Oldest Operable Steam Locomotives...in the w o r l d...

The Fairy Queen, built in 1855 by Kitson, Thompson and Hewitson, in Leeds, England, is the oldest operable steam locomotive in the world. Perhaps surprisingly, there are several other not much younger machines still capable of steaming, around the world.

The William Mason, built in 1856 by the Mason Machine Works in Taunton, Massachusetts. It was last steamed in 2014, when it was 158 years old. There are


no plans for it to run again.

GKB 671, built in 1860 built by Lokomotivfabrik der StEG in Austria.

Furness Railway No. 20, built in 1863 by Sharp Stewart and Company in Manchester, England.

The John Bull, built in 1831 by Robert Stephenson was last steamed in 1981 for its 150th birthday. There are no plans to run it again.

LMR No. 57 Lion, built in 1838 by Todd, Kitson and Laird, was last steamed in 1989, aged 151 years. There are no plans to steam the engine again.


Honorable mentions:

The surviving Beattie well tank engines, built in 1874 and 1875 to an 1863 design.


The Eureka, built in 1875:

There are a surprising number of locomotives from the 1870s still in operable condition, feel free to add any of those, or any earlier locomotives I may have missed (I feel like there’s a either a Dutch or Belgian locomotive I am overlooking, but I cannot for the life of me remember its location or age).

Share This Story

Get our newsletter