Admission card to Richard Trevithick's London railway, 1808. Its declaration of 'Mechanical power subduing animal speed' summarises the advantages of Trevithick's 'strong' steam over natural power sources.
Image: Science Museum/SSPL

Catch Me Who Can

Richard Trevithick tried several times to interest investors in the steam railway locomotive. His last attempt was in London in 1808, when he set up a circular demonstration track, round which ran his locomotive 'Catch Me Who Can'.

The attraction proved popular as a sideshow entertainment, but the London gentry were uninterested in investing their money in it. Disappointed, Trevithick turned his attentions elsewhere and left the further promotion of the steam locomotive to others.