Liverpool to Manchester railway line opens - On this day in history


15 September 2016
15-September-Opening_of_the_Liverpool_and_Manchester_Railway-06957.jpg Opening of the Liverpool to Manchester railway line
The Liverpool to Manchester railway line opened on 15 September 1830

On this day in history, 1830: the Liverpool to Manchester railway line opens.

Work on the Liverpool and Manchester Railway (L&M) had begun in the 1820s, to connect the major industrial city of Manchester with the Port of Liverpool, 35 miles away. The L&M was the first locomotive-hauled railway to connect two major cities, and the first to provide a scheduled passenger service. It was also the most expensive engineering project yet undertaken in Britain.

Before the L&M was founded the only means of bulk transport between Liverpool and Manchester, other than animal-drawn carts, was water transport on the Mersey and Irwell Navigation, the Bridgewater Canal and the Leeds and Liverpool Canal, all of which were slow and expensive to use. In fact, transporting raw cotton the 35 miles from Liverpool to Manchester was as expensive as the initial cost of shipping it from America to Liverpool.

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A useful guide to researching railway workers can be found at The National Archives:

Pictured: The Duke of Wellington's train being prepared for departure from Liverpool to Manchester, 15 September 1830.