three meanings at the same time: a single locomotive with this given name, the type that it founded and the wheel arrangement 2-2-2 is also called that, especially in Britain. The sponsor for the name was the Swedish opera singer Johanna Maria “Jenny” Lind, who was born in 1820 and achieved international fame in the 1840s. The locomotive that bears her name was the first of a series of ten express locomotives built from 1847 by E.B. Wilson and Company of Leeds for the London Brighton & South Coast Railway. Other operators also ordered the same basic model with slightly different dimensions and no longer had each locomotive manufactured individually according to their special requirements. The “Jenny Lind” can thus be described as the first series-built locomotive, being available at the time for a base price of £2,500.

Although there were already several locomotives with the 2-2-2 wheel arrangement in the early days, this was chosen here in particular for its running characteristics. Since the wrought-iron coupling rods of the time still had problems with durability at higher speeds, a single driven axle with large wheels was used for use as an express locomotive. At that time, most locomotives with larger wheels had a slim, very long boiler, because the latter had to be placed above the axles and the aim was not to let the center of gravity become too high. This usually resulted in overhanging masses on the smoke box and the firebox, which had a negative impact on the running characteristics. The solution used on the “Jenny Lind” consisted of arranging the driven axle in the middle and arranging a carrying axle each at the front and rear with a long wheelbase.

State around 1853
State around 1853
Moore's Monthly Magazine, September 1896

Although the finished locomotive was a bit heavier than originally planned, it proved excellent in practice. In everyday use, it achieved the much-cited “a-mile-a-minute”, i.e. a cruising speed of 60 mph. In addition to the first series for the LB&SCR, several orders soon came from other operators. For example, while the basic model had a wheel diameter of six feet, the Shrewsbury & Birmingham Railway ordered an example with 6.5 feet wheels, larger cylinders and a larger boiler. Other manufacturers were soon producing locomotives that were obviously based on the “Jenny Lind”. So it came about that the 2-2-2 wheel arrangement, which was actually referred to as “Single” in the style of the earlier Stephenson locomotives, was soon also known as “Jenny Lind”.

ManufacturerE. B. Wilson and Co.
Axle config2-2-2 (Jenny Lind) 
Gauge4 ft 8 1/2 in (Standard gauge)
Dimensions and Weights
Wheelbase15 ft
Fixed wheelbase15 ft
Service weight53,800 lbs
Adhesive weight19,185 lbs
Axle load19,185 lbs
Fuel capacitycoal
Power sourcesteam
Estimated power200 hp (149 kW)
Optimal speed20 mph
Starting effort6,375 lbf
Power Plant
Driver diameter72 in
Boiler pressure120 psi
Expansion typesimple
Cylinderstwo, 15 x 20 in
Grate area12.2 sq ft
Firebox area80 sq ft
Tube heating area720 sq ft
Evaporative heating area800 sq ft
Total heating area800 sq ft
Calculated Values
steam locomotive
David Joy
James Fenton
last changed: 04/2022

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