Great Western Rail Road, The Or The Pleasures Of Travelling By Steam

Anticipates the benefits of the railway; the demise of the coaching trade; and, the risks of investing in the railway.

Now of all the great wonders that ever was known
(And some wonderful things have occurred in this town),
This great Western rail road will beat them all hollow,
And whoever first thought on't was a wonderful fellow.

Why 'tis said when 'tis finished, which will be in two years, [Note 141.1]
If they can but find people to buy all the shares,
That your town will become the first place in the nation,
You won't know the old town for the great alteration.

No drunken stage coachmen to break people's necks,
overturn'd into ditches, sprawled out on your backs, [Note 141.2]
No blustering guard, that through some mistake,
fires his blunderbuss(1) off if a mouse should but squeak.

Oh! No my good friends, when the rail road is finish'd,
All coachmen and cattle² will for ever be banished,
You'll ride up to London in two hours and a quarter,
With nothing to drive you but a kettle of hot water.

You can breakfast at home on tea, toast and butter,
And need not to put yourself in a splutter,
You may travel to London ond (sic) there dine at noon,
And be home to your tea again the same afternoon.

What a beautiful sight it will be for to see,
A long string of carriages on the Rail Way,
All loaded with passengers inside and out,
and moved by what comes from a Tea Kettle's Spout!

As for Packages and Parcels and such kinds of Gear,
There'll more go in one day than now goes in a year,
For 'twill be only to load about half-a-score waggons,
Send a boiler along with them, and off they'll be jogging!

What a chance for the ocknies (sic) who are fond of fresh Fish,
They'll have Salmon and Trout alive on the dish; 
From the Sea in the morning to the Rail Road they're taken [Note 141.3]
Dressed in London at noon, what a grand undertaking! 

And look what a lot of employment 'twill make,
Why your country bricklayers may then undertake,
To send ready built Houses up to London by Steam! [Note 141.4]
And no doubt it would turn out a very good scheme.

And any old woman that has got just enough sense,
By raking and scraping, to raise eighteen pence,
If at a Service in London she has got a Daughter,
She may soon ride and see her by this boiling hot water.

As for coach horses that devour more corn in a year,
than will maintain three parts of the labouring poor, [Note 141.5]
They are all to be taken to the fellmonger(1)'s yard,
And converted if possible into pork sausages and lard!

All great coach Proprietors that have roll'd in their health,
Are to ride upon donkeys for the good of their heolth(sic),
And to keep up their spirits, are to strike up a theme,
Of the blessings of Rail Roads, and the virtue of Steam!

As for Innkeepers and Ostlers¹ and all such "Riff Raff,"
This Rail road will disperse them before it like chaff(1),
They must list for Her Majesty, the great queen of Spain, [Note 141.6]
But never come back to old England again.

So these are a few of the strange alterations,
That this wonderful Rail Road will make in the nation,
And if the Share-holders be not careful, and mind what they're after,
They may all get blown up by this boiler of Hot Water.