The Cycloped (Horse Powered Locomotive) by Greg Nation

Image of The Cycloped (Horse Powered Locomotive) by Greg Nation

Builder: Greg Nation

About The Cycloped (Horse Powered Locomotive) by Greg Nation

In 1829, the Cycloped was one of 5 locomotives that took part in the Rainhill Trials (a competition to find a locomotive able to pull passenger trains between Liverpool and Manchester.) Unlike the other entrants, Cycloped wasn’t steam powered: instead relying on a horse walking on a treadmill to power the wheels. A system of gears allowed the vehicle to go faster than the horse was walking.

Although the idea seems to have worked, it was the first entrant to be eliminated when it was disqualified for not being steam powered. The competition was eventually won by Robert Stephenson’s Rocket and the Trials are considered a key moment in the development of the railway.

The build itself is based on illustrations from the original patent submitted by the Cycloped’s designer, Thomas Shaw Brandreth.

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