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From its start pandemonium reigned at Gloucester, now at the centre of a railway route stretching from Tyneside to the Exe.If the Twentieth Centurys jet age brought the expression "Breakfast in London, Dinner in New York, Luggage in Bermuda" then "Lost at Gloucester" became synonymous with the problems of travel in Victorian minds."Gentle Reader, if you wish to know what a break of gauge is, a journey between Birmingham and Bristol will make you very sensibly conscious of it.Craftily, he ordered that two trains already dealt with should be unpacked once more to add to the chaos. Just as VHS was to supplant Betamax in the video world of the 1980s and then itself be threatened by CD ROMs and DVDs so- following the submissions of the Royal Commissioners the 1846 Gauge Act made the Coal Cart spacing of the Stephensons a national British standard.Even before the Government had decided to investigate though, the railways were taking action to reform.Technically known as the Gloucester & Stonehouse Junction Railway, the new line was completed on at a cost of 159 042.Boasting four level crossings in the City and running parallel with the Great Western between Tuffley and Standish the "Tuffley Loop" as it was called still shapes the street plan of Gloucester to this day.
An old carrier thus graphically speaks of the contents of a goods train and the shifting of them:".is found at Gloucester that to tranship the contents of one waggon full of miscellaneous merchandise to another, takes about an hour with all the force of porters you can put to work upon it.
The Midland was financially helped in its takeover bid by the London & North Western Railway whose engines included "Columbine", seen here.
The London & North Western also offered the use of Birmingham New Street station in return for keeping the Great Western off its territory.
Indeed, until Greenwich Mean Time was adopted in 1880, railway stations in Gloucester boasted clocks displaying Bristol, Birmingham and London time. Coaches before waggons the blessing of the broad gauge for the Northern districts. They discovered that Great Western locomotives were more powerful and fuel-efficient than their rivals and also offered less rolling resistance per unit of torque because of their larger diameter wheels.
Back in 1845 however, the Parliamentary Gauge Commissioners came to Gloucester and found J. Payne, Goods Manager of the Birmingham & Gloucester Railway, keen to promote the argument for a narrow gauge line to Bristol. Neele of the London & North Western wrote in his book "Railway Reminiscences":"When the members came to the scene, they were appalled by the clamour arising from the well-arranged confusion of shouting out addresses of consignments, the chucking of packages from truck to truck, the enquiries for missing articles, the loading, unloading and reloading, which his clever device had brought""Observe! However, as the better calibre of lawyers afforded by the wealthier Stephenson camp were quick to point out, by 1845 almost 2 000 miles of 4 8 1/2" track had been laid in Britain as opposed to only 275 miles of 7 0 ".