Dialogue between an unidentified member of the committee and Colonel John Fox Burgoyne at a hearing of the Select Committee appointed to inquire into the amount of advances made by the Commissioners of Public Works in Ireland on 1 June 1835:

1899 Are you aware that locomotive engines have gone at a speed of from 15 to 20 miles an hour on common roads? — I think I have gone at one at the rate of 20 miles an hour myself on a common road.

1900 Suppose those carriages were used upon a curb-stone and granite road, and not subject to the interruption of carts and carriages, which occur upon common roads, what speed do you suppose they might fairly be worked at? — Very nearly the speed they go on rail-roads.

1901 If it could be proved that granite or curb-stone roads could be constructed at the rate of from £2000 to £3000 a mile, would you, in the present state of the country, recommend an expense of a sum of six and seven times that amount for a railway? — I do not imagine there would be that difference of expense; the levels would be the same, and the stone-work would be the same; the only difference would be the application or not of the iron railway bars.

Locomotives on common roads? It’ll never work.

2 responses to “Locomotion

  1. A 1/2 size model or replica in part can be found of a locomotive deemed to be LOCOMOTION at the Jameson Whiskey Heritage Center in Middleton Cork. The gauge is 2ft-6in and this was used in a fil made in Romania by the Jameson Group, to recapture the historic event of 1825 when John Jameson prevented the LOCOMOTION engine from running away per the opening of the S&D Railway in Darlington, England.
    The original locomotive was an 0-4-0, the model/replica has six wheels, it was made by the centers own staff from drawings obtained on loan from the Science Museum in London, but why it has six wheels is not to hand.

  2. Thanks, Andrew. I didn’t know about that.

    Reading further on in the Select Committee report, I find evidence of a group lobbying for (a) Valentia to be made a steam-packet station for communication with the British North American colonies and (b) a group proposing to build a tramroad from Waterford to Valentia, with a report by John Macneill and a suggestion that passengers would be carried by locomotive carriages while freight would be carried by horse-drawn carts.


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