St Helens and Runcorn Gap Railway
St Helens and Runcorn Gap Railway known as St Helens Railway, was an early railway company in Lancashire, which opened in 1833. It ran from the town of St Helens to the area which would develop into the town of Widnes. Branches were opened to Garston and Rainford; the company was taken over by the London and North Western Railway in 1864. The line from St Helens to Widnes and the branch to Rainford are now closed, the latter terminating at the Pilkington Glass' Cowley Hill works siding near Gerard's Bridge, but part of the lines to Garston and to Warrington are still in operation. With the coming of the Industrial Revolution in the 18th century there was a need for coal to be carried from the coalfields in the area of St Helens to the River Mersey for transportation to the growing industrial towns and cities; the first solution was to build the Sankey Canal which opened in 1755 and ran from the Blackbrook canal via Parr to Sankey Bridges, to the west of Warrington. It was extended to Fiddlers Ferry, five years later.
Encouraged by the success of the Stockton and Darlington Railway which opened in 1825, in 1829 a group of local businessmen arranged for a survey for a line from Cowley Hill Colliery, north of St Helens, to Runcorn Gap on the River Mersey. At this time the Liverpool and Manchester Railway, which ran to the south of St Helens, was being built and its surveyor, Charles Blacker Vignoles, was commissioned to undertake the survey. An Act of Parliament was obtained on 29 May 1830; the original capital was £120,000, one-third of, raised from local coal owners, salt-makers and Liverpool merchants. These included James Muspratt and alkali manufacturer, Peter Greenall, who had interests in the brewing and glass manufacturing industries. Peter Greenall was elected as the first chairman of a board of ten directors. At the south end of the railway, Widnes Dock was built; this was the world's first rail-to-ship facility. Because of perceived competition from the railway, the Sankey Canal was extended from Fiddlers Ferry to Runcorn Gap by what was known as the "New Cut".
The railway terminated between the dock and the end of the canal and Runcorn Gap station was sited to the north of the canal. Work on the line proceeded and its costs overran the estimate, it did not open until 1833 but in November 1832 a train with coal wagons ran over the track because of a wager between one of the owners and the engineer that a train would pass over it by December 1832. The line opened on 21 February 1833 but the dock was not completed until August 1833; the extension to the Sankey Canal opened on 24 July 1833. From Widnes Dock a single line crossed the extension to the canal by a swing bridge and climbed steeply, so steeply that for a section trains had to be pulled by a stationary engine. Haulage by a stationary engine was necessary for a section further north at Sutton near St Helens; the Liverpool and Manchester line was crossed by an iron bridge south of St Helens. The line was intended for freight but public demand led to passenger coaches being added to the rear of the trains, this service starting in September 1833.
There was intense competition between the railway and the canal leading to financial difficulties for both companies. The companies agreed to a merger, with the railway company buying out the canal company to form the St Helens Canal and Railway Company. Royal assent for this was received on 21 July 1845; the company, which owned nine-second-hand tank engines and had a staff of 122, was described as being "ramshackle". It set about to improve the situation, doubling the track and easing the gradients so that the whole line could be operated by steam locomotives; the new company set about planning branch lines and connections. There had been a plan to build northwards from St Helens towards Southport to join the Southport and Euxton branch at Rufford; however this line was built only as far as Rainford. Here it joined the Lancashire Union Railway at Gerards Bridge Junction; the company bought land at Garston with the intention of building a dock and linking it with a line to Runcorn Gap. This opened as a single line on 1 July 1852, although the dock was not opened to shipping until 21 July 1853.
On 21 May 1851 a sharp curve connection had been made on this line from the main line at what was to become known as Widnes Dock Junction. The following year a new Runcorn Gap station was opened nearer to the growing town of Widnes; the next project was to build a branch line to Warrington. This was opened on 1 February 1853, extending to a temporary station at Warrington. In the following year it was extended to meet the Stockport Railway. A station on this branch was opened at Cuerdley but this closed in January 1858; the creation of these branch lines created an unusual feature on a flat crossing. In the 1860s people could travel eastwards from Runcorn Gap to Warrington and, from there, to Manchester and many other places, they could travel west to Liverpool by taking a ship at Garston. By 1860 there was considerable competition between the railway companies; the London and North Western Railway wanted to build a line between Edge Garston. Following discussions, the LNWR leased the line from Garston to Warrington with effect from 1 September 1860, paying £5,000 for the first year and £12,000 annually from 1861.
On 29 July 1864, an act was passed which allowed SHCR to be absorbed by LNWR, the transfer took place on 31 July 1864. Runcorn Gap station was renamed Widnes station on 1
Manchester Victoria station
Manchester Victoria station in Manchester, England is a combined mainline railway station and Metrolink tram stop. Situated to the north of the city centre on Hunts Bank, close to Manchester Cathedral, it adjoins Manchester Arena, constructed on part of the former station site in the 1990s. Opened in 1844 and part of the Manchester station group, Victoria is Manchester's third busiest railway station after Piccadilly and Oxford Road and the second busiest station managed by Northern after Oxford Road; the station hosts local and regional services to destinations in Northern England, such as Blackburn, Bradford, Newcastle, Halifax, Southport and Liverpool using the original Liverpool to Manchester line. Most trains calling at Victoria are operated by Northern. TransPennine Express services call at the station from Liverpool to Newcastle /Scarborough and services towards Manchester Airport from Middlesbrough/Newcastle. Manchester Victoria is a major interchange for the Metrolink light rail system.
Several former railway lines into the station have been converted to tram operation. The line to Bury was converted in the early 1990s in the first phase of Metrolink construction and the line through Oldham to Rochdale was converted during 2009–2014. Trams switch to on-street running when they emerge from Victoria Station and continue southwards through the city centre to Piccadilly or Deansgate-Castlefield. In 2009, Victoria was voted the worst category B interchange station in the United Kingdom; the station underwent a two-year £44 million modernisation programme, completed in August 2015. Renovation entailed electrification of lines through the station, renewed Metrolink stop with an additional platform, restoration of listed features, upgraded retail units, a new roof; the Ordsall Chord directly linking Victoria to Oxford Road and Piccadilly was completed in December 2017. In the Northern Hub proposals, Victoria will become the rail hub for TransPennine Express and Northern Connect services by the end of 2020 with passenger numbers expected to rise to 12 million as a result.
The Manchester and Leeds Railway was founded in 1836 and the company began building its line between Manchester and Leeds in 1837. Its line terminated at Manchester Oldham Road which opened on 3 July 1839; the company realised it would be advantageous to join its line to the Liverpool and Manchester Railway creating a through route from Liverpool to Yorkshire with a joint station serving the centre of Manchester. In 1839 Samuel Brooks, vice-chairman of the M&LR, bought land at Hunt's Bank close to the cathedral and presented it to the company for the new station; the site was on the north bank of the River Irk, between the workhouse to the north which had opened in 1793 and Walker's Croft Cemetery to the south. After several years of negotiations between the companies, work started in 1842; the M&LR built an extension from Miles Platting to the station which opened on 1 January 1844. On this date, the Oldham Road terminus became a goods station; the new station had a 852 ft long single platform which handled M&LR trains to Leeds and elsewhere at its eastern end.
The L&MR extended its line from Ordsall to Victoria and its trains operated from the western end from 4 May 1844, on which date its Liverpool Road station terminus became a goods station. The station was named Victoria in 1843, its long, single-storey building designed by George Stephenson and completed by John Brogden was approached by a wooden footbridge over the River Irk before the river was culverted. Most of the original 1844 station buildings are standing including part of the original façade on Hunt's Bank; the L&MR became part of the Grand Junction Railway in 1845, which in turn amalgamated with other railways to create the London and North Western Railway in 1846, the M&LR amalgamated with other railways to create the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway the following year. The headquarters of the L&YR were based alongside Victoria. By the mid-1840s six railway companies operated from the station connecting Manchester to London, Liverpool and Sheffield. Victoria Station dominated the Long Millgate area and was one of the biggest passenger stations in Britain.
Victoria underwent several phases of expansion. In 1865, four bay platforms were built on the eastern side on land reclaimed from the cemetery, another was built on the western side, a second through platform was built at the northern side, the station's facilities were expanded by the construction of a new east wing of the station building. Two decades the L&YR purchased the workhouse north of the station and its site was used to build another bay and five through platforms which came into use in 1884; that same year, the LNWR opened its own station, Manchester Exchange to the west on the opposite side of the River Irwell, vacated Victoria. Victoria reached its maximum extent of 17 platforms in 1904 when the station was enlarged with extra bay platforms to the south; the present station façade, designed by William Dawes, was built in 1909. The cast-iron train sheds behind the façade were 700 yards long; because the station handled large amounts of parcel and newspaper traffic, an overhead parcels carrier system was constructed in 1895.
It consisted of an electrically powered trolley suspended from an overhead track operated by an airborne attendant. A large basket could be raised and lowered from the trolley to distribute parcels and newspapers across the station; the system operated until 1940. The L&YR merged with the LNWR on 1 January 1922. A year the merged company became the largest constituent of the London and Scottish Railway. F
Metropolitan Borough of St Helens
The Metropolitan Borough of St Helens is a metropolitan borough of Merseyside, in North West England. It is named after its largest town St Helens, covers an area which includes the settlements of Sutton, St Helens, Rainhill, Clock Face, Billinge and Newton-le-Willows; the Metropolitan Borough Council is made up of 48 councillors, with three representing each of the 16 wards of the borough. The Metropolitan Borough was formed on 1 April 1974 as a merger of the former County Borough of St Helens, along with the urban districts of Haydock, Newton-le-Willows and Rainford, parts of Billinge-and-Winstanley and Ashton-in-Makerfield urban districts, along with part of Whiston Rural District, all from the administrative county of Lancashire. Between 1974 and 1986 the borough council shared functions with Merseyside County Council; the functions of this body were in part devolved to the boroughs and in part transferred to ad hoc agencies. Elections to St Helens Metropolitan Borough Council are held in three out of every four years, with one-third of the 48 seats on the council being elected at each election.
The Labour party has had a majority on the council since the first election in 1973, except for a period between the 2004 election and the 2010 election when no party had a majority. This allowed an alliance between the Liberal Democrats and the Conservatives to take control after the 2006 election until Labour regained control in 2010. Since Labour has strengthened its position on the council and as of the 2014 election the council is composed of the following councillors:- St Helens North St Helens South and Whiston The Metropolitan Borough of St Helens is one of the six constituent local government districts of the Liverpool City Region. Since 1 April 2014, some of the borough's responsibilities have been pooled with neighbouring authorities and subsumed into the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority; the combined authority has become the top-tier administrative body for the local governance of the city region and the leader of St Helens Metropolitan Borough Council, along with the five other leaders from neighbouring local government districts, take strategic decisions over economic development, transport and skills, culture and physical infrastructure.
The borough borders the borough of Knowsley, within Merseyside, in the south-west, the Lancashire district of West Lancashire in the north, the Greater Manchester Borough of Wigan in the north-east, to the south the boroughs of Warrington and Halton in Cheshire. The St Helens Borough covers 30 km² over an area of soft rolling hills used for agricultural purposes arable; the highest point in the Metropolitan Borough of St Helens, the whole of Merseyside, is Billinge Hill, 4.5 miles north from St. Helens centre; the borough is landlocked with a stream running through, Mill Brook/Windle Brook running through Eccleston and connecting with the St. Helens Branch/Section of the Sankey Canal in the town centre; the centre of St Helens is around 160 feet above sea level. From the top of Billinge Hill the cities of Manchester and Liverpool are visible on a clear day as well as the towns of, Bolton and Warrington. Carr Mill Dam is Merseyside's largest body of inland water, offering picturesque lakeside trails and walks as well as national competitive powerboating and angling events.
The Burgies are two tailings on the site of the old Rushy Park coal mine. They were created by the dumping of toxic chemical waste from the manufacture of glass, they have since been covered with tall grass and woodland. St Helens is twinned with: Stuttgart, Germany St. Helens Metropolitan Borough Council Earlestown Historical Website Newton-le-Willows Historical Website
Turnpike trusts were bodies set up by individual acts of Parliament, with powers to collect road tolls for maintaining the principal roads in Britain from the 17th but during the 18th and 19th centuries. At the peak, in the 1830s, over 1,000 trusts administered around 30,000 miles of turnpike road in England and Wales, taking tolls at 8,000 toll-gates and side-bars. During the early 19th century the concept of the turnpike trust was adopted and adapted to manage roads within the British Empire and in the United States. Turnpikes declined with the coming of the railways and the Local Government Act 1888 gave responsibility for maintaining main roads to county councils and county borough councils; the term "turnpike" originates from the similarity of the gate used to control access to the road, to the barriers once used to defend against attack by cavalry. The turnpike consisted of a row of pikes or bars, each sharpened at one end, attached to horizontal members which were secured at one end to an upright pole or axle, which could be rotated to open or close the gate.
Pavage grants made for paving the marketplace or streets of towns, began to be used for maintaining some roads between towns in the 14th century. These grants were made by letters patent invariably for a limited term the time to be required to pay for the required works. Tudor statutes had placed responsibility on each parish vestry to maintain all its roads; this arrangement was adequate for roads that the parishioners used themselves but proved unsatisfactory for the principal highways that were used by long-distance travellers and waggoners. During the late 17th century, the piecemeal approach to road maintenance caused acute problems on the main routes into London; as trade increased, the growing numbers of heavy carts and carriages led to serious deterioration in the state of these roads and this could not be remedied by the use of parish statute labour. A parliamentary bill was tabled in 1621/22 to relieve the parishes responsible for part of the Great North Road by imposing a scale of tolls on various sorts of traffic.
The toll revenue was to be used in repairing the road, the bill was defeated. During the following forty years, the idea of making travellers contribute to the repair of roads was raised on several occasions. Many parishes continued to struggle to find funds to repair major roads and in Hertfordshire way wardens on behalf of the vestries stood frequent trial at quarter sessions for their failure to keep the Old North Road in a good state of repair. In 1656 the parish of Radwell, Hertfordshire petitioned their local sessions for help to maintain their section of the Great North Road; as a result judges on the Hertfordshire and Huntingdonshire circuit represented the matter to Parliament. It passed an act that gave the local justices of the peace powers to erect toll-gates on a section of the road, between Wadesmill, Hertfordshire; the toll-gate erected at Wadesmill was the prototype in England. Parliament gave similar powers to the justices in other counties in England and Wales. An example is the first Turnpike Act for Surrey in 1696, during the reign of William III for enhanced repairs between Reigate in Surrey and Crawley in Sussex.
The act made provision to erect turnpikes, appoint toll collectors. The first scheme that had trustees who were not justices was established through a Turnpike Act in 1707, for a section of the London-Chester road between Fornhill and Stony Stratford; the basic principle was that the trustees would manage resources from the several parishes through which the highway passed, augment this with tolls from users from outside the parishes and apply the whole to the maintenance of the main highway. This became the pattern for the turnpiking of a growing number of highways, sought by those who wished to improve flow of commerce through their part of a county; the proposal to turnpike a particular section of road was a local initiative and a separate Act of Parliament was required to create each trust. The Act gave the trustees responsibility for maintaining a specified part of the existing highway, it provided them with powers to achieve this. Local gentlemen and merchants were nominated as trustees and they appointed a clerk, a treasurer and a surveyor to administer and maintain the highway.
These officers were paid by the trust. Trustees were not paid, though they derived indirect benefits from the better transport, which improved access to markets and led to increases in rental income and trade; the first action of a new trust was to erect turnpike gates. The Act gave a maximum toll allowable for each class of vehicle or animal – for instance one shilling and six pence for a coach pulled by four horses, a penny for an unladen horse and ten pence for a drove of 20 cows; the trustees could call on a portion of the statute duty from the parishes, either as labour or by a cash payment. The trust applied the income to pay for labour and materials to maintain the road, they were able to mortgage future tolls to raise loans for new structures and for more substantial improvements to the existing highway. The trusts applied some funds to erecting tollhouses that accommodated the pikeman or toll-collector beside the tu
St Helens, Merseyside
St Helens is a large town in Merseyside, with a population of 102,629. It is the administrative centre of the Metropolitan Borough of St Helens, which had a population of 176,843 at the 2001 Census. St Helens is in the south west of the historic county of Lancashire, 6 miles north of the River Mersey; the town lay within the ancient Lancashire division of West Derby known as a "hundred". Incorporated as a municipal borough in 1868, responsible for the administration of the townships of Eccleston, Parr and Windle, it became a county borough in 1887 and a metropolitan borough in 1974; the area developed in the Industrial Revolution of the 18th and 19th centuries into a significant centre for coal mining and glassmaking. It was home to a cotton and linen industry that lasted until the mid-19th century as well as salt and alkali pits, copper smelting, brewing. Glass producer Pilkington is the town's only remaining large industrial employer, it was home to Beechams, the Gamble Alkali Works, Ravenhead glass, United Glass Bottles, Daglish Foundry, Greenall's brewery.
The southern part of what became the traditional county of Lancashire was at least settled by the Brigantes, a Celtic tribe, who were subjugated by the Romans during their 1st Century conquest, with nearby Wigan suggested as a location for the Roman settlement of Coccium. Eccleston in St Helens appears to derive its name from either the Latin ecclesia or the Welsh eglwys, both meaning "church", suggesting a common link to a place of worship although none is known in that township until the 19th century; the first recorded settlements are the Manors and Titled Lands listed in the Domesday Book in the 11th century. The titled lands would have encompassed the modern townships of Sutton and Parr as part of their fiefdoms, though it may be inferred from the listed tithes that the land was populated before then. St Helens did not exist as a town in its own right until as late as the middle of the 19th century; the development of the town has a complex history: it was spurred on by the rapid population growth in the region during the Industrial Revolution.
Between 1629 and 1839 St Helens grew from a small collection of houses surrounding an old chapel, to a village, before becoming the significant urban centre of the four primary manors and surrounding townships that make up the modern town. The Domesday Book of 1086 reveals that several manors existed at that time, although there are no specific references to "St Elyn", or mentions of the particular "vill" or villages. Windle is first recorded on some maps as "Windhull" in 1201, Bold in 1212 and Parr in 1246, whilst Sutton and Ecclestone composed part of the Widnes "fee" under a Knight or Earl, it is known that the Hospitallers held lands in the area of Hardshaw as early as 1292, known as Crossgate and many of the original parishes and local areas are named after the families that owned the land between the 11th and 18th centuries. The Ecclestone family owned the Eccleston township, their ancestral home dates to 1100. The family is referred to throughout the period until the 18th century when they departed for nearby SouthportThe manor of Parr remained in control of the Parr family and their descendants from the 13th to the early 15th century, when a distant relative of the original family line, William Parr, 1st Marquess of Northampton sold the manor to the Byroms of Lowton.
The family supported the Royalists during the English Civil War, Henry Byrom died at the Battle of Edgehill. The extensive lands of Sutton Manor stretched across the open and flat land leading towards the Mersey; the manor's name is of unknown origin, but the land within the estate referred to several leading families, including Eltonhead and Sherdley. In 1212 William de Daresbury was the title holder of the manors; the Sherdley family can be traced back to the Northales, settled in the area since at least 1276, when they are referred to as plaintiffs in a boundary dispute with the Lords of Rainhill. Windle contained the smaller Hardshaw, described as a Berewick in the Domesday Book, it was in Hardshaw. The Windle Family were Lords of the Manor and Township from the Norman period onward, before ceding control to the Gerards of Bryn. In 1139, the "earldom of Derby", in the Peerage of England, was created: Norman descendent Robert De Ferrers was the first Earl. Subsequently, the region passed to John of Gaunt, the Stanley family.
Their ancestral home was established in the nearby Knowsley area, with the foundation of a hunting lodge in the 15th century and subsequently Knowsley Hall in the 18th century. The Earl of Derby's lands encompassed a region from Liverpool to Manchester, to the north beyond Lancaster and were turned to meeting the pastoral needs of the people. Throughout this period the area was predominantly arable land and was noted for its large swathes of moss and bog land while elsewhere in parts it was covered by the greater Mersey Forest; the origin of the name "St Helens" stretches back at least to a chapel of ease dedicated to St Elyn, the earliest documented reference to, in 1552. The first time the Chapel was formally referred to appears to be 1558, when Thomas Parr of Parr bequeathed a sum of money "to
England is a country, part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to Scotland to the north-northwest; the Irish Sea lies west of England and the Celtic Sea lies to the southwest. England is separated from continental Europe by the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south; the country covers five-eighths of the island of Great Britain, which lies in the North Atlantic, includes over 100 smaller islands, such as the Isles of Scilly and the Isle of Wight. The area now called England was first inhabited by modern humans during the Upper Palaeolithic period, but takes its name from the Angles, a Germanic tribe deriving its name from the Anglia peninsula, who settled during the 5th and 6th centuries. England became a unified state in the 10th century, since the Age of Discovery, which began during the 15th century, has had a significant cultural and legal impact on the wider world; the English language, the Anglican Church, English law – the basis for the common law legal systems of many other countries around the world – developed in England, the country's parliamentary system of government has been adopted by other nations.
The Industrial Revolution began in 18th-century England, transforming its society into the world's first industrialised nation. England's terrain is chiefly low hills and plains in central and southern England. However, there is upland and mountainous terrain in the west; the capital is London, which has the largest metropolitan area in both the United Kingdom and the European Union. England's population of over 55 million comprises 84% of the population of the United Kingdom concentrated around London, the South East, conurbations in the Midlands, the North West, the North East, Yorkshire, which each developed as major industrial regions during the 19th century; the Kingdom of England – which after 1535 included Wales – ceased being a separate sovereign state on 1 May 1707, when the Acts of Union put into effect the terms agreed in the Treaty of Union the previous year, resulting in a political union with the Kingdom of Scotland to create the Kingdom of Great Britain. In 1801, Great Britain was united with the Kingdom of Ireland to become the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.
In 1922 the Irish Free State seceded from the United Kingdom, leading to the latter being renamed the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. The name "England" is derived from the Old English name Englaland, which means "land of the Angles"; the Angles were one of the Germanic tribes that settled in Great Britain during the Early Middle Ages. The Angles came from the Anglia peninsula in the Bay of Kiel area of the Baltic Sea; the earliest recorded use of the term, as "Engla londe", is in the late-ninth-century translation into Old English of Bede's Ecclesiastical History of the English People. The term was used in a different sense to the modern one, meaning "the land inhabited by the English", it included English people in what is now south-east Scotland but was part of the English kingdom of Northumbria; the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle recorded that the Domesday Book of 1086 covered the whole of England, meaning the English kingdom, but a few years the Chronicle stated that King Malcolm III went "out of Scotlande into Lothian in Englaland", thus using it in the more ancient sense.
According to the Oxford English Dictionary, its modern spelling was first used in 1538. The earliest attested reference to the Angles occurs in the 1st-century work by Tacitus, Germania, in which the Latin word Anglii is used; the etymology of the tribal name itself is disputed by scholars. How and why a term derived from the name of a tribe, less significant than others, such as the Saxons, came to be used for the entire country and its people is not known, but it seems this is related to the custom of calling the Germanic people in Britain Angli Saxones or English Saxons to distinguish them from continental Saxons of Old Saxony between the Weser and Eider rivers in Northern Germany. In Scottish Gaelic, another language which developed on the island of Great Britain, the Saxon tribe gave their name to the word for England. An alternative name for England is Albion; the name Albion referred to the entire island of Great Britain. The nominally earliest record of the name appears in the Aristotelian Corpus the 4th-century BC De Mundo: "Beyond the Pillars of Hercules is the ocean that flows round the earth.
In it are two large islands called Britannia. But modern scholarly consensus ascribes De Mundo not to Aristotle but to Pseudo-Aristotle, i.e. it was written in the Graeco-Roman period or afterwards. The word Albion or insula Albionum has two possible origins, it either derives from a cognate of the Latin albus meaning white, a reference to the white cliffs of Dover or from the phrase the "island of the Albiones" in the now lost Massaliote Periplus, attested through Avienus' Ora Maritima to which the former served as a source. Albion is now applied to England in a more poetic capacity. Another romantic name for England is Loegria, related to the Welsh word for England and made popular by its use in Arthurian legend; the earliest known evidence of human presence in the area now known as England was that of Homo antecessor, dating to approximate
Crewe railway station
Crewe railway station is a railway station in Crewe, England. The station was opened in 1837 and is one of the most significant railway stations in the world. Crewe was chosen after Winsford, seven miles to the north, had rejected an earlier proposal, as had local landowners in neighbouring Nantwich, four miles away. Crewe is a major junction on the West Coast Main Line and serves as a rail gateway for North West England, it is 243 miles south of Glasgow Central. It is located at the point where the lines to Manchester Piccadilly and North Wales diverge from this route, is the last major station before the branch to Liverpool Lime Street diverges, it is served by lines to Stoke-on-Trent and Shrewsbury. Crewe railway station has twelve platforms and a modern passenger entrance containing a bookshop and ticket office. Passengers access the platforms via a footbridge and lifts; the platforms buildings dating from the 19th century contain two bookshops, bars and waiting rooms. The last major expenditure on the station was in 1985 when the track layout was remodelled and station facilities updated.
Crewe station was the first station to have its own adjacent railway hotel: The Crewe Arms, built in 1838, still in use. It was the first to be rebuilt owing to the need for expansion, it was the first to have independent rail lines built around it to ease traffic congestion. The station opened on 4 July 1837 on the Grand Junction Railway; the purpose was to link the four largest cities of England by joining the existing Liverpool and Manchester Railway with the projected London & Birmingham Railway. The first long-distance railway in the world, it ran from Curzon Street railway station in Birmingham to Dallam in Warrington, where it made an end-on junction with the Warrington and Newton Railway, a branch of the L&M; the station was built in the township of Crewe, which formed part of the ancient parish of Barthomley. The township became a civil parish in its own right, still, was renamed Crewe Green to avoid confusion with the town of Crewe, adjacent to it; the station was at the point where the line crossed the turnpike road linking the Trent and Mersey and the Shropshire Union Canals.
Since the land was bought from the Earl of Crewe, whose mansion stood nearby, it was located in the township of Crewe, the station was called Crewe. The railway station gave its name to the town of Crewe, situated in the ancient parish of Coppenhall. In 1936, the railway station was transferred from the civil parish of Crewe to the municipal borough of Crewe; as soon as the station opened the Chester and Crewe Railway was formed to build a branch line to Chester and this company was absorbed by the GJR shortly before it opened to traffic in 1840. A locomotive depot was built to serve the Chester line, to provide banking engines to assist trains southwards from Crewe up the Madeley Incline, a modest gradient, a challenge to the small engines of the day. By 1841, the Chester line was seen as a starting point for a new trunk line to the port of Holyhead, to provide the fastest route to Ireland, the importance of Crewe as a junction station began to be established; this was given further endorsement when the Manchester and Birmingham Railway, a separate undertaking which had hoped to build a wholly independent line linking the two cities, shorter than the GJR, decided that it would be uneconomical to compete with that line over the greater part of its length, decided to divert its own line to meet the GJR at Crewe.
Teething squabbles between the companies delayed the running of through services for a while, the M&B had to build a temporary station of their own, part of which survives today as an isolated platform next to the North Junction, at the start of the line to Manchester. In 1842 the GJR decided to move its locomotive works from Edge Hill in Liverpool to Crewe, siting the works to the north of the junction between the Warrington and Chester lines. To house the workforce and company management the town of Crewe was built by the company to the north of the works. In 1846 the GJR merged with the London and Birmingham to form the London and North Western Railway Company, which until its demise in 1923 was the largest company in the world; the new company extended the existing lines to Holyhead, the Warrington line to Lancaster and Carlisle, the Manchester line to Leeds, built the new Crewe and Shrewsbury Railway to Shrewsbury to join the joint GWR owned Shrewsbury and Hereford Railway, which provided connections to South Wales.
The North Staffordshire Railway built a line from Stoke-on-Trent, joining the LNWR from the South East. Crewe was the centre of a wide-ranging railway network, freight-handling facilities grew up to the south of the station. To cope with the increase of traffic, the station was rebuilt in 1867, the buildings facing each other on the present platforms 5 and 6 dating from this time, built under the supervision of William Baker; the listing by English Heritage describes them as: mirrored design with bowed projections for the platform inspectors’ offices, the ‘greybeard’ keystones and vivid polychromy... one of the best pieces of mid-C19 platform architecture designed anywhere on the LNWR network, as rare surviving examples nationally of buildings of a major junction station of this period. At the same time the works was redeveloped and enlarged and the town enlarged under the leadership of John Ramsbottom, a Stockport man who had become Locomotive Superintendent. Locomotive construction, hitherto divided with Wolverton was concentrated at Crewe.
Ramsbottom built a steelworks, the first in the world to m