Authorised on 8 May 1833, the London & Birmingham Railway was one of Britain's first great trunk lines. Engineered by Robert Stephenson (1803-1859), the L&BR line was regarded at the time of its construction as 'the Eighth Wonder of the World'. The route was opened in stages; the first section from Euston to Boxmoor was brought into use on 20 June 1837. The route was extended to Tring on 16 October 1837, and on 9 April 1838 further sections were opened from Tring to Denbigh Hall and between Rugby, Coventry and Birmingham. Finally, on 17 September 1838, the L&BR route was completed throughout its 112-mile length. In its original form, the L&BR functioned as a transport link between London and Birmingham, but the establishment of long-distance railway communication between London and Scotland was regarded as a matter of national importance, and further companies such as the Grand Junction Railway and the Lancaster & Carlisle line were brought into existence to facilitate this ambitious aspiration. Although the L&BR was, at first, suspicious of these new companies, the London & Birmingham directors eventually decided to co-operate, and by 1846 the major west coast companies had amalgamated to form the 'London & North Western Railway' with the West Coast Main Line from Euston to Glasgow being one of the busiest railways in Britain, if not the world.
London, Midland and Scottish Railway Volume Five The London and Birmingham Railway
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