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Constructing the L&M Railway

L&M 1830

By the 1820s, the narrow canals and slow, bumpy roads around Manchester were not good enough for the amount of cotton trade created by the fast industrial growth.

Manchester manufacturers and Liverpool merchants therefore decided to build a railway between the two towns to improve transport links.

In 1824, George Stephenson was appointed as the chief engineer.


Although the land between Manchester and Liverpool is fairly flat, the route involved about nine miles of embankment13 miles of cutting and the construction of 63 bridges.  

The biggest challenge however was the 4 mile crossing of Chatting Moss peat marsh - it took three and half years to create a 'floating' bed of tree trunks and branches, covered with heather and moss and topped with a layer of stones and earth for the track to run on.