Thursday, 5 February 2015

Notable Events in Railway History 1776 to 1925 - Northern Echo Centenary Supplement.

Notable Events in Railway History 1776 to 1925  - 
Northern Echo Centenary Supplement 1925

1776  First iron railway near Sheffield. (A replacement tramway that used L-shaped rails was laid by John Curr, in 1776 and was one of the earliest cast-iron railwaysWiki) additional info.
1801 Parliament sanctioned first Railway - an iron railroad in Surrey.
1814 Stephenson's first Locomotive Bulcher built for Killingworth Colliery. 
1818  Nov 13 - Meeting held in Town Hall Darlington at which it was decided to promote a railway in preference to a canal, and at which the prospectus of the Stockton and Darlington was drawn up and adopted.
1819 First railway Bill rejected by the majority of thirteen.
1821 April.. Second Railway Bill  received Royal Assent.
1822 May 23 first rail laid on the Stockton and Darlington line.
1823 May 23 Stockton and Darlington Railway second bill passed by Parliament.
1824 Prospectus issued for Liverpool to Manchester Railway.
1825 September  27 Stockton and Darlington Railway opened.
1827 Timothy Hackworth built his locomotive The Royal George, in 1827, featuring a blast pipe, which saved the Stockton and Darlington Railway some £532, compared to the cost of horse drawn trains. (Not included in the original Northern Echo timeline but deemed relevant).
1829 Letter from Robert Stephenson to Timothy Hackworth 17th March 1829 asking his advice. (Not included in the original Northern Echo Timeline).
1829 Locomotive trials at Rainhill. Victory of Stephenson's Rocket.
1830 September 15th  Liverpool and Manchester railway opened. Canterbury and Whitstable opened
1834 Dublin and Kingstown railway opened.   Leeds and Selby Railway opened.
1836 Famous broad gauge locomotive North Star built at Newcastle on Tyne.   Whitby and Pickering Railway opened.  John Wesley Hackworth took and presented the first railway engine (built by Timothy Hackworth) to the Tsar of Russia via Port Darlington in Middlesbrough and St Petersburg. (not included in the original timeline).
1837 London and Birmingham railway first section opened. Paisley and Renfrew Railway opened.  Grand Junction Railway opened.
1838 June 4th Great Western Railway broad gauge first used. Manchester, Bolton and Bury Railway first  opened.    Act of Parliament for carriage of mails.  Sheffield and Rotherham Railway opened.   Liverpool and Preston Railway opened
1839 Cook and Wheatstones electric telegraph installed on Great Western Railway.  Newcastle and Carlisle Railway opened.   Durham and Sunderland line opened.  Ulster Railway Opened.  Eastern Counties Railway first section opened with 5ft gauge.  Bradshaw's timetable first published. 
1840 July 6 London and Blackwell railway opened.    London and Southampton,  Taff Vale,  Dundee and Arbroath,  York and Normanton,  Leeds and Derby,  Glasgow and Ayr and Birmingham and Gloucester Railways opened.
1841 York and Darlington,  Manchester and Leeds, Glasgow and Grennock,  and London and Brighton Railways opened.
1842 January 2 - Railway clearing house first opened. Edinburgh and Glasgow,  Manchester and Birmingham and Great Northern Railway opened.
1843 Midland Railway formed by amalgamation. South Eastern, Bristol and Exeter, West London, Newcastle and Darlington and Dublin and Drogheda Railways opened.
1845 June 25 Royal Commission on gauges appointed. Northampton and Peterborough, Northern and Eastern, York and Scarborough and Manchester - Sheffield Railways opened.
1846 Great Railway boom. Over 207 Railway Bills passed by Parliament. L. and N.W. Railway constituted by amalgamation. Edinburgh and Berwick, Middlesbrough and Redcar, Brighton and Hastings, Leeds and Bradford, North British railway, Nottingham and Lincoln, Hull and Bridlington, Lancaster and Carlisle, Tynemouth and Newcastle, Edinburgh and Leith, and Dublin and Carlow Railways opened.
1847 L and N W Railway issued first book of time tables. Ely and Peterborough, Croydon and Epson, Dundee and Perth, Caledonia, York and Newcastle, Trent Valley, and Newcastle and Berwick railways opened. Verdict of manslaughter returned against directors of York and North Midland railway. Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway constituted. M S and L Railway constituted.
1848 Waterloo Station opened.
1849 August 12 George Stephenson died at Tapton House, Chesterfield.
1850's Menzies bookshops obtained exclusive rights to open newspaper and magazine stalls in Railway Stations up and down the country.later they employed basket boys to flog papers on carriages. (Not included in the original Northern Echo timeline).
1850  Timothy Hackworth died July 7th (not in the original timeline). G N Railway main line completed. Glasgow and South Western to Carlisle, and Belfast and County down Railway opened. Newcastle central station opened N E Railway. Royal Border Bridge, Berwick completed. High Level Bridge, Newcastle on Tyne opened.
1852 Tipperary and Clonmel, Oxford, Worcester and Wolverhampton and Dublin and Belfast Junction Railways opened. Kings cross station opened.
1854 N E Railway formed amalgamation. Great North of Scotland Railway opened.
1856 Interlocking of points and signals patented by John Saxby.
1858 July 31 Edward Pease, the Father of the Railways died.
1859 Giflard's injector first fitted to locomotive.
1862 Eastern Counties Railway changed to Great Eastern Railway. Amalgamation of Newcastle and Carlisle railway with N E Railway. Flying Dutchman express train commenced to run.
1863 Metropolitan Railway opened Bishop's Road to Ferringdon Street. Gas lighting first used in trains North London Railway. Stockton and Darlington Railway amalgamated with N R Railway.
1866 Scottish North Eastern Railway amalgamated with Caledonian Railway.
1868 October 1 St. Pancras Station, Midland Railway opened.
1872 All Midlands and Great Eastern trains carry 3rd class passengers. Previously early morning and late evening trains only carried 3rd class passengers as enacted by Parliament.
1873 Sleeping carriages first used on the West coast route to Scotland.
1875 Pullman cars introduced by Midland Railway. September 21 Railway jubilee celebrated at Darlington.
1876 Great Northern Railway of Ireland constituted by amalgamation.
1885  L and N W Railways instituted the first exclusively mail train.
1887  New Lay bridge opened.
1891 Forth Bridge opened.
1893 Dining car first introduced.
1900 Flying Scotchman began to run London to Edinburgh.
1902 Diamond Jubilee of Railway Clearing House. Automatic signalling introduced on L and SW Railway. July 1st N E Railway run train from Darlington to York. 44 and a half miles in 43 minutes, the fastest record for the Empire.
1903 G N run non stop train Wakefield to London 175 and three quarter miles.
1904 Electric traction introduced on N E Newcastle to coast route. Trans-Atlantic mails, Plymouth to London, G W Railway, record run - Bristol to Paddington 118 and a half miles covered in 99 mins, 46 seconds.
1913 Railway Companies Accounts and Returns Act came into force. National Union of Railwaymen formed by combination of the Amalgamated Societies of Railway servants, General  Railway Worker's union and Signalmen's and Pointsmen Society.
1914 April 4 Steam traction displaces the old horse Dandy on Port Carlisle branch of  N B Railway, the last horse railway in the Kingdom. August 4 war declared. British Railways taken over by Government under the Regulation of Forces Act , 1871 and administered by the  the Railways Executive  Committee.
1917 January - Drastic changes in railway travel and transport were made, including The Pooling of Company and privately owned wagons, restrictions of goods traffic and passenger's luggage, the removal of all inconvenient statutory restrictions, abolition of reduced fares, increase of 50% of all fares (workmen and season tickets excepted), closing of many stations and decrease in number of stops, decrease in Sunday trains, lessening of speed on main lines, classification of goods and organisation of routes for goods traffic, partial withdrawal of restaurant and sleeping cars, abolition of reserved seats and compartments and saloon provision, reduction and withdrawal in passenger services and further restrictions on the conveyance of road vehicles. January 1 - Irish Railways taken over under regional of  the Forces Act 1871, to be administered by the Irish Railway Executive Committee. April 2 Order issued instituting prepayment for all consignments by passenger train.
1918 May - Statutory powers given to the Board of Trade to take possession of private owners' wagons, to take control passenger traffic and to restrict issue of season and contract tickets. May 1, Further  reductions in train services and limitation of hours for passenger services. Several branch lines closed on Sundays. June 1, fares on Irish Railways increased by 50%. July 25 Railway wagons census order. 1918 issued.
1919 September 23 - Ministry of Transport established. December - Railway Advisory Committee constituted, including 12 general Railway managers, four representatives of of Railway Trade Unions.
1920 February 12 - Centenary gathering at Yarm on Tees to celebrate promotion of Stockton and Darlington Railway. August 6 - Passenger fares increased to 75% and season tickets to 50%, over pre war rates(workmen's' and early cheap fares trains excepted).
1921 Miners 12 week strike begun in April compelled companies to use wood, coke and oil as fuel and to reduce considerably all services. July - Committee appointed by Ministry of  Transport to investigate the value of colour light signals. August 15 Government control of railways abolished. August 19 Railways Act 1921 passed. August 20 Weekend tickets restored between chief towns and holiday resorts. December 20 _ Amalgamation of L and N W and L and Y Railways confirmed by Railways Amalgamation Tribunal of Ministry of Transport.
1922 January 1 - L and Y Railway amalgamation with L and N W railway. March 25 - Cambrian, Cardiff, Rhymney and Taff Vale Railways, also Alexander (Newport and South Wales) Docks and Railway Amalgamation with G W Railway. July 10 NE railway reintroduced its pre-war run at over 60 miles per hour between Darlington and York, 44.1 miles in 43 mins. 61 and a half miles per hour. August 1 - Reductions of 12 and a half % in goods rates on English and Welsh Railways, making the charges 75% over the pre-war rates.December 31 - By agreement with the Ministry of transport the L M S and L N E and S Railways were replaced by the new companies as from January 1 1923.
1923 January 1 - the Southern Great Western, London Midland and Scottish and London and North Eastern, as constituted by the Railways Act 1921, commenced to operate 123 Railways previously separate undertakings. passenger fares reduced to 50 % over pre war rates. July 9 First and third class Pullman car train run between London King's Cross and Leeds, Ripon, Harrogate and Newcastle. August 2 - reduction of freight rates from 60 to 50% above pre war rates. December 20 - Meeting at Darlington between directors of L and NE Railway and Darlington Town Council to arrange programme for centennial  celebration of 1925 of opening of Stockton and Darlington Railway.
1924 Twelve of the now Pacific type of locomotives running on the L and NE Railway.

The original page in Northern Echo Centenary Supplement 1925

Monday, 2 February 2015

Letter from Robert Stephenson to Timothy Hackworth - Liverpool March 17th 1829

According to this cutting in Joan's collection, a letter from Robert Stephenson to Timothy Hackworth, dated Liverpool March 17th 1829 was in the custody of Joan's family line and now in the Hackworth Collection at NRM.

A Letter to Timothy Hackworth
kept by his Thornaby descendants.
From the Northern Echo c1936

Timothy Hackworth "The Father of the Locomotives" to whom the people of Shildon put up a Mrs Winifred Parsons and her daughter Joan Hackworth Parsons (Weir) of 62, Mansfield Avenue, Thornaby, and Mrs Alderslade of 4, Northumberland Road. The two women are the granddaughters of  John Wesley Hackworth  who was the eldest son of  Timothy Hackworth.

at the time of the Jubilee of Railways in 1925, has descendants at Thornaby. They are

Mrs Parsons, who is the wife of  Harry Parsons, an engineer at Head Wrightsons and Co's works at Thornaby, has a number of Hackworth relics, including the original letter from Robert Stephenson to him dated 17th march 1829, in which he asked questions on technical matters regarding the two systems of steam machinery then employed on railways.

When the first public railway, the Stockton and Darlington, was opened on the 27th september 1825, 20 miles of it were worked by locomotives and horses. The horses proved much more economical during the first 18 months and the directors, determined to suspend the locomotives. Before confirming this they asked Timothy Hackworth's opinion. He told them he could build them an engine capable of producing cheaper results than animal power. He was given authority to do so and it was then stated that this would be the 'last locomotive experiment'.

This locomotive, the Royal George, was built at New Shildon, by Timothy Hackworth and was completed in 1827. In the first year it hauled 22,442 tons of goods over the 20 miles of line at a cost of £466, whereas a corresponding amount of tonnage drawn by horses had cost £998.

" The Steam Blast (Blast Pipe), Timothy Hackworth's invention, was first used in this engine" Mrs Parsons told a Northern Echo reporter "It made possible the world's first railway system, and I and my daughter and my sister mrs Esther Alderslade and other descendants were present when the Timothy Hackworth memorial to Timothy Hackworth at Shildon was unveiled by the Rt. Hon T R Ferens on the 5th December 1925.

Miniature of Jane Hackworth nee Golightly
from Joan Hackworth Weir Collection.
Timothy's wife.

The reporter was shown the etched plate from which Timothy Hackworth had produced his visiting cards There was a miniature of himself" added Mrs Parsons but another member of the family has it. There were, of course, no photographs in those days but i have copies of etchings of my great grandfather."
and a hand-painted miniature of his wife. "

Other railway relics she has are a bust of the first secretary of the Stockton and Darlington Railway and a number of medallions and a patent for inventions granted to John Wesley Hackworth showing that Timothy Hackworth's mechanical genius descended down to his son. 

Most of the items mentioned and the 'blast pipe letter from George Stephenson have since be donated by Joan to NRM via her cousin Jane.

This is the letter referred to in above press cutting as it appears in Robert Young's book Timothy Hackworth and the Locomotive, first published in 1923. Like the 'blast Pipe letter from George Stephenson, this letter will have passed from Timothy Hackworth to his son John Wesley Hackworth who was originally going to write the book on his father, down to John's son Albert Hackworth who emigrated to the States, and back to the UK to be used by Robert Young in the early 1920's for his book and back to Albert's offspring, so that by 1936, the letter is clearly in the custody of Winifred Hackworth, Joan Hackworth Weir's mother and from Joan via Jane Hackworth-Young to NRM Hackworth Collection at York.

Letter from Robert Stephenson to Timothy Hackworth Liverpool March 17th 1829
This letter (and other's contained in Robert Young's book) "convey  some idea of the unique position held by Timothy Hackworth. We find his experience solicited and his help required both by the deputation from the Liverpool and Manchester Railway Directors and by Robert Stephenson, not as a mere producer of costs and accounts, but as the one authority to whom they could confidently turn for advice and instruction." Robert Young.

Part 2 - the rest of the letter and the start of Hackworth's reply.

The full account around this a earlier letters can be found in Chapter X The Royal George 1822 to 1829 in Robert Young's book Timothy Hackworth and the Locomotive 1923 - 2000 edition available from Friends of  National Railway Museum, York.

Robert Young - Author of  Timothy Hackworth and the Locomotive
Photo via Ulick Loring (a descendant of Timothy Hackworth).

Timothy Hackworth memorial, Shildon

Sunday, 1 February 2015

Wylam: 200 Years of Railway History - George Smith

Available on Kindle or in book form 
Google the book for other options or sources.

"The story of Wylam village in Northumberland is a story about the origin of railways. The birthplace of George Stephenson, it was the centre for the first revolutionary pioneering work on railway engineering which laid the foundation for all that followed. At the beginning of the nineteenth century, on the instigation of colliery owner Christopher Blackett, a series of revolutionary experiments in railway technology were conducted. The principal protagonists read like a roll call of great railway engineers: the wayward genius Richard Trevithick, the devout Methodist Timothy Hackworth who wouldn't work on the Sabbath and the portly asthmatic William Hedley who oversaw the work. It was Hedley who, in 1813, would invent the legendary Puffing Billy, the first reliable working steam locomotive."

Chapters - 
Coal in the North East.
The Growth of Wagon-ways
Wylam Colliery and Christopher Blackett
William Hedley, Timothy Hackworth, Nicholas Wood and George Stephenson
The First Wylam Experiments
The Development of the steam Locomotive
Puffing Billy
Stephenson's First Locomotives
Wylam Dilly and Land Mary
Stephenson, Tennant and the Stockton and Darlington Railway
The Wylam public Railways
Timothy Hackworth and the Locomotive Industry
The Wylam Boom years
Epilogue; The Wylam Legacy.

Wylam Station