Tuesday, 18 August 2020

Before the Big 4 (3) : London North Western Railway

The London North Western Railway was one of the larger pre-grouping railway companies, indeed for a time in the late 19th century it was the largest joint stock company in the country. The LNWR was formed in 1846 from the amalgamation of Grand Junction Railway, London & Birmingham Railway and the Manchester & Birmingham Railway. This created a single network linking London to Birmingham, Crewe, Liverpool and Manchester - what we consider the core of the West Coast Main Line today.

The company grew (including by further amalgamations) as far North as Carlisle and West into North Wales and the Irish mail trains from Holyhead. Further lines reaches the likes of Leeds, Nottingham and into South Wales. The final amalgamations in 1922, including with the Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway, helped the LNWR reach over 2,700 route miles before it became a core part of the London, Midland & Scottish Railway. The LNWR headquarters were London Euston, still one of the busiest railway stations on the network.

In the early 20th century the LNWR built an electrified line from London Euston to Watford operated by Electric Multiple Units. This line is now part of the London Overground.
790 Hardwicke at NRM Sheldon

Crewe, where the main LNWR engineering works were located

A preserved Watford DC EMU at NRM York

Surviving LNWR badge on a bridge in St Helens

Preserved G2 at Shildon