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Note: This is a sub-section of Hackworth and Downing
The Magnet. No. 24, of the Stockton and Darlington Railway was a locomotive with a long and creditable service. Designed and built by Timothy Hackworth at Shildon in 1835, it was for the first few months chiefly employed as a coaching engine, and afterwards in the principal trade of the company, that of "leading" coals. In general appearance it closely approximated to the type of the six engines known as the "Wilberforce" class and built between 1831 and 1833.
In 1850, having completed fifteen years of honest work, a thorough overhaul, which in effect amounted to reconstruction, became necessary. The work was undertaken by Hackworth, the original designer, at his Soho works, Shildon, and some interest attaches to the fact, since it was actually the last locomotive work with which he was associated, as he died in June of that year and before the alterations were completed.
It says something for the general efficiency of the type of locomotive of which the Magnet was an example, that so late as the year 1850 many of the outstanding features introduced twenty years before were still considered worthy of retention. Foremost among them were the old upright inverted cylinders, wit the rods working to a jack shaft, through which power was carried to six coupled wheels known for a generation as "plug" wheels.