Grand Junction Railway

Grand Junction Railway

The Grand Junction Railway (GJR) was an early railway company in the United Kingdom, which existed between 1833 and 1846. The line built by the company was the first trunk railway to be completed in England, and arguably the world's first long-distance railway.


Authorised by Parliament in 1833 and designed by George Stephenson and Joseph Locke, it opened for business on 4 July 1837, running for 82 miles (132 km) from Birmingham through Wolverhampton (via Perry Barr and Bescot), Stafford, Crewe, and Warrington, then via the existing Warrington and Newton Railway to join the Liverpool and Manchester Railway at a triangular junction at Newton Junction. The GJR established its chief engineering works at Crewe, moving there from Edge Hill, near Liverpool.

Shortly after opening with a temporary Birmingham terminus at Vauxhall, services were routed to and from Curzon Street station, which it shared with the London and Birmingham Railway (LBR) whose platforms were adjacent, providing a link between Liverpool, Manchester and London. The route between Curzon Street station and Vauxhall primarily consisted of the Birmingham Viaduct. It consisted of 28 arches, each convert|31|ft|m|0|lk=on wide and convert|28|ft|m|0 tall and crossed the River Rea. [cite book| first=E.C. |last=Osborne |coauthors=W. Osborne |title=Osborne's guide to the Grand Junction, or Birmingham, Liverpool and Manchester Railway |pages=101-2 |year=1838]

Mail trains

It was on this railway that the sorting of mail en route was first done. Mail was first sorted in a converted horse-box, in January 1838, at the suggestion of Frederick Karstadt, a Post Office surveyor. Karstadt's son was one of two mail clerks who did the sorting. [cite book|author=Johnson, Peter|title=The British Travelling Post Office|publisher=Ian Allan|location=London|year=1985|isbn=0-711-01459-0|pages=p. 13] Later, carriages had a net attached, for catching mail bags at intermediate stations without stopping the train.


In 1840 the GJR absorbed the "Chester and Crewe Railway" shortly before it opened. Seeing itself as part of a grand railway network, it encouraged the development of the "North Union Railway" which took the tracks onward to Preston, and it also invested in the Lancaster and Carlisle Railway and the Caledonian Railway. In 1845 the GJR merged with the Liverpool and Manchester Railway, and consolidated its position by buying the North Union Railway in association with the Manchester and Leeds Railway.


The GJR was very profitable, paying dividends of at least 10% from its opening and having a final capital value of over £5.75 million when it merged with the London and Birmingham Railway and Manchester and Birmingham Railway companies to became the London and North Western Railway in 1846, and the London Midland and Scottish Railway in 1922.

The line today

Today, the lines which made up the GJR form the central section of the West Coast Main Line.

Locomotives of the GJR

:"Main article: Locomotives of the London and North Western Railway"One locomotive "Columbine" has been preserved at the Science Museum (London). This was GJR No. 49 and LNWR No. 1868 []

The GJR in popular culture

*In the 2007 adaptation of "Cranford", a (fictitious) railway line owned by the Grand Junction Railway is the subject of gossip when the railway line bypasses the village of Cranford.

ee also

* Grand Junction Railroad (Boston, Massachusetts)



Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Grand Junction Railway — Die Grand Junction Railway (GJR) war eine britische Eisenbahngesellschaft, die von 1833 bis 1846 existierte. Ihre Strecke führte von Birmingham über Wolverhampton, Stafford und Crewe in die Nähe von Warrington, wo Anschluss an die 1830 eröffnete… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Grand Trunk Railway — Siège social de la société à Londres Le Grand Trunk Railway Company of Canada est une ancienne compagnie de chemin de fer canadienne. En 1852, le gouvernement canadien annonce officiellement son intention de construire un chemin de fer reliant… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Grand Trunk Railway — Ehemaliges Hauptquartier der Bahngesellschaft in London Die Grand Trunk Railway (GTR) ist eine ehemalige Eisenbahngesellschaft in Kanada und den Vereinigten Staaten. Der Sitz der Gesellschaft befand sich in London in England, die Verwaltung… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Grand Canyon Railway — Williams–Grand Canyon Abfahrbereiter Zug im September 1996 Streckenlänge: 102,5 km Spurweite: 1435 mm (Normalspur) …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Grand Trunk Railway — Infobox SG rail railroad name=Grand Trunk Railway logo size=144 logo filename=Grand Trunk Railway System herald.jpg system map size = 250 locale=Ontario, Quebec, New England start year=1852 end year=1923 old gauge=, built to RailGauge|66 broad… …   Wikipedia

  • Grand Junction — is the name of several places:;United States *Grand Junction, Colorado *Grand Junction, Iowa *Grand Junction, Michigan *Grand Junction, Tennessee *The Grand Junction Railroad in the Boston, Massachusetts area;United Kingdom *Grand Junction… …   Wikipedia

  • Grand Junction Canal — The Grand Junction Canal is a canal in England from Braunston in Northamptonshire to the River Thames at Brentford, with a number of branches. The mainline was built between 1793 and 1805, to improve the route from the Midlands to London, by… …   Wikipedia

  • Grand Junction Road, Adelaide — Infobox Australian Road road name = Grand Junction Road route route route photo = caption = length = 21 direction = East West start = Lower North East Road, Hope Valley finish = Old Port Road, Queenstown est = through = Holden Hill, Northfield,… …   Wikipedia

  • Grand Junction Railroad and Depot Company — The Grand Junction Railroad is an 8.55 mile (13.76 km) long railroad in the Boston, Massachusetts area, connecting the railroads heading west and north from Boston. Most of it is still in use, carrying freight to the Chelsea Produce… …   Wikipedia

  • Grand Junction, Birmingham, England — This Grand Junction is a railway junction in Birmingham, England. It is situated less than one mile east of Birmingham New Street. It is the junction between the former LNWR line and the Midland Railway s lines to Bristol and Derby …   Wikipedia