Timothy Hackworth had for some time contemplated building a locomotive, using his knowlege and experience and to his own demands. In 1849 he achieved that ambition by producing a locomotive which he named "Sans Pareil" after the locomotive which competed in the Rainhill Trials.A six-wheeled passenger engine with 6ft 6ins diameter single driving wheels and leading and trailing wheels of 4ft diameter, built as solid wrought iron.

"Sans Pareil" made its maiden run in October 1849, and fully lived upto its expectations. It pulled 200 tons for 45 miles in 1 hour 35 minutes and covered the same distance pulling six carriages in 1 hour 3 minutes. Its speed, reliability and power was demonstrated on several railways, before being purchased by the York, Newcastle and Berwick Railway, running for several years on the North-Eastern Railway.

This was the last locomotive built by him before his death in 1850.

Mindful of the events, some 20 years previous at Rainhill, John Hackworth wrote to Robert Stephenson on 25th October, 1849 :


"SIR, It is now about 20 years since the competition for the premium of locomotive superiority was played off at Rainhill, on the Liverpool and Manchester Railway. Your Father and mine were the principal competitors. Since that period you have generally been looked to by the public as standing first in the construction of locomotive engines. Understanding that you have now running on the York, Newcastle and Berwick Railway a locomotive engine which is said to be the best production that ever issued from Forth Street Works, I come forward and tell you publicly that I am prepared to contest with you, and prove to whom the superiority in the construction and manufacture now belongs.At the present crisis, when any reduction in the expense of working the locomotive engine may justly be hailed as a boon to railway companies, this experiment will no doubt be regarded by them with deep interest, as tending to their mutual advantage. I fully believe that the York, Newcastle and Berwick Railway Company will willingly afford every facility towards the carrying out of this experiment.Relying upon your honour as a gentleman, I hold this open for a fortnight after the date of publication.

I am, Sir,

yours respectfully,



The locomotive to which John Hackworth was referring was No. 190 of the York, Newcastle and Berwick Railway, which had been delivered by Robert Stephenson & Co. to the Railway a year earlier. This locomotive was considered to be the most powerful engine running up to that time.

Robert Stephenson never responded to the Challenge.

"Sans Pareil II made its maiden run in 1849 and it fulfilled all the expectations of Timothy Hackworth. Further trial runs were made on several railways and it demonstrated its power, reliability and speed.



The "Hackworth" S.& D.R. built in 1851 and named after Timothy Hackworth


C.N. Lord, President of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Company, June, 1892:

"We are very much pleased to know that at last we are in a position to secure such information as is desired relative to the Inventions and the part played in the development of the locomotive by Timothy Hackworth. There is no question whatever in my mind as regards... his work generally in connection with the perfection of the locomotive was of the utmost importance; therefore we are most anxious indeed to accord him his deserved place in our exhibit at the World's Columbian Exposition."


Pangborn in 1833:

"Hardly any two of Hackworth's engines have been alike. Stephenson, on the other hand, when getting hold of a good idea, repeats it over and over again. The result is Stephenson is making lots of money and Hackworth is not; but the latter is compelling locomotive designers all over the world to step right lively to keep up with him."


Daniel Kinnear Clark:

"No single individual in this country had, up till the year 1830, done so much for the improvement of the locomotive, and for its establishment as a permanent railway motor, as Mr. Timothy Hackworth"


Lord Furness, 24th July 1912:

"...I regard it as a national disgrace that the country should not in some public way have recognised his services, or done something to perpetuate his memory."


The "Hackworth", London, Brighton & South Coast Railway, built in 1897, and named after Timothy Hackworth.