Posted By Robert. Stephenson
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Liverpool and Manchester Railway - View near Liverpool, looking towards Manchester.
Liverpool and Manchester Railway - View near Liverpool, looking towards Manchester.

About this event

After last year's success, when the Smeaton lecture sold out weeks in advance and attracted nearly 300 delegates, this key annual event is back for its 2016 edition.

This year’s topic will look at the design and construction of the Liverpool to Manchester railway.

Opened on 15-16 September 1830, the Liverpool to Manchester Railway is the first main-line and intercity railway in the world. As such it was a prototype project, and remains of global interest, most famously for the establishment of steam locomotive traction as a prime mover, paving the way for a transport revolution that transformed the world over the next 50 years. The Railway was a showcase for British engineering establishing a demand for British engineering expertise all over the world.

The lecture will describe the planning, procurement, design, management and construction of this pioneering engineering work and its initial operation. It will consider the project in the context of the state of civil engineering in the 1820s and its significance today.

The line involved many major engineering works: tunnels and deep cuttings through sandstone, long crossings of deep bogs, inclines considered too steep for locomotive working, and majestic bridges and viaducts. The total quantity of excavation for the railway was about 3m. cubic yards.

The station at Liverpool Road, Manchester is the oldest passenger station in the world and sufficient of its 63 bridges and infrastructure survive to justify its inscription as an ASCE International Civil Engineering landmark in 2016.

2 Comment(s):
Bill Harper said...
I don't think the S&D and the LMR should compete for titles. They are 2 chapters in the same story. If our cards are played well then the North of England will become a Mecca for many people interested in the development of mechanical transport and how it fundamentally changed the world. We have 10 short years before the S&D 200th anniversary and 14 to the LMR's. The LMR could never have succeeded had not George learned from the S&D nothing was obvious at any stage as proven by the conflicting opinions of the various engineers sent by LMRC to S&D. Both were incredibly brave ventures.
September 11, 2016 21:49:48
Niall Hammond said...
While I appreciate the summary above is just that a summary and the lecture will no doubt expand on many points, I think you will find that the LMR is not the first mainline railway, nor a true 'prototype project' as far as the Stephensons were concerned, nor did it 'establish steam locomotive traction as a prime mover'. These were all established, developed and proven by the Stockton & Darlington Railway through the work of the Stephensons and Hackworth in the 5 years prior to 1830. The LMR is the S&DR's rather flashy and ostentatious younger brother which undoubtedly demonstrated the idea of the 'Stephenson Railway' to a wide audience, the idea however had already been shown to work by the S&DR to a national and international audience. While 1830 is an important date in railway history, inspired and informed by the S&DR, the railway revolution had already begun around the world by the time the LMR opened.
August 17, 2016 18:08:45
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