John Speller's Web Pages Manchester & Leeds Railway (L&YR)

John Speller's Web Pages - L&NWR
Manchester & Leeds Railway (L&YR) LNWR Untitled
The Manchester & Leeds Railway (L&YR) was incorporated by an Act of 4 July 1836 to build a somewhat roundabout line from Manchester via Todmorton to a connection at Normanton with the North Midland Railway to Leeds, amounting to 60 miles in all. The engineer was Thomas Longridge Gooch (1808-1882), the eldest brother of Sir Daniel Gooch, working under the supervision of George Stephenson. The line opened from Manchester to Littleborough in 1839, from Normanton to Hebdon Bridge on 5 October 1840, with the remaining section through the 1 mile 50 chain Summit Tunnel opening in 1841. For a short time until the opening of Brunel's Box Tunnel, this was the longest tunnel in the world. The original gauge was 4 ft. 9 in. A further Act of 1 July 1839 created a spur to meet the Liverpool & Manchester Railway at Manchester Victoria, which also authorized also authorized branches to Oldham and Halifax, completed 1844, and a diversion at Kirkthorpe. The Manchester & Leeds Railway became one of the original constituents of the Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway on 9 July 1847. A third Act authorized an extension from Halifax to Bradford, which opened on 17 August 1850.
Map of the Manchester & Leeds Railway and its branches
Hebden Bridge station in a colored lithograph by A. F. Tait, 1845
The Manchester & Leeds Railway at Littleborough in a colored lithograph by A. F. Tait, 1845
Summit Tunnel in a colored lithograph by A. F. Tait, 1845
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