In the late 19th century engineers began seeking new means of traction for locomotives such as petrol and compressed air engines. Jean-Jacques Heilmann put a prototype electric locomotive into service on the Eastern Railway, with a steam engine powering two generators driving eight traction motors. It was most likely baptised La Fusée (The Rocket) after Stephenson’s eponymous locomotive, holder of the first speed record in 1829. La Fusée covered over 1,900 kilometres, particularly on the Paris–Mantes line via Argenteuil, but its performances were mediocre and it had difficulty in reaching 100 km/h. Two other machines were built using the Heilmann principle by the Western Railway, but they had no successors.