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The London, Midland & Scottish Railway Vol 4 - Manchester to

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The Manchester & Leeds Railway was sanctioned by Parliament in 1836 as a railway commencing at Manchester and terminating at Normanton, from where trains would reach Leeds via the North Midland Railway. Although Leeds is only 35 miles from Manchester, the hilly nature of the surrounding terrain meant that the company engineers adopted a circuitous route through Rochdale, Todmorden, Hebden Bridge and the sinuous and steep-sided Calder Valley. The 'Calder Valley' line was opened between Manchester and Littleborough on 3 July 1839, and further sections were brought into use on 5 October 1840 and 3 January 1841 the railway being completed throughout on 1 March 1841. The completed railway was heavily-engineered, the Summit Tunnel between Littleborough and Walsden being the longest in the world at the time of its construction.
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