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Eighteen papers from the First International Early Main Line Railways Conference held at Caernarfon from 19 to 22 June 2014. Now that subscription orders have been fulfilled, a small number of books are now available at full price. This is (including postage and packing) £58 for UK orders, £63 for orders from the rest of Europe and £68 for orders from the rest of the world.
Copies may be ordered by sending a cheque (payable to ’R&CHS’) for the relevant amount to Roger Taylor, EMLRC1 Orders, 16 Priory Court, Berkhamsted, HP4 2DP. An online facility is available by clicking on the ’Buy Now’ button below; you will be taken to a ’your order summary page’ on which please enter the total amount, click ’update’ and pay. Because of a current glitch on our website setup the order summary page will be headed ’2014 AGM’ but take no notice! You may pay by credit or debit card, or from a paypal account. You will receive an acknowledgement from Roger Taylor for the order but the dispatch is carried out elsewhere, so please allow a period of days.
This successful conference was held at the Galeri, Caernarfon, North Wales from 19th to 22nd June 2014.
Building on the success of the International Early Railways Conference series, the conference diversified to accommodate the interests of historians pursuing the origin and development of mainline railways between 1830 and c1870. This reflects the all-important years when railways first developed routes and networks and became major contributors to economic growth around the world, made possible by rapid advancements in civil and mechanical engineering techniques.
Caernarfon is a World Heritage Site centred on one of the classic Welsh medieval castles. The Welsh Highland Railway starts from the town, connecting with the Ffestiniog Railway to form a 40-mile route of narrow-gauge steam through stunning countryside (http://www.festrail.co.uk/). Close to Caernarfon are many historic sites of industry, including Robert Stephenson’s Menai Straits bridge.
Instead of a formal conference dinner on the Friday night, a chartered trip was arranged on the narrow gauge Welsh Highland steam railway between Caernarfon and Beddgelert, with a traditional supper served on board.
On Sunday afternoon, 22 June, at the conclusion of the conference an optional excursion was made to see the Menai Straits and Stephenson’s Britannia bridge and Telford’s Menai bridge, for which a separate charge for the coach hire will be made. This tour was arranged by members of the Menai Bridge Community Heritage Trust.
This first conference attracted papers from authors studying the history of railways around the world, including the United Kingdom. They covered subjects related to economic, political, social and cultural progress, and to business incentive and practice, as well as developments in structural, architectural and building techniques and practice, and material progress.
Mark Casson Railway promotion in Victorian Britain: engineering triumph or waste of capital?
Grahame Boyes Early progress towards common standards for Britain’s railways
Elizabeth Cavicchi Early explorations in electromagnetic traction by rail
Ronald Cox & Dermot O’Dwyer The Dublin-Galway main line 1845-1851
Peter Cross-Rudkin Contractors’ lines: a system of tampering and jobbery?
Sylvester Damus The Central Argentine Railway from inception to maturity, 1854-1884
Brian Dotson & Derek Cobby The London & Dublin Railway: surveys and parliamentary influences
Robert F. Hartley The Architecture of Early Main Line Railways in Britain
David Hodgkins George Carr Glyn, monopoly and competition
Stephen K. Jones & Stuart Cole Railways, the new professionals and the sinews of war
Ian J. Kerr The early main line railway: the utility of the concept for the history of railways in India
Robert Lee So little population, so much diversity: Australia’s first three main line railways
Ivor Lewis The development of drawing office management within main line railway workshops
Herb MacDonald & Robert Tennant The Intercolonial Railway idea in British North America
Erica Mukherjee Managing technology transfer: land acquisition for the East Indian Railway, 1850-1854
Andrew Primmer The British railway monopoly in Colombia
Amr El Sayed Nasr Din El Sayed & David Gwyn Railways in Egypt 1834-1865
Win Stokes The impact of early main line railway development on the iron and coking industries in north east England
Julie Stone The ironworkers of the Britannia Bridge 1846-1850
Roland Tusch Lengthman’s cottages along the Semmering Railway
Authors have been invited to submit written versions of their papers for consideration for inclusion in a volume of the Conference Proceedings. This will be of similar format to the Early Railways series and will be edited by Peter Cross-Rudkin. Delegates and other interested persons will be invited to subscribe for copies of this volume in 2015
For correspondence about the conference please contact:firstname.lastname@example.org
The Institution of Civil Engineers
National Railway Museum, York
Beamish, The North of England Open Air Museum
Newcomen, The International Society for the History of Engineering and Technology
The Railway and Canal Historical Society
The conference arose as the result of a public meeting which took place at the National Railway Museum in York in 2011. The four papers, that formed the focus of discussion, can be downloaded here:
TECHNOLOGY ON THE MOVE: ENGINEERING DEVELOPMENT ON EARLY MAIN LINE RAILWAYS by Dr Michael R. Bailey
WHAT DO WE WANT TO KNOW ABOUT THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE EARLY MAIN LINE RAILWAY? THE MANAGEMENT/BUSINESS STRUCTURE ASPECTS by Grahame Boyes
EARLY MAIN LINE RAILWAYS – CULTURAL IMPACT & SOCIAL CHANGE 1829-1870 by Dr David Gwyn
RAILWAY FINANCE by Dr Winifred Stokes
The sequence of International Early Railway conferences will continue, with the Sixth Conference scheduled for 2016. Further details can be found by clicking here.