Liverpool Road Station sundial

Contributed by Museum of Science and Industry

Sundial used at Liverpool Road Station in Manchester. @ Museum of Science & Industry

With its original coach offices and warehouse, Liverpool Road Station is the world's oldest surviving railway station.This sundial was made in 1833 for use at Liverpool Road Station in Manchester. This station was the Manchester terminus of the Liverpool and Manchester Railway, the world's first purpose-built passenger and goods railway. The opening of the Liverpool and Manchester Railway heralded a new transport era.

The new railways brought other changes. In the 1830s clocks were set to local time taken from sundial readings, which meant that railway timetables had to allow for local time variations. From the 1840s, railway companies campaigned for a system of 'universal time'. When Parliament declined to act, many railway companies decided to adopt 'London time' for their timetables.

Manchester Corporation installed a clock regulated to the time at the Greenwich Observatory in 1849. However, Greenwich Mean Time only became British standard time in 1880 when Parliament passed the Statutes (Definition of Time) Act.

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