Boxmoor Temporary Terminus 1837

The London and Birmingham Railway. 

The first part of the London and Birmingham Railway to open was a section at its southern end between Euston and Boxmoor (Hemel Hempstead). The full opening of the line with through working was delayed until September 1838 because of problems with Kilsby Tunnel and Blisworth Cutting.

Below is the transcription of a page from the original civil engineering records the construction of the line. This details the materials and manpower required for the building of a Temporary Terminus at Boxmoor. The adjacent Grand Union Canal seems to have been used to get materials to the site. There appear to have been works undertaken well in advance of the opening on the 20’th September 1837 with a scurry of activity close to that date.

Turnplates are what we would now understand as Turntables. These were for turning of the locomotives which at this time, by modern standards, were relatively small.

1837 July 1’st

For the landing of Turnplates & carriage of ditto from Canal to the Station – Time as follows,

18 Carpenters, 36 Labourers, 72 Horses & Drivers including Carts, Waggons etc 1 day each.

July 29Dsc_0077

Loading & unloading Turnplates, altering & refixing ditto, drilling holes in crosses etc – Time as follows,

116 Carpenters, 155 Labourers, 78 Smiths, 16 Masons, 1 day each.

Sinking well 25 feet deep, as per agreed prices, viz

The first 10 feet at 39/- 2nd 10st  50/- 3rd 5 at 60/- 3 Curbs, & extra steining in mortar –

210 lbs, 3 Rod & Bolts for fixing pumps – 44 ft cube oak – 64 ft super 1 ½ deal, 22 ditto 1 inch, 79 – ¾ , 95 ft cube deal – Fixing pumps, stages etc – 15 Carpenters, 16 Labourers – 6 coke baskets, 1 shovel, 64 ft cube beech, lining, drilling 6 Railway Bars with plates, pins, nuts etc

846 lbs Wro’t iron for lever bolts, nuts, plates, spikes, chairs etc 40 ft cube oak for foundations to Turnplates – 84 lbs Iron In: bolts

Loading Crab, blocks, full – & unloading ditto, carriage & use of ditto – – 92 ft super oak for covering well etc nails.

Beer allowed to men

Fixing 12 Turnplates –

3000 yds cube of Earthwork for sidings

Sept 30

Time altering, taking up & refixing, Turnplates, Points etc 42 Carpenters, 20 Smiths, 112 Masons, 139 Lab’s 1 day each. 8 lbs rivets & 2 / chains 20 lbs, 3 doz 1 inch bolts 13 in: long, ½ doz 1 inch bolts 4 ft long – 84 lbs – 88 ft cube oak for Turnplates – 48 ft cube fir for slide rails. 64 ft sup 1 in: board. 3lbs 2/ nails.

The Hill Above Boxmoor Towards Berkhamsted c1839 - steam trains in the distance on the newly built railway embankment.
The Hill Above Boxmoor Towards Berkhamsted c1839 – steam trains in the distance on the newly built railway embankment.

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