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The Opening of the L&M Railway

Opening of the Liverpool and Manchester Railway

The Liverpool and Manchester Railway became the world's first purpose-built passenger railway when it opened on 15th September 1830.

Many souvenirs were produced to commemorate the opening, including: jugs, mugs, printed cotton handkerchiefs and medallions.

A ceremonial train procession from Liverpool to Manchester took place with the guest of honour being the Prime Minister, the Duke of Wellington.

Crowds of spectators gathered along the line and at places there were grandstands, where musical entertainment was provided.

About half way along the route, the locomotives had to stop at Parkside to take on water. During this stop, William Huskisson (MP for Liverpool) was run over by Rocket whilst talking with the Duke of Wellington. His left leg was crushed by the train and although he was rushed to Eccles for medical treatment, he later died .

The planned evening celebrations for the return journey to Liverpool took on a sombre mood as the guests mourned the victim of the first ever railway death.