The Rainhill Trials
In October 1829 the directors of the soon to be completed Liverpool and Manchester Railway held a competition to find the most appropriate locomotive to use on their railway. The prize was £500 (say, £70,000 today).
The Rainhill Trials, as the competition came to be known, were held over a number of weeks, grandstands were erected and may sightseers came to watch the events. Ten or so manufacturers indicated that they would bring their locomotives to the Trials, and in the event five did so.
The correspondent from the weekly Mechanics Magazine, attended the Trials and sent detailed verbatim reports of the events that were printed each week by the magazine. These are reproduced below as accurately as hypertext allows. I have corrected neither the grammar nor the archaic use of language
Historical background to the Rainhill Trials.
Historical background to the Liverpool and Manchester Railway.
Historical notes on the lives of George and Robert Stevenson.
Report from the Mechanics Magazine, Saturday 10th October 1829.
Report from the Mechanics Magazine, Saturday 17th October 1829.
Report from the Mechanics Magazine, Saturday 24th October 1829.
Report from the Mechanics Magazine, Saturday 31st October 1829.
Description of the competing engines (taken from various issues of the Mechanics Magazine):