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Hull and Selby Railway

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The Hull and Selby Railway was a railway company in the United Kingdom which opened in 1840, connecting Hull with the Leeds and Selby Railway


In the early nineteenth century, the town of Hull was growing in importance as a North Sea port, in competition with nearby Goole and enthusiastically supported improved transport links with Leeds. From the beginning of the century, plans had been floated for a railway between them.

1834 the Leeds and Selby opened with a connection to Hull by boat along the Humber.

1836 The Hull merchants were keen for a railway link and promoted the Hull and Selby Railway, receiving Parliamentary approval in 1836.

The terrain to be covered was sufficiently level and open for the line to be built with gentle curves and few embankments, the steepest gradient being 1 in 240. The main problem was the crossing of the Rivers Ouse and Derwent to be made at a sufficient height. That over the Ouse was in the form of a balanced swing bridge, one of the first railway bridges of the type. The other two main bridges, over the Derwent and the Market Weighton Canal were of cast iron.

The track was 4 foot 8.5 inches, as for the Leeds and Selby, but the construction was somewhat different, being carried partly on kyanised timber cross sleepers and partly on longitudinal timbers tied together with cross sleepers. The rails were also somewhat heavier and flat bottomed, with those for the longitudinal sleepers of a lower height. The former were 63 lb per yard, the latter 55 lb per yard.

Rolling stock consisted of twelve six-wheeled engines from Fenton, Murray and Jackson of Leeds with first, second and third class carriages. There were also fifty goods wagons.

A fatal accident occurred on August 7, 1840, and the Howden rail crash was one of the first to be investigated by the new Railway Inspectorate. Five passengers were killed when a large casting fell from a wagon just behind the tender, and derailed the followng carriages.

In 1848 a branch line from the Hull and Selby Railway was built from Barlby just to the east of Selby to Market Weighton in the East Riding of Yorkshire.

It became part of the new North Eastern Railway in 1854

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