Stephenson's Rocket Simulation

Compete in the Rainhill Trials on Stephenson's Rocket


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History of Stephenson's Rocket

History of Stephenson's Rocket

The Rocket was the first ever powered, passenger vehicle and was produced to compete in the Rainhill Trials. This was a competition to establish if it was possible for a vehicle to travel between Liverpool and Manchester at speeds unheard of for its day. The prize was a massive £500.

The Rocket's performance dominated the competition and represented a major leap forward in locomotive design. It combined many new features that formed the standard for almost every steam locomotive that followed.

The Rainhill Trials was equivalent to man's first trip to the moon and was reported on the front page of newspapers around the world. Some 12,000 to 15,000 people turned up to watch the Rocket on each day of its trials.

See our full Stephensons Rocket simulation and compete in the Rainhill Trials



This simulation allows you to design your own locomotive and compete in the Rainhill trials or drive a simulated journey from Liverpool to Manchester.

The program inlcudes a host of information, quiz and section through frames to help you fully understand the history and technical features of this exceptional locomotive.

The CD also includes video footage from the footplate of the working replica of Rocket at the National Railway Museum in York. An impressive machine that was driven by the program's creator as part of the research to make sure the simulation was correct.



Compete in the Rainhill Trials on the Rocket or San Pareil.

Design your own engine to try and improve on Stephenson's original design. You can change cylinder sizes, boiler capacity, heating area, grate area, operating pressure and fuel load.

Drive from Liverpool to Manchester.

Gain a certificate if you manage either feat.

Audio visual presentations include:-

Review of the major development is locomotive design.

History of the Rocket.

Study of the Rocket's design.

Interactive quiz.

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