Stephenson's 'Invicta' steam engine
A key highlight at Canterbury Heritage Museum is the real ‘Invicta’ steam locomotive, one of Britain’s railway icons.
It was designed and built in Newcastle upon Tyne by Robert Stephenson for the Canterbury to Whitstable railway, which opened on 3 May 1830. Known as the ‘Crab and Winkle line’, this was the first railway in the world to operate a dedicated steam-powered passenger service.
On the way between Canterbury and Whitstable there are hills. To haul the railway wagons up these hills there were steam-powered stationary winding engines. You can see them in a cross-section of the railway route on display.
Stephenson's original 'Invicta' railway engine. © Canterbury Museums and Galleries collection