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Edinburgh and Glasgow Railway Company


Records of the Edinburgh and Glasgow Railway Company concerning the Edinburgh and Glasgow Union Canal 1849.



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These records are available immediately for research

Administrative /​ Biographical history

The Edinburgh and Glasgow Railway Company received its Act in 1838; the railway, which was 46 miles long also had three tunnels. It cost over £1.25 million and opened on 18 February 1842. It initially ran from Glasgow Dundas Street (renamed Queen Street) to Edinburgh Haymarket. Four trains ran each way daily between the cities, with the journey taking about 2 1/2 hours. The line was extended to Campsie, South Queensferry, West Lothian, among other places. It linked with the North British Railway in 1846. There were later independent branches including those to Falkirk, and Bathgate, West Lothian. The Edinburgh & Glasgow Railway Company attempted to amalgamate with the Wilsontown, Morningside & Coltness Railway in 1847. This attempt failed because the latter had not yet spent half their authorised capital, and the law stated that both companies must have done so before they could merge. A second attempt was more successful and the Edinburgh & Glasgow Railway took it over in 1850. Competition with the Caledonian Railway forced a price war during the 1850s, only ending in 1856 when the two companies reached an agreement. In 1845 the Forth & Clyde Navigation had agreed to purchase the Edinburgh & Glasgow Union Canal, on the understanding that would amalgamate with the Edinburgh & Glasgow Railway, but the railway company changed its mind in November 1846. In 1849, the Edinburgh & Glasgow Railway did purchase the Union canal. Considering the extent of its debts and its poor prospects, with hindsight the railway company realised the amount they paid was excessive. The Edinburgh & Glasgow Railway Company became part of the North British system in 1865.

System of arrangement

It has not been possible to ascertain any original structure of record-keeping from the small number of records held for this company. There is one subfonds which has been arranged in chronological order.

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