|R332||170th Anniversary of the Opening of Chester Station & 1st Irish Mail Train||£10.95||Buy Now|
Issue Date: 01/08/2018
Issue Name: 170th Ann Opening of Chester Station & 1st Irish Mail Train
Producer: Buckingham Covers
This cover celebrates both the 170th Anniversary of the Opening of Chester Station and the First Irish Mail Train and features a beautiful painting by rail artist John Wigston of the Irish Mail Train leaving Chester Station. It has a 1st class green Northern Irish definitive stamp and is cancelled on the 170th anniversary of the opening with our special Chester postmark (1st August, 2018).
The Opening of Chester Station & the First Irish Mail Train
When the British Government passed an Act of Union in 1801, integrating all Ireland with the United Kingdom, the only communication link between London and Ireland was by horse-drawn coach and sailing ship. Thomas Telford was employed to improve the Holyhead Road, and he created the suspension bridge at Conwy and the high bridge over the Menai Strait to the island of Anglesey.
The development of the railways saw the Grand Junction Railway and the London and Birmingham Railway co-operate to run fast trains from London to Liverpool. Fast steam packets then ran from Liverpool to Kingstown (now Dún Laoghaire), giving a total journey time of 22.5 hours from London to Dublin. There was significant demand for a rail route to Holyhead and several proposals were made for the most viable route.
Isambard Kingdom Brunel was actively surveying via Gloucester and New Quay in Cardigan Bay, whilst others were convinced of the merits of the St George’s Harbour constructed with a large stone breakwater between the Great Orme Head and the Little Orme Head in Ormes Bay at Llandudno.In 1837 the St George’s Harbour and Railway Bill was the first to petition Parliament, but was unsuccessful.
George Stephenson proposed a route running along the coast from Chester to avoid the high mountain passes. The Chester and Holyhead Railway Act was passed in 1844, and construction began on 1 March 1845 with George’s son Robert Stephenson as chief engineer.
The Irish Mail went to Holyhead by train for the first time on August 1 1848, on the same day Chester station was opened, a joint station between the Chester and Holyhead Railway, the Chester and Crewe Railway and the Birkenhead Railway. The station replaced the separate stations previously used by Crewe and Birkenhead services.
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