In 1838 Timothy Hackworth built 3 locomotives for the General Mining Association in Nova Scotia. The first of these being "Samson" which was the first locomotive to run in British North America. The other two locomotives being "Hercules" and "John Buddle". The locomotives were shipped out on the brig "Ythan" in April, 1839. The "Samson" worked until 1882 . The driver of "Samson" was George Davidson, an employee of Timothy Hackworth, who helped build the locomotive. He went to Nova Scotia with it, and settled in that country. He drove the locomotive until it was withdrawn from service in 1882.Two and one half miles of the Albion Railway were opened on 19th September 1839, with a public celebration to mark the event. There was general rejoicing with parades, a feast and train rides on 'Hercules' and 'Buddle'. The only incident of the day was that of a dog being run over by a train.The remaining four miles of track were completed by May, 1840, when full scale train operations commenced.
The "Samson" shown at the Chicago Exhibition of 1893. She was rescued by the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Company and still bore the original maker's plate,
"Timothy Hackworth, New Shildon, Durham, August 1838."
"Samson" was exhibited alongside an old carriage, similar to those used to carry passengers in the early days of the Stockton & Darlington Railway.
"This, with the exception of the 'Sanspareil' which is preserved at the South Kensington Museum, in London, is undoubtedly among the very oldest of the Hackworth locomotives in existence. It was in use as late as 1882, but condemned to the 'Scrap heap' several years ago. Fortunately, it was rescued soon after the order to break it up had been issued, and preserved in more or less bad shape, to be sure, but still to such an extent as to render it of no ordinary interest from a historical standpoint. The cylinders and driving gear are at the back end of the locomotive, and this was the engineer's place so that he could keep a good look out ahead. The fireman was at the other end. The 'sandbox' consisted of two buckets of sand, one at each end of the locomotive, the sand being thrown by hand on the rails. This duty was attended to by the 'engineer' or 'driver', as he was termed in those days, when the locomotive was moving ahead, and by the fireman when moving backward... The Engineer was compelled to leave his place at the front of the locomotive whenever desirous of ascertaining the height of water or pressure of steam and go around to the side of the boiler where the water and steam gauges were located."
Presented by the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Company."
"Samson" is on display at the Museum of Industry, Stellarton, Nova Scotia, which is situated within a short distance of the original railway.
The responsibility for introducing the locomotive to Russia fell upon John Hackworth, Timothy's son, at the tender age of 16 years. After a few days working a cylinder cracked and the foreman from Shildon who was with the party, travelled 600 miles to a factory in Moscow to have a replacement made. John Hackworth and his men took the locomotive to Tsarkeye-Selo where the Imperial Summer Palace was situated. Before it could be used the locomotive underwent a consecration ceremony according to the rites of the Greek Orthodox Church.
The following are extracts from the Durham Advertiser on 17th September 1836, which highlights the rivalry that existed between Hackworth & Stephenson.
"A locomotive of most superior workmanship has just been constructed for the Petersburgh and Pavlovky Railway, at the manufactory of Messrs. R. Stephenson & Co. of Newcastle . It was tried lately, and exceeded the extraordinary speed of 65 1/2 miles an hour."
This was followed by a further notice.
"On Thursday, 15th September, a large and powerful locomotive engine, built by Timothy Hackworth of New Shildon for the Emperor of Russia was shipped on board the 'Barbara' at Middlesbro'. This engine is constructed on an improved principle, and finished in the best manner. she has been tried on the premises, and propelled at the rate of 72 miles per hour. It is said that this machine and the similar one built at Newcastle, will on their arrival at St. Petersburg, have cost the Emperor upwards of £2,000 each. Who, a few years ago, would have dreamed of the exportation of machinery from the river Tees. This engine is for travelling on the railroad from St. Petersburg to Pavlovsky where stands one of the country palaces of his Imperial Majesty."
In 1846 he commenced building locomotives for the London and Brighton Railway. These were to the design of John Gray who was the appointed the locomotive superintendent on the line. Gray designed a class of express passenger locomotives, incorporating his own patent valve gear. There were 12 locomotives in all, 2 being delivered in 1846, 7 in 1847, and the remaining 3 in 1848.
The building of these locomotives, were not however without problems,as there did not appear to be any detailed plans, and in a lot of instances only sketches were supplied and these quite frequently, detailing changes to specifications. Such were the changes and alterations that there were serious delays in construction and either Timothy or John Hackworth was continuously in London in an effort to sort out the changes in specification.
The result was that no two locomotives were alike, which was not the original intention. John Hackworth was vociferous in his complaints about the plans, Timothy was, however, more tactful in his approach and merely pointed out that there appeared to be no end to the proposed changes.They did however appear to be resilient and continued to give service on the line for some 30 years.
They were rebuilt several times and appeared in various forms, as;four wheeled coupled passenger engines; four wheeled coupled goods engines;six wheeled coupled goods engines; tank engines and two as Crampton engines.