The railway was, for over a quarter of a century, more or less friendly towards boxing, though the various companies varied in their enthusiasm. The Eastern Counties and the South Western companies were the most co-operative. The Kent and Sussex lines were difficult 26 and the Great Western would take the money without being very forthcoming in helping the fight to actually take place. 27 At first, the fight parties used scheduled trains, but this soon proved too public, their destination too predictable, and the trains themselves, with their frequent stops, too slow. 2/l A changing world could also take its toll - the spectators arriving at Wolverton station, and then forced to move several miles into the next county to avoid the law, found only a handful of carriages there, and this at a spot which a few years before had seen

days of coach and sail? There were, of course, the usual doubts over whether trains could do anything for anybody, sportsman or not. After a steam coach run to Henley in 1830, one correspondent, while allowing the value of steam 'for modern machinery, or on the wide ocean', could never see it as 'desirable for land travelling',33 while another, eight years later, still had his doubts over railways, claiming that 'it must be a long time, if ever, before they become general'. 34 Already, though, there were a thousand miles of track and the number of passengers was rising annually. Already, too, the railway was making its contribution to legitimate sport, with extra trains from Vauxhall for that same year's Derby, 'to that point of the railway south of Kingston which is nearest Epsom,.35