Proceedings of the Committee of the House of Commons on the Liverpool and Manchester Railroad Bill. Sessions, 1825.

London: Printed by Thomas Davison…1825

Small folio, pp. xi, (i), 772, and 15 lithographed plates (of which 12 hand-coloured and 11 folding), errata slip. Good modern diced calf using the original marbled boards (a little rubbed), spine gilt, new endpapers, uncut edges. Spotting on pp. 361–364 and 393–397, otherwise a very good copy.

FIRST EDITION. The Liverpool & Manchester Railway was the first passenger railway operated solely by steam locomotives. This substantial volume documents the evidence for an against the railway and is the first printed parliamentary proceedings for a railway. The committee sat for 37 days, and took evidence from such important figures as John Rastrick, Nicholas Wood, William Cubitt, and George Stephenson. The Bill, opposed largely by canal owners and landowners, failed, principally owing to Stephenson’s evidence, not on his locomotive engineering but on his uncertainty as to the line and its civil engineering works. The summing up slated Stephenson, referring to “this trash and confusion of Mr. Stephenson” (p. 727). However, a new Bill was passed the following year largely thanks to George Rennie, and the railway company appointed Stephenson as the consulting engineer. The line was opened on 15th September 1830.


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