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Contemporary drawing of Cycloped
The Rainhill Trials
Brandreth was one of the directors of the railway and some people believed that that gave the Cycloped an unfair advantage. But the Cycloped was a primitive idea and because of its failure to generate enough speed to equal its competitors—Burstall's Perseverance, Braithwaite's Novelty, Hackworth's Sans Pareil and Stephenson's Rocket—the Cycloped ultimately lost the competition in the trials. Stephenson's Rocket eventually won the trials, maintaining an average speed of 13.8 mph (22.2 km/h) for a modest consumption of coal and water.
Horses had been used to pull wagons on coal and mineral tramways and plateways for some years before this. Many of these tramways and plateways were arranged so that the line ran downhill from the mine to a river or coastal port. Loaded trains would descend under the power of gravity, with horses used to haul the empty trains back uphill.
Early examples with just one or two wagons together were pulled downhill by the horse, the horse also acting as brakes. Once improved mechanical brakes were available, longer trains of wagons could be controlled during their descent. The horses were carried downhill in a special 'dandy wagon', usually attached to the end of the run of loaded wagons. These dandy wagons were simple unpowered wagons, often with no more adaption for horses than special doors to load and unload the animals.
Other horse locomotives
Horse locomotives were only used for a brief period between the development of passenger-carrying public railways and the provision of viable steam locomotives. Only one other is recorded, the Flying Dutchman of the South Carolina Canal and Railroad Company.