London and North Western Railway
|London and North Western Railway|
LNWR No. 1881, a Webb 0-8-0 four cylinder compound – frontispiece from The Railway Magazine June 1903
|Dates of operation||1846–1922|
|Predecessor||Grand Junction Railway
London and Birmingham Railway
Manchester and Birmingham Railway
|Successor||London, Midland and Scottish Railway|
|Track gauge||4 ft 8 1⁄2 in (1,435 mm) (standard gauge)|
The London and North Western Railway (LNWR, L&NWR) was a British railway company between 1846 and 1922. It was created by the merger of three companies – the Grand Junction Railway, the London and Birmingham Railway and the Manchester and Birmingham Railway. In the late 19th century the L&NWR was the largest joint stock company in the world.
In 1923 it became a constituent of the London, Midland and Scottish (LMS) railway, and, in 1948, the London Midland Region of British Railways: the LNWR is effectively an ancestor of today's West Coast Main Line.
At its peak just before World War I, it ran a route mileage of more than 1,500 miles, and employed 111,000 people. At the core of the LNWR system was the main line network connecting London Euston with the major cities of Birmingham, Liverpool and Manchester, and (through co-operation with the Caledonian Railway) Edinburgh and Glasgow. This route is today know as the West Coast Main Line. The LNWR also ran the main connection between Britain and Ireland via the North Wales Main Line to Holyhead, and handled the Irish Mail.
The company was formed on 16 July 1846 by the amalgamation of the Grand Junction Railway, London and Birmingham Railway and the Manchester and Birmingham Railway. This move was prompted in part by the Great Western Railway's plans for a railway north from Oxford to Birmingham. The company initially had a network of approximately 350 miles (560 km), connecting London with Birmingham, Crewe, Chester, Liverpool and Manchester.
The LNWR became a constituent of the London, Midland and Scottish (LMS) railway when the railways of Great Britain were merged in the grouping of 1923. Ex-LNWR lines formed the core of the LMS's Western Division.
Nationalisation followed in 1948, with the English and Welsh lines of the LMS becoming the London Midland Region of British Railways. Some former LNWR routes were subsequently closed, notably the lines running East to West across the Midlands (e.g. Peterborough to Northampton and Cambridge to Oxford), but others were developed as part of the Inter City network, notably the main lines from London to Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool and Carlisle, collectively known in the modern era as the West Coast Main Line. These were electrified in the 1960s and 1970s, and further upgraded in the 1990s and 2000s, with trains now running at up to 125 mph. Other LNWR lines survive as part of commuter networks around major cities such as Birmingham and Manchester.
- Anglesey Central Railway, 1876
- Ashby and Nuneaton Joint Railway (partnership with the Midland Railway) 1873
- Aylesbury Railway, 1846
- Bedford and Cambridge Railway, 1865
- Birkenhead Railway, 1861 (jointly with GWR)
- Birmingham, Wolverhampton and Stour Valley Railway, 1847 (the Stour Valley Line)
- Brynmawr and Blaenavon Railway, 1869
- Brynmawr and Western Valleys Railway, 1902 (jointly with GWR)
- Buckinghamshire Railway, 1847
- Cannock Chase Railway, 1863
- Cannock Mineral Railway, 1869
- Carnarvon and Llanberis Railway, 1870
- Carnarvonshire Railway, 1870
- Central Wales Railway, 1868
- Central Wales and Carmarthen Junction Railway, 1891
- Central Wales Extension Railway, 1868
- Chester and Holyhead Railway, 1858
- Cockermouth and Workington Railway, 1866
- Conway and Llanrwst Railway, 1867
- Cromford and High Peak Railway, 1862
- Denbigh, Ruthin and Corwen Railway, 1879
- Fleetwood, Preston and West Riding Junction Railway, 1867 (jointly with Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway)
- Hampstead Junction Railway, 1867
- Harrow and Stanmore Railway, 1899
- Huddersfield and Manchester Railway and Canal, 1847
- Knighton Railway, 1863
- Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway, 1921
- Lancashire Union Railway, 1883 (jointly with Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway)
- Lancaster and Carlisle Railway, 1859
- Leeds, Dewsbury and Manchester Railway, 1847
- Ludlow and Clee Hill Railway, 1892 (jointly with GWR)
- Manchester South Junction and Altrincham Railway, 1849 (jointly with Sheffield, Ashton-under-Lyne and Manchester Railway)
- Merthyr, Tredegar and Abergavenny Railway, 1862
- Nerquis Railway, 1866
- Newport Pagnell Railway, 1875
- North and South Western Junction Railway, 1871 (jointly with the Midland Railway and the North London Railway)
- North London Railway, 1909 (NLR retained own Board)
- Oldham, Ashton-under-Lyne and Guide Bridge Railway, 1862 (jointly with the Manchester, Sheffield and Lincolnshire Railway)
- Portpatrick and Wigtownshire Railway, 1885 (jointly with Midland Railway, Caledonian Railway and Glasgow and South Western Railway)
- Preston and Wyre Railway, 1847 (jointly with Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway)
- Rugby and Leamington Railway, 1848
- St George's Harbour, 1861
- St Helens Canal and Railway, 1864
- Shrewsbury and Hereford Railway, 1862 (jointly with GWR and West Midland Railway)
- Shrewsbury and Welshpool Railway, 1864 (jointly with GWR from 1865)
- Shropshire Union Railways and Canal, 1847
- Sirhowy Railway, 1876
- South Leicestershire Railway, 1867
- South Staffordshire Railway, 1861
- Stockport, Disley and Whaley Bridge Railway, 1866
- Trent Valley Railway, 1847
- Tenbury Railway, 1866 (jointly with GWR from 1869)
- Vale of Clwyd Railway, 1867
- Vale of Towy Railway, 1884 (jointly with GWR from 1889)
- Warrington and Stockport Railway, 1859
- Watford and Rickmansworth Railway, 1881
- West London Extension Railway, 1859 (jointly with GWR, LSWR and LBSCR)
- Whitehaven, Cleator and Egremont Railway, 1877 (jointly with Furness Railway from 1878)
- Whitehaven Junction Railway, 1866
The LNWR's main engineering works were at Crewe (locomotives), Wolverton (carriages) and Earlestown (wagons). Locomotives were usually painted green at first, but in 1873 black was adopted as the standard livery. This finish has been described as "blackberry black".
Major accidents on the LNWR include:-
- 1861 – Wootton bridge collapse; 2 killed
- 1867 – Warrington rail crash; 8 killed, 33 injured
- 1868 – Abergele rail disaster; 32 killed
- 1873 – Wigan rail crash; 13 killed, 30 injured
- 1894 – Chelford rail accident; 14 killed, 48 injured
- 1912 – Ditton Junction rail crash; 15 killed
- 1915 – Weedon rail crash; 10 killed, 21 injured
From 1909–1922, the LNWR undertook a large-scale project to electrify the whole of its London inner-suburban network.
The LNWR operated a number of ships on Irish Sea crossings between Holyhead and Dublin, Howth or Kingstown. The LNWR also operated a joint service with the Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway from Fleetwood to Belfast and Derry.
Chairmen of the Board of Directors
- 1846–1852 — George Glyn, later 1st Baron Wolverton
- 1852–1853 — Major-General George Anson
- 1853–1861 — Marquess of Chandos, later 3rd Duke of Buckingham and Chandos
- 1861 — Admiral Constantine Richard Moorsom
- 1861–1891 — Richard Moon, Sir Richard from 1887
- 1891–1911 — The Lord Stalbridge
- 1911–1921 — Gilbert Claughton, Sir Gilbert Claughton from 1912
- 1921–1923 — Hon. Charles N. Lawrence, later Baron Lawrence of Kingsgate
Members of the Board of Directors
- John Pares Bickersteth
- Frederick Baynes
- John Albert Bright
- Ralph Brocklebank
- Sir Thomas Brooke, 1st Baronet
- Philip Henry Chambres
- William E. Dorrington
- Edmund Faber, 1st Baron Faber
- Alfred Fletcher
- Rupert Guinness, 2nd Earl of Iveagh
- Theodore Julius Hare
- John Hick (MP)
- The Hon. A. H. Holland-Hibbert
- Sir William Houldsworth, 1st Baronet
- J. Bruce Ismay
- Lieut-Col. Amelius Lockwood, 1st Baron Lambourne
- The Hon. William Lowther
- Brigadier-General Lewis Vivian Loyd
- Miles MacInnes
- Edward Nettlefold
- David Plunket, 1st Baron Rathmore
- Cromartie Sutherland-Leveson-Gower, 4th Duke of Sutherland
- Henry Ward
- 1846–1858 — Captain Mark Huish
- 1858–1874 — William Cawkwell
- 1874–1893 — George Findlay
- 1893–1908 — Sir Frederick Harrison (knighted in 1902)
- 1909–1914 — Frank Ree
- 1914 — Robert Turnbull
- 1914–1919 — Guy Calthrop
- 1919–1920 — Isaac Thomas Williams
- 1920–1923 — Arthur Watson
Locomotive Superintendents and Chief Mechanical Engineers
North Eastern Division:
- 1846–1857 — John Ramsbottom
NE Division became part of N Division in 1857.
Northern and Southern Divisions amalgamated from April 1862:
- 1862–1871 — John Ramsbottom
- 1871–1903 — Francis William Webb
- 1903–1909 — George Whale
- 1909–1920 — Charles Bowen Cooke
- 1920–1921 — Hewitt Pearson Montague Beames
- 1922 — George Hughes (ex-Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway)
- Sections of the former L&NWR are preserved as the Battlefield Line Railway, Nene Valley Railway and Northampton & Lamport Railway, the latter giving the name Premier Line to its quarterly journal.
- Ferneyhough, Frank (1975). The history of railways in Britain. Reading: Osprey. p. 111. ISBN 978-0-85045-060-6.
- "The Importance of Passenger Traffic". http://www.lnwrs.org.uk. Retrieved 24 February 2013.
- "Map of LNWR". http://www.lnwrs.org.uk. Retrieved 24 February 2013.
- Book 0323: The Aylesbury Railway. Hertfordshire Genealogy. Retrieved 29 December 2010.
- Banbury To Verney Junction (Lnwr). Disused-rlys.fotopic.net. Retrieved 29 December 2010.
- Bradshaw's Railway Manual, Shareholders' Guide and Official Directory for 1905. London: Henry Blacklock & Co. Ltd. pp. 201–202.
- Premier Line. Nlr.org.uk (26 January 2008). Retrieved 29 December 2010.
- Reed, M.C. (1996). The London & North Western Railway. Penryn: Atlantic Transport. ISBN 978-0-906899-66-3
- George Measom (1859), Official Illustrated Guide to the North-Western Railway, London: W.H. Smith and Son
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