From the archive: Edinburgh-Glasgow train line opens 176 years ago

ON 21 February 1842, ­Scotland's first inter-city railway, the Edinburgh-Glasgow mainline, opened to ­regular traffic.

By The Newsroom
Tuesday, 20th February 2018, 6:37 pm
Updated Tuesday, 20th February 2018, 6:42 pm
Steam trains at Waverley Station (1949). The Edinburgh-Glasgow line was Scotland's first inter city railway. Picture: TSPL
Steam trains at Waverley Station (1949). The Edinburgh-Glasgow line was Scotland's first inter city railway. Picture: TSPL

The service operated just four trains a day, a number that has since risen to 32. In other news, it was reported that the ­substructure of the Scott ­Monument was complete, while an earthquake in southeast England echoes events from February 2018.

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Edinburgh and Glasgow railway

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A handy guide to the new-fangled mode of transport  a train between Glasgow and Edinburgh

We understand that on Monday, nearly 1000 passengers availed themselves of this new and splendid mode of transit, and that yesterday the numbers amounted to about 1400.

The completeness of the arrangements even on the first day of the opening, and the caution with which the trips were performed under the immediate superintendence of Mr Miller, engineer of the line, inspired the passengers with perfect confidence; and during the two days on which the line has been open to the public, the trains have run with unfailing regularity.

On Saturday an inspection of the rope used on the inclined plane at Glasgow took place, in presence of the Directors, Captain Miller, superintendent of Police, and others, when a strong belief was entertained that it had been wilfully cut on the previous evening. We have heard that they have seen reason since to alter this opinion, and to suspect that it was cut on one of the small wheels on which it runs. The matter is undergoing a searching investigation, but in the meantime, the injury has been repaired and the strength of the rope thoroughly tested.

The occurrence, so far from causing any apprehension in ascending or descending the inclined plane in future, will have a directly ­contrary effect, as a train was ­actually in process of being hauled up when the accident took place. The brake being immediately applied, the train was prevented from sliding back; so that even in the event of the rope giving way, the only inconvenience that can arise is the loss of time consequent on drawing up the carriages by some more tardy process.

A handy guide to the new-fangled mode of transport  a train between Glasgow and Edinburgh

In connection with the Railway we beg to call attention to an admirable little Railway Companion, which has just been published by Messrs Fraser & Co. in this city. It ­comprises, within the space of a single sheet, plans of Edinburgh and Glasgow, with letter-press descriptions appended to each; an ample map of the Railway, with a running description of the principle objects on the line; and a great variety of matter of the highest value to the traveller and tourist.

The price of the sheet, which is very neatly got up, is only a few pence.

Also in the paper that day....

The Scott Monument

The contractor, Mr Rhind, has been proceeding with this national memorial with as much celerity as the season would admit of. The substructure is now built to within seventeen feet of the level of Princes Street, which the contractor expects to reach six weeks hence, when the building of the splendid monument itself will be immediately commenced. On Friday the foundation stone, which was laid with such pomp and ceremony on the anniversary of the birth-day of Sir ­Walter Scott in August 1840, was deposited in its proper situation in presence of the contractor, Mr Kemp the architect, and Mr Steell, the sculptor. It is so placed that it will be visible in an apartment under the monument; and a pier of stonework will rise from it to support the pedestal of the marble statue of Sir Walter, which we hear the eminent sculptor is ­rapidly proceeding with.

Earthquake in Cornwall

A violent shock of an earthquake was felt on Thursday at twenty-five minutes past eight o’clock in the morning, at Falmouth and throughout that part of Cornwall. It was accompanied by a loud report and subsequently a rumbling noise resembling the upsetting of a laden cart against a house.