Letter from Timothy Hackworth to Liverpool and Manchester Railway Board

Made:
1829-11
part of archive:
Hackworth Family Archive
maker:
Hackworth, Timothy (1786-1850), Railway Engineer

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© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

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© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Draft letter refers to the Rainhill Trials, performance of Sans Pareil. Referenced in Robert Young, Timothy Hackworth and the Locomotive (London: Locomotive Publishing Company, 1923), pp. 202-204.

Details

Extent:
1 item
Identifier:
HACK/1/1/25
Transcription:
Gentlemen –

On my recent visit to Liverpool I availed myself of the opportunity which it appeared to present of personally paying my respects to your Board – I had hoped that you would have indulged me by listening to a few observations which my duty to you and to myself demanded – as the sudden separation of the Directors on Monday last prevented my having that pleasure – you will I trust allow me to endeavour in a way much less satisfactory to myself to give you their purport –

You are doubtless aware that on a recent occasion the Locomotive Engine Sans Pareil failed in performing the task assigned to her by the Judges – it were now useless to enter into a minute detail of the causes – suffice it to say that neither in material construction nor in principle was the Engine deficient, but circumstances over which I could not have any control from my peculiar situation compelled me to put that confidence in others which I found with sorrow was but too implicitly placed – as the defects were of a nature easily to be remedied – my immediate attention was turned to that point – and I now report to you the extent to which success has attended my efforts. The whole alteration which has been made is the removal of a cylinder which failed from its defective casting –

Having reached Rainhill on Wednesday the 25 ult. the Engine was moved a short distance on your Railway – I felt peculiarly anxious to have tested my Engine over the same ground as that on which the prize trial took place – finding that impossible from the works at the adjacent Bridge – I was confined to ¾ of a mile – I beg to state that notwithstanding the Rails were very dirty and the distance was but short a speed of 30 miles per hour was attained – On the following morning at ½ past 10 o clk one of your own Agents weight in 7 cwt of Fuel – the engine was kept continually in motion (save in watering) till 6 at night, when a portion of the Fuel remained unconsumed – during this day the Engine ascended and descended the Inclined Plane repeatedly, with water, fuel and 18 passengers (at the agreed rate p hour) – Afterwards a load of 38 tons was attached to the Engine – also 15 passengers – thus laden up an ascent (there I am informed) of 4ft. 10 in rise p mile the speed maintained was 13 ½ p hour – during this day the fire was never cleaned –

By your orders Sans Pareil was moved to Bolton Way and reached there on Saturday Night – I shall not trespass on your time by a detail of the performances of the Sans Pareil there – but have the pleasure of handing you a copy of Mr. Sinclair’s report to the Directors on that Line – the chief part of which occurred during my absence at Liverpool – the like was never done.

I felt peculiarly anxious that you gentlemen or some of you should have been Witnesses of the performances of my Engine – believing that you would have been well satisfied that I have not formed an exaggerated opinion of its merits when I state that in Simplicity, Power and economy of fuel it is a Machine decidedly unequalled by any thing of the kind yet seen – I should not have the least hesitation, in having Sans Pareil placed on your line of Railway by the side of every Engine – if it did not in every way exceed anything performed on the day of trial – say as a minimum of load and speed 60 tons at 10 miles p hour. Believing all this I leave my case in your hands – I feel myself injured in some reports printed and verbal which have been circulated – of any participation in these I entirely acquit your board – Your offer to purchase the Engine I accept with thanks – but you will pardon me when I honestly add that £550 does not by any means compensate me for the Expense and labour bestowed.

I am T

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