|R311||175th Anniversary of the Edinburgh and Glasgow Railway||£15.00||Buy Now|
Issue Date: 21/02/2017
Issue Name: 175th Anniversary of the Edinburgh and Glasgow Railway
Producer: Buckingham Covers
The Edinburgh and Glasgow railway officially opened on the 21st February 1842. The route ran between Glasgow and Edinburgh and was Scotland's first trunk line. Our stunning cover celebrates the anniversary and features the Almond Valley Viaduct, the longest structure on the line. It features a 1st class definitive and an 8p pence North British Railway stamp (the NBR acquired the Edinburgh & Scotland Railway in 1865) and is cancelled with our special Glasgow postmark on the 175th anniversary.
The Edinburgh and Glasgow Railway
The Edinburgh and Glasgow Railway was authorised by an Act of Parliament on 4 July 1838 following several years of public discussion. Construction of the 46-mile line took almost four years. On New Year’s Day 1842 the public were invited to walk through the tunnel at Glasgow Queen Street to satisfy growing interest in the project. A ceremonial opening of the line took place on 19 February 1842 and the line officially opened to passenger traffic on 21 February.
The route ran between Glasgow Queen Street railway station (originally named Dundas Street) and Haymarket railway station in Edinburgh, being extended in 1846 to Edinburgh General (now Waverley).
The line was Scotland’s first trunk line, and includes substantial earthworks, viaducts and tunnels with the intention of creating an almost perfectly level route. The original idea was to create a gentle descent into Glasgow, crossing over the Forth and Clyde Canal, but the canal company opposed this and the line had to be brought under the canal instead. This resulted in a steep descent from Cowlairs. The Cowlairs tunnel is 914 metres long.
There were other major structures on the line: the Garngaber Viaduct, Castlecary Viaduct, the Falkirk tunnel and the Avon Viaduct. The Almond Valley Viaduct, featured on the cover, has 36 arches and cost £130,000 to build. It is the longest structure on the Edinburgh and Glasgow Railway and is still serving the main line today.
The railway put an end to the slow stagecoaches that had linked Glasgow and Edinburgh for more than a century. Hugely popular with passengers from the beginning, by 1850 the company needed 58 locomotives and 216 coaches to handle the traffic. Goods traffic began in March 1842 and had overtaken passenger traffic in revenue by 1855.
The Edinburgh and Glasgow Railway Company which built the line was absorbed by the North British Railway (NBR) in 1865. The NBR in turn was absorbed by the London and North Eastern Railway in 1923.
The line still runs today as the main line between Edinburgh and Glasgow. It is currently being improved to increase capacity. Full completion of the work is expected in 2019.
Want to keep your rail covers safe? Click here to see our lovely Railway Album