John Speller's Web Pages Felixstowe Railway & Dock Company

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Felixstowe Railway & Dock Company(GER) Untitled Untitled
Today Felixstowe is the largest container port in the United Kingdom, but its railway connection came comparatively late. The thirteen-and-a-quarter miles long Felixstowe Railway, from a junction with the Great Eastern Railway's main line in the Parish of Westerfield, was incorporated by an Act of 19 July 1875. By an Act of 13 July 1876 the company was reincorporated as the Felixstowe Railway & Pier Company, and under yet another Act of 21 July 1879 the name of the company was again changed to the Felixstowe Railway & Dock Company, and the facilities at Felixstowe were modified. The company originally possessed three 2-4-0 tank engines built by the Yorkshire Engine Co., No. 1 "Tomline," No. 2 "Orwell" and No. 3 "Felixstowe." These were taken into Great Eastern stock after the Great Eastern Railway began working the line on 1 September 1879. The chief promoter of the line was "Colonel" George Tomline (1813-1889), the Member of Parliament for East Suffolk. He was determined that the line should go nowhere near the Ordnance Hotel in Felixstowe, owned by his political rival John Chevalier Cobbold (1797-1882), who was an Ipswich brewer and Member of Parliament for the rival port of Harwich. The station was accordingly located at Felixstowe Beach, some distance from the Town. The Great Eastern Railway took over the Felixstowe Railway & Dock Company in 1879, and by 1891, when the German Empress and her daughter summered in Felixstowe, it had become an embarrassment to the Great Eastern Railway that the railway station was so distant from the main center of population. Accordingly a new station at Felixstowe Town was designed by GER staff architect William Neville Ashbee (1852-1919) and opened on 1 July 1898. The old line to Felixstowe Beach continued to be worked as a separate branch; it closed to passengers under the Beeching Axe.
Map of the Felixstowe Railway & Dock Company
Felixstowe Railway & Dock Company 2-4-0T locomotive No. 3 "Felixstowe" built by the Yorkshire Engine Co. and shown here running as Departmental Locomotive No. 0810 on the Great Eastern Railway shortly before withdrawal in 1888
George Tomline, M.P. (1813-1889), promoter of the Felixstowe Railway
W. N. Ashbee's magnificent Felixstowe Town station of 1898. Image copyright tomylees and licensed for reuse under this CreativeCommons License
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