The Liverpool and Manchester Railway by Anthony Dawson

The Liverpool and Manchester Railway by Anthony Dawson* – An Operating History – is such a fascinating book. It has short chapters, but filled with well researched details, on various topics. The book includes loads of primary sources and paints a vivid picture of some of the things that happened on the railway.

The Liverpool and Manchester Railway by Anthony Dawson

The Liverpool & Manchester Railway had its grand opening on 15 September 1830. It was the first complete city-to-city rail line in the world. I read last year A Railway History of New Shildon by George Turner Smith, which is technically the first railway opened, but it was between a city and a village or sorts, so not exactly a city-to-city railway.

The author mentions that route and how much the ones in charge of the Liverpool to Manchester line learned from the mistakes made by the ones in the north. I loved reading about how complicated was to create the timetable, the change and evolution of the passenger accommodation, which had first-class trains and second-class trains, leaving at different times. I liked reading about how they tried to listen to the feedback offered by their customers through letters. There are details on mail transport, freight, and many more.

I highly recommend this book, it’s just fantastic. Do read about where I took the picture! Even if you are not from Liverpool, it is still worth reading this, because of the incredible impact this railway line had in the world. We are still using railways because Victorians in Liverpool and Manchester were keen travellers.

The Liverpool and Manchester Railway by Anthony Dawson

Details about the picture: Lime Street Station in Liverpool opened in 1836. It is the one I use for commuting to London and it is the oldest still-operating grand terminus mainline station in the world.
My rating: 5/5 Stars
Would I recommend it: yes
Published by: Pen & Sword Transport
Year it was published: 2020
Format: Hardcover
Genre(s): History – Victorian
Pages: 248

About the author: Anthony Dawson gained a degree in archaeology from the University of Bradford before going on to be a Post Graduate Research Student at the University of Leeds, attaining an MA in History by Research. As well as being a lecturer in History and Archaeology at Salford City College, Anthony worked for the Museum of the Manchester. A member of the Crimean War Research Society, he is also the author of a number of books, including French Infantry of the Crimean War.
Website & Social Media Links: Pen and Sword

*I was sent a copy of The Liverpool and Manchester Railway by Anthony Dawson for the purpose of this review. All opinions are my own.

4 thoughts on “The Liverpool and Manchester Railway by Anthony Dawson”

  • As my father, uncle, grandfather and great grandfather, all worked on the railways for their entire working lives (even during the war, as railway engineering was a reserved occupation), I have quite a number of this genre of book, sat on my shelves. I do open them from time to time and read a few pages and as you say, they offer a real insight into not only the railway itself, but my home town of Swindon, which was one of the main rolling stock manufacturing and maintenance sites for many years. The workshops are all long gone now, but the site has been turned into a shopping outlet village, with many of the original features having been preserved. There is also an onsite railway museum which is quite interesting.
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    • These kind of books are really interesting, I agree. I would love to visit that shopping outlet, it sounds really lovely. I love when the restorations are made with history of the place in mind and some features are kept. Onsite railway museum sounds great. I need to remember this for a holiday.

    • It depends what you mean by specific. I think it would be a good book for someone who wants to know about railways in general, as this one is the first and thus an example for others. But if you mean by railways overall, then it is very specific indeed. :)) :))

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