|Lion at Steam Port museum, 1980.|
The following is the outline chronology for the locomotive Lion aka the Titfield Thunderbolt constructed from minutes of the Liverpool & Manchester Railway; minutes of the LNWR; records of the LMS; records of the Mersey Docks & Harbour Board.
2 October 1837 Lion was one of ten locomotives ordered by the Board of the Liverpool & Manchester Railway on 2 October 1837, of which six were ordered from the enigmatic firm of Todd, Kitson & Laird of Leeds. Todd, Kitson & Laird had been in existence only a month when they were won a contract for six locomotives for upwards of £10,000. Interestingly, Henry Booth the General Superintendent of the Liverpool & Manchester Railway had in August reported to the Board of Directors he would speak to various locomotive manufacturers and one can’t help but feel his hand in the formation of TKL. Especially as that partnership was dissolved soon after the last of the six engines for the Liverpool & Manchester were delivered.
She was built to two patents: those of Robert Stephenson (1834) for a six-wheeled locomotive and John Melling (1837).