Steam Locomotive No. 20

Location: Ulster Transport Museum / Rail & Road Galleries / Rail Gallery

Where can you see the Guinness steam locomotive on display?

In the ‘Irish Railway Collection’ at the Ulster Transport Museum, Cultra.

Which collection is this object part of?

Rail Transport.

Why is the Guinness steam locomotive so important?

It is a very unusual design with the cylinders up high instead of down near the wheels on an ordinary steam loco.

What should you look out for when you go to see the locomotive?

  • Look out for the tiny space for the driver to stand and keep his supply of coal.
  • Also look out for the passenger carriage behind. Does it remind you of a jaunting car?

Locomotive No. 20 is one of the ‘Geoghegan’s Patent’ steam locomotives from the Guinness Brewery in Dublin. Samuel Geoghegan, the brewery’s Chief Engineer, designed a most unusual form of 0-4-0 Tank locomotive. The prototype was built by the Avonside Engine Co. of Bristol and began work in 1882. Between then and 1921 a further eighteen locomotives were built by William Spence of the Cork Street Foundry & Engineering Works in Dublin.

In these locomotives the cylinders were situated over the boiler, the drive being transmitted from the crank shaft to the wheels by vertical coupling rods. By this arrangement the motion was kept well away from the ground and dirt, a problem which had bedevilled earlier, more conventional locomotives.

Within the Dublin brewery, there was an extensive railway system with eight miles of track which was used to transport raw materials and finished produce.

The vehicle is displayed with a passenger carriage, one of 4 which were used to give guided tours of the brewery to the public. The carriage seats 8 passengers.

Locomotive No 20 was withdrawn in 1956.