The Mersey Railway opened in 1886 to link Liverpool and Birkenhead by means of a tunnel under the River Mersey. 'Cecil Raikes' (1892) was one of the initial batch of eight locomotives delivered to the Mersey Railway by Beyer Peacock and Co Ltd, of Gorton, Manchester, prior to opening.
The severe gradients out of the tunnel at each end required extremely powerful steam locomotives but they proved an uncomfortable way to travel underground and as a result were not very popular. Condensers were fitted to convert the engine’s exhaust steam back into water and so prevent the tunnel being filled with steam. Unfortunately, these caused operational problems and smoke was still a problem.
To counteract the problem the Mersey Railway was the first steam railway in Britain to be converted to electric traction in May 1903. The steam locomotives were sold off and 'Cecil Raikes' was sold to Shipley Colliery in Derbyshire in 1904, where it worked for the next fifty years.
Following storage at Derby Locomotive Works for a number of years, Cecil Raikes was presented to National Museums Liverpool by the British Railways Board in 1965.
Cecil Raikes has an 0-6-4 wheel arrangement.