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The 1840s

Objects from before and after 1844

The Midland Railway company was formed on 10th May 1844.  It came about as an amalgamation of three competing railway companies whose lines all met in Derby: the Midland Counties Railway, the North Midland Railway and the Birmingham and Derby Junction Railway.

Competition between them had been so fierce that they were causing each other severe financial harm. The separate companies agreed that the only way forward was to merge.  

Objects from the period before and shortly after the amalgamation are quite rare.

Painted Crest of the Midland Railway

This depicts elements from the arms of Birmingham, Derby, Bristol, Leicester, Lincoln and Leeds, all significant cities / towns served by the company. The Wyvern of Mercia tops the crest and this was used widely by the company as a “logo”.


Ledger from the North Midland Railway, in use from 1841

This records the money spent on locomotives and carriages at every works and depot. It continued in use by the Midland Railway after the amalgamation, until the ledger was filled.


Folding Map of a section of Birmingham and Derby Junction Railway

This map covers a section of the Birmingham and Derby Junction Railway in Warwickshire, and shows the route between its connection with the London and Birmingham Railway* at Hampton in Arden to the village of Nether Whitacre Heath.

It folds neatly into a custom made leather protective case, which holds another five sections that in total cover the whole line to Derby.

Of note are the two names mentioned; William Foster, Surveyor under the direction of George Stephenson.

*Later the London & North Western Railway.


Letter from the Midland Counties Railway, 12th March 1839

To John Buckley Esq. of Loughborough, relating to the terms of an agreement for the purchase of land and two cottages.


Framed Timetable for 1841 for the Birmingham and Derby Junction Railway

This shows the principal stations it served, either directly or via other railway companies’ networks.

Some lines have been highlighted. These are for Burton on Trent, which may indicate where the timetable was originally posted.


Letter Appointing Capt.n Vetch R.E. as a Director, Birmingham & Gloucester Railway, 20th August 1836

Captain James Vetch R. E was a noted civil engineer and worked for the the Birmingham & Gloucester Railway, which was amalgamated with the Midland Railway on 3rd August 1846.


Framed Timetable for the Midland Counties Railway, from April 1st 1842

This shows the principal stations served by the fledgling Midland Counties Railway. Individual sections list the Derby to Nottingham services and provides details on other conditions of carriage..


Wooden Chest from the Erewash Valley Railway c 1845

The Erewash Valley Railway (EVR) ran from Long Eaton on the Midland Counties Railway (MCR) until it met the North Midland Railway (NMR) near Clay Cross. It was built to “add” the missing part of the original MCR and when completed was immediately bought by the then Midland Railway.

The Midland Railway Trust’s operational line connects with the original EVR at Codnor park Junction. This chest is a rare survivor of a railway that lasted for only 7 years.


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