The Lion is one of the UK’s earliest railway locomotives, built at Leeds in 1838 for the Liverpool & Manchester Railway. It remained in service for only 20 years before it was transferred to Liverpool docks to act as a pumping engine. In 1928, it was presented to Liverpool Engineering Society and placed on a plinth at Lime Street station, where it remained until 1941 when it was removed and sent to Crewe for safekeeping. After the Second World War, it did not return to Liverpool but remained at Crewe making a few public appearances and was used in films. Most notable of these was ‘The Titfield Thunderbolt’ made in 1952. It remained in storage until 1967 when its owners first loaned it, and subsequently donated it, to Liverpool Museum. Amazingly, it was still capable of being steamed and in 1980 took part in 150th anniversary celebrations of the Liverpool and Manchester Railway at Rainhill, where it pulled a train under its own steam. Subsequently, however, the decision was made that due to the historic nature of the locomotive and the amount of work that would be required to keep it in steaming condition it would be withdrawn and placed on static display in the Museum of Liverpool.

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