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British Industrial History

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Birmingham, Bristol and Thames Junction Railway

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1837. Railway gallery under the Canal near Holsden Green, Middlesex, Birmingham, Bristol and Thames Junction Railway.

In the early days of the railways, it was planned that the Great Western Railway would join the London and Birmingham Railway near the present Willesden Junction and run over the London and Birmingham's lines to a common terminus at Euston-square. A branch line was proposed from the meeting place to the Kensington Canal as a feeder to both lines.

The canal opened in September 1828. It ran from the Thames at Counter's Creek, Chelsea, to a basin in Kensington. The canal was a failure but it was thought a railway connection might help it.

The Birmingham, Bristol and Thames Junction Railway was formed and an Act of Parliament obtained on June 21st,1836. The purchase of the canal was one of the conditions laid down for the new railway.

1837 The Great Western decided to adopt the 7ft. gauge, and therefore gave up the proposed junction, and selected a site near Paddington basin for its terminus.

1837 Henry Pinkus, inventor of the Atmospheric Railway arranged for his company, the National Pneumatic Railway Association to test the system with the Thames Junction Company using half a mile of the new line but this trial was unsuccessful.

1840 The Act of Parliament was passed which changed the name to the West London Railway

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