There’s no need to pull on your boiler suit to take a closer look at Stephenson’s Rocket as the venerable loco gets the Sketchfab 3D treatment to mark its display in Manchester
To mark the unveiling of George Stephenson’s Rocket at the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester, the Science Museum Group is inviting armchair rail and engineering enthusiasts across the globe to examine the iconic locomotive in unprecedented detail for the very first time.
A high-resolution 3D model of Stephenson’s Rocket can now be examined from every angle, and even flipped over on its back at the click of a mouse, on the 3D modelling platform Sketchfab, on the Science Museum Group Collection website, and, thanks to a Creative Commons license, on compatible websites like Museum Crush (see below).
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George Stephenson’s Rocket is one of the most instantly recognisable steam engines in the world, and is currently on display in Manchester in a gallery occupying the Liverpool Road station it served almost two centuries ago.
Rocket famously secured its place in history after winning the 1829 Rainhill trials, reaching a top speed of 30mph. The locomotive was the only one of the five competing engines to complete the trial along a mile of track at Rainhill in Lancashire. It was manufactured earlier that year by Robert Stephenson and Company in Newcastle and brought together several efficiency and performance innovations – highlighted on the 3D model.
Its ground-breaking design became the basis for subsequent steam locomotives and landed Stephenson the lucrative contract to supply locomotives for the epoch defining Liverpool and Manchester Railway, which opened in September 1830 as the first fully steam driven railway in the world.