A snowplow is a device intended for mounting on a vehicle, used for removing snow and ice from outdoor surfaces those serving transportation purposes. Although this term is used to refer to vehicles mounting such devices, more they are known as winter service vehicles in areas that receive large amounts of snow every year, or in specific environments such as airfields. In other cases, pickup trucks and front end loaders are outfitted with attachments to fulfill this purpose; some regions that do not see snow may use graders to remove compacted snow and ice off the streets. Snowplows can be mounted on rail cars or locomotives to clear railway tracks. A snowplow works by using a blade to push snow to the side to clear it from a surface. Modern plows may include technology to make it easier to stay on the road; these include head-up displays and infrared cameras. Large custom snowplows are used at major airports in North America; these plows have oversized blades and additional equipment like a rotating sweeper broom and blowers at the rear of the plow.
For sidewalks and narrow lanes small tractor plows are used within Canada and the United States. When snowfall accumulates above a certain height, snowplow operators may be seen clearing the main arteries first, in some cases for the exclusive use of emergency vehicles. Underbody scrapers are sometimes mounted on vehicles in residential and urban settings, operating on principles similar to a road grader, but allowing greater weights and speed along with the carriage of a road treatment applicator. Newer technology has allowed the use of articulated plow systems which can clear multiple divided highway lanes simultaneously; the first snow plows were horse-drawn wedge-plows made of wood. With the advent of the automobile, a number of inventors set about to improve existing snow plows. In the US, the "snow-clearer" is said to have been patented as early for railways; the first snow plow built for use with motor equipment was in 1913. It was manufactured by Good Roads Machinery in Kennett Square, PA. and was designed to meet the exacting requirements outlined by engineers of the New York City Street Cleaning Bureau.
Good Roads is therefore unofficially credited as the originator of the modern snow plow, though their horse drawn steel blade road graders were used to clear roads of snow as early as the company's founding in 1878 under their original name American Road Machinery. Good Roads patented the first four-wheel grader in 1889 thus making it the first pull grading apparatus patented in the United States. Unlike most early snow plow manufacturers, Good Roads continues to manufacture snow removal equipment today under the name Good Roads Godwin, now located in Dunn, North Carolina. In the early 1920s Good Roads advertised in The American City magazine that "...three out of every four snow plows in use throughout the whole United States are Good Roads Champions." By the mid-1920s Good Roads was manufacturing snow plows of various shapes and sizes for use on a wide variety of motorized equipment. Other snow plow manufactures began to follow suit as motorized plows were proven more efficient than other methods of snow removal.
In 1923, the brothers Hans and Even Øveraasen of Norway constructed an early snowplow for use on cars. This proved to be the start of a tradition in snow-clearing equipment for roads and airports, as well as the foundation of the company Øveraasen Snow Removal Systems. Carl Frink of Clayton, New York, USA was an early manufacturer of automobile-mounted snowplows, his company, Frink Snowplows, now Frink-America, was founded by some accounts as early as 1920. Today snow plows are produced by numerous companies around the world and available for different kinds of vehicles such as service trucks, pickup trucks, SUVs and ATVs, they are installed using model specific or universal hardware and mount to the frame of the vehicle to ensure durable connection. There are manual and hydraulic operating snow plows. All necessary mounting hardware comes in set with a plow. Snow plow blades are available in various sizes depending on a vehicle type. Service trucks use a blade sized 96 in and more. Common blade size for pickup trucks and full size SUVs is 78–96 in.
Smaller ATV snow plow blades are 48–78 in wide. In many countries, railway locomotives have small snowplows permanently attached to their bogies, which serve as pilots. With others, the snowplow forms part of the obstacle deflector below the bufferbeam. Bolt-on versions exist, these attach to the bufferbeam or front coupler. However, larger snowplows exist, which tend to be conversions rather than purpose-built vehicles. Steam locomotive tenders, large diesel locomotive bogies and various freight vehicles have been used, with the snowplow body mounted on the original frames, they are one-ended, with conventional coupling equipment on the inner end. In Canada purpose built snowplow cars are in use in areas where there is a significant snow fall during winter periods; these cars were influenced by the Russell Plow from the United States
Henri Philippe Benoni Omer Joseph Pétain known as Philippe Pétain, Marshal Pétain and The Old Marshal, was a French Nazi collaborator and general officer who attained the position of Marshal of France at the end of World War I, during which he became known as The Lion of Verdun, in World War II served as the Chief of State of Vichy France from 1940 to 1944. Pétain, 84 years old in 1940, ranks as France's oldest head of state. During World War I Pétain led the French Army to victory at the nine-month-long Battle of Verdun. After the failed Nivelle Offensive and subsequent mutinies he was appointed Commander-in-Chief and succeeded in repairing the army's confidence. Pétain emerged as a national hero. During the interwar period he was head of the peacetime French Army, commanded joint Franco-Spanish operations during the Rif War and served twice as a government Minister. With the imminent Fall of France in June 1940 in World War II, Pétain was appointed Prime Minister of France by President Lebrun at Bordeaux, the Cabinet resolved to make peace with Germany.
The entire government subsequently moved to Clermont-Ferrand to the spa town of Vichy in central France. His government voted to transform the discredited French Third Republic into the French State, an authoritarian regime that collaborated with the Nazis and the Axis Powers. After the war, Pétain was convicted for treason, he was sentenced to death, but due to his age and World War I service his sentence was commuted to life in prison and he died in 1951. Pétain was born in Cauchy-à-la-Tour in 1856, his father, Omer-Venant, was a farmer. His great-uncle, a Catholic priest, Father Abbe Lefebvre, had served in Napoleon's Grande Armée and told the young Pétain tales of war and adventure of his campaigns from the peninsulas of Italy to the Alps in Switzerland. Impressed by the tales told by his uncle, his destiny was from on determined. Pétain was a bachelor until his sixties, known for his womanising. Women were said to find his piercing blue eyes attractive. After World War I Pétain married his former girlfriend, Eugénie Hardon, "a beautiful woman", on 14 September 1920.
After rejecting Pétain's first marriage proposal, Hardon had married and divorced François de Hérain by 1914 when she was 35. At the opening of the Battle of Verdun in 1916, Pétain is said to have been fetched during the night from a Paris hotel by a staff officer who knew that he could be found with Eugénie Hardon, she had no children by Pétain but had a son from her first marriage, Pierre de Hérain, whom Pétain disliked. Pétain joined the French Army in 1876 and attended the St Cyr Military Academy in 1887 and the École Supérieure de Guerre in Paris. Between 1878 and 1899, he served in various garrisons with different battalions of the Chasseurs à pied, the elite light infantry of the French Army. Thereafter, he alternated between regimental assignments. Pétain's career progressed as he rejected the French Army philosophy of the furious infantry assault, arguing instead that "firepower kills", his views were proved to be correct during the First World War. He was promoted to captain in 1890 and major in 1900.
Unlike many French officers, he served in mainland France, never French Indochina or any of the African colonies, although he participated in the Rif campaign in Morocco. As colonel, he commanded the 33rd Infantry Regiment at Arras from 1911. In the spring of 1914, he was given command of a brigade. However, aged 58 and having been told he would never become a general, Pétain had bought a villa for retirement. Pétain led his brigade at the Battle of Guise. At the end of August 1914 he was promoted to brigadier-general and given command of the 6th Division in time for the First Battle of the Marne. After leading his corps in the spring 1915 Artois Offensive, in July 1915 he was given command of the Second Army, which he led in the Champagne Offensive that autumn, he acquired a reputation as one of the more successful commanders on the Western Front. Pétain commanded the Second Army at the start of the Battle of Verdun in February 1916. During the battle, he was promoted to Commander of Army Group Centre, which contained a total of 52 divisions.
Rather than holding down the same infantry divisions on the Verdun battlefield for months, akin to the German system, he rotated them out after only two weeks on the front lines. His decision to organise truck transport over the "Voie Sacrée" to bring a continuous stream of artillery and fresh troops into besieged Verdun played a key role in grinding down the German onslaught to a final halt in July 1916. In effect, he applied the basic principle, a mainstay of his teachings at the École de Guerre before World War I: "le feu tue!" or "firepower kills!"—in this case meaning French field artillery, which fired over 15 million shells on the Germans during the first five months of the battle. Although Pétain did say "On les aura!", the other famous quotation attributed to him – "Ils ne passeront pas!" – was uttered by
Sharp, Stewart and Company
Sharp and Company was a steam locomotive manufacturer based in Manchester, England. The company was formed in 1843 upon the demise of Sharp, Roberts & Co.. It moved to Glasgow, Scotland in 1888 amalgamating with two other Glasgow-based locomotive manufacturers to form the North British Locomotive Company. Iron merchant Thomas Sharp and mechanical engineer Richard Roberts first formed a partnership, Roberts & Co. to manufacture textile machinery and machine tools. They opened the Atlas Works in Manchester in 1828, they had built a few stationary steam engines, in 1833 built a locomotive, Experiment for the Liverpool and Manchester Railway. It was a four-wheeled 2-2-0 with vertical cylinders over the leading wheels. After a number of modifications, three similar locomotives were built in 1834 for the Dublin and Kingstown Railway. Although they were fast, they were too hard on the track at speed. However, in 1834 Charles Beyer joined the firm and contributed to its success in locomotive building as Roberts soon delegated most of the locomotive design work to him.
A new 2-2-2 design was soon produced with horizontal inside cylinders under the smokebox and additional bearings to support the crank axle. Around 600 of these Sharp Single locomotives were built between 1837 and 1857. Ten of the first were sold to the Grand Junction Railway, with the "Sharpies" becoming a standard to compare with the "Bury" engines. In 1843, Roberts left and the firm became Sharp Brothers and Company. Between 1846 and 1848 the company provided eight 2-2-2 passenger and two 0-4-2 goods locomotives to the Lynn and Dereham Railway. From 1851 to 1853 twenty engines were built for the London and North Western Railway to the design of James Edward McConnell, the so-called "Bloomers", subcontracted from Wolverton. In 1852, the senior partner, John Sharp and was replaced by Charles Patrick Stewart, the name of the company changing to Sharp Stewart and Company. Thomas Sharp retired and was succeeded by Stephen Robinson. In 1860 sole rights were obtained for Giffard's patent injector; the company acquired limited liability in 1864.
The company provided a number of 0-4-0 tender engines for the Furness Railway of which Number 20, built in 1863 has been restored to working order by the Lakeside & Haverthwaite Railway in Cumbria. In 1862, the company began making larger engines, first some 4-6-0 saddle tank engines for the Great Indian Peninsula Railway. By 1865 they were building 0-8-0s, again for India. Since they were dealing in general brass and ironmongery, machine tools, it became necessary to move, which they did in 1888, they took over and moved to the works of the Clyde Locomotive Company in Springburn, renaming it Atlas Works. A number of compounds were built for the Argentine Central Railway in 1889, some 4-4-0 and some 2-8-0. In 1892 they received an order for seventy five 0-6-0s from the Midland Railway. By now they had built a number of 4-6-0 engines for overseas railways, but in 1894 came their first Glasgow order for a British line, the "Jones Goods" of the Highland Railway. By the end of the century they were supplying all over the world.
Between 1898 and 1901, Sharp Stewart and Company supplied no less than 16 4-6-0 and 4 4-8-0 locomotives to New Zealand Railways. The 4-8-0 B class locomotives survived till the end of steam either as-built, or as 4-6-4T engines of the We class; the 4-6-0 locomotives were dumped in rivers and on the coast as erosion protection when their time was up. 3 have since been salvaged for preservation. In 1903, having built over 5000 engines, the company amalgamated with Neilson and Company and Dübs and Company to form the North British Locomotive Company. Category:Sharp Stewart locomotives Lowe, J. W. British Steam Locomotive Builders, Guild Publishing
Ypres is a Belgian municipality in the province of West Flanders. Though the Dutch Ieper is the official name, the city's French name Ypres is most used in English; the municipality comprises the city of Ypres and the villages of Boezinge, Dikkebus, Hollebeke, Sint-Jan, Voormezele and Zuidschote. Together, they are home to about 34,900 inhabitants. During the First World War, Ypres was the centre of the Battles of Ypres between German and Allied forces. Ypres is an ancient town, known to have been raided by the Romans in the first century BC, it is first mentioned by name in 1066 and is named after the river Ieperlee on the banks of which it was founded. During the Middle Ages, Ypres was a prosperous Flemish city with a population of 40,000 in 1200 AD, renowned for its linen trade with England, mentioned in the Canterbury Tales; as the third largest city in the County of Flanders Ypres played an important role in the history of the textile industry. Textiles from Ypres could be found in the markets of Novgorod in Kievan Rus' in the early 12th century.
In 1241, a major fire ruined much of the old city. The powerful city was involved in important treaties and battles, including the Battle of the Golden Spurs, the Battle at Mons-en-Pévèle, the Peace of Melun, the Battle of Cassel; the famous Cloth Hall was built in the thirteenth century. During this time cats the symbol of the devil and witchcraft, were thrown off Cloth Hall because of the belief that this would get rid of evil demons. Today, this act is commemorated with a triennial Cat Parade through town. During the Norwich Crusade, led by the English bishop Henry le Despenser, Ypres was besieged from May to August 1383, until French relief forces arrived. After the destruction of Thérouanne, Ypres became the seat of the new Diocese of Ypres in 1561, Saint Martin's Church was elevated to cathedral. On 25 March 1678 Ypres was conquered by the forces of Louis XIV of France, it remained French under the treaty of Nijmegen, Vauban constructed his typical fortifications that can still be seen today.
In 1697, after the Treaty of Ryswick, Ypres was returned to the Spanish Crown. During the War of the Spanish Succession, the Duke of Marlborough in 1709 intended to capture Ypres, at the time a major French fortress, but changed his mind owing to the long time and effort it had taken him to capture Tournai and apprehension of disease spreading in his army in the poorly drained land around Ypres. In 1713 it was handed over to the Habsburgs, became part of the Austrian Netherlands. In 1782 the Habsburg Austrian Emperor Joseph II ordered parts of the walls torn down; this destruction, only repaired, made it easier for the French to capture the city in the 1794 Siege of Ypres during the War of the First Coalition. In 1850 the Ypresian Age of the Eocene Epoch was named on the basis of geology in the region by Belgian geologist André Hubert Dumont. Ypres had long been fortified to keep out invaders. Parts of the early ramparts, dating from 1385, still survive near the Rijselpoort. Over time, the earthworks were replaced by a partial moat.
Ypres was further fortified in the 17th and 18th centuries while under the occupation of the Habsburgs and the French. Major works were completed at the end of the 17th century by the French military engineer Sébastien Le Prestre de Vauban. Ypres occupied a strategic position during the First World War because it stood in the path of Germany's planned sweep across the rest of Belgium and into France from the north; the neutrality of Belgium, established by the First Treaty of London, was guaranteed by Britain. The German army surrounded the city on three sides. To counterattack, British and allied forces made costly advances from the Ypres Salient into the German lines on the surrounding hills. In the First Battle of Ypres, the Allies captured the town from the Germans; the Germans had used tear gas at the Battle of Bolimov on 3 January 1915. Their use of poison gas for the first time on 22 April 1915 marked the beginning of the Second Battle of Ypres, which continued until 25 May 1915, they captured high ground east of the town.
The first gas attack occurred against Canadian and French soldiers, including both metropolitan French soldiers as well as Senegalese and Algerian tirailleurs from French Africa. The gas used was chlorine. Mustard gas called Yperite from the name of this town, was used for the first time near Ypres, in the autumn of 1917. Of the battles, the largest, best-known, most costly in human suffering was the Third Battle of Ypres, in which the British, Canadian, ANZAC, French forces recaptured the Passchendaele Ridge east of the city at a terrible cost of lives. After months of fighting, this battle resulted in nearly half a million casualties to all sides, only a few miles of ground won by Allied forces. During the course of the war the town was all but obliterated by the artillery fire. English-speaking soldiers in that war referred to Ieper/Ypres by the deliberate mispronunciation Wipers. British soldiers published a wartime newspaper called the Wipers Times; the same style of deliberate mispronunciation was applied to other Flemish place names in the Ypres area for the benefit of British troops, such as Whyteshaete becoming White Sheet and Ploegsteert becomi
A superheater is a device used to convert saturated steam or wet steam into superheated steam or dry steam. Superheated steam is used in steam turbines for electricity generation, steam engines, in processes such as steam reforming. There are three types of superheaters: radiant and separately fired. A superheater can vary in size from a few tens of feet to several hundred feet. A radiant superheater is placed directly in radiant zone of the combustion chamber near the water wall so as to absorb heat by radiation. A convection superheater is located in the convective zone of the furnace ahead of economizer; these are called primary superheaters. A separately fired superheater is a superheater, placed outside the main boiler, which has its own separate combustion system; this superheater design incorporates additional burners in the area of superheater pipes. This type of superheater is not popularly used, tends to be extinct due to efficiency of combustion ratio with steam quality, not better than other superheater types.
In a steam engine, the superheater re-heats the steam generated by the boiler, increasing its thermal energy and decreasing the likelihood that it will condense inside the engine. Superheaters increase the thermal efficiency of the steam engine, have been adopted. Steam, superheated is logically known as superheated steam. Superheaters were applied to steam locomotives in quantity from the early 20th century, to most steam vehicles, to stationary steam engines; this equipment is still used in conjunction with steam turbines in electrical power generating stations throughout the world. In steam locomotive use, by far the most common form of superheater is the fire-tube type; this takes the saturated steam supplied in the dry pipe into a superheater header mounted against the tube sheet in the smokebox. The steam is passed through a number of superheater elements—long pipes which are placed inside large diameter fire tubes, called flues. Hot combustion gases from the locomotive's fire pass through these flues just like they do the firetubes, as well as heating the water they heat the steam inside the superheater elements they flow over.
The superheater element doubles back on itself. The superheated steam, at the end of its journey through the elements, passes into a separate compartment of the superheater header and to the cylinders as normal; the steam passing through the superheater elements cools their metal and prevents them from melting, but when the throttle closes this cooling effect is absent, thus a damper closes in the smokebox to cut off the flow through the flues and prevent them being damaged. Some locomotives were fitted with snifting valves which admitted air to the superheater when the locomotive was coasting; this kept the cylinders warm. The snifting valve can be seen behind the chimney on many LNER locomotives. A superheater increases the distance between the throttle and the cylinders in the steam circuit and thus reduces the immediacy of throttle action. To counteract this, some steam locomotives were fitted with a front-end throttle—placed in the smokebox after the superheater; such locomotives can sometimes be identified by an external throttle rod that stretches the whole length of the boiler, with a crank on the outside of the smokebox.
This arrangement allows superheated steam to be used for auxiliary appliances, such as the dynamo and air pumps. Another benefit of the front end throttle is that superheated steam is available. With the dome throttle, it took quite some time before the super heater provided benefits in efficiency. One can think of it in this way: if one opens saturated steam from the boiler to the superheater it goes straight through the superheater units and to the cylinders which doesn't leave much time for the steam to be superheated. With the front-end throttle, steam is in the superheater units while the engine is sitting at the station and that steam is being superheated; when the throttle is opened, superheated steam goes to the cylinders immediately. Locomotives with superheaters are fitted with piston valves or poppet valves; this is. The first practical superheater was developed in Germany by Wilhelm Schmidt during the 1880s and 1890s; the first superheated locomotive Prussian S 4 series, with an early form of superheater, was built in 1898, produced in series from 1902.
The benefits of the invention were demonstrated in the U. K. by the Great Western Railway in 1906. The GWR Chief Mechanical Engineer, G. J. Churchward believed, that the Schmidt type could be bettered, design and testing of an indigenous Swindon type was undertaken, culminating in the Swindon No. 3 superheater in 1909. Douglas Earle Marsh carried out a series of comparative tests between members of his I3 class using saturated steam and those fitted with the Schmidt superheater between October 1907 and March 1910, proving the advantages of the latter in terms of performance and efficiency. Other improved superheaters were introduced by John G. Robinson of the Great Central Railway at Gorton locomotive works, by Robert Urie of the London and South Western Railway at Eastleigh railway works, Richard Maunsell of the Southern Railway a
Douglas Haig, 1st Earl Haig
Field Marshal Douglas Haig, 1st Earl Haig, was a senior officer of the British Army. During the First World War, he commanded the British Expeditionary Force on the Western Front from late 1915 until the end of the war, he was commander during the Battle of the Somme, the Battle of Arras, the Third Battle of Ypres, the German Spring Offensive, the Hundred Days Offensive. Although he had gained a favourable reputation during the immediate post-war years, with his funeral becoming a day of national mourning, Haig has, since the 1960s, become an object of criticism for his leadership during the First World War, he was nicknamed "Butcher Haig" for the two million British casualties endured under his command. The Canadian War Museum comments, "His epic but costly offensives at the Somme and Passchendaele have become nearly synonymous with the carnage and futility of First World War battles." Conversely, he led the BEF during the final Hundred Days Offensive when it crossed the Canal du Nord and broke through the Hindenburg line, capturing 195,000 German prisoners.
This campaign, in combination with the Kiel mutiny, the Wilhelmshaven mutiny, the proclamation of a republic on 9 November 1918, civil unrest across Germany, led to the armistice of 11 November 1918. It is considered by some historians to be one of the greatest victories achieved by a British-led army. Major-General Sir John Davidson, one of Haig's biographers, praised Haig's leadership, since the 1980s many historians have argued that the public hatred in which Haig's name had come to be held failed to recognise the adoption of new tactics and technologies by forces under his command, the important role played by British forces in the allied victory of 1918, that high casualties were a consequence of the tactical and strategic realities of the time. Haig was born in a house on Edinburgh, his father John Richard Haig—an irascible alcoholic—was middle class, though as head of the family's successful Haig & Haig whisky distillery, he had an income of £10,000 per year, an enormous amount at the time.
His mother, was from a gentry family fallen into straitened circumstances. Rachel's cousin, Violet Veitch, was mother of the playwright and performer Noël Coward. Haig's education began in 1869 as a boarder at Mr Bateson's School in St Andrews. In 1869, he switched to Edinburgh Collegiate School, in 1871 to Orwell House, a preparatory school in Warwickshire, he attended Clifton College, a public school. Both of Haig's parents died by the time. After a tour of the United States with his brother, Haig studied Political Economy, Ancient History and French Literature at Brasenose College, Oxford, 1880–1883, he devoted much of his time to socialising – he was a member of the Bullingdon Club – and equestrian sports. He was one of the best young horsemen at Oxford and found his way into the University polo team. Whilst an undergraduate he was initiated as a Freemason in Elgin’s Lodge at Leven No. 91 at Leven, taking the first and second degrees of Freemasonry. In 1920 the Earl of Eglinton encouraged Haig to complete his Masonic progression, he returned to his lodge to take the third degree, subsequently serving as Worshipful Master of the lodge from 1925 to 1926.
He became an officer of the Grand Lodge of Scotland. Although he passed his final exam at Oxford, he was not eligible for a degree as he had missed a term's residence due to sickness, if he had stayed for longer he would have been above the age limit to begin officer training at the Royal Military College at Sandhurst, which he entered in January 1884; because he had been to university, Haig was older than most of his class at Sandhurst. He was Senior Under-Officer, was awarded the Anson Sword, passed out first in the order of merit, he was commissioned as a lieutenant into the 7th Hussars on 7 February 1885. Early in his military career, Haig played polo for England on a tour of the United States, he would remain a polo enthusiast all his life, serving as Chairman of the Hurlingham Polo Committee from its reorganization in May 1914 until 1922. He would be President of the Army Polo Committee and founder of the Indian Polo Association. Haig saw overseas service in India, where he was appointed the regiment's adjutant in 1888.
He was something of a disciplinarian, but impressed his superiors by his administrative skill and analysis of recent training exercises. He was promoted to captain on 23 January 1891. Haig left India in November 1892 to prepare for the entrance exam for the Staff College, which he sat in June 1893. Although he was placed in the top 28 candidates he was not awarded a place as he had narrowly failed the compulsory mathematics paper, he concealed this failure for the rest of his life and recommended dropping the mathematics paper as a requirement. The Adjutant-General Sir Redvers Buller refused to award Haig one of the four nominated places, citing his colour blindness, despite Haig having his eyesight rechecked by a German oculist and despite Haig's glowing testimonials from various senior officers, some of them lobbied by Haig and his sister, it has been postulated that Buller was looking for a rationale in order to give a place to an infantry officer. Haig returned to India
The Waverley Route was a railway line that ran south from Edinburgh, through Midlothian and the Scottish Borders, to Carlisle. The line was built by the North British Railway; the line was nicknamed after the immensely popular Waverley Novels, written by Sir Walter Scott. The line was closed as a result of the Beeching Report. Part of the line, from Edinburgh to Tweedbank, reopened in September 2015; the reopened railway is known as the Borders Railway. The North British Railway was established on 4 July 1844 when Parliamentary authorisation was given for the construction of a 57-mile-30-chain line from Edinburgh to Berwick-upon-Tweed with a 4-mile-50-chain branch to Haddington; the company's chairman and founder was John Learmonth, the chairman of the Edinburgh and Glasgow Railway, whose ambition it was to enclose the triangle of land between Edinburgh and Carlisle with NBR rails. Carlisle was a key railway centre where a cross-border link with the Lancaster and Carlisle Railway could be established.
The NBR's Edinburgh-Berwick line was to be the starting point for the route which would run diagonally across the Southern Uplands to the Solway Plain and Carlisle, a distance of some 98 miles. The first step in establishing the line was the acquisition of the Edinburgh and Dalkeith Railway, a local line opened in 1831 which ran from an inconveniently-sited station at St Leonards on the southern extremity of Edinburgh to Dalhousie on the Lothian Coalfield; the E&DR, authorised on 26 May 1826 as a tramway to carry coal to the Firth of Forth at Fisherrow and Leith, ran for a distance of 8 1⁄2 miles with branches eastwards to Leith and Fisherrow from Wanton Walls. The proprietors of the E&DR viewed the NBR's overtures with some alarm as they feared the loss of their valuable coal traffic. In the state in which it was acquired, the E&DR was of little use to the NBR as it had been operated as a horse-drawn tramway for the previous thirteen years, was built to a 4 ft 6 in gauge and was in a dilapidated state in terms of both infrastructure and rolling stock.
The concern brought with it a number of advantages: its proprietors had developed an efficient coal-marketing organisation which would benefit its new owners, it consolidated the NBR's position in Edinburgh while barring the rival Caledonian Railway from the Lothian Coalfields, most the E&DR pointed in the direction of Carlisle. Parliamentary authorisation for the line's acquisition was obtained on 21 July 1845 with the passing of the North British Railway Act, which allowed the NBR to lay a spur from its Edinburgh-Berwick line near Portobello to the E&DR at Niddrie, thereby allowing NBR services to run directly from North Bridge station to Dalhousie. Before the NBR had obtained its Act authorising the acquisition of the E&DR, John Learmonth had instructed John Miller to carry out a flying survey of the territory to the south of Dalkeith for a potential line to Kelso which would connect with a branch from Berwick; the scheme, which would see a 52-mile line from the E&DR's terminus at Dalhousie Mains to Hawick, was discussed at a shareholders' meeting on 19 December 1844 where it drew criticism for being nearly as long as the NBR's Berwick line.
Learmonth described the line as a "protective" one to guard against incursions by the NBR's Glasgow-based rival, the Caledonian Railway, stated that there was no intention of extending it further to Carlisle. The proposal having been carried by a substantial majority, the Act authorising the line was obtained on 21 July 1845 with the incorporation of the Edinburgh and Hawick Railway. Although nominally independent, the company had £400,000 of its capital subscribed by NBR directors and the shares, each bearing a 4% guarantee, were to be transferred to NBR shareholders after incorporation. A special shareholders' meeting on 18 August 1845 authorised a further £400,000 to be raised which would be used to buy out the Edinburgh and Hawick company. At the same time, Learmonth revealed; the line would first be extended to Galashiels by paying £1,200 to buy out the independent Galashiels Railway project. The line to Hawick was to be the greatest and most costly of the NBR's lines. From Dalhousie it climbed up the valleys of the South Esk and the Gore Water for 8 miles at 1 in 70 to reach a 900-foot summit at Falahill, before dropping down to the Gala Water which it crossed fifteen times to reach Galashiels.
The next stage passed through the Tweed Valley, around the Eildons to Melrose and St Boswells, to Hawick over undulating terrain. Construction was under way in June 1846 when the company obtained authorisation to build seven branch lines - four from its Berwick line and three from the Hawick line; the line opened on 1 November 1849. Despite the manifest lack of traffic potential over the barren moorlands separating Hawick and Carlisle, reaching the Cumbrian county town was to be a hotly disputed affair with the NBR and the Caledonian Railway vying for control; the Caledonian was keen to hinder the progress of the NBR and planned an incursion into NBR territory with the Caledonian Extension Railway - a 104-mile line from Ayr to Berwick to complement its main line from Carlisle to Glasgow. In 1847, the Caledonian obtained powers to construct a line eastwar