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Leeds, Dewsbury and Manchester Railway

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The Leeds, Dewsbury & Manchester Railway was incorporated by an Act of 30 June 1845 to build a line from Manchester via Huddersfield and Dewsbury to Leeds.

The Chairman was John Gott and William Eagle Bott was the Secretary.

The tracks between Huddersfield and Mirfield were shared with the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway.

Additional branches including one to Birstall were authorized under an additional Act of 27 July 1846.

1847 The line was leased to the London and North Western Railway for 999 years under an Act of 1847.

1867 An additional branch to Kirkburton was constructed in 1867.

1900 A second route between Huddersfield and Leeds, officially known as the Heaton Lodge & Wortley Railway was constructed in 1900.

After the Grouping of 1923, the LMS had 3 different routes to Leeds, of which the L&NWR route was the least profitable. After years of neglect the northern part of the L&NWR route was closed piecemeal under the Beeching Axe.

1848 Report [1]

'OPENING OF THE LEEDS AND DEWSBURY RAILWAY. This important undertaking - important as connecting the towns of Leeds and Dewsbury, but of more consequence still as forming a considerable line of communication between Leeds and Manchester.....

'.....The principal works are — a viaduct at Leeds, consisting of straight girder bridges over Lower Queen-street, of 35 feet span, 33 stone arches of 30 feet span, 20 arches of 35 feet span, one arch over the river Aire, of 105 feet, span, and one over the Leeds and Liverpool Canal, of 70 feet span, and a girder bridge over the Leeds and Bradford railway, with two openings, all 70 feet span. The masonry of these works was executed by the talented contractor, Mr. Geo. Thomson, and the iron-work by Mr. Robt. Crosland, of Bradford. The next heavy work is a skew bridge over the Leeds and Birstal road, of 35 feet span on the square, and 62 feet on the skew, and at an angle of thirty-four and half degrees. This is a most beautiful structure, and does great credit not only to the engineer who designed it, but also to the contractors, Messrs. J. and R. Crawshaw. The next bridge of importance on this contract is a skew bridge, at Beeston, at an angle of 40 degrees ; and this division, which has been under the able superintendence of Mr. John Henderson, C. E., closes with a viaduct over the Churwell road, consisting of six arches of 40 feet span. The Morley tunnel is the heaviest work in the middle district of the line. It has been executed by the experienced tunnellers, Messrs. Shaw, Nowell, and Hattersley, under the direction of Mr. Ronton, C. E. The length is 3370 yards, width 24 feet at rail level, the height 23 feet ; and lined throughout with masonry. This tunnel has been completed in the almost incredibly short space of 21 months. The line runs forward through deep cuttings and on high embankments until it joins the Dewsbury division contract, undertaken by Messrs. J. and R. Crawshaw, contractors of long standing, and well known for the substantiality of their work. The Union Mill Viaduct is the first great work in this division: it consists of 18 arches of 30 feet span; immediately leaving which the heavy stone cutting at Hanging Heaton is entered, and strikes the eye at once with the power and ingenuiity of man. The Hanging Heaton road crossed by straight girder bridge of considerable height from the road, and the line proceeds to the Dewsbury viaduct of 10 arches, each 45 feet span, in addition to an arch on the Batley turnpike road of 80 feet span. The river Odder is crossed by an iron arched bridge of two openings, each 100 ft span, and the canal is crossed by a similar bridge of one opening only. Between the river and the canal the West Riding Union Dewsbury Branch is proposed to pass underneath this line, and a straight girder bridge is consequently built for this purpose. Through the town of Dewsbury there are as many as six or eight girder bridges on the different streets, and too much praise cannot be given the talented engineer, Mr. J. L. Carstairs, who has had the direction of this division. The highest embankment is 60 feet, and the deepest cutting 70 feet. In short, the whole line is one continued piece of difficult engineering, by which the eminent and much respected chief engineer, Mr. Grainger, has immortalized himself. ......'

See Also

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Sources of Information

  1. Leeds Intelligencer - Saturday 5 August 1848