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Railway Archive: The Last Main Line

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Steam navvy at work in a cutting near Rugby

Steam navvy at work in a cutting near Rugby

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L2215. Taken in 1896, this photograph is a fine opportunity to see a steam navvy built by Whitaker & Sons of Leeds, seen here at work in a cutting near Rugby. The vast majority of steam excavators used on the construction of the Last Main Line were Rustons, and of these many are pictured with the makeshift cabs of wood and corrugated metal that obscure the view of the machine's engine. This particular example is therefore a rare exception. Built around 1887, its steam powered racking gear and piston rod arrangement allowed for a greater control of the depth of cut. Topham, Jones & Railton was the contractor responsible for building this section of the Railway (Contract No.3, Aylestone to Rugby).
Publisher
ContributorLeicestershire County Council
Creatorpersonalname - Newton, S. W. A.
Datecreation - 1896
TypePhotographs - Black and white
Formatdimension.H - 118mm
dimension.W - 160mm
IdentifierNewton - R 1/1
SourceS. W. A. Newton Collection - Record Office for Leicestershire, Leicester & Rutland
LanguageEN
Relationcopy of - glass plate negative
part of - S. W. A. Newton Collection
CoverageLocation.Creation Site - Rugby, Warwickshire (O.S. Ref: 451000 274000)
Location.Current Repository - Record Office for Leicestershire, Leicester & Rutland
period - 1896
RightsLeicestershire County Council