Evolution of the railways, from steam engines to electrification and high speed trains
Click here for events relating to London Underground.
Other rail events
Rail / station locations
Urban metro systems
End of steam
Rail closures (Passenger service unless otherwise stated) – closure dates shown as Mondays (official date) may imply the last train ran on the preceding Saturday, if there was no regular Sunday service. In many cases a goods service continued beyond the date passenger services ceased.
To locate a station in the UK timeline below please note that sections of line opening/closing are given. So first search for the nearest junction or terminus station to the station you are looking for. In some cases lines opened/closed in stages, so then search by station for the next section to open/close.
Most line openings / closings are now noted here. However there will always be more to add, especially minor lines. Any that you know of that are missing, we’d be very grateful if you can email the line and date to us at email@example.com
Rail Accidents & Disasters – See Appendix 1 below
Railway tunnels - See Appendix 2 below
Rail; socio-economic effects – See Appendix 3 below
Non-GB railways – See Appendix 4 below
British railways station usage and recent changes, https://www.theguardian.com/news/datablog/2011/may/19/train-stations-listed-rail#data
Railway routes, lines/stations (re)opened, lines/stations closed, Goods facilities closures, high speed transport, tramways, preserved/heritage lines.
6/9/2015, The railway line from Edinburgh to Galashiels (closed 6/1/1969) reopened.
11/2010, The preserved line from Leek brook Junction (Leek, Staffordshire) to Ipstones station, 4 ½ miles, opened.
3/10/2009, The Manchester to Rochdale via Oldham railway closed, to make way for a new Manchester Metrolink route.
6/9/2003, The Bury to Heywood line reopened.
10/2002, Network Rail was created to replace the former Railtrack. Shareholders were offered £2.50 a share; some considered this inadequate and sued the Government in a class action. After several years of litigation the sharehoilders lost.
7/10/2001. Railtrack went into receivership.
5/2001, Railtrack posted losses of £534 million. Between January and September 2001 its share price fell from £9.25 to £2.80.
2000, The Coydon Tramlink began operations.
8/1997, The preserved line from Tunbridge Wells opened as far as Groombridge, 3 ½ miles.
31/5/1997, The railway from Woodside to Addiscombe closed; this was to release the trackbed for use by the Croydon Tramlink (opened 2000).
1996, Railtrack was privatised, the shares being floated at £3.80 each.
5/2/1996, The first privately-run trains for nearly 50 years ran on British Railways. South West Trains and Great Western won the first franchises; under the 1993 Railway Act. A third franchise, London Tilbury and Southend, was cancelled amidst allegations of ticketing fraud. British Railways had been nationalised on 1/1/1948.
1994, British Rail was broken up, whilst still remaining in public ownership, under the Railways Act 1993. 25 operating companies were formed to run the trains whilst a single organisation, Railtrack, had overall management of the track and signalling systems, bridges tunnels, level crossings, etc.
28/11/1993, Tilbury Riverside station, Essex, closed (see 16/5/1930).
2/10/1993, Elsham railway station, on the Scunthorpe-Barnetby line, closed. This meant rail travellers from Brigg, wanting a direct train to places like Scunthorpe or Doncaster, now had to go a longer way round via Barnetby.
22/1/1993. The UK government announced plans for privatising British Rail. Passenger services were to be franchised out to up to 40 different operators, who would hold the franchises for 5 years of more. There was Labour, and some Tory, opposition, and investors were wary of large losses in the rail industry.
27/4/1991, The Ramsbottom to Rawtensall railway reopened.
1/4/1991, The Keith to Dufftown railway closed.
6/3/1991, The preserved railway from Bitton to Oldland Common (Bristol) opened.
10/7/1990, The preserved narrow gauge line from Wroxham to Aylsham, Norfolk, opened.
25/7/1987, The Bury to Ramsbottom line reopened
1/5/1987, Electrification of the Kings Cross (London) line reached as far north as Peterborough.
1986, The Romford to Upminister line was electrified.
30/6/1986, Broad Street Station, London, closed to make way for the new Broadgate Development.
6/7/1985, The Tunbridge Wells to Eridge railway closed.
5/1985, Passenger services from Broad Street, London, were reduced to peak hours only.
7/10/1983, The Bricklayers Arms goods depot line closed completely. General goods traffic had ceased on 17/6/1962 but the site had operated as a parcels depot from 1969.
16/5/1983, The railway from Woodside to Sanderstead closed.
29/11/1982, March to Spalding via Murrow railway closed.
1981, British Rail introduced the Advanced Passenger Train (APT). It could cruise at 125 mph and had a top speed of 158 mph. Tilting suspension meant it could take rail curves at high speed. However the APT, in service between London and Glasgow, was plagued by technical problems and kept nreaking down. By 1982 the APT was acknowledged as a failure.
11/8/1980, The Haymarket via Benton to Tynemouth section of the Tyneside Metro opened to the public (formal opening on 7/8/1980).
1976, The Cheltenham to Stratford on Avon railway closed.
4/10/1976, The first Inter-City 125 mph train service began in Britain. Their top speed was 143 mph.
25/9/1976. British Rail’s new High Speed Train reached 125 mph.
3/5/1976, The Haltwhistle branch railway closed.
28/3/1976, The Minehead branch railway reopened as a preserved line.
5/5/1975, The Bridport (Dorset) branch railway closed.
1974, The Severn Valley Railway preserved line opened, 9 miles, from Alveley Colliery sidings, through Highley, Arley and Bewdley as far as Foley Park, near Kidderminster,
1974, Bodiam to Tenterden reopened as a preserved steam railway.
1974, Freight facilities at Enfiueld Chase station were closed.
1973, Goods facilities at East Croydon closed. The site is now a car park.
2/1973, The Kingsworthy to Alton railway closed.
1972, The Yeoford to Okehampton railway closed to passengers.
5/6/1972, The Rawtensall branch closed (from Ewood Bridge).
6/3/1972, The Keswick to Penrith railway closed.
4/10/1971, The Wareham to Swanage railway closed.
24/1/1971, The Isle of Wight preserved line, Wootton to Havenstreet reopened. On 20/7/1991 it opened to the Ryde line at Smallbrook Junction.
1970, The Hadfield to Peniston railway closed to passengers.
5/10/1970. Passenger services on the Firsby Junction to Louth to Grimsby line were withdrawn. Barnstaple to Ilfracombe closed. Willoughby to Mablethorpe closed. The Woodhall Junction to Little Steeping railway closed. Boston to Spalding closed. Bury to Rochdale via Bradley Fold closed.
24/5/1970, The Menai tubular railway bridge linking Anglesey and Wales was severely damaged by fire.
4/5/1970, The Bourne End to High Wycombe railway closed. Lowestoft to Great Yarmouth closed.
2/2/1970, The Colne to Skipton railway closed.
1969, The freight yards at Kingston station, SW London, closed.
6/10/1969, The Wymondham to Dereham railway closed.
27/6/1969, Freight services at Broad Street, London, were withdrawn.
5/5/1969, The Rugby to Nottingham (Great Central) railway closed. Kings Lynn to Hunstanton closed.
3/3/1969, The Richmond (Yorkshire) branch closed. Kilmarnock to Troon via Gatehead closed.
24/2/1969, The Uckfield to Lewes railway closed.
14/10/1968, The new Euston Station in London was opened by the Queen. Work had begun in 1963.
7/10/1968, Goods facilities at Sutton station, SW London, were closed.
23/9/1968, Goods facilitiesThe Wellington to Newport (Shropshire) line closed to goods. Newport to Stafford had closed to goods in 1966, and the entire line Wellington to Stafford had lost its passenger service in 1964.
9/9/1968, The railway from Dereham to Kings Lynn closed. March to Magdalen Road (Kings Lynn) opened.
11/8/1968, The last main line passenger steam train ran on British Railways. Called the Fifteen Guinea Special, it ran from Manchester to Carlisle.
5/8/1968, The southern railway branch from Tooting to Wimbledon was closed to goods traffic, see 3/3/1929.
3/8/1968, The last scheduled normal service steam train ran on British Railways. It ran from Preston to Liverpool.
1/7/1968. The railway from Matlock to Chinley closed.
29/6/1968, The Keighley and Worth Valley preserved railway, to Oxenhope, opened.
20/5/1968, The goods yard at Bromley North station closed.
6/5/1968, The railway from Okehampton to Bere Alston closed. The Ulceby to Brocklesby rail curve closed. Local services Grange Junction to Elgin via Dufftown closed. Freight services were withdrawn at Richmond station, SW London.
1/4/1968, Finsbury Park, London, goods depot, closed.
29/1/1968, The Alnmouth to Alnwick railway closed.
1966, The Oakham to Kettering railway closed to passengers.
1966, The Benwick goods railway (Cambridgeshire) closed.
5/12/1966, The railway from Verney Junction to Buckingham closed. Bury to Accrington closed. Rawtensall to Bacup closed.
7/11/1966, The Callington branch railway closed. Gobowen to Oswestry closed. Stopping services withdrawn Cambridge to Bury St Edmunds.
3/10/1966, The Clevedon branch line, Somerset, closed. Halwill to Bude and Halwill to Meldomn Junction closed.
1/10/1966, The railway from Taunton to Barnstaple closed to passengers. Halwill to Wadebridge via Launceston closed.
12/9/1966, The Aldeburgh branch (Suffolk) closed.
5/9/1966, Passenger services ceased between Aylesbury and Rigby (Great Central). Banbury to Woodford Halse closed.
6/6/1966, The Melton Mowbray to Nottingham railway closed. Rugby to Lufffenham via Market Harborough closed. The Seaton to Wansford, Northamptonshire, railway closed.
4/1966, The Cockermouth to Keswick railway closed.
18/4/1966, Stopping services were withdrawn between Chester and Crewe. Stopping services were withdrawn between Newbury (Berks) and Westbury. Cockermouth to Workington closed. The Royton branch (Oldham) closed. Chippenham to Trowbridge closed. Patney & Chirton to Holt via Devizes closed. Shanklin to Ventnor (IoW) closed. Freight services were withdrawn from Loughton station, NE London.
28/3/1966, The Ballachulish branch (Oban) closed.
7/3/1966, The railway from Horsham to Shoreham closed. Bath to Templecombe and Wimborne via Shepton Mallet closed. Bath to Mangotsfield closed. Evercreech to Burnham via Glastonbury closed. The Seaton branch (Devon) closed. Stopping services were withdrawn between Salisbury and Exeter.
28/2/1966, The Aberdeen to Ballater railway closed.
1965, The Lincoln to Honington railway closed.
1965, The Bala Junction to Bala railway closed.
1965, The railway from Walsall via Streetly and Sutton Coldfield to Water Orton closed to passengers.
1965, The Walsall to Wolverhampton railway closed to passengers.
1965, The Nuneaton to Moira (Ashby) raialway closed to passsengers. The rails were removed in 1970.
1965, The Mangotsfield to Bristol railway closed to passengers. Tbis was part of a withdrawal of stopping services between Bristol and Gloucester.
29/11/1965, The Lyme Regis branch line closed.
27/11/1965, The York to Beverley via Market Weighton railway closed to passengers.
1/11/1965, The Callander to Dunblane railway closed.
30/10/1965, In North Lincolnshire, all intermediate stations on the Barnetby to Lincoln line except Market Rasen closed. The stations closed to passengers were North Kelsey, Howsham, Reepham, Langworth, Snelland, Wickenby, Holton-le-Moor and Moortown. These halts remained open for goods traffic only.
18/10/1965, The Aviemore to Forres and Aviemore to Craigellachie railways closed.
4/10/1965, The railway from Barnstaple to Torrington closed. Dyce (Aberdeen) to Fraserburgh closed. The Coalburn branch closed. Freight facilities were withdrawn at Chingford, London.
28/9/1965, The railway from Callendar to Balquihidder closed. Killin Junction to Killin closed.
27/9/1965, The Earby to Barnoldswick railway closed.
18/9/1965, The Calne branch railway (Wiltshire) closed.
6/9/1965, The railway from Leven to St Andrews closed. Stopping services Ayr to Stranraer were withdrawn.
21/6/1965, The UK government announced that the Broad Street to Richmond railway service, earmarked for closure by Beeching, would be reprieved.
14/6/1965, The railway from Eridge to Hailsham closed. Christs Hospital to Guildford closed. Dumfries to Glenluce closed.
3/5/1965, The railway from Maud to Peterhead closed. Ballinluig to Aberfeldy closed. Kirkcudbright to Castle Douglas closed. Stopping services Inverness to Elgin were withdrawn. Stopping services Perth to Inverness were withdrawn. The Fraserburgh to St Combs railway closed to passengers (Goods services had been withdrawn on 7/11/1960). Freight facilities were withdrawn from Hampton Court Station (Surbiton branch).
26/4/1965, The railway from Welwyn to Dunstable via Luton closed to passengers.
16/4/1965, The Ditton Priors branch railway, Shropshire, closed.
29/3/1965, The railway from West Drayton to Staines, west London, was closed to passengers.
22/3/1965, The railway from Arthington to Otley closed. Ilkley to Skipton closed.
8/3/1965, The Bishop Auckland to Crook railway closed. Scarborough to Whitby closed. Rillington via Pickering to Grosmont (Whitby) closed.
1/3/1965, The Torrington to Halwill railway closed.
22/2/1965, The Carmarthen to Aberystwyth railway closed.
1964, The Buntingford branch line from St Margarets closed.
1964, Malton to Gilling closed.
1964, The Brightlingsea branch railway closed.
1964, The Tiverton to Tiverton Junction railway closed to passengers.
1964, The Kemble to Cirencester branch line closed.
1964, The Witham to Maldon line closed to passengers.
28/12/1964, The railway from Melton Constable to Sheringham closed.
7/12/1964, In London, the railway from Edmonton to Angel Road closed. Caernarvon to Afon Wen closed. Gaerwen to Amlwch (Anglesey) closed. Stopping services Dyce to Inverurie withdrawn.
30/11/1964, The railway from Darlington to Midedleton in Teesdale via Barnard Castle closed.
23/11/1964, The Severn Beach to Pilning railway closed. St Andrew’s Road to Filton Junction (Bristol) closed to passengers.
2/11/1964. The Fleetwood (Blackpool) branch line closed to passengers. The Gloucester Grange Court to Hereford railway closed. Berkeley Road to Sharpness closed. The Newbiggin branch (Newcastle on Tyne) closed.
19/10/1964, The Hull to Hornsea railway closed to passengers. Hull to Withernsea closed to passengers.
12/10/1964. The Worksop (Shireoaks East) to Nottingham line closed to passengers.
5/10/1964, Passenger services between Belmont and Harrow, north London, ceased, Dereham to Wells next the Sea closed. Lanark to Muirkirk closed. Freight services between Harrow and Belmont, London, closed (total line closure). Freight services on the St Albans to Hatfield branch closed (total line closure).
28/9/1964, Goods services were closed at Caterham railway station.
7/9/1964, The railway from Audley End to Bartlow closed to passengers. The railway from Stafford to Wellington closed to passengers. Carlisle to Silloth closed to passengers. Derby Friargate to Nottingham via West Hallam closed. Middleton to Middleton Junction (Oldham) closed. Leicester (London Road) to Burton on Trent closed. Stalybridge to Diggle closed. Southport to Preston closed. The Newport Pagnell branch closed. Stopping services between Shrewsbury and Wellington were withdrawn. Bristol to Portishead closed. Worcester Shrub Hill to Bromyard closed. North Walsham to Mundesley on Sea closed.
6/9/1964, Trains from Waterloo Station, London, ceased to serve destinations beyond Exeter St David’s.
8/1964, Freight facilities were withdrawn at Mill Hill station, N London.
10/8/1964. The Roxburgh to Jedburgh railway closed (goods); passenger services ceased after floods on 13/8/1948.
7/1964, The Eye, Suffolk, railway branch closed.
13/7/1964, Freight traffic ceased on the West Drayton to Vine Street (Uxbridge) line, closing it completely, see 10/9/1962.
6/7/1964. The Craigendoran to Arrochar and Tarbert railway closed. Crieff to Gleneagles closed. Tillnyaught to Banff closed to passengers (closed to goods 6/5/1968). Freight facilities at Queens Park station, NW London, were withdrawn.
15/6/1964, The Barry to Bridgend railway closed. St Boswells to Tweedmouth closed to passengers. The Thetford to Swaffham railway closed to passengers. The Crowhurst to Bexhill railway closed. The Langholm (Carlisle) branch railway closed. Johnston to Neyland closed to passengers.
4/5/1964, The Brockenhurst to West Moors railway (Bournemouth) closed. The railway from Alderbury Junction (Salisbury) to West Moors (Poole) closed. Bishop Auckland to Durham closed.
15/4/1964, The Langport to Yeovil railway closed. Sunderland to Durham closed.
6/4/1964, The railway from Dalrymple Junction to Dalmellingtion (Ayr) closed. Kilmarnock to Irvine closed. Hurlford to Darvel closed. The Lossiemouth branch (Elgin) closed to passengers (closed to goods 1966).
4/4/1964, The last goods train ran from Mill Hill East to Edgware; the tracks were lifted later that year. The Malmesbury branch line closed to passengers.
1963, The Denbigh to Corwen railway officially closed (the section south of Ruthin had already closed due to a landslip).
4/11/1963, The Havant to Hayling Island railway closed.
28/10/1963, The railway from Haywards Heath to Horsted Keynes closed.
7/10/1963, The railway from Exeter to Morebath via Tiverton closed to passengers.
14/9/1963, The Brent to Kingsbridge railway, Devon, closed.
9/9/1963, The Shrewsbury to Bewdley railway closed. Llandeilo to Carmarthen closed. Pyle to Porthcawl closed. The Abingdon branch, Oxfordshire, closed to passengers. Tiverton Junction to Hemyock closed. Wellington to Nantwich via Market Drayton closed. The Witham to Yatton via Wells railway closed.
17/6/1963, The Cheadle branch line closed to passengers. Redditch to Ashchurch via Alcester and Evesham closed to passengers. Boston to Lincoln closed to passengers, The Goxhill to Immingham Docks railway closed to passengers.
13/5/1963, The railway from Churston to Brixham, Devon, closed.
27/3/1963, Beeching published his report, recommending extensive cuts to the UK rail network. He proposed closing a quarter of the rail network, closing 2,128 stations, scrapping 8,000 rail coaches, and axing 67,700 jobs. There would be no rail service north of Inverness, and most branch lines in north and central Wales and the West Country would close.
4/2/1963. The Chacewater to Newquay railway closed.
1962, The Clee Hill railway (goods only) closed.
31/12/1962, The railway from Caersws to Talyllyn via Builth Road closed. The railway from Brecon to Hereford via Talyllyn and Eardisley closed; Brecon to Merthyr Tydfil closed. Newport to New Tredegar closed. Plymouth to Launceston via Bickleigh closed.
3/12/1962, The railway from Kingham to Chipping Norton closed.
3/11/1962, The Helston to Gwinear Road railway closed to passengers.
15/10/1962, The railway from Kingham to Cheltenham closed. Neath to Brecon closed.
10/9/1962, The passenger service between Vine Street, Uxbridge, and West Drayton, closed to passengers, see 13/7/1964. West Drayton to Staines closed to passengers. The Didcot to Newbury railway closed to passengers. The Dursley branch, Gloucestershire, closed to passengers. The Ellesmere to Wrexham railway closed. Castle Cary to Taunton closed (local services). Taunton to Chard Junction closed. Whitland to Cardigan closed.
18/8/1962, The Shirebrook to Nottingham railway closed.
30/7/1962. The former Great Western goods depot below Smithfield Market, London, closed. The railway from Bewdley to Tenbury Wells closed. Stourbridge to Wolverhampton via Himley closed.
23/7/1962, The railway from Wellington to Much Wenlock via Buildwas closed to penassgers.
2/7/1962, The Dunstable to Leighton Buzzard railway closed.
1961, Robertsbridge to Tenterden closed to goods.
30/12/1961, The Bedford to Hitchin railway closed to passengers.
4/12/1961. The Allhallows on Sea (Kent) branch closed.
11/1961, The railway from Brecon to Merthyr Tydfil via talybont on Usk closed..
13/11/1961, The Merthyr to Pontsticill railway closed.
6/11/1961. The Fenchurch Street (London) lines saw their first electric services (peak hours only). A full electric service began on 18/6/1962.
28/10/1961, The branch railway from Dunton Green to Westerham closed to passengers.
9/9/1961, The entire line from Dunbridge (Southampton) through Andover, Marlborough, Swindon and Cirencester to Andoversford closed to passengers.
14/8/1961, The Ashchurch to Upton on Severn railway closed.
31/7/1961, The Woofferton to Tenbury Wells railway closed.
3/7/1961, The Grimsby to Immingham Dock/Town railway closed.
10/6/1961, The Paddock Wood to Hawkhurst line closed to passengers.
1/6/1961, Dr Richard Beeching was appointed by the Conservative Minister for Transport, Marples, as Chairman Designate of the British Railways Board.
10/4/1961, The Bury St Edmunds to Long Melford railway closed.
1960, The Snape (goods only) branch railway closed.
1960, The Bala to Blaenau Ffestiniog railway closed.
5/12/1960, The Louth to Mablethorpe railway closed.
21/11/1960, The Chingford branch, London, was electrified.
7/11/1960, The North Rode to Leek (Staffordshire) railway closed.
10/1960, A barge hit the Severn railway bridge at Sharpness, which was deemed to be damaged beyond repair. The bridge was single track and could only take light locomotives.
8/10/1960, Sheffield closed its tram system, the last major city on the UK to have trams. Sheffield had 60 trams at this time. See 1902.
10/9/1960, Medge Hall station, near Crowle, Lincolnshire, closed. It had opened in November 1859. Nearby Mauds Bridge halt had closed back in 1866. Other nearby station closures included Keadby in October 1974, Appleby in June 1967, and Elsham in October 1993.
13/6/1960, The Uppingham (Rutland) branch closed. Newport (S Wales) to Risca closed. Local services Inverness to Wick were withdrawn. The Dornoch branch closed.
2/5/1960, The Guisborough to Loftus railway closed.
11/4/1960, The178 acre railway marshalling yard at Margam, south Wales, opened.
4/4/1960, The railway from Basford to Netherfield closed.
3/1960, The UK had 621 trams, as against 4,600 in 3/1950.
7/3/1960, The railway from Newbury to Winchester closed.
5/1/1960, The Swansea and Mumbles railway, opened in 1806, the first to carry fare-paying passengers, closed.
1959, The Huntingdon to St Ives railway closed.
2/11/1959, The Bristol to Frome via Midsomer Norton railway closed. Leverton to Torksey (Lincoln-Retford) line closed. The Holmfirth branch (Yorkshire) closed.
4/9/1959, The Melmerby to Thirsk railway closed.
13/7/1959, The Gloucester to Ledbury railway closed.
29/6/1959, The Barnsley to Penistone railway closed.
15/6/1959, The railway from Kettering via Thrapston to Huntingdon closed. Rolleston Junction to Southwell closed. Rugby to Leamington Spa closed. Wellingborough to Higham Ferrers branch closed. The Wallingford branch (Didcot) closed. The Essendine to Stamford railway closed. The railway from St Ives to Cambridge closed.
Local services between Peterborough and Grantham were withdrawn.
2/3/1959, The railway from Saxby (Melton Mowbray) through Spalding, Kings Lynn, Fakenham and South Walsham to Great Yarmouth closed. The railway from Melton Constable to Norwich via Reepham closed. The railway from Peterborough to Sutton Bridge via Wisbech closed.
2/2/1959, The Kilmacolm to Greenock Princes Pier railway closed. The Newton Abbot to Moretonhampstead railway closed.
15/12/1958. The last steam locomotive was made at Crewe. This was the 7,331st locomotive made at Crewe.
3/11/1958, The Newnham to Cinderford railway closed. The Totnes to Ashburton railway closed.
6/10/1958, The Foxfield to Coniston railway closed. Stopping services between Grantham and Doncaster were withdrawn.
15/9/1958, The Weedon to Leamington Spa railway closed. Grafton & Burbage to Marlborough railway closed. Stopping services between Doncaster and York and Darlington were withdrawn.
6/1958, The railway from Heathfield via Christow to Exeter closed to passengers.
5/5/1958, The railway between Whitby and Saltburn closed. It had been opened in 1883, construction having started in 1871.
3/6/1958, British Railways re-designated Third Class accommodation as Second Class.
2/12/1957, The Blackburn to Rose Grove via Padiham railway closed.
1/10/1957, The Trentham Gardens branch (Stoke) closed.
16/9/1957, The Waverton to Whitchurch (Shropshire) railway closed. The Bentley to Bordon railway (Hampshire) closed.
14/9/1957, The last Liverpool tram ran. It was the 6a, from the Pier Head to Bowring Park, full of civic dignitaries.
1/7/1957. Passenger services on the Watlington to Princes Risborough line were withdrawn.
30/12/1956 The last passenger train ran on the Liverpool Overhead Railway. Although the line was busy, major repairs were found to be needed to the overhead section and there was no money for this.
5/11/1956. The Rainford Junction to Ormskirk railway closed.
15/10/1956, The Hexham to Riccarton Junction railway closed.
11/6/1956, The railway from Shenfield to Chelmsford was electrified. The Crook to Tow Law railway closed.
3/6/1956. British Rail abolished third class travel, to conform with Continental practice.
7/5/1956. The Market Drayton to Silverdale railway closed. The Stoke on Trent to Leek railway closed. The
Bo’Ness branch closed.
5/3/1956, The Yelverton to Princetown railway closed.
1955, The Petersfield to Midhurst railway closed.
5/12/1955, The Forfar to Arbroath railway closed.
19/9/1955, The Rhyl to Denbigh railway closed. The Ludgershall to Tidworth railway (Wiltshire) closed. The Lincoln to Shirebrook via Tuxford railway closed. The Perth to Ladybank via Newburgh railway closed.
1/8/1955, The Hull to South Howden via South Cave railway closed.
22/7/1955, Northorpe railway station, Lincolnshire, closed to passengers. Opened in 1849, it remained open for freight until March 1964.
13/6/1955, The Monmouth to Pontypool Road railway closed. The East Grinstead to Horsted Keynes and Barcombe Mills (Lewes) railway closed.
23/5/1955, The railways from Bradford to Keighley and Halifax via Queensbury closed.
2/5/1955, The Oldham to Delph railway closed.
7/2/1955, The Fareham to Alton railway (Hampshire) closed. The Leominister to Kington railway closed.
5/2/1955, The Midhurst to Pulborough railway closed.
1954, The Cromford to Buxton via Parsley Hay, and Parsley Hay to Ashbourne, railways closed to passengers.
6/12/1954, The Moffat branch line closed.
1/11/1954. The Buxton to Uttoxeter railway closed.
20/9/1954, The Selby to Driffield via Market Weighton railway closed to passengers.
13/9/1954, The Horncastle branch railway, Lincolnshire, closed.
6/9/1954, The Holywell Town branch railway, N Wales, closed.
5/7/1954, The branch railway from Finsbury Park to Highgate to Alexandra Palace via Muswell Hill closed. The railway from Chesterfield to Cresswell & Elmton closed.
14/6/1954, The Dunford Bridge to Woodhead railway (Sheffield) closed. The Battersby to Picton railway (Stockton on Tees) closed. The Haverton Hill branch line (Stockton on Tees) closed.
1953, The Maldon to Woodham Ferrers railway closed.
1953, The Pontrilas to Dorstone railway closed.
7/12/1953, The railway from Radcliffe (Nottingham) to Market Harborough via Melton Mowbray closed. The railway from Newark to Harby & Stathern closed.
21/9/1953, The Bembridge branch line, Isle of Wight, closed. The Newport to Freshwater line, Isle of Wight, closed.
31/8/1953, The Chichester to Midhurst railway closed to passengers.
3/8/1953, The Fawkham to Gravesend railway closed to passengers.
3/12/1952, Wickham Market to Framlingham closed to passengers. Kirkby Stephen to Tebay closed to passengers.
1/12/1952, The Edlington to Bridgewater railway closed to passengers. The line from Upton on Severn to Great Malvern closed to passengers. The Abbotsbury (Dorset) branch closed to passengers.
15/9/1952. Passenger services ceased between Bromyard and Leominster. The Pencader to Newcastle Emlyn branch closed to passengers. The Merstone to Ventnor line (IoW) closed to passengers. County School to Wroxham via Aylsham closed to passengers. Morpeth to Rothbury via Scots Gap closed to passengers. The Elsenham to Thaxted branch railway closed to passengers.
10/9/1952, Passenger services between Belmont and Stanmore, north London, ceased, see 18/12/1890 and 5/10/1964.
4/8/1952, Passenger services ceased on the Brechin to Bridge of Dun railway, and on to Forfar. The Kirriemuir branch also closed to passengers.
28/7/1952, Passenger services to Ynysbwl, south Wales, ceased. Passenger services withdrawn on the Haughley to Laxfield line.
7/7/1952, Passenger services ceased between Aintree and Liverpool.
6/7/1952. London’s last tram ran. The last tram ended its journey at New Cross depot after a five-mile journey from Woolwich. The Mayor of Deptford took over the controls for the last few yards into the depot. Souvenir hunters overran the tram and soon virtually stripped it.
1/7/1952, The Mawdowy Railway (from Cemmaes Road) finally closed. Opened on 1/10/1867, its finances had been precarious from the start and it had closed and reopened several times over this period.
30/6/1952, The Bulford branch (near Salisbury) closed to passengers.
7/6/1952, The railway from Hartlepool to Ferryhill closed to passengers.
6/6/1952, The railway from Heacham to Wells on Sea closed to passengers.
19/5/1952, The Dumfries to Lockerbie line closed to passengers.
15/5/1952, The branch line from Bury to Holcombe Brook closed to passengers.
7/4/1952, Passenger services Blisworth to Stratford on Avon ceased.
15/3/1952, The Scotsgap to Reedsmouth railway, near Morpeth, closed to passengers.
31/12/1951, The railway from Much Wenlock to Craven Arms closed to passengers. The Uffington to Faringdon branch closed.
3/12/1951, The Sandling Junction to Hythe railway closed to passengers. Chesterfield to Shirebrook closed to passengers.
1/12/1951, The Bangor to Bethesda railway closed to passengers.
26/11/1951, The Llantrisant to Cowbridge railway closed to passengers.
5/11/1951, The railway between Louth and Bardney, Lincolnshire, closed.
29/10/1951, The Glastonbury to Wells railway closed to passengers. The Highbridge to Burnham on Sea railway closed to passengers. Chathill to Seahouses (Northumberland) closed to passengers. Durham to Waterhouses closed to passengers.
1/10/1951, The Hatfield to St Albans line closed to passengers. Comrie to Balquhidder closed to passengers. The Aberfoyle branch (from Lennoxtown via Gartness) closed to passengers. Montrose to Inverbervie closed to passengers. Inveramsay to Macduff closed to passengers (Turriff to Macduff closed to goods 1/10/1961). Muir of Ord to Fortrose closed to passengers. Perth to Crieff closed to passengers.
10/9/1951, The Malmesbury branch line closed to passengers. The Wilsontown branch (near Carstairs) closed to passengers. The Polton branch (near Edinburgh) closed to passengers. Reston to Duns closed to passengers. The Penicuik branch (near Edinburgh) closed to passengers. The Selkirk branch closed to passengers.
2/7/1951, Passenger services were withdrawn on the Blisworth via Towcester to Banbury (Cockley Junction) route. Passenger services ceased, Felixtowe Pier to Felixtowe Beach. Alyth Junction to Alyth closed to passengers.
18/6/1951. Passenger services between Widnes and St Helens ceased. Passenger services St Helens to Rainford ceased. The Welwyn Garden City to Hertford North line closed to passengers. The Bourne to Essendine line closed to passengers.
11/6/1951, The Port Victoria branch (Kent) closed to passengers.
4/6/1951, Passenger services between Chipping Norton and Banbury ceased. Titley to Presteign closed to passengers.
7/5/1951, The Kelvedon to Tollesbury railway closed to passengers. Edinburgh to Barnton closed to passengers.
2/4/1951, The Pateley Bridge to Harrogate railway closed to passengers.
12/2/1951, The Lampeter to Aberayron railway closed to passengers. The Newburgh to St Fort railway closed to passengers.
5/2/1951, The New Radnor to Kington railway closed to passengers. Passenger services ceased on the Shrewsbury to Minsterley branch.
3/2/1951, Passenger services ceased between Beaufort and Ebbw Vale.
1950, The Whithorn to Newton Stewart railway closed to passengers.
1950, The Kintore to Alford railway closed to passengers.
4/12/1950, The Queenborough to Leysdown railway closed to passengers.
25/9/1950, The Swansea to Brynamman East railway closed to passengers. The Knaresborough to Pilmoor railway closed to passengers.
3/7/1950, The Auchinlek to Cronberry railway closed to passengers.
5/6/1950, The railway from Pickering to Seamer closed to passengers. The railway from Malton to Driffield closed to passengers. The Ladybank to Mawcawse railway closed to passengers. The Peebles to Symington railway closed to passengers.
3/4/1950, The Bedlington to Morpeth railway closed to passengers. The Ochiltree to Holehouse railway closed to passengers.
1949, The Dorstone to Hay on Wye railway closed.
26/9/1949, The railway from Liverpool Street, London, to Shenfield, was electrified.
23/5/1949. The Stratford on Avon to Broom railway closed to passengers.
21/5/1949, The Meltham branch railway (Huddersfield) closed to passengers.
1948, The Corris railway (Machynlleth) closed (passenger service ceased from 1930).
30/10/1948, Passenger services on the East Kent Light Railway, 25 ½ miles from Shepherds Well to Wingham, ceased.
13/8/1948, After heavy rains damaged the line, passenger services ceased on the St Boswells to Duns railway.
1/1/1948. Britain’s railways were nationalised.
6/10/1947, The Holme to Ramsey North railway closed.
6/1947, Passenger services were withdrawn on the Nailsworth, Gloucestershire, branch.
16/6/1947, Passsenger services were withdrawn on the Duffield to Wirksworth branch. The Canterbury to Folkestone via Elham railway closed to passengers. The Hemel Hempstead to Harpenden railway closed.
1946, The Strathpeffer branch line closed.
19/12/1946, A limited service (exhibition days only) was restored on the line between Earls Court and Olympia.
1945, The Dolphinton to Carstairs railway closed to passengers.
1944, The Thornbury branch railway, Gloucestershire, closed to passsengers. However irregular passenger services to Leyhill military hospital (now a prison) continued for a while.
21/4/1944, Burdett Road railway station, E London, closed.
1/4/1944, The Wick to Lybster railway, 13 ¾ miles, closed in Scotland.
1/5/1943, The Moniave ranch railway (Dumfries) closed to passengers.
1939, The Wymondham to Forncett railway closed.
1939, The Etwall to Derby Friargate railway closed to passengers.
1939, The Spilsby brnch, Lincolnshire, closed to passengers.
1939, Regular passenger services finally ceased on the Bearley to Alcester railway. They were also withdrawn between 1919 and 1922.
4/12/1939, Passenger services were withdrawn on the Stafford to Uttoxeter line.
26/9/1938, The Ditton Priors branch closed to passengers.
31/8/1939, The branch railway from Denham to Uxbridge High Street (opened 1/5/1907) was closed to passengers. It closed to freight on 25/9/1939 but handled coal until 2/4/1962.
3/7/1938, The Mallard achieved a world record speed for a steam locomotive, 126 mph, southbound between Grantham and Peterborough at Stoke Bank.
29/5/1938, The railway from Motspur Park to Tolworth opened, in south west London, see 28/5/1939.
1937, The Rosebush loop railway (Fishguard line) closed.
4//7/1937, The line to Farnham was electrified.
29/5/1937, Southern railways electrification reached Portsmouth, from Waterloo.
3/1/1937, The lines from Surbiton to Fuildford and Farnham were electrified.
12/10/1936, A London to Paris through train service began.
6/7/1936, Passenger services between Quainton Road and Verney Junction, Buckinghamshire, were withdrawn.
1935, The Caldon Low branch, Staffordshire (quarry workers line) closed.
29/9/1935, The Barnstaple to Lynton narrow gauge railway closed.
1/12/1935, The Brill railway, Buckinghamshire, closed to passengers
29/9/1935, The Barnstaple to Lynton narrow gauge railway closed.
1933, Passenger services ceased on the Isle of Axholme railway (Goole to Fockerby and Haxey Junction).
1933, Passenger services ceased on the Leadburn to Dolphinton railway.
1933, The Fort Augustus branch railway closed to passengers..
1932, The Ellon to Boddam railway closed to passengers.
1932, The Basingstoke to Alton light railway closed to passengers.
31/12/1932, The Bishops Waltham branch (Hampshire) closed to passengers.
30/12/1932, The London to Brighton railway was electrified.
10/9/1932, The Lauder branch line closed to passengers.
12/9/1932. The ‘World’s fastest train’, the Cheltenham Flyer, completed the journey between Swindon and Paddington (GWR) in 65 minutes, an average speed of 71.3 mph.
5/7/1932. The first electric express train ran from London Bridge to Three Bridges, Sussex.
6/6/1932. The GWR (Great Western Railway) set a new rail speed record of 81.6 mph between Swindon and Paddington.
14/5/1932, The Allhallows on Sea (Kent) branch opened.
16/4/1932. The last electric tram ran in Luton.
31/10.1931, The Oldmeldrum branch railway closed to passengers.
14/9/1931, The Blagdon branch line, Somerset, closed to passengers.
6/7/1931, The Longparish branch (Andover) closed to passengers.
27/4/1931, The Brechin to Edzell railway closed to passengers.
25/4/1931, Rail passenger services between Kirtlebridge and Annan, Scotland, ceased.
13/4/1931, The Shakerstone via Coalville to Loughborough Derby Road railway closed to passengers.
9/2/1931, The Abermule to Kerry branch railway closed to passengers.
2/2/1931, The St Ives to Ely railway closed to passengers.
1930, The railway from Preston to Longridge closed to passengers.
1930, The Amble branch railway, Northumberland, closed to passengers.
1930, The Dyserth branch (Rhyl) closed to passengers. It remained open for quarry traffic until 1970.
1930, The Derby to Ashby de la Zouch, and Repton via Weston on Trent to Long Eaton, railways closed to passengers.
1930, The Allendale branch railway closed to passengers.
22/9/1930, Passenger services were withdrawn on the Stoke Ferry (Norfolk) branch. The Red Wharf Bay branch (Anglesey) closed. Skipton to Grassington closed to passengers. Somersham to Ramsey East closed to passengers. Bourne to Sleaford closed to passengers. The Alnwick to Coldstream railway closed to passengers.
6/7/1930, The railway from Staines to Windsor was electrified.
16/5/1930, Tilbury Riverside station was opened, east of London. In an era of ocean liner travel, before jet aircraft, there was considerable passenger maritime traffic here; during 1955, 500 liners docked at Tilbury. However as liner traffic declined the station saw less useage and was closed in 1993.
29/3/1930, The Garstang to Knott End railway closed to passengers.
12/8/1929, The Mansfield to Southwell railway closed to passengers.
8/7/1929, Passenger services were withdrawn on the Shipston on Stour railway.
7/7/1929, The railway from Wimbledon to Sutton opened as far south as South Merton, see 5/1/1930. The Yealmton (Plymouth) branch railway closed (regular passenger services).
3/3/1929, The southern branch line from Tooting to Wimbledon was closed to passengers, see 1/10/1868. It closed to goods traffic on 5/8/1968. The northern branch line, Streatham to Wimbledon via Haydons Lane, was electrified this day.
25/3/1928, The Purley to Caterham railway was electrified.
1927, The Wisbech and Upwell tramway closed to passengers (closed to freight, 1966),
16/7/1927. First train ran on the Romney, Hythe, and Dymchurch railway.
11/7/1927. The LNER (London and North Eastern Railway) inaugurated a non-stop service between London and Newcastle on Tyne. On 1/5/1928 the LNER inaugurated the longest non-stop train service in the world, from London Kings Cross to Edinburgh, 392 ½ miles. The 392 mile journey took 7 hours, 27 minutes.
1926, Passenger services ceased on the Derwent Valley railway (York).
12/4/1926, The Halesworth to Southwold narrow gauge (3-foot) line in Suffolk, 8 miles, closed. The Board of Trade speed limit on the line of 16 mph meant it could not compete with road buses.
1925, Southern railways electrification reached Dorking. The East Kent Light Railway extension from Eastry to Sandwich opened.
1925, The Camerton branch railway closed to passengers.
1925, Passenger services opened on the Wolverhampton via Himley to Stourbridge railway. Opened as a goods-only line, passenger services were short-lived and were withdrawn in 1932.
27/7/1925, The railway from Torrington to Halwell Junction, Devon, opened.
20/7/1925, The Fawley (Southampton) branch line opened.
13/7/1925. The Scunthorpe to Winteringham and Whitton railway closed to passengers.
24/4/1924. Train ferry service between Harwich and Zeebrugge was opened by King George V.
24/2/1923, The Flying Scotsman train began scheduled 4-hour services between Kings Cross, London, and Edinburgh, at a record 100 mph.
21/3/1922. Queen Mary opened the new Waterloo Station, London.
1921, Mealsgate to Aspatria closed to passengers.
15/8/1921. Government control of Britain’s railways ended.
4/3/1918, The railway from Cuffley, Hertfordshire, was extended through Hertford to rejoin the GNR main line at Langley Junction, see 4/4/1910.
1916, Camberwell and Walworth Road stations, S London, closed.
20/11/1916, Railway electrification from London Waterloo reached Claygate.
16/10/1916, The East Kent Light Railway opened, from Shepherds Well to Wingham, 25 ½ miles.
25/10/1915, The railway between London Waterloo and East Putney was electrified.
7/8/1915, The Keith to Buckie railway closed.
31/12/1914, The Canterbury to Whitstable railway closed.
1913, Passenger services began on the Derwent Valley railway (York).
1913, The Woodhall Junction to Little Steeping railway opened.
16/6/1913, The railway from Mansfield Colliery to Clipstone, Nottinghamshire, opened.
1/4/1913, The Elsenham to Thaxted railway opened.
1912, Ruislip Manor station, N W London, opened to cater for increasing residential development in the area.
1912, The Holywell branch opened to passengers.
26/8/1912. The Tickhill Light Railway opened from Bawtry to Haxey.
1911, The railway from Lampeter to Aberayron opened.
1910, Season tickets were first issued on Britain’s railways. Second class travel was abolished, leaving, oddly, first and third class.
1910, The Ashendon Junction to Aynho railway was opened. This gave the GWR a faster route from London to Birmingham avoiding Oxford.
9/5/1910, Filton Junction to St Andrews Road (Bristol) opened.
4/4/1910, The railway from Enfield, north London, to Cuffley opened. See 4/3/1918.
1/4/1910, The Trentham Gardens branch, Stoke on Trent, opened.
1909, The Epworth to Haxey Moor railway opened.
24/5/1909, The Pentraeth to Red Wharf Bay railway (Anglesey) opened.
1908, The Ditton Priors branch opened.
29/9/1908. Passenger services began on the Haughley to Laxfield line.
1/7/1908, The Holland Arms to Pentraeth railway (Anglesey) opened. The Birmingham (Tyseley) to Stratford on Avon (Bearley) railway opened.
15/7/1907, The railway from Scunthorpe to Winteringham and Whitton opened.
1906, The railway from Cheltenham to Stratford on Avon opened.
1906, The Mathry Road railway (Fishguard line, improved) opened.
1906, The joint GW/GCR line from Ealing via Greenford, Gerrards Cross, Princes Risboroug, Ashendon and on to the GCR at Grendon opened.
30/8/1906, The railway from Fishguard and Goodwick to Fishguard Harbour opened.
3/8/1906, The railway from Mundesley to Cromer, Norfolk, opened.
1/7/1906, The Castle Cary to Taunton via Langport railway opened. This enabled GWR trains to take a shorter route from London to Exeter instead of going round by Bristol.
1905, The Caldon Low branch, Staffordshire (quarry workers line) opened.
1905, The Dyserth branch (Rhyl) opened to passengers. It had been opened as a quarry railway in 1869.
11/12/1905, The Bentley to Bordon railway opened.
1904, The Heysham Dock railway, Lancashire, opened.
1904, The Llandlodwell to Llangynog (Tanat Valley) railway opened.
1/10/1904, The Kelvedon, Tiptree and Tollesbury light railway, Essex, 8 ½ miles, opened.
4/7/1904. In London, the railway between Rayners Lane and Uxbridge opened. See Appendix Three London Underground.
1/5/1904. The railway from Greenford to Ealing, west London, was opened to regular passenger services.
9/4/1904, A train ran from Plymouth to London non-stop in less than 4 ½ hours, a record speed.
1903, The Perranporth to Chacewater line, Cornwall, opened.
1903, The Fort Augustus branch railway opened.
1903, The Welshpool to Llanfaie Caereinion railway opened.
1903, The railway from Christow to Exeter opened.
11/1903, The Goole to Fockerby and Crowle railway (Isle of Axholme) opened.
24/8/1903, The Lyme Regis branch line opened.
20/8/1903, The Ballachulish branch railway opened.
13/7/1903, The railway from Great Yarmouth to Lowestoft, Norfolk, opened.
1/7/1903, The Wick to Lybster railway, 13 ¾ miles, opened in Scotland. The Wootton Bassett to Severn Tunnel railway opened. The Fraserburgh to St Combs railway opened.
1/6/1903, The Alton to Fareham railway opened. The Exmouth to Budleigh Salterton railway opened.
30/5/1903, The Blackpool (South Shore) to Kirkham direct railway opened.
3/5/1903, The first electric train ran on the Mersey railway Tunnel between Liverpool and Birkenhead.
1902, The Vale of Rheidol railway, Aberystwyth to Devils Bridge, opened.
1902, Sheffield had 48 miles of tram lines. The first tram ran in Sheffield in 1873, and was horse drawn until 7/1896. At this time the 9 ¾ mile system was taken over by Sheffield City Council, and was electrified by 1902.
1/10/1902, The Tidworth (Andover) branch opened to passengers.
10/8/1902, The East Hill Cliff Railway, Hastings, opened.
4/12/1901, The Blagdon branch line, Somerset, opened.
1/8/1901, The Isle of Sheppey Light Railway, 8 miles from Queenborough to Leysdown, opened.
2/7/1901. The Lauder branch line opened.
4/6/1901, The railway from Tadworth to Tattenham Corner opened.
1/6/1901, The Basingstoke to Alton light railway opened.
1/4/1901, The Mallaig to Fort William railway opened.
1900, The St Lawrence to Ventnor railway (Isle of Wight) opened.
29/7/1900, The railway from Patney & Chirton to Westbury opened.
1/7/1900, The railway from Kingswood to Tadworth opened.
22/6/1901, The Corringham Light Railway, Essex, opened to passengers.
1/6/1900, The Banbury to Morton Pinkney link railway opened.
15/4/1900, The railway from Robertsbridge to Tenterden opened.
1899, The Parsley Hay to Ashbourne railway opened to passengers.
1899, Hither Green freight depot, SE London, opened.
1/8/1899, The Rosebush to Fishguard & Goodwick railway opened.
27/3/1899, The Wadebridge to Padstow railway opened.
15/3/1899, The Great Central London Main Line Railway opened, running south from Annesley (Nottingham) to Marylebone. Marylebone Railway Station, London, was opened by the President of the Board of Trade. This was the last main line railway, the Great Central Railway(GCR), to be built into London until the HS1 Channel Tunnel link opened. The GCR had originally been the Manchester Sheffield and Lincolnshire Railway, but changed its name in 1897 represeent its new London Line. The GCR suffered from its London route passing through the sparsely populated areas of Buckinghamshire, unlike other routes which served large towns such as Luton and Peterborough. Meanwhile the Metropolitan Railway competed with the GCR for commuter traffic from Amersham and Harrow. The GCR route was seen as largely duplicating the more successful Midlands Railway line into St Pancras.
The 37-acre site for Marylebone Station had to be cleared of many houses and small businesses. 507 houses occupied by 3,073 people of the ‘labouring classes’ were demolished and the inhabitants moved to new accommodation, the six storey blocks of Wharncliffe Gardens off St Johns Wood Road. Marylebone was intended to have 8 platforms but initially only 4 were built due to lack of finances by the GCR.
1898, The Plymouth to Yealmpton branch, Cornwall, opened.
1898, The railway from Aviemore via Tomatin to Inverness opened.
1898, The Benwick goods railway (Cambridgeshire) opened.
1898, The railway from Neasden to Ruislip via Harrow opened.
18/12/1898, The railway from Chathill to Seahouses opened.
10/8/1898, The railway from Holsworthy to Bude opened.
7/1898, The North Walsham to Mundesley railway opened.
16/5/1898, The narrow gauge railway from Barnstaple to Lynton, 19 miles long, opened.
1897, The Tattenham Corner branch railway, S London, opened.
1897, The Merstone to St Lawrence railway (Isle of Wight) opened.
1897, The Ellon to Boddam railway (Aberdeen) opened).
1897, The single-track Purley to Caterham railway was double-tracked.
1/12/1897, The Weston Super Mare, Clevedon, and Portishead Light Railway, 8 ½ miles, opened.
2/11/1897, The railway from Strome Ferry to Kyle of Lochalsh opened.
1/11/1897, The railway from Purley to Kingswood was opened.
1/9/1897. Boston’s underground railway began operating.
8/1897, The Manchester Sheffield and Lincolnshire Railway changed its name to the Great Central Railway.
21/12/1896, The Liverpool Overhead Railway was extended to Dingle. The Dingle area had become urbanised in the 1890s and was a valuable revenue source for the line.
1/8/1896, Aberystwyth Cliff Railway, Wales, opened.
8/6/1896, The Brechin to Edzell railway opened.
1/6/1896, The Newmilns to Darvel railway opened.
1895, The railway from Pencader ro Newcastle Emlyn opened.
1895, The Wrexham to Ellesmere railway opened.
21/10/1895, The Stanhope to Wearhead railway opened.
20/8/1985, Snaefell Mountain Railway, Isle of Man, opened.
1/8/1895. The railway from Daventry to Marton Junction (Leamington Spa) opened.
1/6/1895, The railway from Delabole to Wadebridge opened. Hither Green station, SE London, opened.
1894, The Uppingham (Rutland) branch opened.
1894, The railway from Cromford to Buxton opened to passengers. An earlier service from Cromford to Whaley Bridge along this route had opened for goods in 1833, and a passenger service ran from 1856, but closed to passengers in 1877.
1894, The Bourne to Saxby railway, Lincolnshire, opened.
1894, The Dore (Sheffield) to Manchester via Hope and New Mills railway opened.
1894, The railway from Helensburgh to Fort William opened,
1894, The railway from South Tottenham through Leytonstone to Barking, E London, opened.
1/12/1894, The Fortrose branch railway opened.
19/12/1893, The Brent to Kingsbridge railway, Devon, opened.
18/10/1893, The railway from Camelford to Delabole opened.
4/9/1893, The railway from Goudhurst (Hope Mill) to Hawkhurst opened.
10/8/1893, The railway from Tresmeer to Camelford opened.
7/6/1893, The railway from Upminster to Romford opened.
11/3/1893, The Avon Gorge funicular railway, Bristol, opened. It operated for 40 years before closure.
1892, The Mold to Brymbo railway opened to passengers. It carried goods from 1870.
1/10/1892, The railway from Paddock Wood to Goudhurst (Hope Mill) opened.
1/9/1892, The railway from Chalfont and Latimer to Aylesbury was opened, see 8/7/1889.
28/7/1892, The railway from Launceston to Tresmeer opened.
7/7/1892, Bridgnorth Cliff Railway, Shropshire, opened.
1/7/1892, The railway from Nunhead through Bellingham, SE London, opened. The Upminiater to Grays railway opened.
20/5/1892, The last broad gauge train left Paddington at 5.00 pm for Plymouth. The engine returned to Paddington with the last up train early the next morning.
1/10/1891, The railway from Edmonton to Cheshunt via Turkey Street (Forty Hill) opened.
28/8/1891, The West Hill Cliff Railway, Hastings, opened.
27/7/1891, The Easingwold railway opened.
18/12/1890, Passenger services began on the Harrow to Stanmore branch railway, north London. See 15/9/1952.
21/7/1890, The railway from Bridgewater to Edington opened.
2/6/1890, The railway from St Budeaux (Plymouth) to Bere Alston opened.
19/5/1890, The Woodstock branch railway, Oxfordshire, opened.
21/4/1890, The railway from Driffield to Market Weighton, Yorkshire, opened.
19/4/1890, The Lynton and Lynmouth Cliff Railway opened.
1889, The Maldon to Woodham Ferrers railway opened.
1889, The Dorstone to Hay on Wye railway opened.
2/12/1889, The Malmesbury branch railway opened.
1/10/1889, In Essex, the railway from Wickford to Southend opened, see 1/1/1889.
16/9/1889, The Somersham to Ramsey East railway opened.
2/9/1889, The Netley to Fareham railway opened.
20/7/1889, The Freshwater, Yarmouth, and Newport Railway, Isle of Wight, 12 miles, opened to passengers.
1/7/1889, Steam services began on the Shipston on Stour railway. The Wickford to Southminster railway opened to passengers. The Barham to Canterbury railway opened.
1888, The direct line to Bournemouth via Sway opened from Brockenhurst.
1888, The direct railway from Barking via Upminster to Leigh in Sea opened.
1888, The Bury to Holcombe Brook railway, 3 ¾ miles, opened.
1/10/1888, The railway from St Johns, SE London, through Blackheath Hill to Greenwich, opened.
1887, The Holt to Cromer Beach railway opened.
5/9/1887, The Alnwick to Coldstream railway opened to passengers.
13/6/1887, The new Forth Railway bridge opened.
27/5/1887, The Bodmin Road to Bodmin railway opened.
9/5/1887, The Helston branch line, Cornwall, opened.
1886, Blackfriars Station, London (known as St Pauls until 1937) opened.
1886, The Fawkham to Gravesend railway opened.
1886, The railway from Killin Junction to Killin and Loch tay opened.
1/9/1886, The railway from Crymmych Arms to Cardigan opened.
21/7/1886, The railway from Hallwell to Launceston, Cornwall, 14 miles, opened.
1/5/1886, The Tochieneal to Portknockie railway opened.
1885, The railway from Stratford on Avon to Broom opened to passengers.
1885, The Starhpeffer branch line opened.
1885, The Blackpool electric seafront tramway opened.
1885, The Longparish branch (andover) opened.
9/11/1885, The Abbotsbury branch line opened.
2/11/1885, The railway from Staines to Colnbrook, west London, was opened, see 9/8/1884.
2/10/1885, The Horsham to Guildford railway opened.
10/8/1885, The Selsdon to Woodside railway, south London, opened.
27/7/1885, The railway from Gloucester to Dymock opened.
1/6/1885, The Ardrossan to Largs railway opened.
20/5/1885, The Swanage branch railway opened.
1884, The railway from Southend to Shoeburyness opened.
1884, The railway from Sutton Coldfield to Lichfield opened.
1884, The Berkswell to Kenilworth railway opened.
1/10/1884, The railway from Melton Constable to Holt opened.
9/8/1884, The railway from West Drayton to Colnbrook, west London, was opened, see 2/11/1885.
1/8/1884. The Morebath Junction to Tiverton railway opened. Keith to Buckie opened.
7/1884, The Bangor to Bethesda railway opened.
16/7/1884, The railway from Scarborough to Whitby, 20 ½ miles, opened.
1/7/1884, The Maidstone to Ashford railway, Kent, opened to passengers.
1883, The Hull to Barnsley via North Cave railway opened.
1883, The Twickenham to Hounslow railway opened.
1883, The Horsted Keynes to Haywards Heath railway opened.
3/12/1883, The Whitby to Loftus railway opened.
1/9/1883, The railway from Monmouth to Coleford opened.
8/1883, The Wisbech and Upwell tramway opened.
11/8/1883, The railway from Plymouth to Princeton, Devon, opened.
3/8/1883, The first section of Volk’s electric tramway, Brighton, opened.
9/5/1883, The Swindon to Highworth railway opened.
16/4/1883, The Shakerstone via Coalville to Loughborough Derby Road railway opened.
5/4/1883, The Melton Constable to North Walsham railway opened.
2/4/1883, The Moffat branch railway opened.
1882, The Whitby to Seamer railway opened.
1882, The railway from Norwich to Great Yarmouth via Acle opened.
1882, The railway from Melton Constable to Norwich opened.
1882, The Camerton branch railway opened.
1882, The Bembridge branch line, Isle of Wight, opened.
1/11/1882, The Bala Junction to Blaenau Ffestiniog railway opened.
9/10/1882, The railway from Heathfield to Christow (Exeter) opened.
8/1882, The Lewes to East Grinstead railway opened.
1/8/1882, The railway from Spalding via Sleaford to Lincoln opened. The Stoke Ferry branch, Norfolk, opened. The Aberfoyle branch opened.
4/7/1882, The railway from Thorpe le Soken to Clacton on Sea opened.
29/5/1882, The branch railway from Elmers End to Hayes opened.
1/5/1882, The railway from Grafton to Andover opened.
12/4/1882, The Didcot to Newbury railway opened.
1881, The railway from Chipping Norton to Kings Sutton opened. The railway from Bourton on the Water to Cheltenham opened.
1881, The Northampton loop line was opened. Previously the London to Birmingham line had by-passed Northampton because descending into and out of Northampton in the Nene Valley would have necessitated gradients beyond what 1840s locomotives could have coped with.
1881, The Wymondham to Forncett railway opened.
7/12/1881, The Appledore to Dungeness railway opened.
1/9/1881, The Pontrilas to Dorstone railway opened.
11/7/1881, The Chichester to Midhurst railway opened.
7/7/1881, The branch railway from Dunton Green to Westerham opened.
26/6/1881, The Swindon to Marlborough railway, Wiltshire, opened.
1880, The Wood Green to Enfield railway opened.
1880, The Great Eastern Railway Hotel at Liverpool Street, London, opened.
1880, The railway from Wroxham to County School, Norfolk, opened.
1880, The Hailsham to Eridge railway opened.
1879, The railway from Newark to Harby & Stathern opened.
1879, The Oakham to Kettering railway opened.
1879, The railway from Walsall via Streetly and Sutton Coldfield to Water Orton opened.
1879, The Stourbridge Town branch railway opened.
1879, The Severn Bridge railway opened, linking Sharpness with Lydney.
1879, The railway from Radcliffe (Nottingham) to Market Harborough via Melton Mowbray opened.
1/11/1879, The Seaton to Wansford, Northamptonshire, railway opened.
1878, The railway from Greenwich, S E London, was extended via Woolwich to Dartford.
1878, The railway from Leyburn to Hawes opened.
1878, The Etwall to Derby Friargate railway opened.
10/1878, The Garsdale to Hawes branch line opened.
7/10/1878, In London, the railway was extended from Green Lanes (later, Noel Park) to Palace Gates, see 1/1/1878.
9/1878, The Chingford branch line,London, was made double track, from single.
11/5/1878, The railway from Sutton to St Ives opened.
31/3/1878, Woodside railway station, Birkenhead, opened.
18/3/1878, The railway from Ascot to Ash Vale opened.
1/2/1878, The extension line eastwards from Maze Hill, SE London to Charlton (junction with line to Woolwich) opened.
1877, The North Walsham to Cromer railway opened. North Walsham to Great Yarmouth via Hemsby opened.
1877, The Great Western Railway ceased to build broad guage branch lines.
1877, The cramped station at York was rebuilt.
17/12/1877, The Malmesbury branch railway opened.
10/1877, The Mablethorpe Loop Railway (Louth-Mablethorpe-Willoughby) opened.
22/10/1877, The Worcester to Leominster railway opened.
16/7/1877, The Hemel Hempstead to Harpenden railway opened.
1876, The Bearley to Alcester railway opened.
1876, The Ravenglass and Eskdale railway opened to passengers. A passenger service has operated with breaks since then.
1876, The Clynderwen to Rosebush railway (Pembroke) opened.
1/11/1876, The railway from Chepstow to Monmouth opened.
1/10/1876, The Girvan to Challoch Junction railway opened.
1/8/1876. The Sharpness branch line opened.
29/5/1876, The Hemyock branch line, Devon, opened.
1/5/1876, The Settle to Carlisle line, 73 miles, opened to passengers. The Cross Gates (Leeds) to Wetherby railway opened.
1875, The Boroughbridge to Knaresborough railway opened.
1875, The Newport to Ryde (Isle of Wight) railway opened. The Sandown via Merstone to Newport (isle of Wight) railway opened.
1874, The Newquay to Chacewater line, Cornwall, opened.
1874, The St Columb Road to Fowey line, Cornwall, opened.
1874, The Melbourne to Ashby de la Zouch railway opened.
1874, The Norwich to North Walsham railway opened.
1874, The Okehampton to Lydford railway opened.
9/11/1874, The railway from Bardney to Willingham, Lincolnshire, opened.
10/1874, The railway from Llanfrynach to Crymmych Arms opened.
29/7/1874, The light railway from Barnstaple to Ilfracombe 14.75 miles, opened.
28/7/1874, The railway from Helmsdale to Wick (60 miles), and from Georgemas to Thurso (6 3/4miles), opened in northern Scotland.
20/7/1874, The Evercreech to Bath railway opened. The railway from Helmsdale to Wick and Thurso opened.
16/7/1874, The Minehead branch railway opened.
6/7/1874, The Sidmouth branch line opened (Sidmouth Junction via Tipton to Sidmouth).
15/6/1874, The Bournemouth to Poole railway opened.
1/6/1874, Pullman carriages were introduced in Britain, by the Midland Railway, running between London and Bradford. The Otford to Maidstone East railway opened.
1/3/1874, Holborn Viaduct railway station opened.
1873, The railway from Killin Junction to Tyndrum opened.
1873, The railway from Ross on Wye to Monmouth opened.
1873, The railway from Nuneaton to Moira via Shakerstone opened.
17/11/1873, In London, the railway from Wood Street to Chingford was opened, also from Hackney Downs to St James Walthamstow see 26/4/1870.
1/11/1873, The railway from Wiveliscombe to Barnstaple opened.
3/9/1873, The Bristol to Radstock via Pensford railway opened.
28/7/1873 Skegness railway station opened; the line was extended from Firsby.
1/7/1873, The Stratford on Avon to Kineton railway opened. The Fenny Compton to Towcester railway opened.
27/6/1873, The railway from Bourne End to Marlow opened.
26/6/1873, The Barrhead to Kilmarnock railway opened.
24/5/1873, The branch railway from Highgate to Alexandra Palace via Muswell Hill opened.
2/4/1873, British trains were fitted with toilets, but only in sleeping cars.
24/3/1873, The railway from Whitland to Llanfrynach opened.
14/1/1873, The railway from Witney to Fairford opened.
1872, Iron rails were rapidly being replaced by steel ones, which lasted 30x longer. In 1872 the North Eastern Railway only used iron rails at points and crossings, and by 1877 had ceased to order any iron rails at all.
1872, Muswell Hill station, north London, opened.
1872, The Bourne to Sleaford railway opened.
1872, The line from Finsbury Park southwards to Canonbury Junction opened.
1872, The Callington branch railway (Plymouth) fully opened.
1872, The Poole to Bournemouth railway opened.
1872, The Thornbury branch railway, Gloucestershire, opened.
1872, The Whitchurch to Tattenhall railway opened.
15/8/1872, The Watlington to Princes Risborough railway opened.
22/7/1872, In London, the railway from Stoke Newington to Edmonton was opened, see 27/5/1872.
18/7/1872. The railway from Bideford to Torrington (Devon) opened.
10/6/1872, The Bedford to Northampton via Olney railway opened.
1/6/1872, The railway from Blisworth to Cockley Brake Junction (nr Farthinghoe) opened.
27/5/1872, In London, the railway from Bethnal Green to Stoke Newington was opened, see 22/7/1872
1/5/1872, The Totnes to Ashburton railway opened.
3/1872, The Brill to Quainton Road tramway opened.
1871, The Pickering to Gilling via Helmsley railway opened.
1871, The Mansfield to Southwell railway, Nottinghamshire, opened.
1871, The Van Railway (Caerswys to Garth and Van Road) opened to goods traffic. It closed in 1940. Passengers were carried between 1873 and 1879.
1871, The Yeoford to Okehampton railway opened.
14/12/1871, Henry Hudson, British railway developer, died. He was a speculative capitalist based in York, and financed the East Coast Line and the North Midland Railway. He was eventually disgraced for financial fiddling.
1/11/1871, The railway from Huyton to St Helens opened.
18/9/1871, The railway from Nunhead through Brockley to Lewisham opened.
1870, Childs Hill and Cricklewood station opened on the St Pancras railway (opened 1/10/1868). It was renamed Cricklewood Station in 1903.
1870, The Caernarvon to Afon Wen railway opened.
1870, The railway from Yatton to Wells opened.
1870, The railway from Callander to Killin Junction opened.
5/12/1870, The Garstang to Knott End railway opened.
11/1870, The Scotsgap to Rothbury railway opened.
10/8/1870, The railway from Dingwall to Strome Ferry opened.
1/7/1870, The Winsford & Over branch line, from Cuddington, opened to passengers.
22/6/1870, The railway from Mouldsworth to Helsby opened to passengers.
2/5/1870, The direct connection railway, Farnham to Woking, opened.
1869, The Burngullow, Drinnick Mill, branches, Cornwall, opened.
1869, The Caernarvon to Llanberis railway opened.
1869, The Mangotsfield to Bath railway opened.
1869, The Thorne to Staddlethorpe railway opened.
1/12/1869, The St Helens to Wigan railway opened.
10/1869, The Thetford to Swaffham railway opened.
12/9/1869, The Mold to Denbigh railway, north Wales, opened.
5/7/1869, The Meltham branch railway, Huddersfield, opened.
6/1869, The Windermere branch line opened.
3/5/1869, The Great Western opened a goods station below Smithfield Market, connected to Paddington via the Metropolitan Line.
1/5/1869, The railway between Lostwithiel and Fowey, Cornwall opened.
22/2/1869, The railway from Bishops Stortford to Braintree opened.
1/1/1869, (1) A railway was opened from Kingston on Thames to New Malden, giving a more direct route to London, see 1/7/1863.
(2) A short line connecting Herne Hill with Tulse Hill, S London, opened.
1868, The railway from Redditch to Ashchurch via Alcester and Evesham opened.
1868, The railway from Llanrwst to Bettws Y Coed opened.
1868, The railway from Sandbach to Northwich opened.
1868, The railway from Talybont on Usk to Merthyr Tydfil opened.
1868, The railway from Llandovery through Builth Road to Craven Arms fully opened.
1868, The Derby to Melbourne, and Repton via Weston on Trent to Long Eaton, railways opened.
1868, The railway from Langley on Tyne to Allendale opened.
1868, The Uckfield to Tunbridge Wells railway opened.
1/10/1868, (1) In London, St Pancras Station, terminus of the Midland Railway, was formally opened. The platform level had to be 20 feet above street level to accommodate the rail crossing of the Regents Canal; the cellars below the platforms were designed for beer storage by the brewers of Burton on Trent. The line from Bedford via Luton and St Albans to St Pancras opened.
(2) The branch lines from Streatham to Wimbledon, forking north and south at Tooting, were opened. See 3/3/1929. The route from London via Balham and Mitcham (Junction) to Sutton opened.
(3) The railway from Peckham Rye through Tulse Hill, S London, opened. The railway from Gunness through Scunthorpe to Barnetby opened.
23/9/1868, The railway between Aylesbury and Verney Junction opened. Verney Junction was so isolated it was named after the locals landowner, Sir Harry Verney. Sir Verney was a keen proponent of rail travel and a significant investor in the Aylesbury and Buckingham Railway.
4/8/1868, The Bala to Dolgellau railway opened.
1/8/1868, The Llandrillo to Bala Junction railway opened.
1867, The Nailsworth branch line opened.
1867, The Aberystwth to Strata Florida railway opened.
1867, The Wellington to Craven Arms railway opened.
1867, The Newport Pagness branch opened.
1867, The Eye, Suffolk, branch opened.
1867, The Baarmouth via Porthmadog to Pwllheli opened.
1867, The railway from Hexham to Langley on Tyne opened.
1867, The Carstairs to Dolphinton railway opened.
1867, The Wellington to Market Drayton railway opened.
1867, The Lincoln to Honington railway opened.
12/1867, The Stafford to Uttoxeter line opened.
10/10/1867, The railway from Barmouth and Dollgellau to Machynlleth opened.
1/10/1867, The Duffield to Wirksworth branch opened. The Mawdowy railway, from Cemmaes Road, opened (see 1/7/1952).
22/8/1867, The railway from Finsbury Park, London, to Edgware, 8 ¾ miles, was opened.
16/7/1867, The Havent to Hayling Island railway opened.
15/7/1867, The railway from Gainsborough to Doncaster via Haxey opened.
1/7/1867, The Lennoxtown to Killearn railway opened.
6/6/1867, The Carnforth to Wennington railway opened.
3/6/1867, The Gaerwen to Amlwch (Anglesey) railway opened.
17/5/1867, The railway from Kirby Cross to Walton on the Naze opened.
1/5/1867. The railway from Dorking to Horsham opened.
18/4/1867, The Portishead branch line opened.
13/4/1867, The Oxenhope branch line opened.
1/4/1867, March to Spalding via Murrow opened.
1866, The railway from Blackfirars south through Elephant and Castle opened.
1866, The railway from Pencader to Strata Florida via Lampeter opened.
1866, The Wells to Heacham railway, Norfolk, opened.
1866, The Tenby to Whitland railway opened.
1866, The Aboyne to Ballater railway opened.
1866, The Spalding to Bourne railway opened.
1866, The railway from Saffron Walden to Bartlow opened.
20/12/1866, The railway from Alderbury Junction (Salisbury) to West Moors (Poole) opened.
15/10/1866, The Petworth to Midhurst railway opened.
1/10/1866, The railway from East Grinstead via Groombridge to Tunbridge Wells opened.
15/9/1866, The railway from Shanklin to Ventnor opened.
11/9/1866, The Taunton to Chard railway opened.
1/9/1866, Cannon Street railway station, London, was opened. The Hither Green to New Eltham line opened. The Hither Green to Dartford via Sidcup railway opened.
1865, The Tavistock to Launceston railway, Cornwall, opened.
1865, Finsbury Park (London) good depot opened. The York carriage and wagon building works opened.
1865, The railway from Picton via Grosmont to Battersby opened.
1865, The railway from Carmarthen to Llandilo opened.
1865, The Hotwells to Avonmouth Dock railway (Bristol) opened.
1865, The railway from Alton to Kingsworthy opened.
1865, The Tal-y-Llyn railway opened.
1865, The Market Weighton to Beverley railway opened.
1865, The Loughton to Ongar railway was opened – see London Underground Appendix Three below.
1865, Chiselhurst station, S E London, opened. Ludgate Hill station, central London, opened.
21/11/1865, The railway from Audley End to Saffron Walden opened.
1/11/1865, Broad Street Terminus, London, was opened to passengers. Goods traffic began on 18/5/1868. The Montrose to Inverbervie railway opened.
16/10/1865, The Hatfield to St Albans railway opened.
9/10/1865, The Weymouth and Isle of Portland railway, 5 ½ miles, opened
9/8/1865, The Long Melford to Bury St Edmunds railway opened. The Sudbury to Shelford via Haverhill railway opened.
1/8/1865, The railway between Otley and Ilkley, Yorkshire, 6 ¼ miles, opened.
The railway from Peckham Rye through Nunhead to the High Level station at Crystal Palace, south London, opened.
3/7/1865, The railway from Ballinluig to Aberfeldy opened.
1/7/1865, The railway through Hither Green, SE London, opened.
22/5/1865. The railway from Sutton to Epsom Downs, south London, opened.
1/5/1865, The Ruabon to Corwen railway opened. The Knowesgate to Reedsmouth railway opened.
1864, Hayes and Harlington station, on the Great Western railway near London, was opened.
1864, The railway from Conwil to Pencader opened.
1864, The Newhaven to Seaford railway opened.
1864, The Woofferton to Bewdley railway opened.
1864, The Pembroke to Pembroke Dock extension railway opened.
1864, The Whitacre to Nuneaton and Wigston railway opened.
1864, The Denbigh to Corwen railway opened.
1864, The Kirkudbright branch line opened.
1864, The railway from Machynlleth to Aberystwyth opened.
1864, The Battersby to Nunthorpe railway opened.
1864, The Leadburn to Dolphinton railway opened.
1864, The Clee Hill railway (good only) opened.
1864, The railway from Thame to Oxford opened.
1864, The Cambrian Railway Company was formed from an amalgamation of smaller operators.
1/11/1864, The railway branch from Strawberry Hill to Shepperton, south west London, was opened.
10/10/1864, The railway from Peebles to Innerleithen opened.
1/10/1864, The railway from Dingwall to Bonar Bridge opened.
21/9/1864, The railway from Hay on Wye to Brecon opened to passengers.
2/9/1864, The Neath to Brecon railway opened.
1/9/1864, The railway from Three Cocks Junction via Builth Road to Llanidloes opened.
23/8/1864, The railway from Ryde to Shanklin opened.
16/8/1864, The railway from Churston to Kingswear opened.
27/7/1864, The Whitchurch to Oswestry railway opened.
11/7/1864, The railway from Eardisley to Hay on Wye opened to passengers.
4/7/1964, The Peebles to Edinburgh line opened.
1/6/1864, The railway at Elephant and Castle (from Herne Hill) was extended north to Blackfriars, see 6/10/1862. The railway from Uffington to Faringdon opened. The Bognor Regis branch railway opened.
16/5/1864, The Ashchurch to Malvern railway opened.
1/5/1864, Charing Cross, London, fully opened, for all rail journeys.
15/4/1864, The railway from Savernake to Marlborough opened.
11/4/1864, The Langholm (Carlisle) branch railway opened.
1/4/1864, The railway from New Beckenham, through Croydon (Addiscombe Road) to Addiscombe opened.
21/3/1864, The Royton branch railway (Oldham) opened.
18/3/1864, The Hull to Hornsea railway opened.
1/2/1864, The Broughton to Peebles railway opened.
1863, The Truro to Falmouth branch, Cornwall, opened.
1863, The Hooton to Helsby railway, Cheshire, opened.
1863, The Caerswys to \Machynlleth railway opened.
1863, The Milford Haven branch railway from Johnston opened.
1863, The Llanymynech to Llanfyllin railway opened.
1863, The Brecon to Talybont on Usk railway opened.
1863, The railway from Llandudno to Llanrwst opened.
1863, The Dumfries to Lockerbie railway opened.
1863, The Princes Risborough to Aylesbury railway opened.
1863, The railway from Dunkeld to Inverness opened. This line went via Grantown and Forres, see 1898.
1863, The Cleethorpes railway opened.
1863, Clapham Junction station, S W London opened. The West India Docks branch line from Limehouse opened.
16/11/1863, The Duns to St Boswells railway opened.
3/11/1863, The Calne branch railway (Wiltshire) opened to passengers.
1/11/1863, The railway from Oldham Mumps to Rochdale East opened.
10/1863, The Market Drayton to Nantwich railway opened.
10/1863, The Scotsgap to Knowesgate railway opened.
5/10/1863, The railway from Herne Bay to Ramsgate opened.
3/8/1863, The railway from Pulborough to Arundel opened.
30/7/1863, The railway from Pembroke to Tenby opened.
22/7/1863, The Holme to Ramsey North railway opened.
3/7/1863. The Buntingford branch railway opened from St Margarets.
1/7/1863, (1) The first railway to Kingston on Thames, Surrey, opened, a branch from Twickenham. Up till now areas like Surbiton and Richmond, already with rail connections to London, were growing at the expense of rail-less Kingston. However this first branch provided only a rather circuitous route to Waterloo. Coaching interests had kept the railways out of Kingston on Thames. See 1/1/1869.
(2) The Dandalieth to Craigellachie railway, Scotland, opened. The Dufftown to Nethy Bridge (Abernethy) railway opened.
30/6/1863, The railway from Hereford to Eardisley opened to passengers.
1/6/1863, The Bishops Waltham branch (Hampshire) opened.
30/5/1863, The railway from Whaley Bridge to Buxton opened.
10/5/1863, The railway from Yeldham to Haverhill opened.
8/5/1863, The railway from Hythe (Colchester) to Wivenhoe opened.
1862, Thornton Heath station, S London, was built.
1862, The Maud to Peterhead railway opened.
1862, The Hexham via Reedsmouth to Riccarton railway opened.
1862, The Frosterley to Stanhope railway opened.
1862, The Kings Lynn to Hunstanton railway opened.
1862, The railway from Aston (Birmingham) to Sutton Coldfield opened.
1862, The Shrewsbury to Bewdley railway opened.
1862, The Waverley line from Carlisle to Edinburgh via Riccarton Junction opened throughout.
1862, The railway from Kingham to Bourton on the Water opened.
1862, The Great Eastern Railway company was formed by an amalgamation of several smaller operators.
22/12/1862, The Alves to Burghead railway opened.
11/11/1862, The railway from Hungerford to Devizes via Grafton opened.
6/10/1862, The railway from Herne Hill to Elephant and Castle, south London was opened, see 1/6/1864.
1/10/1862, The 4 ½ mile railway from Watford to Rickmansworth opened.
1/8/1862, The railway from princes Risborough to Thame opened.
23/7/1862, The Morpeth to Scotsgap railway opened.
7/7/1862, The Bedford to Cambridge via Sandy railway opened.
1/7/1862, The Cowes to Newport railway, Isle of Wight, 4.5 miles, opened.
11/6/1862, The railway from Inverness to Dingwall opened.
2/6/1862, The railway from Swanley to Sevenoaks via Otford opened.
26/5/1862, The railway from Sible Castle to Yeldham opened.
12/5/1862, The railway from Altrincham to Knutsford opened.
1/5/1862, The Pateley Bridge branch railway opened.
15/3/1862, The railway from Shepton Mallet to Wells opened.
21/2/1862, The Keith to Dufftown railway opened,
3/2/1862, The Glastonbury to Cole railway opened. The Cole to Wimborne via Blandford railway opened.
1861, The railway to Saltburn opened.
1861, The Newtown to Oswestry via Buttington railway, mid Wales, opened.
13/11/1861, The railway from Oxford to Witney opened.
16/10/1861, The line from Partridge Green to Shoreham opened, completing the link from Horsham.
16/9/1861. The railway from Ingleton to Low Gill opened.
13/9/1861, The railway from Malvern Link to Hereford opened.
2/9/1861, The Alyth branch railway opened.
7/8/1861, The railway from Bishop Auckland via Barnard Castle and Kirkby Stephen to Tebay opened to passengers.
22/7/1861, The railway from Canterbury East to Dover opened.
18/7/1861, The Dyce to Maud railway opened.
13/7/1861, The railway from Whitstable to Herne Bay opened.
1/7/1861, (1) On the GNR Kings Cross railway, a station 2 ¾ miles north of Kings Cross called Hornsey Wood opened. By 1867 this station was busy as it was the junction for Edgware trains; in 1869 Hornsey Wood became a public park, Finsbury Park, and the station was also renamed Finsbury Park.
(2) The line from Horsham to Partridge Green opened. The railway from Halstead to Sible Castle opened.
1/5/1861, The railway from Exeter to Exmouth opened.
1860, The railway from Hatton via Bearley to Stratford on Avon opened.
1860, The Bourne to Essendine railway, Lincolnshire, opened.
1860, The railway from Carmarthen to Conwil opened.
3/12/1860, The railway from Bickley to Rochester opened.
7/11/1860, The railway from Dumfries to Castle Douglas opened.
5/11/1860, The Symington to Broughton railway (Peebles) opened.
2/11/1860, The Harleston to Bungay railway opened.
1/11/1860, The railway from Wimborne to Blandford opened.
1/10/1860, Victoria station, London, opened. The Kentish Town to Willesden Junction via Brondesbury Park railway opened.
1/9/1860, The Petersfield to Midhurst railway opened. The Luton to Welwyn railway opened.
30/8/1860. First tram in England ran, at Birkenhead, Liverpool. See 7/1/1857.
1/8/1860, The Faversham to Whitstable railway opened.
19/7/1860, The Sheerness to Sittingbourne railway opened.
18/7/1860, The LSW railway from Yeovil to Exeter opened.
9/7/1860, The railway from Faversham to Canterbury opened.
4/6/1860, The Turriff to Macduff railway opened.
1/6/1860, The railway from Salisbury to Yeovil opened.
1859, The Yelverton to Tavistock railway, Cornwall, opened. Bere Alston to Tavistock opened.
1859, The Northampton to Market Harborough railway opened.
1859, The Glastonbury to Wells railway opened.
1859, The Kintore to Alford railway opened.
1859, The Banchory to Aboyne railway opened.
1859, The Corris railway (Machynlleth) opened (passenger service from 1883).
1859, The Lostwithiel to Truro railway, Cornwall, opened.
16/10/1859, The Pulborough to Petworth railway opened.
12/10/1859, Robert Stephenson, English railway and civil engineer, died in London.
10/10/1859, The railway from Horsham to Pulborough opened.
18/9/1859, The Barnt Green to Redditch railway opened.
15/9/1859. The railway engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel died at Westminster. He was born on 9/4/1806, in Portsmouth.
9/1859, The railway from Thorne South to Keadby opened.
3/8/1859, The Potteries, Biddulph & Congleton railway opened.
2/8/1859, The Torre to Paignton railway opened. Grange to Banff and Portsoy opened.
7/1859, The Caterham Railway Company went bankrupt, and its Purley to Caterham line was taken over by the South eastern Railway.
25/7/1859, The Worcester to Malvern Link railway opened.
19/7/1859, The Coniston branch railway opened.
6/1859, The Snape (goods only) branch railway opened.
1/6/1859, The Framlingham to Wickham Market railway opened. The Ipswich to Lowestoft railway opened. The Saxmundham to Leiston railway opened.
4/5/1859, The Plymouth to Truro railway, Cornwall, opened.
4/3/1859, The Wimbledon to Epsom (and Dorking) railway opened.
1858, The Colwyn Bay to Llandudno railway opened.
1858, The Watford to St Albans railway opened.
1858, The railway from Walsall to Cannock opened. In 1859 the Cannock to Rugeley railway opened. The entire line closed to passengers in 1965, but was reopened in stages during the 1990s.
1858, The Uckfield to Lewes railway opened.
1858, The railway from Glasgow to Helensburgh opened.
1858, The railway from Llandilo to Llandovery opened.
1858, The Shrewsbury to Crewe railway opened.
1858, The railway from Balham through Streatham to Croydon opened.
23/12/1858, The Rothes to Dandalieth railway, Scotland, opened.
17/12/1858, The Geologists Association, London was formed. The newly constructed railway cuttings and tunnels had stimulated the science.
15/11/1858, The Spalding to Sutton Bridge railway opened.
9/11/1858, The railway from Witham to Shepton Mallet opened.
8/10/1858, The railway from Rhyl to Denbigh opened.
31/8/1859, The Newtown to Llanidloes railway opened.
23/8/1858, The Rothes to Orton railway, Scotland, opened.
25/1/1858, The railway from Chatham to Faversham opened.
18/8/1858, The railway from Nairn to Keith opened.
12/7/1858, The Lymington branch railway opened.
3/5/1858, The Dunstable to Luton railway opened. The Norwood Junction to Bickley railway opened.
1/4/1858, The railway from Morpeth to Bedlington opened to passengers.
1857, The Wells next the Sea to Fakenham railway opened.
1857, The Bath to Trowbridge via Bradford on Avon railway opened.
12/11/1857, The Bridport branch line opened.
12/10/1857, The railway from Usk to Monmouth opened.
5/9/1857, The Inveramsay to Turriff railway opened.
8/1857, The Leominster to Kington railway opened.
26/8/1857, The Ulverston to Carnforth railway opened.
1/7/1857, The railway from Leicester to Hitchin via Wellingborough and Bedford opened. This gave the Midland Railway access to London via the Great Northern Railway into Kings Cross. The Holt Junction to Devizes railway opened.
1/6/1857, The Henley on Thames branch opened.
28/5/1857, The Stockport, Disley and Whaley Bridge railway opened.
1/5/1857, The Andover to Salisbury railway opened.
20/1/1857, The Yeovil to Weymouth railway opened.
1856, The Caterham branch line, S London,opened. The railway from Clapham through Balham, Streatham Hill, West Norwood opened.
1856, The Selkirk branch opened.
1856, The railway from Little Eaton (Derby) to Ripley opened.
1856, The Stamford to Essendine railway, Lincolnshire, opened.
1856, The Dursley branch line, Gloucestershire, opened.
1856, The railway from Huntly to Keith opened.
1856, The railway from Leeming Bar to Leyburn opened.
8/9/1856, The railway from West Drayton to Uxbridge, west London, opened.
4/9/1856, The Drumburgh to Silloth line (Carlisle) opened to passengers.
1/9/1856, The Frome to Yeovil via Bruton railway opened.
22/8/1856, In London, the 7 mile railway from Stratford to Loughton was opened, see 24/4/1865.
7/8/1856, The Ayr to Dalmellington railway opened to passengers.
5/8/1856, The Purley to Caterham railway opened. The branch had been completed on 21/9/1855 but due to a dispute between the Caterham Railway and both the London Brighton and South Coast Railway and the South Eastern Railway no trains ran to Caterham until 4/8/1856, with normal services commencing on the 5th.
7/1856, The railway from Doncaster to Thorne South opened.
7/1856, The railway from Jedburgh to Roxburgh opened.
9/7/1856, The railway from Ascot to Reading, Berkshire, was opened.
1/7/1856, The Oldmeldrum branch railway opened.
30/6/1856, The railway from Warminister to Salisbury opened.
18/6/1856, The Maidstone to Strood railway opened.
4/6/1856, The railway from Staines to Ascot was opened.
2/6/1856, The Abingdon, Oxfordshire, branch opened. Pontypool to Usk opened.
26/5/1856, The Buchylvie to Jamestown railway opened.
4/1856, The railway from Haverfordwest to Neyland opened.
1855, The railway from Kingham to Chipping Norton opened.
1855, The railway from Grantham (Barkston) via Sleaford to Boston opened.
1/12/1855, The Tivetshall to Harleston railway opened.
5/11/1855, The railway from Inverness to Nairn opened.
2/11/1855, The railway from Barnstaple to Bideford opened.
17/8/1855, The Horncastle branch railway, Lincolnshire, opened.
1/8/1855, The Blairgowrie branch railway opened.
9/7/1855, The railway from Three Bridges to East Grinstead opened.
1/7/1855, The railway form Stanford le Hope to Leigh on Sea, Essex, opened.
1854, The railway from Bow, E London, through Plaistow to Barking opened. The railway from Tilbury to Stanford le Hope opened.
1854, The Kibblesworth Colliery to Bowes Bridge Junction (Tyneside) opened.
1854, The Middlesborough to Guisborough railway opened to passengers.
1854, The railway from Bury St Edmunds to Newmarket opened.
1854, London’s Necropolis Station opened, near Waterloo. It was used to transport bodies from London to the London Necropolis cemetery, near Woking. The building was destroyed by bombing on 16/4/1941.
14/11/1854, The Frome to Radstock railway opened.
12/9/1854, The railway from Aberdeen to Huntly opened.
28/8/1854, The railway from Highbridge to Glastonbury opened.
15/8/1854, The Manningtree to Harwich railway opened.
1/8/1854, The railway from Maidenhead to High Wycombe opened. The railway from Crediton to Barnstaple opened.
3/7/1854, The railway from Basingstoke to Andover opened.
6/1854, The railway from Dalton to Ulverston opened.
24/6/1854, The railway from Hull to Withernsea opened.
22/6/1854, The railway from Carlisle to Drumburgh opened to passengers.
1853, The railway from Malton to Pilmoor via Ampleforth opened.
1853, The Aberdeen to Banchory railway opened.
6/12/1853, The railway from Pontypool via Abergavenny to Hereford opened.
1/10/1853, The Yeovil to Taunton railway opened to passengers.
4/6/1853, The railway from Oxford to Evesham opened.
13/4/1853, The railway from Malton to Driffield opened.
1852, Kilburn High Road station, on the Euston line, opened.
1852, The line to Bacup opened from Rawtensall.
1852, The entire line from Whitehaven to Carlisle opened.
14/10/1852 Kings Cross Station, London, opened. The former terminus had been ½ mile north, between Copenhagen and Gasworks Tunnels, at Maiden Lane, see 7/8/1850. Kings Cross stands on the site of a former fever and smallpox hospital.
11/10/1852, The Swansea to Carmarthen railway opened.
1/10/1852, The Banbury to Birmingham via Olton railway, 42 miles, opened.
25/8/1852, The Redruth to Truro railway, 9 miles, opened.
10/8/1852, The Elgin to Lossiemouth railway, Scotland, opened.
30/7/1852, The Ludlow to Hereford railway, 23 ½ miles, opened.
28/7/1852, The Alton to Farnham railway, 8 ¾ miles, opened.
15/7/1852, The railway from Peterborough to Retford opened.
1/7/1852, The Newport (Wales) to Pontypool via Cwmbran railway, 8 miles, opened. The Birmingham to Bushbury Junction railway, 14 ¾ miles, opened. The Port Dinorwic to Caernarvon railway, 4 miles, opened. Leuchars Junction to St Andrews, 5 miles, opened. Alloa to Stirling, 6 ¾ miles, opened.
31/5/1852, The Rocester to Ashbourne railway, Derbyshire, 6 ¾ miles, opened.
15/5/1852, The Melmerby to Stockton via Northallerton railway, 29 miles, opened.
1/5/1852, The Stourbridge Junction to Droitwich railway, 16 ½ miles, opened. Evesham to Norton Junction (near Worcester), 10 ½ miles, opened.
21/4/1852, The Shrewsbury to Ludlow railway, 27 ¼ miles, opened.
19/4/1852, The Aberbeeg to Ebbw Vale railway, 6 ¾ miles, opened.
1/4/1852, The Shelford to Shepreth railway, Cambridgeshire, 5 ¼ miles, opened.
11/3/1852, The Hayle to Penzance railway, Cornwall, opened.
1/3/1852, The railway from Menai Bridge to Port Dinorwic, 3 ¼ miles, opened.
18/2/1850, The Worcester to Stoke Junction railway, 9 ¾ miles, opened.
1/2/1852, The Battle to St Leonards railway, 5 ¼ miles, opened.
21/1/1852, The Sandbach to Lawton railway, 6 ½ miles, opened.
1851, New Southgate station on the Great Northern line from Kings Cross opened. It was called Colney Hatch station until 1932.
1851, The Coventry to Leamington Spa railway opened.
1851, The entire line from Whitehaven to Furness opened.
24/9/1851, The Neath to Aberdare railway, 19 miles, opened.
19/9/1851, The railway from Gloucester to Chepstow, 26 ½ miles, opened.
9/9/1851, The railway from Westbury to Warminster, 5 miles, opened.
1/9/1851, The Tunbridge Wells to Robertsbridge railway, 16 ¼ miles, opened.
1/8/1851, The Royston to Shepreth railway, 5 miles, opened.
12/5/1851, The railway from Exeter to Crediton, 5 ¾ miles, opened.
1/3//1851, The Rugby to Leamington Spa line, 14 ½ miles, opened.
18/12/1850, The railway from Chester to Liverpool via Hooton, 16 ¾ miles, opened.
7/12/1850, The railway from Highbury & Islington to Camden, N London, opened.
2/12/1850, The railway from Islip to Oxford, 2 ¼ miles, opened.
1/11/1850, In Cumbria, the Foxfield to Bootle railway, 13 miles, opened.
28/10/1850, The railway from Closeburn to New Cumnock, 25 ½ miles, opened.
21/10/1850, The railway from Hitchin to Royston, 13 miles, opened.
7/10/1850, The Westbury to Frome railway, 5 ¾ miles, opened.
5/10/1850, The Abbots Wood Junction to Worcester railway, 4 miles, opened.
1/10/1850, The Verney Junction to Islip via Bicester railway, 16 miles, opened.
26/9/1850, The railway from Highbury & Islington through Hackney to Old Ford and Bow, E London, opened.
12/9/1850, The Coventry to Nuneaton railway, 10 ¼ miles, opened.
2/9/1850, The railway from Oxford to Banbury, 24 miles, opened.
28/8/1850. The Dunfermline to Alloa railway, 13 ¾ miles, opened.
19/8/1850, The Alnmouth to Alnwick railway, 3 miles, opened.
7/8/1850, The Great Northern London terminus at Maiden Lane, now York Way, opened, see 14/10/1852. The line ran through Hornsey and Wood Green, northwards to Peterborough, 78 ¾ miles. The Halifax to Low Moor railway, 5 ¼ miles, opened. The Clarborough Junction to Sykes Junction (Cottam) line, Lincolnshire, 8 ¼ miles, opened.
15/7/1850, The Bowling to Balloch (Clydeside) railway, 8 miles, opened. The Nottingham to Grantham via Bottesford line, 19 ¾ miles, opened.
8/7/1850, The Ravenglass to Bootle railway, 4 ½ miles, opened.
1/7/1850, The Huddersfield to Penistone railway, 13 ½ miles, also the Holmfirth branch, 2 miles, opened.
22/6/1850,The Blackburn to Chatburn railway, 12 ¾ miles, opened.
18/6/1850, The Chepstow to Swansea via Cardiff, Peterston and Bridgend railway, 74 ¾ miles, opened.
17/6/1850, The St Boswells to Kelso railway, 10 ½ miles, opened.
1/6/1850, The railway from Bentham to Clapham, Lancashire, 4 ¼ miles, opened. The railway from Market Harborough to Rockingham, 9 ¾ miles, opened.
20/5/1850, The railway from Auchinlek to New Cumnock, 7 ¼ miles, opened. The Galston to Newmilns railway opened.
13/5/1850, The railway from Newport, S Wales, to Blaina, 18 ¾ miles, opened.
9/5/1850, The railway from Low Moor north to Bradford, Yorkshire, 3 miles, opened.
2/5/1850, The railway from Wennington to Bentham, Lancashire, 3 ¼ miles, opened.
1/5/1850, The railway from Bletchley to Banbury via Brackley, 31 miles, opened. Also this day the Rugby to Market Harborough, 17 ¾ miles, opened.
4/1850, The railway from Burton Salmon to Knottingley, 3 miles, opened.
5/3/1850, The Menai tubular railway bridge, constructed by George Stephenson, was opened. The Llanfair to Bangor line, 3 ½ miles, opened 18/3/1850.
1/3/1850, The Walsall to Dudley railway, 6 miles, opened.
14/2/1850, The railway from Drogheda to Navan, 17 miles, opened.
1849, The Newquay to St Columb Road railway, Cornwall, opened.
13/12/1849, The railway from Crossgates to Dunfermline, 3 ½ miles, opened.
12/12/1849, Sir Marc Isambard Kingdom Brunel, builder of the Thames Tunnel from Wapping to Rotherhithe, died in London aged 80.
3/12/1849, The Burston to Norwich (Victoria) railway, 17 ½ miles, opened.
1/12/1849, The Datchet to Windsor railway, 1 ¾ miles, opened.
17/11/1849, The railway from Lancaster to Wennington, 10 ½ miles, opened.
13/11/1849, The railway from Shrewsbury to Oakengates, Shropshire, opened.
12/11/1849, The railway from Todmorden to Burnley, 9 ¾ miles, opened. Also this day the railway from Ratho to Bathgate, 10 ¼ miles, opened.
10/11/1849, The railway from Swinton to Doncaster, 8 miles, opened.
1/11/1849, The Montrose to Aberdeen railway opened; the section from Porthlethen to Aberdeen opened 1/4/1850.
29/10/1849, The St Boswells to Hawick railway, 12 ¼ miles, opened.
15/10/1849, The railway from Guildford to Godalming, 3 ¼ miles, opened. Also this day the railway from Dumfries to Closeburn, 11 ½ miles, opened.
9/10/1849, The railway from Codnor Park to Mansfield, 9 ¾ miles, opened.
8/10/1849, The railway from Slough to Eton opened. Also this day the Ash Junction to Farnham railway, 4 ¾ miles, opened.
14/9/1849, The Mold to Mold Junction railway, north Wales, opened.
12/9/1849, Pontefract to Methley railway, 4 ½ miles, opened.
5/9/1849, The Chevington to Amble railway, 5 miles, opened.
4/9/1849, The Retford to Doncaster railway, 17 ¼ miles, opened.
1/9/1849, The Washington to Pelaw railway (Tyneside) opened.
22/8/1849, The railway from Barnes through Kew Bridge west towards Hounslow opened.
20/8/1849, The Dorking to Ash railway, 10 ½ miles, the Franborough to Ash Junction railway, 4 ¾ miles, and the Ash Junction to Guildford railway, 5 ½ miles, opened.
14/8/1849, The Chester to Mold railway, 10 miles, opened.
10/8/1849, The railway from Reston to Duns (Borders), 8 ¾ miles, opened.
9/8/1849, The railway from Hurlford to Galston opened.
1/8/1849, The Skipton to Ingleton railway, 25 miles, opened. Also this day the Heaton Norris to Guide Bridge railway (5 miles), the Huddersfield to Stalybridge railway (18 miles) and the Bandon to Ballinhassig railway, Cork, (10 miles), opened.
30/7/1849, The railway from Deptford via Blackheath, Charlton and Woolwich to Gravesend, 21 ¼ miles, opened.
27/7/1849, The Sprouston to Tweedmouth (Berwick) railway, 21 miles, opened.
21/7/1849, The Ravenglass to Whitehaven railway, 16 ½ miles, opened.
20/7/1849, The Manchester to Altrincham railway, 8 miles, opened.
17/7/1849, The Woodhouse (Sheffield) to Gainsborough railway opened.
13/7/1849, (1) The North Rode to Uttoxeter via Leek railway, 28 miles, opened. The Tutbury via Egginton to Derby mainline opened.
(2) Huddersfield Railway Station, Yorkshire, opened.
10/7/1849, The Weeton to Leeds railway, 11 ¼ miles, opened.
4/7/1849, The Redhill to Dorking railway, 8 miles, opened. Also this day the Reading to Farnborough railway opened.
2/7/1849, The railway from Marks Tey to Sudbury, 11 ¾ miles, opened. The railway from Haughley to Burston opened.
18/6/1849, The railway from Congleton to Macclesfield opened.
4/6/1849, The railway from Ambergate to Rowsley, Derbyshire, 11 ¼ miles, opened.
2/6/1849, The railway from Motherwell to Glasgow, 11 ¾ miles, opened.
1/6/1849, The railway from Wolverhampton to Oakengates, Shropshire, opened. The railway from Shrewsbury to Wellington (10 ½ miles), Wellington to Oakengates (2 ½ miles) and Wellington to Stafford (18 miles) also opened this day.
28/5/1849, The railway from Newry to Warrenpoint, 5 ¾ miles, opened.
14/5/1849, The railway from Polegate to Eastbourne, 4 miles, and Polegate to Hailsham, 3 miles, opened.
1/5/1849, The railway from Stone to Colwich (east of Stafford), 11 ½ miles, opened.
9/4/1849, The railway from Gainsborough to Lincoln, 16 miles,opened. Also on this day the railway from Walsall to Alrewas and Wichnor Junction, 17 ¼ miles, opened.
2/4/1849, The railway from Brigg to Gainsborough, 16 ½ miles, opened. Also this day the Preston to Liverpool via Ormskirk railway, 22 ¾ miles, opened.
20/3/1849, The railway from Dereham to Fakenham, 12 ¼ miles, opened.
6/3/1849, The Northallerton to Leeming Bar railway, 5 ¾ miles, opened.
1/3/1849, In London, the railway from Angel Road via Edmonton to Enfield Town, 3 miles, was opened. Also this day the railway from New Holland to Barton (Lincolnshire), 4 miles, opened. Also this day the railway from Bowland via Galashiels to St Boswells, 10 ¾ miles, opened.
15/2/1849, The Dundalk to Drogheda (22 miles) and the Dundalk to Castle Blayney (18 miles) opened.
1848, The Ramsbottom to Accrington railway opened.
1848, The Kirby Muxloe line (Leicester) opened.
23/12/1848, The Gobowen to Oswestry railway, 2 ½ miles, opened.
18/12/1848, The Newton Abbot to Torre railway, 4 miles, opened. Also this day the Market Rasen to Lincoln railway, 14 ¾ miles, opened.
20/11/1848, The Liverpool to Wigan railway, 18 ½ miles, opened. Also this day the Bolton to Bury railway (5 ½ miles) and the Wigan to Hindley railway (3 miles) opened.
1/11/1848. The Ulceby and Habrough to Brigg and Market Rasen railways, 24 ¼ miles, opened. Also this day the Reading to Basingstoke railway, 13 ½ miles, opened.
30/10/1848, The York to Knaresborough railway, 14 ½ miles, opened.
17/10/1848, The railway from Peterborough to Boston and on to Lincoln via Bardney, 59 miles, opened.
14/10/1848, The railway from Shrewsbury to Ruabon, 25 ¼ miles, opened.
9/10/1848, The Stoke on Trent to Crewe and Congleton railways opened, 20 ½ miles.
2/10/1848, The railway from Firsby to Boston, 15 ¼ miles, opened. Also this day the Coalville to Burton on Trent railway, 14 miles, and the Swadlincote branch, 2 ½ miles, opened. Also this day the Nottingham (Mansfield Junction) to Kirkby in Ashfield railway, 12 ½ miles, opened. Also this day the Skipton to Colne railway11 ¼ miles, opened.
26/9/1848, The Glasgow to Barrhead railway, 6 ¾ miles, opened.
18/9/1848, The railway from Accrington to Burnley, 5 ¼ miles, opened.
13/9/1848, The railway from Ripon to Wormald Green, 5 miles, opened.
11/9/1848, The railway from Uttoxeter to Burton on Trent, 12 ¾ miles, opened. Also this day the railway from Dereham to Swaffham, 9 miles, opened.
7/9/1848. The railway from Arksey to Doncaster, 2 miles, opened.
5/9/1848, The railway from Westbury (Wiltshire) to Thingley Junction (Chippenham) opened.
4/9/1848, The railway from Louth to Firsby, 18 ½ miles, opened.
1/9/1848, The railway from Weeton to Wormald Green (Harrogate), 12 ¾ miles, opened. Also this day the railway from Fareham to Cosham, 5 ¾ miles, opened.
23/8/1848, The railway from Gretna to Dumfries, 24 ¼ miles, opened.
22/8/1848, Datchet station, south west London, opened. The railway was extended west from Richmond, SW London, 14 miles.
15/8/1848, The Maldon to Braintree railway, Essex, 12 miles, opened.
12/8/1848, George Stephenson, the engineer who built the first modern railway in 1825, from Stockton to Darlington, died at Tapton, near Chesterfield, Derbyshire.
7/8/1848, The railway from Stoke on Trent to Uttoxeter, 16 ½ miles, opened. Also this day the railway from Kilmarnock to Muirkirk, 24 miles, opened.
4/8/1848, The railway from Gorebridge (Edinburgh) to Bowland, 17 ¾ miles, opened.
2/8/1848, The Perth to Forfar via Coupar Angus railway opened, 32 ½ miles.
1/8/1848, The railway from Selby to Market Weighton opened, 16 ¼ miles. Also the railway from Llanfair to Holyhead opened this day, 21 ¼ miles.
24/7/1848, The Waterloo (Liverpool) to Southport railway, 13 ¼ miles, opened. Also on this day the Carlow to Bagenalstown railway, 10 miles, opened.
20/7/1848, The Spofforth to Harrogate railway, 4 ¾ miles, opened.
13/7/1848, The first train arrived at London’s new Waterloo Station, from Southampton, see 1/7/1848.
5/7/1848, The Lenzie to Lennoxtown railway, Glasgow, 5 ¼ miles, opened.
1/7/1848, Waterloo Station, London, was completed. Previously, trains had terminated at Nine Elms, 2 ¾ miles south-west, and rail passengers took a steamboat to The City. See 13/7/1848.
19/6/1848, The railway from Blackburn to Accrington, 5 ¼ miles, opened.
12/6/1848, The Lancaster to Morecambe railway (3 ½ miles) and the Tiverton Junction to Tiverton railway (4 ¾ miles) opened.
7/6/1848, The Haughley to Finningham railway, Suffolk, 3 ¾ miles, opened.
6/6/1848, The railway from Knottingley to Doncaster via Askern, 12 ½ miles, opened.
29/5/1848, The Leighton Buzzard to Dunstable railway opened.
23/5/1848, The Stirling to Perth railway, 33 miles, opened.
22/5/1848, The Irvine to Crosshouse railway, 5 ½ miles, opened.
5/5/1848, The railway from Totnes to Plymouth, 21 ¼ miles, opened.
1/5/1848, The railway from Chester to Bangor, 57 ¾ miles, opened. Also on this day the railway from Bury to Heywood, Lancashire, 4 ¼ miles, opened.
17/4/1848, The railway from Stoke on Trent to Norton Bridge, 10 ¾ miles, opened.
1/4/1848, The railway from Wakefield to Goole via Knottingley and Rawcliffe, 27 ½ miles, opened.
20/3/1848, The railway from Systeon via Melton Mowbray to Stamford via Oakham opened.
1/3/1848, The Louth to Grimsby and New Holland railway opened. Also on this day the Stirling to Greenhill railway, 12 ½ miles, and the Portadown to Armagh railway, 10 ½ miles, opened.
15/2/1848, The Beattock to Edinburgh railway, 61 ¼ miles, opened.
14/2/1848, The Three Bridges to Horsham railway, 8 ½ miles, opened. Also on this day the Weybridge to Chertsey and Virginia Water railway, 3 miles, opened.
1/2/1848, The Wisbech to Magdalen Road railway, 9 ½ miles, opened. Also on this day the St Ives to March railway, 19 miles, opened. Also on this day the Guthrie to Montrose railway, 12 ¼ miles, and Brechin to Bridge of Dun, 4 miles, opened.
5/1/1848, The railway from Ripon to Thirsk opened.
1847, The Feltham to Datchet railway opened.
1847, The Musselburgh branch (Edinbirgh) opened.
21/12/1847, The railway from Reading to Hungerford opened.
8/12/1847. The Lewes to Newhaven railway, 5 ¾ miles, opened.
1/11/1847, The railway from Oldham Werneth to Oldham Mumps opened.
26/10/1847, The Downham to Ely railway, 14 ¼ miles, opened.
23/10.1847, The Gloucester loop railway, and the Cheltenham Lansdown Junction to St James line, opened.
20/10/1847, The Filey to Bridlington railway, 13 ½ miles, opened.
4/10/1847, The York to Market Weighton railway, 20 ¾ miles, opened.
1/10/1847, The Wivelsfield to Lewes railway, 9 miles, opened.
20/9/1847, The Burntisland to Cupar railway, 24 ½ miles, opened.
15/9/1847, The Rugby to Stafford line, 49 ¾ miles, opened.
10/9/1847, The Carlisle to Beattock railway, 39 ¾ miles, opened.
8/9/1847, The railway from Keighley to Skipton, 9 miles, opened.
21/8/1847, The railway from Bentley to Hadleigh, Suffolk, 7 miles, opened.
17/8/1847, The railway from Cambridge to Huntingdon, 18 ½ miles, opened.
10/8/1847, The railway from Spofforth to Church Fenton, Yorkshire, 13 ½ miles, opened. Also on this day the Swaffham to Narborough line, 5 ¾ miles, opened.
3/8/1847, The Huddersfield to Heaton Junction line, 6 ¼ miles, opened. The Witton le Wear to Frosterley railway opened.
28/7/1847, The Yatton to Clevedon railway, Somerset, 8 ¾ miles, opened.
20/7/1847, The railway from Newton Abbot to Totnes, Devon, opened.
1/7/1847, The railway from Chathill to Morpeth, Northumberland, 18 ½ miles, opened. Also this day the railway from Deal to Minster, Kent, opened.
17/6/1847, The railway from Pilmoor to Boroughbridge, Yorkshire, 5 ¾ miles, opened.
14/6/1847, The railway from Havant to Portsmouth, 7 ¼ miles, opened.
1/6/1847. The railway from Southampton via Ringwood, Wimborne and Poole to Dorchester, 62 ½ miles, opened. Bournemouth, at the time only a village, was by-passed.
22/5/1847, The Dundee to Perth railway opened.
10/5/1847, The West Croydon to Epsom railway, 8 miles, opened.
3/5/1847, The railway from March to Wisbech, 7 ¾ miles, opened. Also this day the railway from Reedham to Lowestoft, 11 ¼ miles, opened.
28/4/1847, The railway from Cockermouth to Workington, 9 miles, opened.
21/4/1847, The railway from Kendal to Windermere, 8 ¼ miles, opened.
19/4/1847, The railway from Londonderry to Strabane, 14 ½ miles, opened.
1/4/1847, The railway from Colchester to Hythe, 1 ½ miles, opened.
31/3/1847, The railway from North Shields to Tynemouth, 1 mile, opened.
29/3/1847, The railway from Tweedmouth to Chathill, Northumberland, 19 ¾ miles, opened.
16/3/1847, The railway from Shipley to Keighley, 6 ¼ miles, opened.
15/3/1847, The railway from Chichester to Havant, 8 ¾ miles, opened.
3/3/1847, The railway from Seghill to Blyth, Tyneside, opened.
1/3/1847, The railway from Heaton (Newcastle on Tyne) to Morpeth, 14 ½ miles, opened. Also this day the railway from Eastleigh to Salisbury via Romsey, 22 miles, opened. Also this day the railway from Kilmarnock to Barassie, 7 ¾ miles, opened.
1846, The Taff Vale railway, S Wales, opened.
1846, The Kings Lynn to Narborough railway opened.
31/12/1846, Conclusion of the ‘Year of the Railway mania’. An unprecedented 272 Railway Acts were passed for lines in Britain.
30/12/1846, The railway from Newton Abbot to Teignmouth, 5 ¼ miles, opened.
17/12/1846, The railway from Oxenholme to Carlisle, 50 miles,opened.
10/12/1846, The railway from Ely to Peterborough via March, 28 ¼ miles, opened.
1/12/1846, The railway from Ramsgate to Margate, 3 ¾ miles, opened.
30/11/1846, The railway from Ipswich to Bury St Edmunds via Haughley, 26 ¾ miles, opened.
18/11/1846, The railway from Bletchley to Bedford, 16 ¼ miles, opened.
4/11/1846, The railway from Chester to Ruabon via Wrexham, 17 miles, opened.
27/10/1846, The railway from Kings Lynn to Downham, 10 ¾ miles,opened. Also this day the Kings Lynn to Lynn Harbour branch line, 1 ¼ miles, opened.
6/10/1846, The railway from Hull to Bridlington, 31 miles, opened
5/10/1846, The railway from Ashton to Stalybridge, Manchester, 1 ½ miles, opened. Also this day the railway from Seamer to Filey, 6 miles, opened.
2/10/1846, The railway from Stamford to Peterborough, 12 ¾ miles, opened.
28/9/1846, The branch line from Oxenholme to Kendal opened.
22/9/1846, The Lancaster to Oxenholme line, 20 miles, and the branch to Kendal, 2 miles, opened.
11/9/1846, The Richmond (Yorkshire) branch line opened.
2/9/1846, The Syston to Melton Mowbray line opened.
31/8/1846, The Surrey Iron Railway, Wandsworth to Croydon, closed; it was dismantled in 1848.
4/8/1846, The line from Nottingham via Newark to Lincoln, 33 miles, opened. The Dublin to Carlow railway, 56 ½ miles, opened.
27/7/1846, The railway from Clapham Junction to Richmond via Putney opened.
20/7/1846, The railway from Barrow in Furness to Dalton and Kirkby opened.
16/7/1846, The Glasgow, Dumfries and Carlisle railway opened.
27/6/1846, The Lewes to Hastings West line opened.
22/6/1846, The railway from Edinburgh to Berwick, 57 ½ miles, opened.
8/6/1846, The railway from Brighton to Lewes, 8 miles, opened. The railway from Littlehampton to Chichester, 10 ½ miles, opened. Also this day the Haddington branch, 4 ½ miles, opened.
4/6/1846, The line from Redcar to Middlesbrough, 7 ½ miles, opened.
1/6/1846, The railway from Colchester to Ipswich, 17 miles, opened.
30/5/1846, The railway from Exeter to Teignmouth, 15 miles, opened.
18/5/1846, The line from Workington, Cumbria, to Harrington, 2 ¼ miles, opened.
29/4/1846, The line from Poulton to Blackpool North, 3 ¼ miles, opened. Also this day the line from Stratford, east London, to canning Town, 2 ½ miles, opened.
13/4/1846, The railway from Canterbury to Ramsgate, 15 ¾ miles, opened.
16/3/1846, The Worthing to Littlehampton line, 7 ½ miles, opened.
16/2/1846, The Kirkham to Lytham line, Lancashire, 4 ¾ miles, opened.
6/2/1846, The Ashford to Canterbury line, Kent, 14 ¼ miles, opened.
23/12/1845, The railway was extended from Dunford Bridge to Woodhead (Sheffield to Manchester line), 4 miles. Also this day the Guide Bridge to Stalybridge line (Manchester), 2 ¼ miles, opened.
15/12/1845, The railway was extended from Norwich Trowse to Norwich Thorpe, ¾ mile.
24/11/1845, The Shoreham to Worthing railway, 5 miles, opened. Also this day the Cheadle Hulme to Macclesfield (Beech Road) railway, 9 miles, opened.
20/9/1845, The railway from Tonbridge to Tunbridge Wells, 4 miles, opened.
6/8/1845, In the UK the Gauge Commission opened. It decided in favour of standard gauge, 4’ 8 ½”, with exception for the Great Western Railway.
30/7/1845, The Bishops Stortford to Brandon via Cambridge and Ely, 56 miles, opened. The railway from Brandon to Norwich (Trowse) via Thetford and Wymondham 37 ¾ miles, also opened this day.
14/7/1845, The Sheffield to Dunford Bridge (Manchester line) railway opened, 18 ¾ miles.
8/7/1845, The York to Scarborough and Pickering lines, 48 ½ miles total, opened.
2/6/1845, The Northampton to Peterborough railway, 42 ¼ miles, opened.
16/5/1845, The Crook to Rowley railway, Durham, 10 miles, opened.
13/5/1845, The Northampton to Blisworth railway, 4 ¾ miles, opened.
12/5/1845, The Swindon to Stonehouse railway through Stroud, 15 ¾ miles, opened.
5/5/1845, The Woking to Guildford railway, 6 miles, opened.
1844, The Midland Railway Company was formed from an amalgamation of smaller operators.
1844, The Manchester Bury and Rossendale line opened. It left the Manchester to Bolton line at Clifton Junction and ran via Bury and Summerseats to Ramsbottom and on to Rawtensall.
1844, Hatch End station, N W London, opened.
1844, The Bowes Bridge Junction to Burnopfield (Hobson) Colliery (Tyneside) opened.
1844, The Eastern Counties Railway converted from broad to standard gauge. Traffic was maintained by single-line working.
25/9/1844, The line from Paddock Wood to Maidstone opened.
6/7/1844, The Bristol to Gloucester railway opened.
12/6/1844, The Didcot to Oxford railway opened.
2/5/1844, The railway from Olympia to Willesden Junction, W London, opened.
1/5/1844,(1) The Bricklayer’s Arms railway terminus opened in south London, for passengers from Kent wishing to access the West End. The South eastern Railway was faced with excessive charges to use the terminus at London Bridge.. However it was unpopular with passengers and became a goods terminus from 1/1852.
(2) The Norwich to Yarmouth railway via Reedham opened. The railway from Taunton to Exeter opened.
31/10/1843, The railway from Broxbourne to Hertford East opened.
28/6/1843, The Ashford to Folkestone railway opened.
1842, The Springwell Colliery to Kibblesworth Colliery railway (Tyneside) opened.
1/12/1842, The line between Tonbridge and Ashford opened.
10/8/1842. The Stockport to Crewe railway opened.
1/7/1842, The railway from Bristol reached Taunton.
13/6/1842. Queen Victoria travelled by train for the first time, from Slough to Paddington, with Prince Albert. She was accompanied by the railway engineer, Isambard Kingdom Brunel.
26/5/1842, The Redhill to Tonbridge railway opened.
1841, First edition of Bradshaw’s Railway Guide.
1841, The Bolton to Preston via Chorley railway opened.
1841, The Kemble to Cirencester branch line opened. The line from Bromsgrove was extended north to Birmingham.
21/9/1841, The line from Haywards Heath to Brighton opened.
11/9/1841. The railway commuter age began when the London to Brighton commuter express train began a regular service, taking 105 minutes.
2/8/1841, Fenchurch Street Station, London, opened, when the London and Blackwall Railway was extended westwards from the Minories.
12/7/1841, The line from Norwood Junction through Croydon to Haywards Heath opened.
1840, The railway from Derby through Chesterfield, Rotherham )Masborough) and Normanton to Leeds opened.
1840, The railway from Troon to Ayr opened.
16/7/1840, The railway from Poulton to Fleetwood opened.
1840, The Chester to Crewe railway opened.
1840, The Birmingham to Whitacre railway opened.
17/12/1840, The Gloucester to Cheltenham railway opened.
15/9/1840, The railway from Stratford, E London, up the Lea Valley via Tottenham Hale to Broxbourne opened.
31/8/1840, Bristol Temple Meads railway station opened. opened. The Bristol to Bath railway opened.
16/7/1840, The railway from Poulton to Fleetwood opened.
1/7/1840, The railway from Romford to Brentwood, Essex, was opened, see 20/6/1839. The Selby to Hull via Brough railway opened.
30/6/1840,The railway from Leicester to Rugby via Wigston opened.
25/6/1840, The Lancaster to Preston railway opened.
24/6/1840, The railway from Cheltenham to Bromsgrove opened.
4/6/1840, The Manchester to Stockport railway opened.
1839, The Cheddington to Aylesbury line opened.
25/10/1839. Bradshaw’s Railway Companion became the first national railway timetable published.
12/8/1839, The railway from Derby to Birmingham via Burton on Trent and Tamworth opened. Trains ran to Hampton Junction just east of Birmingham where they reversed for the final short run to Birmingham.
5/7/1839, The London Bridge terminus of the London and Croydon railway opened.
3/7/1839, The first section of the Manchester to Leeds railway, from Manchester Oldham Road to Littleborough, opened to passengers, see 1/3/1841.
1/7/1839, The railway from Maidenhead to Twyford opened.
20/6/1839, In London, the railway from Bethnal Green to Romford via Ilford was opened, the first stage of a line to Norwich,
10/6/1839, The railway from Basingstoke to Southampton via Winchester opened.
4/6/1839, The railway from Derby to Nottingham via Long Eaton opened.
1/6/1839, The railway from West Croydon to London Bridge, 10 ¼ miles, opened.
21/5/1839, The railway between Newcastle on Tyne and Carlisle opened in entirety (see 9/3/1835).
1838, The Manchester to Bolton railway opened.
1838, The Surrey Iron Railway closed between Croydon and Merstham.
12/1838, Ealing Broadway station, then known as ‘Ealing’, opened.
31/10/1838, The railway from Sheffield to Rotherham opened.
6/10/1838, The Dundee to Arbroath railway opened.
24/9/1838, The railway from Woking to Winchfield opened.
17/9/1838, The railway between Welton and Rugby, on the main Euston to Birmingham, line, opened. Through trains now ran from London Euston to Birmingham. The journey took 5 hours.
4/6/1838, The first section of the London to Bristol railway opened, from Paddington to Maidenhead, see 30/6/1841.
21/5/1838, The railway from Nine Elms (Waterloo) to Woking opened.
16/10/1837, The Boxmoor to Tring railway opened.
20/7/1837. Euston railway station, London, opened. Trains ran to Boxmoor. The station, with two 136 metre long platforms, replaced an earlier terminus at Chalk Farm. Euston Grove was formerly an area of vegetable gardens for London. See 17/9/1838.
1836, The St Erth to Redruth railway, Cornwall, opened.
1836, The Whitby to Pickering railway opened; originally worked by horse.
14/12/1836, London Bridge Station, London’s first railway station, opened. Trains ran to Greenwich. Revenue was augmented by letting out the railway arches as commercial premises.
15/8/1836, Liverpool Lime Street railway station opened.
20/4/1836, The Festiniog Railway, gauge 1 ft 11 ½ inches, opened for slate traffic. It was the first public narrow guage railway in the world. It was horse drawn until steam was introduced in 1863. Passenger services began on 6/1/1865.
1834, The Leeds to Hull railway opened.
1834, The London and Southampton Railway Company was incorporated. However on 4/6/1839 it changed its name to the London and South Western RaIlway.
22/7/1834, The Leeds to Selby railway opened.
4/7/1834, The Bodmin to Wadebridge railway opened. It was taken over by the London and South Western railway in 1847, but only connected to the rest of the LSWR network in 1895.
1833, Early experiments with locomotives in the UK showed that an engine which coild haul 67 tons on a level track could only haul 15 tons on a 1:100 gradient. Therefore most of Britain’s main lines, which were built early on, were built using major earthworks to keep the lines as level as possible.
4/5/1833. A level-crossing accident on the Leicester and Swannington railway lead to the locomotive Samson being fitted with the first ‘steam trumpet’.
22/4/1833, Richard Trevithick, engineer and pioneer of the steam locomotive, died in Dartford, Kent.
26/11/1832, Trams began running in New York City, between Prince Street and 14th Street. They were introduced by John Mason.
17/7/1832, The Coalville to Leicester railway opened, to carry coal to Leicester.
16/12/1831, The Dundee and Newtyle railway opened, using cable and horse traction. Steam was introduced in September 1833.
21/9/1831, The Garnkirk and Coatbridge railway opened. It was taken over by the Caledonian Railway on 15/2/1848.
11/11/1830, Mail was first carried by railway, on the newly-opened Liverpool to Manchester line.
15/9/1830. At the official opening of the Liverpool and Manchester railway, MP William Huskisson stepped from a train to shake hands with the Duke of Wellington and was run over. He died the same night. This was Britain’s first railway casualty. The line had cost £40,000 a mile to build (nearly £4,000,000 in 2015 prices).
15/9/1830, The first true main line railway opened in Britain, between Manchester and Liverpool (via Rainhill and Glazebury). It was the first to be operated by steam throughout, with no reliance on horsepower.
3/5/1830. The UK’s first passenger steam railway opened, from Canterbury to Whitstable, Kent. The line supplanted earlier plans for a canal on this route.
6/10/1829. Trials began at Rainhill near Liverpool for a locomotive to use on the Liverpool to Manchester railway. The winner was Stephenson’s Rocket.
1826, The Springwell Colliery to River Tyne railway opened.
10/1826, The Portland Railway opened, to carry stone from the Isle of Portland quarries. The line closed in October 1939.
5/9/1826. The Stratford on Avon to Moreton railway opened.
27/9/1825. Stockton and Darlington railway opened. Built by George Stephenson, the 27-mile route received Parliamentary approval in 1821. Stephenson’s locomotive Active weighed 8 tons and could travel at 12 to 16 mph. The locomotive was later renamed Locomotion No.1.
30/1/1825, The Redruth & Chasewater Railway opened; steam traction was introduced in 1854. The line survived until 1915.
23/10/1820, The Plymouth and Dartmoor Railway opened from Plymouth to King’s Tor; it was soon afterwards extended to Princetown. The line was subsequently taken over by the Great Western Railway.
23/10/1820, John Birkinshaw of the Bedlington iron works was granted a patent for his rolled rails.
7/8/1820, The Kington to New Radnor railway opened (tramway).
1/5/1820, The Titley to Eardisley railway opened (tramway).
19/8/1819, James Watt, Scottish engineer, inventor of the steam engine (patented 1769), died in Heathfield Hall near Birmingham aged 83.
13/4/1819, The Mansfield and Pinxton railway opened. It was taken over by the Midland Railway in 1848, adapted for steam traction, and reopened on 9/10/1849.
27/7/1814, George Stephenson’s first locomotive, Blucher, began work at tge Killingworth Colliery wagonway.
25/7/1814. The engineer George Stephenson tested his first steam locomotive at Killingworth Colliery. This ‘steam boiler on wheels’, hauling coal out of the colliery on rails, was a forerunner of the steam railway locomotives of the later 19th century.
12/8/1812. Steam locomotion began on the Middleton railway, the first commercial use of steam locomotives.
6/7/1812, The Kilmarnock and Troon railway opened.
25/3/1807. The Swansea and Mumbles Railway opened. It was a horse drawn service until steam traction took over in 1877. It was the first rail service open to the fare-paying public.
9/4/1806, The engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel was born in Portsmouth. He was the son of Marc Isambard Brunel, a refugee from the French Revolution.
24/7/1805, The Croydon and Merstham railway opened.
29/6/1804. The first passenger railway opened, from Swansea to Oystermouth. Horse drawn goods traffic began on the 7 ½ mile route from April 1806.
21/2/1804. Richard Trevithick demonstrated a self-powered steam locomotive on the Penydarran tramroad near Merthyr Tydfil, south Wales. The weight of the locomotive, loaded with 10 tons of pig iron, cracked the cast iron rails, and the line went back to pony haulage for the next 30 years, but the steam rail locomotive age had begun.
16/10/1803, Robert Stephenson, English civil engineer, was born in Willington Quay, Northumberland, the son of the famous George Stephenson.
26/7/1803, The Surrey Iron Railway opened, from Wandsworth to Croydon.
24/3/1802, Vivian and Trevithick patented a steam locomotive that could operate on road or rail.
29/7/1801. George Bradshaw, English publisher and originator of the railway timetables, was born near Pendleton, Manchester. He died of cholera in Norway in 1853.
9/6/1781, George Stephenson, inventor of The Rocket, was born in Wylam on Tyne, near Newcastle. He was the son of a colliery engine-keeper.
8/6/1772, Robert Stevenson, engineer, was born.
13/4/1771. Engineer and railway pioneer Richard Trevithick was born, at Illogan near Redruth, Cornwall.
25/4/1769, Sir Marc Isambard Brunel, British engineer, was born in Hacqueville near Rouen, France.
9/6/1758, The first line sanctioned by Parliament opened in Britain. This was the Leeds to Middleton line.
1738, Iron, rather than wooden, rails were in use in mines in Cumbria. By 1767 such rails were being used at Coalbrookdale, and by 1776 they were in use at Sheffield.
19/1/1736, The Scottish engineer and inventor James Watt was born in Greenock.
5/8/1729, Thomas Newcomen, who invented the first atmospheric steam engine in 1705, died in London.
3/9/1728, Birth of Matthew Boulton, who invented the modern steam engine along with James Watt.
14/6/1699, Thomas Savery demonstrated his first steam engine to the Royal Society. See also science, 1698.
1673, The Dutch scientist Christiaan Huygens investigated the possibility that the explosive power of gunpowder could be harnessed to drive engines. He constructed a cylinder in which the gunpowder was ignited; most of the hot gases escaped, and upon cooling a partial vacuum was created, dragging down a piston. The lateral back-and-forward motion produced might, Huygens proposed, be used as a water pump or even to drive a vehicle. In fact it proved both hazardous and impractical to recharge the cylinder with gunpowder at each stroke. However this design inspired the use of water expanding to steam as the driving agent. Effectively this engine was the ancestor of both the railway steam engine and, ultimately, the internal combustion engine used today by motor cars and lorries. Leonardo da Vinci also proposed a ‘gunpowder engine’ as early as 1508.
1671, The first section of the Tanfield Wagonway was in use in Durham, England.
1604, First wagon way in Britain , built in the East Midlands by Huntington Beaumont to transport coal to the river Trent.
1550, A narrow guage mine railway in Alsace was illustrated in the work Cosmographae Universalis, by Sebastian Munster. Georgius Agricola (Georg Bauer) illustrated and derscribed mine rail trucks in his 1556 work De Re Metallica. By the end of the 16th century the use of rail transport in mines had become widespread in Central Europe; by this time such technology was also in use in England, introduced from Germany.
3000 BC. The Greeks began to use grooves carved in stone to move heavy loads on wagons.
Appendix 1 - Rail Accidents & Disasters
19/4/2004, Major train crash in North Korea, 2 fuel trains collided and exploded, causing 3,000 casualties.
10/5/2002. 7 were killed and 70 injured in a train crash at Potters Bar station, Hertfordshire. The crash was due to missing bolts at a set of points 200 yards north of the station. This caused the last carriage of a 4 car train to break loose and mount the platform as the train passed through Potters Bar station at 100 mph.
28/2/2001, The Selby rail crash.
17/10/2000, Major rail crash at Hatfield, Hertfordshire. A faulty rail derailed a Kings Cross to Leeds train on a curve, killing 4 and injuring 107. Faulty maintenance by Railtrack was blamed.
5/10/1999. A serious rail crash at Ladbroke Grove, outside Paddington, London, killed 31 people. Over 100 were injured. The 8.06 from Paddington to Great Bedwyn, Wiltshire, was cut in half by the express from Cheltenham at 8.11 am. The newly-privatised rail companies were criticised for not spending enough on signalling.
19/9/1997, An inter-city express collided with a freight train at Southall, west London, killing 7 people.
18/11/1996. Serious fire on Channel Tunnel train. The train was 12 miles inside the Tunnel, and the open latticework of the lorry carriages may have had a blowtorch effect on the fire which could have started before the train entered the Tunnel. Eight people suffered smoke inhalation injuries and the Tunnel was closed for months.
13/11/1994, The first passengers travelled through the Channel Tunnel.
4/3/1989, Train crash at Purley station, London, killed 5 and injured 94.
12/12/1988. A major train crash at Clapham Junction, south London. 38 died and 113 were injured as two morning rush hour trains collided. An express train ran into the back of a London commuter train that had stopped on the line to report a faulty signal. A third train was derailed and a fourth was stopped in time to avoid a further collision.
18/11/1987. The worst fire in the history of the London Underground killed 31 at King’s Cross. An accumulation of rubbish and fluff under a wooden escalator had been ignited by a cigarette end. Sprinklers had not been installed despite a recommendation in 1984 for them, and administrative errors meant passengers were still disembarking from Piccadilly Line trains as the fire spread. A ‘no smoking’ rule came into force across the London Underground on 24/11/1987.
18/1/1977, The worst rail disaster in Australia occurred when a Sydney bound train derailed, killing 82 people.
28/2/1975. A London Underground train from Drayton Park crashed through the buffers at Moorgate, killing 42 people. The driver, Leslie Newton, was bringing in his 8.37 train when instead of braking he accelerated into a 72 metre blind tunnel. The front 4.5 metres of the leading carriage were crushed into 60 centimetres.
5/11/1967, 49 people were killed at a rail crash at Hither Green, south London.
4/12/1957, Major train crash at Lewisham, south east London, with 92 killed and over 200 injured. In thick fog, the 4.56 steam express from Cannon Street to Ramsgate missed two red signals and ploughed into the back of the stationary Charing Cross to Hayes electric train. The rear of the Hayes train telescoped whilst the tender of the steam train rose up and brought down a bridge carrying another rail line over the tracks. The 350-ton bridge crashed down onto the already-damaged carriages. Two minutes later another train was crossing the bridge; its driver saw the hole in the tracks just in time and stopped his train with the leading carriage leaning over the gap. Trains then did not have automatic warning systems if a red signal was passed,
8/10/1952. 112 people were killed in a rail crash in north London. At 7.31 a.m. a commuter train about to leave Harrow and Wealdstone station was hit in the rear by a high speed train from Perth doing nearly 60 mph. A signalman changed all the signals to red but it was too late to stop a third train travelling north from Euston to hit the wreckage, demolishing a footbridge. Carriages were strewn across six tracks; 112 people died and 200 were injured in the worst rail disaster since 1915 when five trains collided at Quintinshill in Scotland killing 227 people.
25/7/1923, 100 killed in Bulgarian train crash.
26/1/1921, 17 people were killed at Abermule when the Aberystwyth to Whitchurch train collided with a train going the other way on a single track line. The train from Whitchurch (Shropshire) had been allowed to leave with the wrong tablet for this single-line section.
9/7/1918, America experienced its worst train accident. 101 were killed in Nashville, Tennessee.
14/8/1915, A rail crash in Weedon, England killed ten people.
12/12/1917, The world’s worst train accident occurred, at Modane, France. 534 were killed.
22/5/1915. The Gretna Green troop train disaster, the worst on Britain’s railways, took place; 227 died. Three trains had collided at Quintinshill, and 200 of the casualties were Scots Guards on the way to war. The shocked and dishevelled survivors were mistaken for German POWs and stoned by civilians.
1/1/1915, The Ilford rail crash in Essex, England killed ten people and injured another 500 passengers.
4/9/1912, The first tube train collision in London, 22 were injured.
16/7/1908, Fire at Moorgate tube station.
29/3/1907, A train derailed near Colton, California; 26 were killed and about 100 injured.
6/3/1906, An avalanche at Roger’s Pass in the US buried a train. By the time the train was dug out, 62 people had died.
1/7/1906, A train crash at Salisbury, UK, caused by excessive speed. Speed limits were now rigorously enforced and rail speed record attempts now ceased.
5/12/1905. The roof of Charing Cross Station collapsed, killing six people.
12/6/1889, A train crash in Armagh caused 80 deaths and 250 injured. As a result of this accident the Regulation of Railways Act 1889 was passed. This Act made block signalling, continuous brakes and interlocking points compulaory for rail companies.
28/12/1879. The Tay railway bridge collapsed whilst the 7.15 Edinburgh to Dundee train was crossing it. The train plummeted into the icy river below, killing 90 people. The bridge, between Fife and Angus, was designed by Thomas Bouch.
29/12/1876, 83 passengers were killed at Ashtabula, Ohio, as a 13-year-old bridge gave way under a train. A junior engineer had been fired in 1863 when he protested that the bridge, built by the railway’s chief engineer, was not strong enough.
25/8/1861, The Clayton Tunnel crash occurred on the London to Brighton railway. A train had stopped in the tunnel due to defective signalling, and the next train ran into it.
3/12/1836. Britain’s first fatal rail crash occurred at Great Corby, near Carlisle. Three people died.
17/6/1831, The first railway engine boiler explosion in the USA. A fireman had held the safety valve down.
Appendix 2 – Railway tunnels
1/6/2016, The St Gotthard base tunnel opened to rail traffic after 20 years under construction. At 57.5 km, or 35 miles, it was the world’s longest tunnel to date.
6/5/1994. The Channel Tunnel was opened by Queen Elizabeth II and President Mitterand. 50 km long, it had taken 15,000 workers 7 years to complete and cost UK£ 10 billion. Construction of the Tunnel was started in November 1987, and workers met in the middle three years later. An earlier Channel Tunnel proposal in 1907 had been withdrawn after the British military feared it would be used for invasion.
10/12/1993. Builders of the Channel Tunnel officially handed over the keys to the operators, Eurotunnel.
1/12/1990. The Channel Tunnelers broke through to each other, 40 metres below the Channel seabed.
1/12/1987, Digging began on the Channel Tunnel.
12/2/1986. The Channel Tunnel agreement was signed in Canterbury. Britain and France had agreed to build the Tunnel on 24/1/1986.
20/1/1986, Britain and France announced plans to build the Channel Tunnel, after an historic agreement in Lille. The expected cost was £5 billion. Trains were expected to run by April 1993. A Channel Bridge was rejected as too hazardous, but it was hoped to add a road tunnel early in the 21st century.
19/3/1980, The British Government said a private consortium could build the Channel Tunnel, but no public money would be provided.
20/1/1975. The Channel Tunnel project was abandoned by the British Government.
6/2/1964. Britain and France reaffirmed agreement to build a Channel Tunnel.
19/9/1963, France and Britain agreed to build a Channel Tunnel.
6/5/1957. The British and French revived plans for a Channel Tunnel link, despite fears over security and rabies.
11/11/1955, The Mount Royal Ohara rail tunnel, Japan, 5 km long, opened.
3/11/1955, The Rimutaka rail tunnel, New Zealand, 9 km long, opened.
3/6/1954, The new two-track Woodhead railway tunnel between Sheffield and Manchester, 5 km long, opened, replacing the earlier two single-track tunnels, see 2/2/1852.
17/12/1943, The Haegebostad rail tunnel, Norway, 3.2 km long, also the Kvineshei rail tunnel, Norway, 8.5 km long, opened. The Gyland rail tunnel, Norway, 5.5 km long, opened.
10/11/1937, The Senzan rail tunnel, Japan, 5.4 km long, opened.
9/8/1937, The Lusse rail tunnel, France, 7 km long, opened.
1/12/1934, The Tanna rail tunnel, Japan, 7 km long, opened.
22/4/1934, The Apennine rail tunnel, Italy, 19 km long, opened, linking Florence and Bologna. The Monte Adone rail tunnel, Italy, 7 km long, opened.
14/11/1933, The Biassa rail tunnel, Italy, 5.1 km long, opened.
1/9/1931, The Shimizu rail tunnel, Japan, 10 km long, opened.
5/6/1930, The UK Government rejected plans for a Channel Tunnel.
14/3/1930, The UK Government’s Channel Tunnel Committee approved the building of a Channel Tunnel.
21/7/1929, The Puymorens rail tunnel, France, 5.5 km long, opened.
12/1/1929, The Cascade Tunnel, USA, 12 km, long, was opened.
30/10/1928, The Col de Braus rail tunnel, France, 6 km long, opened.
27/2/1928, The Moffat rail tunnel, USA, 9 km long, opened.
28/10/1927, The Monte Orso rail tunnel, Italy, 7.5 km long, opened. Also the Vivola tunnel, Italy, 7 km long, opened. Also the Monte Massico rail tunnel, Italy, 5.5 km long, opened.
18/7/1927, The Somport rail tunnel, 8 km long, between France and Spain, opened.
4/8/1923, The Otira Tunnel, New Zealand, 9 km long, opened.
16/10/1922, The world’s longest main-line railway tunnel, the Simplon II under the Alps, 21 km long, was completed after four years work.
21/10/1918. The Mount Royal Ohara rail tunnel, Canada, 3.4 km long, opened.
10/3/1919, The UK Government was reported to favour the idea of a Channel Tunnel.
6/12/1916, The Connaught rail tunnel, Canada, 8.5 km long, opened.
8/1/1916. The Lower Hauenstein rail tunnel, Switzerland, 8.5 km long, opened.
1/10/1915, The Grenchenberg rail tunnel, Switzerland, 9 km long, opened.
16/5/1915, The Mont d’Or rail tunnel, between France and Switzerland, 6 km long, opened.
15/7/1913. The Lotschberg rail tunnel, Switzerland, 15 km long, opened.
1/8/1912, The Jungfrau rail tunnel, Switzerland, 7.5 km long, opened.
1/10/1910, The Ricken rail tunnel, Switzerland, 9 km long, opened.
7/7/1909, The Tauern rail tunnel, Austria, 9 km long, opened.
10/6/1908, The Gravehals rail tunnel, Norway, 5.5 km long, opened.
25/4/1907, The UK’s Channel Tunnel Bill was defeated because of War Office opposition and lack of popular support.
1/10/1906, The Karawanken rail tunnel, between Austria and Yugoslavia, 8 km long, opened.
9/7/1906, The Wochein rail tunnel, Yugoslavia, 6.5 km long, opened.
1/6/1906, The Simplon I rail tunnel, 20.5 km long, linking Switzerland and Italy, opened.
8/3/1904, The first rail tunnel under the Hudson River, New York, was completed (it did not open officially until 25/1/1908). The tunnel connected New Jersey with Manhattan.
1/9/1903, The Albula rail tunnel, Norway, 6 km long, opened.
9/12/1902. The Swiss Government agreed to build the Simplon Railway Tunnel.
1/10/1900, The Col di Tenda rail tunnel, Italy, 8.4 km long, opened.
30/7/1894, The San Cataldo rail tunnel, Italy, 5.1 km long, opened.
18/6/1894, The Turchino rail tunnel, Italy, 6.9 km long, opened.
6/11/1893. The Totley rail tunnel, UK, 6 km long, opened.
20/6/1889, The Peloritana rail tunnel, Italy, 6.5 km long, opened
4/4/1889, The Ronco rail tunnel, Italy, 8.5 km long, opened.
1/9/1886, In Britain the railway tunnel under the Severn Estuary, 7 km long, opened to regular train services. It was then the world’s longest underwater tunnel.
20/1/1886, The Mersey rail tunnel was formally opened by the Prince of Wales, at James Street station. Begun in 1881, it is 1,100 metres long.
1/8/1885, The Marianopoli rail tunnel, Italy, 6.9 km long, opened.
27/10/1884, The two headings of the Severn Rail Tunnel met under thr river.
20/9/1884, The Arlberg rail tunnel, Austria, 11 km long, opened.
1/1/1882, The St Gotthard railway tunnel, 16 km long, opened to traffic.
29/2/1880, The cutting of the 15 km St Gotthard railway tunnel in Switzerland was completed. The chief engineer was Louis Favre. This linked the French and Italian rail systems.
9/2/1875, The Hoosac rail tunnel USA, 7 km long, opened.
13/9/1872, Work began on the St Gotthard railway tunnel.
17/9/1871, The 14 km Mont Cenis Tunnel, carrying the main railway from Lyons to Turin, was opened.
25/12/1870, The Mont Cenis Tunnel through the Alps, 12.9 km long, was completed (work began 1857) when the tunnelers met in the middle.
21/2/1863, A pneumatic railway for Post Office parcels under London’s streets began operating.
18/8/1857, Work began on the 12.5 km Mont Cenis rail tunnel under the Alps, linking France and Italy.
2/2/1852, The second Woodhead railway tunnel, between Sheffield and Manchester, opened. See 22/12/1845, 3/6/1954.
1/8/1849, The Standedge rail tunnel, UK, 5 km long, opened.
23/8/1847, The Higham and Strood Canal Tunnels in Kent were drained and converted into railway tunnels.
22/12/1845, The first of the original two single-track Woodhead railway tunnels, on the line between Sheffield and Manchester, opened to traffic. See 2/2/1852.
1826, The world’s first railway tunnel, on the Manchester to Liverpool line, was constructed.
Appendix 3 – Rail; socio-economic effects,
Social changes brought about by the railways included; employment, food availability, the dawn of the science of geology, hotels, housing clearance of the poor, multiple retail media chains, museums, railway new towns, mobility for the poor, speed of mobility, tourism, universal time across the UK.
28/3/1980. The London Transport Museum opened in Covent Garden, London.
27/9/1975, The National Rail Museum in York opened.
1948, Britain’s railways employed 629,000 people, up from 580,000 in 1938. In 1948, therefore, some 2 million people depended for their livelihood on raiway work. Most rail employees were male; women’s work on the railways was (apart from wartime) restricted to office work, cleaning, catering, station announcements, and opening the gates at level crossings.
1928, The London and North Eastern Railway opened the Railway Museum at York.
1924, The last steam locomotive was constructed at Stratford, east London. Most Great Eastern railway locomotives had been built at Stratford since 1878.
1906, The UK’s rail companies now owned 1,138 miles of canal out of the total canal network of 3,901 miles.
22/10/1902, The North British Hotel opened at Edinburgh’s Waverley Railway Station.
1891, The London and South Western Railway established its railway works at Eastliegh, Hampshire. Originally only carriages and wagons were built there; in 1910 the LSWR transferred locomotive building there from Nine Elms, London.
1884, The Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway bought 350 acres of land in Horwich, Lancashire, to establish a new locomotive works.
1883, The Midland and Great Northern Railway established a small locomotive repair yard at its head office at Melton Constable. MGNR locomotives were built there from1896 until 1910; after this, only repairs were carried on, until the entire MGNR closed in 1959. However Melton Constable was greatly expanded by the presence of the MGNR yards.
1870, The social revolution in travel wrought by the railways was evident in the growing importance of third class travel to the railway companies’ revenue. In 1844 they had to be compelled to run ‘affordable’ workmen’s trains’. In 1844 one third of railway journeys, and one eight of revenue, came from third class; by 1870 third class accounted for two thirds of journeys and almost half of revenue.
17/12/1858, The Geologists Association, London was formed. The newly constructed railway cuttings and tunnels had stimulated the science.
1854, The North Eastern Railway opened its headquarters in York. The NER’s main locomotive works were at Darlington.
1853, The Great Northern Railway moved its engine works to Doncaster, from Boston, Lincolnshire. By 1900 the Doncaster works covered 200 acres and employed 4,500, and had 96 km of sidings.
1852, A rail passenger could travel from Exeter to Newcastle on Tyne on two days, staying overnight at Manchester (see roads, year 1754, for typical UK journey times by stagecoach, 1700s, 1800s). However this would have involved using the services of five different rail operators; Great Western to Gloucester, Midland to Birmingham, London and North Western to Manchester, then the next day the Lancashire and Yorkshire to Leeds and finally the North Eastern to Newcastle on Tyne. Bradshaws Railway Guide, first published in 1842 and surviving until 1961, was invaluable in planning the trip. However a big issue was through ticketing between railway companies. Through tickets might be impossible to obtain. The Railway Clearing House was established to deal with this issue, and how the ticket price should be divided between companies. But the Great Western did not join the Railway Clearing House system until the1860s.
2/11/1852, The Dean of Exeter Cathedral ordered that the cathedral clock be advanced 14 minutes to conform wth Greenwich mean time. This was a result of the railways spreading across Britain, and operating on a standard time. Nationwide standardisation of time had begun when the horse-drawn Irish mail coaches began running from London to Ireland via Chester and Holyhead; the mail coach guard carried a watch set to Greenwich time, and was required to inform the innkeepers along the way of the correct time. In 1830 the Manchester and Liverpool railway operated on Greenwich time. But there was resistance to this nationwide time in the West Country and Wales.
1/11/1848. W H Smith opened his first bookstall at Euston Station, London, the start of multiple retailing in Britain.
4/8/1845, Thomas Cook organised the first holiday excursion by rail, to North Wales, leaving Leicester at 5am.
1844, Milk reached Manchester (UK) by rail for the first time. Growing urban populations, distant from the countryside, could now receive fresh milk and other produce that was both fresh and cheap. Fresh vegetables, meat and fish supplies were now improved in cities.
1844, The British Government (Gladstone) legislated to force railway companies to run at least one train a day on all of their routes at a fare of more than 1d per mile, at at least 12 mph (overall, including stops); the so-called Workmen’s Trains. The carriages had to be covered and protected from the weather. Chuildren under 3 were to be carried free on these trains, and those between 3 and 12 to be carried at half-fare. Some companies ran such trains at unpopular hours such as 6am. However see 1870 above.
1843, The Grand Junction Railway inaugurated the locomotive works at Crewe. Crewe in 1841 had just 203 inhabitants. By 1851 the population of Crewe was 4,571. In 1840 Nantwich was the main town of the region, but canal interest predominated here and tried to prevent local landowners selling to the railways, saying the steam locomotives emitted dangerous fumes. Crewe, named after the local Crewe Hall, could offer the railway companies cheap land for their large workshops and marshalling yards. In 1861 a mill for rolling rails was built at Crewe. In 1901 Crewe had a population of 42,074.
1843, The London and South Western Railway started locomotive construction at its Nine Elms depot, London. This was also its London passenger terminus until 13/7/1848 when a more central terminus at Waterloo began operations.
1841, The Great Western Railway began to develop Swindon as a railway town. From 2,000 inhabitants in 1841, its population grew to 40,000 by 1900, with 14,000 employed at the locomotive works and associated factories. However the usual problems of 19th century urban industrialisation were soon apparent. There was a lack of piped water and sanitation, Life expectancy at birth fell from 36 in Old Swindon in 1929 to 30 in Swindon in 1849.
5/7/1841. Thomas Cook, born 22/11/1808 in Derbyshire, introduced the first Cook’s Tour when 570 teetotallers took the train from Leicester to Loughborough to attend a temperance meeting, using cheap tickets, which he negotiated with the train company. See 1/5/1938.
1838, The London and Birmingham Railway (LBR) opened its workshops at Wolverton. In 1821 Wolverton was a village of 335 ingabitants. In 1854 the LBR buult more houses at New Bradwell. By 1851 Wolverton had a population of 2,070, rising to 3,600 by 1881. By 1901 Wolverton and New Bradwell together had 9,200 inhabitants. The railways created a market in mass personal travel that had never existed before. By 1845 1 million people were using the London to Birmingham line every year.
Appendix 4 – Non-GB railways
The ‘Global Metro’ Most major cities around the world have an underground metro system, known to Londoners as ‘the tube’; what would it be like if there was a ‘global metro’ that linked all the cities that possess their own metro system?
Rail / station locations
Urban metro systems
End of steam
Appendix 4.1 European railways (inc. Russia)
Appendix 4.2 Asian railways
Appendix 4.3 Australasian railways
Appendix 4.4 African railways
Appendix 4.5 North American railways (US, Canada)
Appendix 4.6 Central & South American railways (inc. Mexico)
Appendix 4.1 European railways (inc. Russia, former USSR)
Ireland (N & S)
31/1/1961, The West Claire Railway, immortalised in songs by Percy French, closed.
10/7/1949, The last tramcar ran in Dublin.
30/8/1906, A new express rail service linking Cork and Waterford with London via the new ports of Rosslare and Fishguard was inaugurated.
12/5/1866, The direct railway from Cork to Macroom opened.
31/12/1863, The railway from Londonderry to Lough Swilly opened.
5/9/1853, The Waterford to Tramore railway opened.
1/10/1852, The Londonderry to Newtown Limavady railway, 18 ¾ miles, opened.
13/9/1852, The Newton Stewart to Omagh railway, 9 ½ miles, opened.
10/6/1852, The Wellington Inn to Mullaglass railway, 6 miles, opened.
3/5/1852, The Tipperary to Clonmel railway, 24 ½ miles, opened.
9/2/1852, The Strabane to Newton Stewart railway, 9 ¾ miles, opened.
6/1/1852, The railway from Portadown to Mullaglass, 16 ¾ miles, opened.
8/12/1851, The railway from Cork to Bailinhassig, 10 miles, opened.
1/8/1851, The Dublin to Galway railway, 76 ¼ miles, opened.
14/11/1850, In Kilkenny, Ireland, the Bagenalstown to Laristown Junction railway, 10 ¾ miles, opened.
6/5/1850, The railway from Belfast to Newtonards, 13 ½ miles, opened.
1/11/1849, The Mallow to Cork railway, 19 ¾ miles, opened.
17/3/1849. The railway from Limerick Junction to Mallow opened.
2/8/1848, The railway from Belfast to Holywood opened.
3/7/1848, The Thurles to Limerick Junction railway, 20 ½ miles, opened.
11/5/1848, The Kilkenny to Thomastown railway, 10 ¾ miles, opened.
11/4/1848, The railway from Belfast to Ballymena, 33 ½ miles, also the Carrickfergus branch (3 miles) and the Randalstown branch (2 miles) opened.
9/5/1848, The Limerick to Tipperary railway, 24 ¾ miles, opened.
26/5/1844, The Dublin to Drogheda railway opened.
12/8/1839, The railway from Belfast to Lisburn opened; extended to Armagh, 1/3/1848.
17/12/1834, The first railway in Ireland opened, from Dublin to Kingstown (now Dun Laoghaire), 6 miles.
15/11/1950, Hjuksebø train disaster: Four runaway freight cars collided with passenger train no. 72, en route from Kristiansand to Oslo. With fourteen deaths resulting from the crash, it remained Norway's worst railway accident in peacetime until the Tretten train disaster in 1975.
1909, The Oslo to Bergen railway was built.
1/9/1854, The first railway in Norway opened, Oslo (Christiania) to Eidsvoll, 70 km.
1950, The Stockholm metro (T-bahn) began operations.
1902, The railway from Kiruna was completed to the sea at Narvik (Norway). This line was necessary to facilitate the bulk export of iron ore from the great deposits at Kiruna. The Gulf Stream ensured that Narvik was ice-free all year round. The Narvik line was technically difficult due to mountainous terrain, necessitating long tuinnels. An earlier line from the smaller deposits at Gallivare had been built in the 1880s to the Baltic port of Lulea, but this port was icebound during the winter.
1/12/1856, The first railways in Sweden opened; Gothenburg to Jonsered and Malmo to Lund.
26/6/1847, The first railway in Denmark opened; Copenhagen to Roskilde. The Altona to Kiel railway, opened 1844, was in Danish territory when built but is now (2016) in German territory.
24/9/1839, The first passenger railway opened in The Netherlands.
5/5/1835. The railway from Brussels to Malines opened (14.5 miles). The first railway in Belgium.
15/2/1902. The Berlin underground railway opened.
19/9/1841. The first railway to cross a frontier was opened between Strasbourg and Basle.
7/12/1835, The first railway in Germany, the Ludwigsbahn, opened between Nuremberg and Furth.
1910, The Swiss railways were nationalised.
9/8/1847, In Switzerland the Zurich to Baden railway, 24 km, opened.
15/6/1844. The first railway in Switzerland opened, Basle to St Ludwig.
27/1/1908, Austria announced plans to build a railway south towards Salonika, to assist trade and extend Austro-Hungarian political influence.
1853, The first railway through the Alps, from Vienna to Trieste, opened.
6/1/1838. The first steam railway line in Austria opened, between Vienna and Wagram via Florisdorf.
7/9/1827, The first railway in Austria opened. This was from Budweis to Trojanov, later extended to Linz, using horse traction.
15/12/2012, The 14·3 km extension of orbital tram route T3 following the Boulevards des Maréchaux ring road around the eastern side of Paris was opened for revenue service. This trebled the length of T3, which ran for 7·9 km across the south of Paris from Pont du Garigliano to Porte d’Ivry since 2006, and added 24 stops.
22/9/1981. The TGV was inaugurated in France. It ran at 300 kph (186 mph), was a quarter of a mile long, and set a record speed of 513.3 kph on 18/5/1990.
20/5/1977, The Orient Express, between Paris and Istanbul, ran for the last time.
25/9/1976. It was announced that the Orient Express, which had run between Istanbul and Paris since 1883, was to be withdrawn.
1961, Paris’ RER (Reseau Express Regional) railway network was begun.
12/10/1936, A London to Paris through train service began.
10/7/1900. The Paris Metro opened. It was designed by Fulgence Bienvenue.
6/10/1883, The Orient Express made its maiden run from Paris to Constantinople (Istanbul) in just under 78 hours.
3/1847, The Paris and Rouen railway was extended to Le Havre.
19/9/1841. The first railway to cross a frontier was opened between Strasbourg and Basle.
26/8/1837, The Paris to St Germain railway opened.
9/7/1835. The St Etienne to Lyons railway opened to passengers.
25/6/1830, The first section of the St Etienne to Lyons railway, from Givors to Rive de Gier, opened. It was initially worked by both horse and steam. Horse traction ceased on 1/8/1844.
1/10/1828, The horse-drawn St Etienne to Andrezieux railway opened; the first railway in France. It was converted to steam in 1844.
28/10/1856, The first railway in Portugal opened; Lisbon to Carregado, 39 km.
1870, First railway to Cordoba.
1850, First railway in Madrid.
28/10/1848, The first railway in Spain opened; Barcelona to Mataro, 29km.
20/8/1925. Rome’s underground railway opened.
1857, The Milan to Venice railway opened.
1854, The Turin to Genoa railway opened.
1853, The first railway through the Alps, from Vienna to Trieste, opened.
1846, The railway reached Venice, via a 1.2 km causeway over the lagoon, ending the city’s status as an island.
4/10/1839, The first railway opened in Italy: Naples to Portici.
12/8/1888, The railway from Budapest to Constantinople opened.
15/7/1846, The first railway in Hungary opened; Pest to Vacs, 35 km.
15/9/1884, The first railway in Serbia opened; Belgrade to Nish, 151 miles.
16/11/1979, Bucharest Metro Line One opened, from Timpur Noi to Semanatoarea, 8.63 kilometres.
19/10/1869, The first railway in Romania opened; Bucharest to Giurgiu.
1899, The Sofia to Varna railway opened.
7/11/1947, The first railway in Albania opened. It ran from Durres to Pekinj, 42km.
1916, A 90 kilometre railway was completed linking the Greek railways to the rest of Europe.
9/7/1935. Engineers building the Moscow Underground discovered Ivan the Terrible’s torture chamber.
15/5/1935, The Moscow Metro railway was opened by Joseph Stalin.
1905, The Orenburg to Tashkent railway opened.
1/1/1905. The Trans-Siberian railway officially opened. Its aim was to facilitate trade between Russia and China. Furs, grain, and cattle from Siberia would be traded for tea, silk, and cotton from China.
21/7/1904. The Trans Siberian Railway was finally completed. The 4,607 miles of track took 13 years to lay.
1/10/1903, The Russian railway system was linked to European railways.
1898. The Perm to Kotlas (River Dvina) railway opened.
30/11/1897, The Vologda to Archangel railway opened.
1891, Construction began on the Trans-Siberian railway, Moscow to Vladivostock. See 21/7/1904.
1887, The North Caucasus Railway, connecting Baku and Novorossiak, opened.
1883, The Baku to Batoumi and Tiflis railway opened.
1851, The railway between Moscow and St Petersburg opened.
1838, The first railway in Russia opened, from St Petersburg to the Czar’s Summer Palace at Tsarskoe Selo.
1905, Samarkand was connected by rail with Tashkent.
1888, Samarkand was connected by rail with the Caspian Sea.
Appendix 4.2 Asian railways (ex former USSR)
1870, The first section of the Anatolian Railway, from Haidar Pasha to Ismid, 58 miles opened. Ismid to Angora, 301 miles, opened in 1892. A branch from Eskishehr (between Ismid and Angora) to Konieh, 276 miles, opened in 1896.
8/1892, The railway to Jaffa opened.
17/7/1940, The Baghdad Railway was completed.
1899, The Baghdad Railway was first proposed in Germany. This was a scheme to build a railway from Berlin via the Bosphorus to Baghdad and possibly on to the Shatt al Arab, thereby linking to the Persian Gulf.The scheme alarmed Britain which perceived a threat to its interests oin southern Persia and India; also Russia which was seeking to develop the railway system in Persia from its own territories to the north.
1864, The Hejaz Railway. A ‘pilgrim’s railway’ was first proposed, to run from Damascus and Cairo to Mecca and Medina. The idea failed to gain headway until the British gained influence in the region due to the opening of the Suez Canal in 1869. That incentivised Germany, along with Ottoman Turkey, to create a rail link under Turkish control down into Saudi Arabia. A Turkish engineer surveyed the route in 1900. The route would follow the old caravan route, which had water supplies, needed by steam engines as well as people. A unique rail guage of 105 cm was chosen so no other nation’s rolling stock would fit. The route from Damascus to Medina, some 1400 km, opened on 1/9/1908. During World War One, the Arab revolt against Ottoman Turkey, led by Lawrence of Arabia, resulted in this railway being largely destroyed. However the northern section between Ma’an and Damascus was repaired by the Allies as they needed it for the assault on Damsacus and further north in 1918. Plans to restore the entire line were made in the early 1960s but were cancelled due to the Six Day War in 1967. Restoration plans continue to be proposed in the early 21st century.
1/1939, The Trans Iranian Railway was completed, after nearly 12 years under construction, linking the Caspian Sea with the Persian Gulf.
13/5/1861. The first railway in what is now (2016) Pakistan opened, from Karachi City to Kochi, 105 miles.
1854, The first line of the East India Railway Company opened,
18/4/1853, The first railway in India opened; Mumbai to Thana, 30 km. By 1856 rail lines linked Mumbai, Kolkata, Madras and Nagpur.
2/10/1865, The first railway in Sri Lanka opened, from Colombo to Ambepussa.
1888, The railway from Yangon (Rangoon) to Mandalay opened.
28/9/2009, Line Four of the Beijing Metro, 28.2 km long, opened.
8/12/2007, Construction work began on Line L2 of the Beijing Metro, running 23 km from the southern terminus of Line Five. Trains began running in December 2010.
2006, The first railway from China into Tibet opened, from Golmud to Lhasa.
1/10/1969, The first line of the Beijing Metro, 24 km long, opened. Construction had been approved in 1965.
1936, The Canton to Hankow railway was completed.
1912, The first Chinese President, Sun Yat Sen, called for a railway to be built from China into Tibet. This was a political move, to counter the British occupation of Tibet proceeding from India.
1888, The Tangshan to Tientsin railway opened. It was extended to Shanghaikuan in 1894,and to Feng’tai near Beijing in 1896.
1866, First railway in China opened.
1964, The ‘Bullet Train’ was inaugurated between Tokyo and Osaka. It averaged 163 km/hr (101 mph).
1927, The frst line of the Tokyo subway opened.
16/3/1906 Japanese railways were nationalised.
14/10/1872, The Yokohama to Shinagawa line was extended to Tokyo.
12/6/1872, The first railway in Japan opened; Yokohama to Shinagawa.
1892, Railway from Manila Bay to Gulf of Linguven, 120 miles, opened.
Appendix 4.3 Australasian railways
23/2/1970, Passenger services began on the railway between Perth and Sydney, Australia, a distance of 2,461 miles.
22/10/1917, The Trans-Australia Railway opened, from Kalgoorlie to Port Augusta.
1912, Construction of the Trans-Australia railway began.
31/7/1865, The Ipswich to Grantchester railway, 21 miles, opened. The first railway in Queensland.
21/4/1856, The Adelaide to Port Adelaide railway, Australia, opened.