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I think all these decided and great improvements, and in estimating the question generally it is fair to anticipate others.
It is true that improvements in the stationary system may also be expected, but not, I should say, to the same extent.
There is therefore in the locomotive system an advantage in this respect, that the outlay of capital may at the first be much less than by the other system.
Another factor against cable was the higher impact on traffic flow, compared with locomotives, resulting from a failure in any of the sections of the line of either the cable ― the most likely cause ― or the power plant: The probability of accident upon any particular part of the system is, I think, less with the stationary than with the locomotive; but in the former the effects of an accident extend to the whole line, whereas in the latter they are confined to the particular Engine and its train, unless they happen to obstruct the way and prevent others from passing.
In the latter the heat may, without inconvenience, be applied in the best possible manner, and care taken to prevent loss of heat by radiation; but lightness, compactness, and simplicity being absolutely necessary in Locomotives, we are compelled to adopt less economical methods of applying the fuel.
A further point raised by Rastrick and Walker was that even if locomotives were to be used, they would be unable to cope with the two gradients at Rainhill and Sutton, which would at any rate require cable haulage.
In his summary of the study, Henry Booth, Secretary to the Liverpool and Manchester Railway Company, had this to say: The advantages and disadvantages of each system, as far as deduced from their own immediate observation, were fully and fairly stated, and in the opinion of the engineers themselves, were pretty equally balanced. What figures could be obtained ranged between 1.6 and 3 pounds weight of coal per ton per mile.
No doubt influenced by these last three arguments and, despite their consultants overall recommendation, the Board remained undecided on what motive power to adopt, although by now the steam locomotive had gained a majority of supporters providing it could be shown to be up to the job.
Thus, the decision was taken to hold a competition.
What they saw merely demonstrated that for the volume of traffic that they anticipated horse traction was out of the question, but they remained undecided on whether to adopt locomotives or cable-haulage.
The Royal George (1827), Stockton and Darlington Railway.To provide it they engaged two eminent civil engineers, John Rastrick and James Walker.  During their tour, they gathered much information, included in which was an interesting summary of the loads that locomotives were then capable of hauling, Hackworths Royal George (above) being well ahead of the field: Rastrick and Walker submitted their findings to the Liverpool and Manchester Board in March 1829.