London and North Western Railway


London and North Western Railway

The London and North Western Railway (LNWR, L&NWR) was a railway company of the United Kingdom which existed between 1846 and 1922. It was created by the merger of three railway companies - the Grand Junction Railway, the London and Birmingham Railway and the Manchester and Birmingham Railway, and is effectively an ancestor of today's West Coast Main Line. During the late 19th century the L&NWR was the largest joint stock company in the world.

Overview

The LNWR was known as the 'Premier Line'. Though disputed by many, it may be thought that it deserved this title because the Liverpool and Manchester Railway, the first passenger railway in the world, was one of its ancestors through its merger with the Grand Junction Railway.

As the largest joint stock company in the United Kingdom, it collected a greater revenue than any other company. It served some of Britain's largest cities: Birmingham, Leeds, Liverpool, London, Manchester, and (through co-operation with the Caledonian Railway) Edinburgh and Glasgow. It also handled the Irish Mail for the Government between Euston and Holyhead.

Minor lines

*Victoria Tunnel (Liverpool), opened 1849
* Canada Dock Branch from Edge Hill railway station on the Liverpool and Manchester Railway through northern Liverpool to Canada Dock, opened in 1866

Acquisitions

* Anglesey Central Railway, 1876
* Aylesbury Railway [http://www.hertfordshire-genealogy.co.uk/data/books/books-3/book-0323-aylesbury-railway.htm] , 1846
* Buckinghamshire Railway [http://disused-rlys.fotopic.net/c915644.html] , 1879 (leased from 1850)
* Central Wales Extension Railway, 1868
* Chester and Holyhead Railway, 1859
* Cockermouth and Workington Railway, 1866
* Cromford and High Peak Railway, 1887 (leased from 1862)
* Knighton Railway, 1868 (joint with GWR, leased from 1862)
* Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway, 1921
* Lancaster and Carlisle Railway, 1879
* Merthyr, Tredegar and Abergavenny Railway, 1861
* North London Railway, 1908 (NLR retained own Board)
* Pontypool and Blaenavon Railway, (leased from 1866)
* Shrewsbury and Hereford Railway, 1868 (joint with GWR, leased from 1862)
* Shrewsbury and Welshpool Railway, (leased from 1864)
* South Staffordshire Railway, 1867
* St Helens and Runcorn Gap Railway, 1864 (leased from 1860)
* Trent Valley Railway, 1847
* Watford and Rickmansworth Railway, 1881
* Whitehaven, Cleator and Egremont Railway, 1877
* Whitehaven Junction Railway, 1866

Locomotives

:"Main article: Locomotives of the London and North Western Railway"The LNWR's main engineering works were at Crewe (locomotives) and Wolverton (carriages and wagons). The locomotive livery is described as 'blackberry black'.

Electrification

:"Main article: LNWR electric units"From 1909-1922, the LNWR undertook a large-scale project to electrify the whole of its London inner-suburban network.

uccessors

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.

Nationalisation followed in 1948, with 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 (eg Peterborough to Northampton and Cambridge to Oxford), but others were developed as part of the Inter City network, with the main lines from London to Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool and Carlisle electrified in the 1960s and 1970s with trains now running up to 125 mph. Other lines survive as part of commuter networks around major cities such as Birmingham and Manchester.

Preservation

* Sections of the former L&NWR are preserved as the Nene Valley Railway and Northampton & Lamport Railway, the latter giving the name "Premier Line" to its quarterly journal [http://www.nlr.org.uk/premline.htm] .

ee also

*Rail transport in Great Britain
*The Nicky Line
*Croxley Rail Link

References

External links

* [http://www.lnwrs.org.uk/ London and North Western Railway Society]
* [http://www.meltonmowbray.steamrailways.com/ GNR / LNWR Joint Railway Leicestershire]


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