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The Winner/Rocket

Speed had been a large consideration for the Directors of the L&MR, and Rocket proved that this could be achieved, combined with the ability to haul a worthwhile load and operate reliably. The results of the Trials exceeded expectations. Within a few months passengers were being conveyed over L&MR at over 35 miles an hour.

However, immediately after the trials it was widely reported in the newspapers and technical journals that Novelty had not had been given more of an opportunity to prove itself.

The Liverpool Mercury explained: “The course is thus left clear for Mr Stephenson; and we congratulate him, with much sincerity, on the probability of his being about to receive the reward of £500.

“This is due to him for the perfection to which he has brought the old-fashioned locomotive engine; but the grand prize of public opinion is the one which has been gained by Messrs Braithwaite and Ericsson, for their decided improvement in the arrangement, the safety, simplicity, and the smoothness and steadiness of a locomotive engine.”

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