A Golden Opportunity
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A Golden Opportunity book
A specific purpose of Lord Stafford's initial investment in the Liverpool and Manchester Railway had been to exert a direct influence over the future development of railways in the region so that the canal interest would not be entirely neglected. Such an essentially conciliatory policy depended in large measure on the persuasive power of James Loch. His intelligent and cogent presentation of the case for delay in 1829 was an important factor in gaining a breathing space for the canals. In this Loch was aided by the very size of the surge of confidence in railways that had followed the Rainhill Trials. The rapid proliferation of projects raised doubts about their wisdom; it produced a conservative reaction. In addition, it was becoming increasingly evident that the interest of the Liverpool and Manchester was not best served by an unbridled extension of railway lines. The directors were aware that they had created a monopoly of a specialized market in transport services between the two towns. An orderly development would not only avoid duplication, but would also discourage any attempt at direct competition.