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RAILWAY HISTORY


In 1829 Rainhill was the venue for the famous locomotive trials that would decide the type of engine which would operate on the new passenger railway. This new railway would be the first intercity passenger railway not only in Britain but also in the world. The engines which took part and competed for the £500 prize were the Rocket, Novelty, Perserverance, Cycloped and the Sans Pareil. The winner was Stephenson's Rocket on the 8th October, carrying a load of 12 tons, 9 cwt and having an average speed of 16 miles per hour.

George Stephenson also built the well-known Skew Bridge which was opened in 1830 and carries the Warrington Road (A57) across the railway line near the station. This bridge was the first in the world to cross a railway line at an angle. The bridge is now a listed building.

The original station at Rainhill was called Kendrick's Cross Station after the medieval cross that now stands on the corner of Victoria Street but was originally located on the corner of View Road and Warrington Road. The present station was built in 1870 and is almost certainly the first rebuilt station in the world. The station still retains its Victorian charm and is now called Rainhill Station.

At the rear of Rainhill Library is a railway coach which houses a museum containing many items of railway history that commemorate the Rainhill Trials of 1829 and the 150th Anniversary Celebrations held in 1979/80. The Museum is open to the public.