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General background history to the railway
1804 Trevithick's first locomotive
1807 Oystermouth railway
1820 Birkinshaw's rolled iron rails
1825 Stockton-Darlington
1830 Canterbury to Whitstable Kent (first regular passenger run began in May)
1830 Liverpool and Manchester (Rocket of G. & L. Stephenson and Henry Booth won a competition for this railway 1929)
1831 London and Birmingham Railway Company


Acts through Parliament

Settled with Trusts and Landowners including Radcliffe Trust (8 acres)

Problems locally :


  • the canal
  • the Ouse


  • Blisworth
  • Kilsby/Crick
  • Cassiobury
9th April 1838 Incomplete railway opened
  • London/Euston - Fenny Stratford (Denbigh Hall)
  • Birmingham - Rugby
  • Stage Coach - Fenny Stratford to Rugby (34 miles)
Complete railway opened (112 miles)
The distance between London and Birmingham (112 miles) was considered too great for early locomotives to cover at a single haul. (Railways of Great Britain, Whishaw, 1842). About halfway along the line, close to the Medieval village of Wolverton the proposed railway crossed a bend in the Grand Union Canal, that provided ideal wharfing facilities and it was here that the Central Engine Sheds and Station were built.
November 1840 Almost immediately it was decided that the first station was too small and a bigger and better station was opened.

60 railway cottages were also built at this time.

1842 New road (Stratford Road) extended links with Toll Road
1845 Queen Victoria comes to Wolverton en route for Stowe
1846 St George's Church built
1405 inhabitants - young population with 45% under 16 years
1851 Works employs 775 men

First express "Bloomer" built by McConnell

1852 Land purchased - Stantonbury (now New Bradwell)
1853 116 houses built
1856 Works expansion - locomative manufacture
1860 Works employs 2000 men
1864 Science and Arts Institute built
1881 New Station built