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tives at Rainhill, the following engines were entered for the prize: –
1. Messrs. Braithwaite and Ericsson's “ Novelty."
4. Mr. Burstall's “ Perseverance." Another engine was entered by Mr. Brandreth of Liverpool — the “ Cycloped,” weighing three tons, worked by a horse in a frame; but it could not be admitted to the competition. The above were the only four exhibited, out of a considerable number of engines which had been built in different parts of the country in anticipation of this contest, but which could not be satisfactorily completed by the day fixed for the competition.
The ground on which the engines were to be tried was a level piece of railroad, about two miles in length. Each engine was to make twenty trips, or equal to a journey of seventy miles, in the course of the day; and the average rate of travelling was to be not under ten miles an hour. It was determined that, to avoid confusion, each engine should be tried separately, and on different days.
The day fixed for the competition was the first of October, but to allow the engines sufficient time to get into good working order, the directors extended it to the 6th. The judges were Mr. Nicholas Wood, Mr. Rastrick, and Mr. Kennedy. On the morning of the 6th, the ground at Rainhill presented a lively appearance, and there was as much excitement as if the St. Ledger were about to be run. Many thousand spectators looked on, amongst whom were some of the first engineers of the day. A stand was provided for the ladies; and the “ beauty and fashion ” of the neighbourhood were present, whilst the side of the road was lined with carriages of all descriptions.
It was quite characteristic of Mr. Stephenson, that, although
CHAP. XXII.] THE COMPETITION AT RAINHILL.
his engine did not stand first on the list for trial, it was the first that was ready; and it was accordingly ordered out by the judges for an experimental trip. The distance which it ran on that day was about twelve miles, performed in about fifty-three minutes.
The “ Novelty” was next called out. It was a light engine, very compact in appearance, carrying the water and fuel upon the same wheels as the engine. The weight of the whole was only three tons and one hundredweight. A peculiarity of this engine was that the air was driven or forced through the fire by means of bellows,—an adoption of Trevethick's idea. The day being now far advanced, and some dispute having arisen as to the method of assigning the proper load for the “ Novelty,” no particular experiment was made, further than that the engine traversed the line by way of exhibition, occasionally moving at the rate of twenty-four miles an hour.
The “ Sans-pareil,” constructed by Mr. Timothy Hackworth, was next exhibited; but no particular experiment was made with it on this day. This engine differed but little in its construction from the locomotive last supplied by Mr. Stephenson to the Stockton and Darlington Railway, of which Mr. Hackworth was the locomotive foreman. It had the double tube containing the fire, passing along the inside of the boiler, and returning back to the same end at which it entered. It had also the steam blast in the chimney; but as the contraction of the orifice by which the steam was thrown into the chimney for the purpose of intensifying the draught, was a favourite idea of Mr. Hackworth, he had sharpened the blast of his engine in a remarkable degree. This was the only novel feature in the “ Sans-pareil.”
The contest was postponed until the following day; but before the judges arrived on the ground, the bellows for
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I I.] THE COMPETITION AT RATES
y on the eve of success; and George Gepisele 16 Ho think that in spite of all false propbett au rent llors, his locomotive system was now safe. Muel ti ket,” having performed all the conditions of the courtest,
d at the close of its day's successful run, Mr. Cropper de of the directors favourable to the fixed-engine system Eted up his hands, and exclaimed, “ Now has George Shenson at last delivered himself !” Veither the “ Novelty " nor the “ Sans-pareil” were ready
trial until the 10th, on the morning of which day an vertisement appeared, stating that the former engine was
be tried on that day, when it would perform more work nan any engine upon the ground. The weight of the arriages attached to it was only about seven tons. The
gine passed the first post in good style; but in returning, e pipe from the forcing-pump burst and put an end to the rial. The pipe was afterwards repaired, and the engine nade several trips by itself, in which it was said to have zone at the rate of from twenty-four to twenty-eight miles an hour.
The “ Sans-pareil ” was not ready until the 13th ; and when its boiler and tender were filled with water, it was found to weigh four hundredweight beyond the weight specified in the published conditions as the limit of fourwheeled engines ; nevertheless the judges allowed it to run on the same footing as the other engines, to enable them to ascertain whether its merits entitled it to favourable consideration. It travelled at the average speed of about fourteen miles an hour, with its load attached; but at the eighth trip the cold water-pump got wrong, and the engine could proceed no further.
It was determined to award the premium to the successful engine on the following day, the 14th, on which occasion of the “ Novelty "plended for another trial; and it was conceded. But again it broke down. Then Mr. Hackworth requested the opportunity for making another trial of his “ Sans-pareil.” But the judges had now had enough of failures; and they declined, on the ground that not only was the engine above the stipulated weight, but that it was constructed on a plan which they could not recommend for adoption by the directors of the Company. One of the principal practical objections to this locomotive was the enormous quantity of coke consumed or wasted by it about 692 lbs. per hour when travelling - caused by the sharpness of the steam blast in the chimney *, which blew a large proportion of the burning coke into the air.
The “ Perseverance” of Mr. Burstall was found unable to move at more than five or six miles an hour; and it was withdrawn at an early period from the contest. The “Rocket" was thus the only engine that had performed, and more than performed, all the stipulated conditions; and it was declared to be fully entitled to the prize of 5001, which was awarded to the Messrs. Stephenson and Booth accordingly. And further to show that the engine had been working quite within its powers, Mr. Stephenson ordered it
* The importance of the contraction of the blast-pipe at the point of its opening into the chimney was greatly overrated by Mr. Hackworth. The contraction of the pipe, in many of the best locomotives, is quite unnecessary, and indeed rather disadvantageous than otherwise ; for, since the speed of the engines has been increased, the velocity of the eduction steam is quite sufficient to produce the needful rarefaction in the chimney, without any contraction whatever. In the early locomotives, when the speed of the piston was slow, the contraction was undoubtedly advantageous; but now that the boilers have been increased in size, and the heating surface thereby greatly extended, a considerably less intense blast is required. The orifices of the blast-pipes in many engines running at the present day are as large as the steam-ports; consequently they cannot be said to be contracted at all. In fact, the greater apparent efficiency of the steam blast, as at present used, is entirely owing to the greater velocity of the piston.