The Chester and Holyhead Railway was an early railway company conceived to improve transmission of Government dispatches between London and Ireland, as well as ordinary railway objectives. Its construction was hugely expensive, chiefly due to the cost of building the Britannia Tubular Bridge over the Menai karacto.xyz company had relied on Government support in facilitating the ferry service. The sale was approved by bankruptcy judges on January 23, with the transfer of assets expected to occur on or before March 31, [needs update] Railroad Acquisition Holdings, LLC has established a new railroad named Central Maine and Quebec Railway (reporting mark CMQ) to operate the former MMA rail karacto.xyzarters: Hermon, Maine. Jan 18, · The Olympic Park railway line is a railway line linking the Sydney Olympic Park precinct to the Main Suburban railway line at Flemington and Lidcombe. Originally opened as the Abattoirs branch in , it was rebuilt and reopened as the Olympic Park railway line in Passenger services have since been running on it as the Olympic Park Line.
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When there was talk of a second, railway, bridge, the poor state of the money market frightened off promoters. In January the Commissioners were still considering the matter, and were given strong advice that Holyhead was the only suitable North Wales harbour, and that a line there from Chester was the best option.
Nonetheless, the matter was still not settled, and railway use of Menai road bridge was still in the thinking. The prevarication, and suggestions of other routes, continued but in the session of Parliament a Chester and Holyhead Railway was proposed.
On 4 July it obtained the Royal Assent. The approval excluded the crossing of the Menai; Robert Stephenson , as engineer, had asked for it to be excluded for further consideration to be given, while allowing the main sections to be started.
A significant financial issue was the Government mail contract, and unsavoury horse trading took place with senior Government representatives.
Just before passage of the authorising Bill, the directors approved in principle a proposal to operate the railway by atmospheric traction. Robert Stephenson investigated and advised against it, and the idea was dropped.
Work started on 1 May The station design was modified to be a joint station to accommodate all the traffic. Authorisation of construction of the station was by a Shrewsbury and Chester Railway Act, of 9 July The station was opened, although not quite finished, on 1 August The works on the line were always expected to be difficult, and progress was slow.
In it was decided to open from Chester to Bangor. Captain Wynne of the Board of Trade visited for the required inspection for passenger opening, on 19 and 20 April He inspected the line as far as the Conway, his colleague Captain J L A Simmons inspected the line westward from there.
The inspectors were informed that the line would be worked by the London and North Western Railway. In the session of Parliament the Company deposited plans for the crossing of the Menai.
The geographical route was now clear enough, but the concept of the bridge design was not. Such a large span lent itself to the idea of a suspension bridge , and Stephenson considered whether the deck of such a structure could be stiffened so as to carry the concentrated loads of a railway train, but decided against it. Stephenson was beginning to think of a bridge structure in the form of a straight tube; the unusual depth of the beam would give sufficient bending strength.
The launch went astray, and the ship ended up supported on ground at bow and stern, over a length of feet, acting as a beam without distress. After some experimentation, rectangular tubes as opposed to circular or elliptical were decided on, and a one-sixth scale model was tested to destruction. This gave Stephenson confidence in the concept, and auxiliary support chains earlier thought necessary were dispensed with.
The erection would be performed by hydraulic jacks. A bridge over the River Dee near Chester was already in use. As it was in the section of route used by the Shrewsbury and Chester Railway, trains had been using it since November It used cast iron beams supported by wrought iron ties in a composite structure. The weakness of cast iron in tension was well understood, and the ties were present to overcome that difficulty. The main beams were formed of three units bolted together end-to-end, and trussed by the wrought iron ties.
The track was supported by oak decking timbers laid on the bottom flange of the main beams. Six persons were killed. The engine successfully crossed the bridge, but the progressive failure led to the bridge collapsing under the tender and following coaches. The probable cause is nowadays considered to be fatigue tension fracture of the beams, provoked by asymmetric loading by the deck timbers, a stress-raising feature in the profile of the beams, and relaxation of the tie bars, transferring nearly all the load to the cast beams alone.
A painter had been working on a girder which cracked before the accident, and he actually measured a very large deflection of five and a half inches at the centre of the span when a train was passing.
While the Parliamentary attention had been on the Menai crossing, the Conwy bridge at the time spelt Conway was to be erected first.
Stephenson took up temporary residence at the site from 12 February On 6 March the tubes were floated into position ready for raising. By 18 April Stephenson was able to drive a demonstration train over the bridge. Public traffic over the bridge started on 1 May The line from Llanfair to Holyhead was opened to public traffic on 1 August At this period the Company found itself considerably overstretched financially, at a time when the money market was unfavourable to the raising of additional funds.
The problem was severe, but was overcome when the London and North Western Railway agreed to take preference shares and contractors were paid in company debentures. The Menai bridge was to have two main spans each with twin tubes for double track , and the tubes were to be feet in length. The central pier was to be feet high. Work started at the site in July and by November fabrication of the main tubes was substantially completed.
From 19 June the tubes for one line of track were floated into position and raised by jacks; the process was completed for the four main tubes by 7 January On 5 March Stephenson drove a test train through the completed single-track span of the bridge, and on 18 March public passenger trains started running. The Chester and Holyhead main line was connected throughout. From April work was started on the structure for the second track. The final lift of the last main tube took place on 16 August On 19 October trains started using the second track in the bridge, and the full public operation started on 21 August.
The Directors had always assumed that they would be awarded the mail contract on the opening of the line, and that this would include operating the mail packet boat service.
Towards the end of , the Company tried to start negotiation with the Government and were curtly rebuffed. Moreover, the City of Dublin Steam Packet Company and other private operators objected to the powers to run steamships sought by the company in the Parliamentary session. The situation was exceedingly paradoxical, because the Government was financing improvements to the Holyhead harbour, and to the Company's steamers were using it, but the Company were forbidden from operating them.
The Company had originally intended to operate its trains itself, but on reflection a working arrangement with the LNWR seemed better, and agreement on this was reached in August The Government once again dealt harshly with the Company over the mail contract, requiring them to take over the Admiralty steamers even though they knew the Company had ordered their own.
Bradshaw's Guide for March shows a brisk passenger service on the line: passengers could leave Kingstown at Dublin time 25 minutes earlier than GMT  and Holyhead at by mail train; the time between Llanfair and Bangor was 35 minutes, although the traveller was not informed that this was by road vehicle; the onward journey arrived at Chester at and arrival in London was at Three other services traversed the whole line, one on Sundays, and two to London and two only on the line respectively on Sundays.
He was elected Chairman on 12 February Peto's impeccable record resulted in renewed confidence in the money markets, and preference shares were suddenly oversubscribed. Nevertheless, it was only in the half-year ending 31 December that the company made a net profit, and this allowed a small dividend on the first preference shares only.
The financial position of the company was one of continuing indebtedness, in fact dependency on the LNWR, and the LNWR decided that the time had come to bring the matter to a head.
The arrangement was to start on 1 July This took effect on 1 January In the first half of the nineteenth century, Mold was an important commercial centre, with considerable mineral deposits. Businesspeople there sought a railway connection, and the Mold Railway was incorporated on 9 July It was to run from a junction near Saltney to Mold, with a branch line to Ffrith.
The line was extended to the Admiralty Pier at Holyhead on 20 May , and a new general station was opened on 14 September The Bangor and Carnarvon Railway was incorporated on 20 May Freight and passenger traffic between Bangor and Port Dinorwic commenced on 1 March and 10 March respectively.
On 20 August a branch to Llandudno was authorised by Parliament. At one time Llandudno, or rather Ormes Bay, had been considered as the departure harbour for Dublin, but as stated Holyhead had overtaken that. Tourism would, it was thought, support the branch. Originally it was intended to join the main line at Conway, facing Holyhead, but it was realised that the available space there prevented that, and the point of junction was placed east of the Conwy river, at what became Llandudno Junction.
The branch opened on 1 October It opened, using a temporary station at Denbigh on 22 September In the mid-nineteenth-century Llanrwst was an important market town, and a branch to it from the main line had been contemplated for some time.
In , with the growth of tourism, the line was extended to Betws-y-Coed. At this time the slate industry was expanding massively above Betws-y-Coed, at Blaenau Ffestiniog. Although other railway connections existed there, the LNWR decided to extend the branch to reach it. The result was the Bettws Extension Railway; this involved a long tunnel bored through hard rock at considerable expense; it opened in After some false starts, a branch railway into Anglesey was authorised: the Anglesey Central Railway was authorised on 13 July They had approached the LNWR to work their line, but had been rebuffed.
The line was extended to Llannerch-y-medd on 1 February , and throughout to Amlwch on 3 June The final section may have been opened to goods traffic earlier, on 10 September The line was acquired by the LNWR in The line was known as the Prestatyn and Cwm Line, and was opened for goods traffic on 1 September Dyserth Castle and Cwm Waterfalls were considered to be tourist attractions, and a steam railmotor service operated passenger services from 28 August The new line would make a bridge crossing, and have gradients of 1 in It opened for mineral traffic in June , but became disused and derelict some time in the following decade.
The LNWR purchased it in , but for the time being did nothing with it. In an inversion of the motivation elsewhere, the growth of passenger omnibus traffic encouraged the LNWR to reopen the line to passenger traffic. LNWR Acts of and authorised this, and on 1 July , the resurgent line opened, with a new curve connecting to the main line.
The short line was a considerable success, but after World War II decline intervened and it closed on 6 September , except for a stub to Crescent Siding textile mills, which finally closed on 11 August The Buckley Railway — in fact a tramway — had conveyed mineral products to a wharf at Connah's quay on the River Dee, since It was superseded by the Wrexham, Mold and Connah's Quay Railway, which upgraded the line to a locomotive railway, opening in The acquisition took effect on 1 January There were important and extensive slate quarries in the Penrhyn Estate south of Bethesda , near Bangor.
About a narrow gauge tramway was constructed to convey the mineral to a harbour near Bangor, called Port Penrhyn. The tramway was later, about , upgraded and improved, and renamed the Penrhyn Railway. The slate traffic increased, and the LNWR proposed a branch line to the quarry. The line opened on to passenger trains and to mineral trains.
Gradients were steep, at 1 in Road competition led to closure of the passenger service in , and the mineral traffic ceased in By the late nineteenth century the original junction layout at Llandudno Junction was becoming impossibly cramped.
The station was enlarged, and the junction of the Conway Valley line with the main line was moved east to accommodate that. The new arrangement was commissioned on 1 October When the line was built, the dominant business was expected to be the Irish mail. Gardner, writing in , said:. Nevertheless the traffic on the The Bradshaw shows an extraordinary number of trains on the line: on summer Saturdays 78 long distance trains passed Chester not all making a call there on to the line, together with 24 local or stopping trains.
Most of the long diatnce trains came from the north Midlands, Lancashire and Yorkshire. The wreckage was removed and all lines reopened by 6 PM. The Hamilton police launched an investigation into the crash that evening. The police charged that since there was no signalman on duty, both crews were responsible for having failed to stop at the crossing, and only proceeding when it was confirmed that the coast was clear. On February 12 Magistrate Jelfs referred the case to the county court. The trial began on April Evidence was submitted that not having a man on duty on Sunday had been standard practice for several years, and that when not active the signals were locked so as to warn any GTR trains to stop.
GTR train orders were also submitted showing that when approaching a crossing of this type with no signalman on duty, the train was to stop and a member of the train crew was to walk to the crossing and halt traffic before letting the train proceed. Barry testified that he had attempted to stop the train by shutting off the steam and applying the brakes, but the second locomotive did not apply its brakes.
Barry admitted to not communicating his intentions to the crew of GTR policy was that Barry should not have worked again until Monday, January 29, but had been called in due to a shortage of drivers due to wartime conditions. Motorman Kelly testified that he did not see or hear the train until the collision. He had no knowledge that there would not be a signalman at the crossing on a Sunday, and that as he could see that the derail had not been set, he did not attempt to stop.
Based on this evidence Judge Snider ruled that Barry was guilty of negligence for failing to follow orders and bring the train to a stop before proceeding. While Flood had been in charge of the train, he was judged to be not guilty as he was in the train's caboose at the time of the accident, and was unable to affect the motion of the train. Kelly and Smith were also acquitted. On April 27, Lewis Barry was sentenced to 2 months in jail for negligence. However after a public appeal and a petition signed by hundreds of Hamiltonians, including the Mayor and four of the city Controllers, Barry was released on May Author's note: Based on the court testimony, I suspect that the fault more properly lay with the GTR and its wartime operations.
Barry was likely fatigued from his long shift and lack of proper rest before being asked to take out another train, as shown by his failure to react properly to slow down the train and communicate with others. Faced with high demand for trains and a loss of employees to military service, the GTR was cutting safety margins by asking, let alone letting Barry take on another shift. None of the motive power was critically damaged, and all three pieces were repaired and returned to service.
GTR was quickly repaired, and was almost involved in another collision at the same location on May 3. HSR had hit the derail, but the streetcar did not immediately dewire and the still running electric motors continued to move the streetcar forwards even though it was off the track. The pole eventually came off the wire and the streetcar stopped, but not until it came within 2 feet of the train's path. HSR remained in service for another two decades. It was not converted to one-man operation in , but remained in service as a two-man car until The two structures damaged in the wreck had different fates.
This was never built, due to disapproval over the initial design and continued opposition from city council over trains stopping on Ferguson. When this new station opened in , the old King St station was demolished. From the amount of steam still around the engine, this photo was likely taken within a few minutes of the crash.
From the collection of Brenda Robinson, used with permission. The tender of GTR Notice the front of the streetcar has been ripped clean off and is resting against the pole. At first glance this photo looks identical to the previous one, but it's not. The angle is slightly different, and some of the people in the crowd have moved. It must have been taken within seconds of the previous photo. Most of the steam is gone, so it's easier to see details. GTR later in the day.