Early on the morning of Tuesday 6 October 1829, a crowd of ten thousand spectators gathered at Rainhill, a small hamlet on the outskirts of Liverpool. They had come to witness the most remarkable event of the Industrial Age. The Trials were a fiercely competitive tournament and the prize for the winner was the lucrative contract for the Liverpool and Manchester railway. THE RAINHILL TRIALS describes the highs and lows of each contestant, whether it be the eventual winner, Stephenson's Rocket or the people's favourite, Novelty and relives the incredible tensions of the trials. Christoher McGowan also gives us the background to the development of these stunning new technologies and includes lively pen-portraits of the engineers themselves - remarkable men who built remarakble machines in a remarkable age.
Christoper McGowan is a paleontologist and a zoologist with a sound engineering background and a passionate interest in the birth of rail. During his research he has examined the remains of five of the locomotives that feature in the book. He is also well-versed in nineteenth-century literature.