Grand Junction Railway

This was one of the early railway companies who wanted to create a long distance route north (82 miles) from Birmingham. Authorised by an act of Parliament in 1833, designed by the great Robert Stephenson and Joseph Locke, it opened in 1837. Starting in Birmingham, not from New Street at this time, but from Curzon Street Station, which is now to be the HS2 Birmingham hub in the future.

The line went round through Perry Bar and Bescot (travellers down the M6 go past this as you approach the M6/M5 junction) before reaching Wolverhampton. The present line north follows the old line all the way to Warrington. The new line joined the Warrington and Newton Railway at Dallam (older readers will remember the shed here in steam days) and on to join the Liverpool and Manchester Railway (L&M) at what then was Newton Junction, now it is called Earlestown. The line to Richard Evans’ collieries went straight on here (see Acton Grange Wharf). That was the end of the railway but the company had negotiated running rights on the L&M to the cities at either end.

Curzon Street was shared with the London and Birmingham Railway which gave easy connections for London, Manchester and Liverpool. It is worth noting that the first travelling post office was a converted horse box on the GJR where mail was sorted on route!

The tortuous curves at Newton Junction to link into the North Union Railway were difficult to negotiate and so a direct link was made avoiding Newton Junction. This gave a easier route towards Preston and the North.

By 1848 it was amalgamated with a number of other companies to make the London and North Western Railway Company (LNWR) which survived until grouping in 1923 when it became part of the London Midland and Scottish Railway (LMS) until the whole systemm was national in 1948.

We two stations in the parish on this railway, Preston Brook and Moore. There are more details on each station elsewhere on this site.

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