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24 September 2014
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The World's First Passenger Railway

Railway Office, 1831
Railway Office, Liverpool, 1831.
Image courtesy of The Rainhill Railway & Heritage Society.

Audio Radio Merseyside's recreation of the news reports of the opening of the Liverpool and Manchester Railway.
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"BBC Radio Merseyside News on Wednesday 15th September 1830, this is Margaret Hyde reporting.

Workmen have been busy putting the finishing touches to the Liverpool and Manchester railway which officially opens today.

The railway company's chief engineer Mr George Stephenson who has supervised the building of the three-quarters of a million pound line was on the scene at dawn to direct the operations.

Rocket at rainhill 1830
Rocket at Rainhill, 1830
Image courtesy of The Rainhill Railway & Heritage Society.

This morning’s opening ceremony will be performed by the Prime Minister the Duke of Wellington who arrived on Merseyside yesterday.

Afterwards 700 hundred specially invited guests are expected to travel to Manchester in eight special trains. Visitors from all over the country have come to Liverpool for the opening of the railway. Hoteliers and Inn keepers report record business.

Abroad now, and there is still no sign of an end to the troubles in Brussels, a spokesmen for the revolutionary forces said they’d continue their struggle until separation from the Netherlands is agreed.
Meanwhile there’s been fighting in the North of Germany where the Duke of Brunswick was attacked by rioters protesting about high prices and unemployment.
Back home the anti-slavery bill will now be debated in Parliament next month. Supporters of the bill have appealed to the public to present petitions to their local MPs.

Grand Competiton of Locomotives
1829 Grand Competition of Locomotives on the Liverpool and Manchester Railway
Image courtesy of The Rainhill Railway & Heritage Society.

BBC Radio Merseyside News

Well, despite a great deal of opposition from the turnpike authorities and canal companies, the Liverpool and Manchester Railway Company’s plans have at last come to fruition.

And in just a few minutes’ time from now the Prime Minister will declare the new line open.
We’re now going over to the Crown Street Passenger terminus where our reporter Bob Azurdia is waiting in the radio carriage.

Thank you, good morning everybody from Crown Street just on the outskirts of Liverpool.

Carriages started from early this morning trying to get through the crowded streets because all the roads have been jammed with traffic because of the interest which has been generated by this new great iron road which is linking the two great cities of the North West, Liverpool and Manchester.

The Prime Minister himself is coming. He spent the night in fact out at Childwall Hall. He was the guest of Lord and Lady Salisbury.

Stephenson's Rocket
Stephenson's Rocket, winner of the Rainhill Trials.
Image courtesy of The Rainhill Railway & Heritage Society.

They will be arriving and of course taking their place in the great cavalcade which will go out to Manchester, the cavalcade which will be made up of a series of trains of carriages, each one pulled by a locomotive engine, each one with a special name, Phoenix, North Star, Dart, Comet, Arrow, Meteor and two special names, the name Rocket which will of course be remembered by many people and which won those Rainhill trials just under twelve months ago.
And the other locomotive engine to look out for is the new one, and that’s Northumbrian, and that is the locomotive engine which will be pulling the Prime Minister, the Duke of Wellington when he arrives just a little bit later this morning.

I see already too, Mr Gladstone , Mr John Gladstone this is, the Member of Parliament, the Liverpool man, he lives in Seaforth himself, and his son too , Mr William Ewart Gladstone, could be we hear more about him in days to come if he has the same strength of purpose as his father.

Travelling by the railway
An information leaflet advising passangers on fares and journey times. 30th September 1830
Image courtesy of The Rainhill Railway & Heritage Society.

And if incidentally you can hear strains of a band playing well that’s because there has been music to entertain the public. Many of whom have been involved actually working on the great railway. The only pity perhaps is His Majesty King William hasn’t been able to attend this function of course.

Sir George Drinkwater, the Mayor of Liverpool he’s just arriving now, in his state carriage, and I believe that Sir Robert Peel has also arrived. I have no doubt that the excitement is building up even further along the line just under a quarter of a mile away at Edge Hill, and then at 11 o clock they will all move out in procession towards Manchester.

Meanwhile, back for more information about what is happening, back to you Chris.

Thanks Bob, and of course we will be with Bob Azurdia very soon.

Parkside, the site where Huskinson Fell
Taking in Water at Parkside. (The Station where Mr Huskinson Fell)
Image courtesy of The Rainhill Railway & Heritage Society.

And a great cloud of smoke and steam rises here at Edge Hill as the locomotive engines start to move forward. It is a most magnificent, most impressive sight here and a mighty cheer rises up to the heavens, as we see slowly but increasingly speedily moving forward this magnificent, this superb, this colourful cavalcade of history as they pull away now from Edge Hill.

Reports are coming in of an accident to one of the trains taking part in today’s opening celebrations of the Liverpool and Manchester Railway.

The accident is believed to have happened at Parkside near Newton -Le-Willows where the locomotives hauling eight special trains of carriages were due to stop to take water.

It’s still not quite clear what happened, though some reports say the Liverpool member of parliament William Huskisson was struck by one of the locomotives and is seriously hurt.

We’ll bring you any more news just as soon as we receive it."

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