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Shropshire Archives is currently closed to help reduce the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).

Railway Plans – LNWR

June 24, 20203:33 pmJune 26, 2020 8:55 amLeave a Comment

If you are a railway enthusiast, you might be interested in one of the latest lists to go on our online catalogue. This is a collection of railway plans for the London and North Western and Shropshire Union Railways.

The London and North Western Railway was formed in 1846 by the merger of the Grand Junction Railway, The London and Birmingham Railway and the Manchester and Birmingham Railway.  Within a few years of its formation the LNWR had built or taken over several other railways and until 1923 it was the largest railway in Britain.

The Shropshire Union Railways and Canal Company was also formed in 1846 and managed several canals and railways. It originally planned to convert a number of canals to railways, but was leased by the London and North Western Railway (LNWR) from 1847 and only built one railway in its own right. The Shropshire Union Railways and Canal Company continued to act as a semi-autonomous body, which managed the canals and gained most of its profits from acting as a carrier.

This collection consists mostly of railway plans, including plans of crossings, junctions and sidings as well as some stations.

Hadnall station plan
Plan of Hadnall Station, 27 Oct 1880 ref 4279/28.

Although we aren’t yet open for you to visit and consult the plans, you can check out the list for details and identify ones for viewing when we are open again.  Alternatively, you can request a quote for high resolution digital images, although bear in mind the plans are often quite larger so copying them can be expensive.

If you are interested in railway plans, then it is also worth checking:

Since 1792, plans and reference books for all schemes of a public utility nature including railways, canals and bridges, had to be deposited with the Clerk of the Peace.  Promoters of railway bills also had to deposit additional plans of deviations from the original line and when renewing any applications. 

These records, referred to as Deposited Plans, are found in the Quarter Sessions collection and show the proposed routes of the new lines.  They are not only useful for railway historians but also for property research as they show the land, houses and occupants affected by the proposed railway.

You can see a case study using Deposited Plans in ‘The Bishop’s Castle railways that never were’ by Nicholas Harding in the latest Salopian Recorder no. 97.

 Be aware that some are in an extremely fragile state.

Shrewsbury station extract 1898 ref: 6008/86

This list is also new online. It includes plans of the majority of railways constructed in Shropshire. The Shrewsbury to Ludlow section of the Shrewsbury to Hereford line is particularly well covered – from the working plans for construction to the later detailed surveys.  The massive alterations to Shrewsbury station c 1900 are also recorded in great detail.

Apart from their interest to railway historians and enthusiasts, these plans include numerous incidental details – former courses of roads and streams, nearby buildings and property ownership. Where a plan includes detailed information on a particular station, the list will indicate this.

Written by sarahd

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