Thomas Creevey, letter to Miss Ord
after a trip on the Liverpool and Manchester Railway

Thomas Creevey (1768 - 1838), politician.
He took the trip on Saturday, 14 November 1829, the month after the Rainhill Trials.

"To-day we have had a lark of a very high order ····· I had the satisfaction, for I can't call it pleasure, of taking a trip of five miles in it, which we did in just a quarter of an hour ····· that is, 20 miles an hour. As accuracy upon this subject was my great object, I held my watch in my hand at starting, and all the time; and as it has a second hand, I know I could not be deceived ····· But observe, during these five miles, the machine was occasionally made to put itself out or go it; and then we went at the rate of 23 miles an hour, and just with the same ease as to motion or absence of friction as the other reduced pace. But the quickest motion is to me frightful: it is really flying, and it is impossible to divest yourself of the notion of instant death to all upon the least accident happening. It gave me a headache which has not left me yet. Sefton (Earl of Sefton, an opponent of the railway) is convinced that some damnable thing must come of it; but he and I seem more struck with such apprehension than others ·····"

Creevey then went on to complain about the many sparks that spewed from the engine and burned one woman's cheek, another's silk pelisse (long fitted dress), and a third's gown. After it was over he concluded that he was glad to have made the trip, but was sure that this first was his last.