You are standing on the platform at Edge Hill, just outside Metal. You can hear a strange whistle from [[behind you->far away]]. You can also see the [[Junction Box->Enchanted Toys]]
You turn to the platform edge suddenly and look up the track to a huge thick cloud of dirty smoke covering the end of the platform. You could look at [[the track]] itself more closely or [[walk up towards the smoke->the smoke]] maybe it's an approaching train..Its a track but somehow it looks different to when you first walked onto the platform. It seems smaller than usual and more old-fashioned. You can [[look more closely->Double_Track]] at the track or look back toward [[the platform...->Start]]The line was built to 4 ft 8 1⁄2 in (1,435 mm) (standard gauge) and double track. Firstly, there was no convenient means of operating the line as single track as the line predated the telegraph. Secondly, the amount of traffic was expected to require double track.
A decision had to be made about how far apart the rails of the double track should be. It was decided to make the space between the separate tracks the same as the track gauge itself, so that it would be possible to operate trains with unusually wide loads up the middle during quiet times (there is no evidence of this having occurred). In later years, it was decided that the tracks were too close together, restricting the width of the trains, so the gap between tracks (track centres) was widened. The narrowness of this gap contributed to the first fatality, that of William Huskisson, and also made it dangerous to do maintenance work on one track while trains are operating on the other.(gotoURL:"http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/4/41/Twin_track_of_train_rails_in_a_wooded_area.JPG/1024px-Twin_track_of_train_rails_in_a_wooded_area.JPG")Suddenly the smoke and steam is all around you as if a pipe has burst! You cant really see anything but can hear the distant sounds of people and machinery. You can [[move toward the sound of voices->RainHillEntrance]] through the steam or [[return to the platform->far away]]<img src="http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/7/79/Rainhill_Trials_in_the_Illustrated_London_News.jpg/330px-Rainhill_Trials_in_the_Illustrated_London_News.jpg" width=400></img>
You are on some open fields with no station or any houses to be seen! You are standing next to some railway tracks: but they look like an old design yet clean and brand new. There are crowds of people everywhere in old-fashioned victorian clothes and you can see an array of machines and engines on sidings beside the track...
You can go and explore [[a train you recognise->The Rocket]], [[a bizarre contraption with a horse and some men nearby->the Cyclopod]] and an engine called the [[Perseverence]]. A little further away you can see [[a large green engine->Sans Pareil]] and beside that a crowd of people around a [[bizzare small single wheel->SteamBoyBike]]<img src="http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/3f/Stephenson%27s_Rocket_drawing.jpg" width=400></img>
This is something you know well: of course! It's the train that went on to win the Rainhill Trials; that must be where (& when!) you are, you realise: a few days before the Rocket wins the trials... And of course before the Rocket goes on to [[kill the MP William Huskisson->WilliamHuskissonDeathPoem]]...<img src="http://www.edgehillstation.co.uk/uploads/sizer-cache/4d7cf918d041d1885d3958fb277a12adfb1c93ed.jpg" width=400></img>
It's an amazing contraption and weirdly a group of men are trying to lead a horse onto what looks like a conveyor belt!<img src="http://www.edgehillstation.co.uk/uploads/sizer-cache/ceeb08888ec18fbf6d84c5be7d0b5872c6f1e229.jpg" width=400></img>
The Perseverance you remember was another of the failed entrants in the Rainhill Trials, and, like the Cycloped, never had a chance to win the prize. Designed by Timothy Burstall, its chain failed en route to Rainhill, and Burstall was forced to spend the first five days of the competition repairing it. He must have just arrived. As a result, contemporary newspaper reports barely mentioned it. It was finally able to run briefly on 14th October, the final day, but could go no faster than six miles per hour and its speed could not be varied. Today could be the day it was withdrawn from the competition: it clearly had no chance of winning. [[See more->MorePerseverence]]<img src="http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/5/5b/Sans_Pareil_Replica_05-09-17_69.jpeg/1024px-Sans_Pareil_Replica_05-09-17_69.jpeg" width=400></img>
This is familiar and seems really impressive! It's surprising it didn't win! You wonder why. [[Someone is talking to a small crowd next to the boiler->WhySansPareilLost]]<img src="http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/70/Hackworth.jpg" width = 200></img>A Man professing himself as Mr Hackworth was talking to some official looking people..."This is an amazing engine: it's just a slight leak in the boiler that we need to look at.." Meanwhile an assistant behind him looked concerned that they are going to run out of coal... Then you remember this engine just used too much coal and was not economical.
You wonder just how much coal has been dug up and burnt since this time!!(gotoURL: "http://www.edgehillstation.co.uk/resources/perseverance/#sthash.rMGaYyC5.dpuf")<audio controls autoplay>
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A young boy is explaining "My father is a genius! One day this will be the future of personal transport! Not this communal engine dragging a crowd of people behind it! And if you dont live near a track what then? Make your own way to Manchester!"You are inside a signal box but there are no levers just a weird looking screen with buttons on it. You could [[look at the control system->ControlSystem]](gotoURL:"http://live.enchantoys.co.uk")