Early Main Line Railways Conferences

SECOND INTERNATIONAL EARLY MAIN LINE RAILWAYS CONFERENCE
National Railway Museum, York, England.
21st – 24th June 2018

The second International Conference on Early Main Line Railways has just happened!  It took place  between Thursday 21st and Sunday 24th June 2018 at the National Railway Museum, York, England.

The next conference is expected to be in 2021 and will be a joint one with the Early Railways Conference and will be known as Early Railways Conference 7, but will span the combined periods of the two previous sets of conferences.

Here is a list of papers which were presented in York.  It is hoped to have news later in the year regarding the publication of the conference papers.

Thursday 21 June
19.00-21.00 Andy Savage The work of the Railway Heritage Trust
Friday 22 June
09.30-10.50 David Hodgkins Railway directors – who they were and what they did
Peter Northover Consultants in planning and specifying early mainline railways
coffee break
11.20-12.40 Neil Clarke Wellington businessmen and the railway
Gion Caprez Early history of Swiss South Eastern Railway
lunch break
13.50-15.10 Ron Cox/Dermot O’Dwyer Dublin-Belfast main line, 1837-1857
Andrew Odlyzko Dionysius Lardner, the denigrated sage of early railways
tea break
15.40-16.20 John New Railways to Portsmouth
19.00-23.00 North York Moors Railway excursion
Saturday 23 June
09.30-10.50 Ivor Lewis Science and the early main line railway
Stephen Murfitt The English patent system and early main line railway technology
coffee break
11.20-12.40 Poul Thestrup The locomotive export to Europe 1836-54 from Sharp Roberts & Co, Manchester (Sharp Brothers)
David Parry Brymbo and the creation of the North Wales Mineral Railway
lunch break
13.50-15.10 Erica Mukherjee The East Indian Railway and the Bengali environment
Jim Longworth Early Australian Mainline Railways and Mutually Beneficial Exchange
tea break
15.40-17.00 Ann Austin The literacy rate and the arrival of railways
Dieter Hopkin The work of artist Samuel Russell – documenting the railway in print
19.00-22.00 Conference dinner
Sunday 24 June
09.30-10.50 David Gwyn ‘Many shall go about’ – L&M Railway opening
John Minnis/Philip Brown Following the tracks of Architects, Engineers and Contractors: a reappraisal of aspects of 19th century railway architecture
coffee break
11.20-12.40 Stephen K. Jones Rise and Fall: steam and the suspension bridge
Mike Chrimes The safest pair of hands: Joseph Locke, 1824-1839

1st International Early Main Line Railways Conference

This successful conference was held at the Galeri, Caernarfon, North Wales from 19th to 22nd June 2014.

 

Building on the success of the International Early Railways Conference series, the conference diversified to accommodate the interests of historians pursuing the origin and development of mainline railways between 1830 and c1870. This reflects the all-important years when railways first developed routes and networks and became major contributors to economic growth around the world, made possible by rapid advancements in civil and mechanical engineering techniques.

CONFERENCE DETAILS

Caernarfon is a World Heritage Site centred on one of the classic Welsh medieval castles. The Welsh Highland Railway starts from the town, connecting with the Ffestiniog Railway to form a 40-mile route of narrow-gauge steam through stunning countryside (//www.festrail.co.uk/). Close to Caernarfon are many historic sites of industry, including Robert Stephenson’s Menai Straits bridge.

Instead of a formal conference dinner on the Friday night, a chartered trip was arranged on the narrow gauge Welsh Highland steam railway between Caernarfon and Beddgelert, with a traditional supper served on board.

On Sunday afternoon, 22 June, at the conclusion of the conference an optional excursion was made to see the Menai Straits and Stephenson’s Britannia bridge and Telford’s Menai bridge. This tour was arranged by members of the Menai Bridge Community Heritage Trust.

PAPERS

This first conference attracted papers from authors studying the history of railways around the world, including the United Kingdom. They covered subjects related to economic, political, social and cultural progress, and to business incentive and practice, as well as developments in structural, architectural and building techniques and practice, and material progress.

Mark Casson Railway promotion in Victorian Britain: engineering triumph or waste of capital?

Grahame Boyes Early progress towards common standards for Britain’s railways

Elizabeth Cavicchi Early explorations in electromagnetic traction by rail

Ronald Cox & Dermot O’Dwyer The Dublin-Galway main line 1845-1851

Peter Cross-Rudkin Contractors’ lines: a system of tampering and jobbery?

Sylvester Damus The Central Argentine Railway from inception to maturity, 1854-1884

Brian Dotson & Derek Cobby The London & Dublin Railway: surveys and parliamentary influences

Robert F. Hartley The Architecture of Early Main Line Railways in Britain

David Hodgkins George Carr Glyn, monopoly and competition

Stephen K. Jones & Stuart Cole Railways, the new professionals and the sinews of war

Ian J. Kerr The early main line railway: the utility of the concept for the history of railways in India

Robert Lee So little population, so much diversity: Australia’s first three main line railways

Ivor Lewis The development of drawing office management within main line railway workshops

Herb MacDonald & Robert Tennant The Intercolonial Railway idea in British North America

Erica Mukherjee Managing technology transfer: land acquisition for the East Indian Railway, 1850-1854

Andrew Primmer The British railway monopoly in Colombia

Amr El Sayed Nasr Din El Sayed & David Gwyn Railways in Egypt 1834-1865

Win Stokes The impact of early main line railway development on the iron and coking industries in north east England

Julie Stone The ironworkers of the Britannia Bridge 1846-1850

Roland Tusch Lengthman’s cottages along the Semmering Railway

 

COMMUNICATIONS

For correspondence about the conference please contact:

emlr2.2018@gmail.com

 

SPONSORS

The Institution of Civil Engineers

National Railway Museum, York

Beamish, The North of England Open Air Museum

Newcomen, The International Society for the History of Engineering and Technology

The Railway and Canal Historical Society

BACKGROUND

The conference arose as the result of a public meeting which took place at the National Railway Museum in York in 2011. The four papers, that formed the focus of discussion, can be downloaded here:

TECHNOLOGY ON THE MOVE: ENGINEERING DEVELOPMENT ON EARLY MAIN LINE RAILWAYS by Dr Michael R. Bailey

WHAT DO WE WANT TO KNOW ABOUT THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE EARLY MAIN LINE RAILWAY? THE MANAGEMENT/BUSINESS STRUCTURE ASPECTS by Grahame Boyes

EARLY MAIN LINE RAILWAYS – CULTURAL IMPACT & SOCIAL CHANGE 1829-1870 by Dr David Gwyn

RAILWAY FINANCE by Dr Winifred Stokes

 

EARLY RAILWAYS CONFERENCES

The sequence of International Early Railway conferences continues, with the Sixth Conference having taken place in 2016. Further details can be found by clicking here.

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