Change of prgramme: Railway Engineering – Yesterday and Today, comparing construction of the original London to Birmingham Railway with today’s planning for HS2

Posted: August 15th, 2017
When:
March 27, 2018 @ 6:30 pm – 8:15 pm
2018-03-27T18:30:00+01:00
2018-03-27T20:15:00+01:00
Where:
MANCHESTER Museum of Science & Industry
Liverpool Rd
Manchester M3 4JN
UK
Cost:
Free
Contact:
Branch Chairman

Dr Ralph Harrington is indisposed anbd we hope to reschedule his lecture at a later date. In his place  Dr Michael Bailey will speak in his place. The much-publicised planning activities for the first phase of the ‘High Speed 2’ railway line between London and Birmingham prompt comparison with those of the Victorian era line between the same two cities. The latter was the world’s first trunk railway, the Chief Engineer for which was Robert Stephenson. The requirements for surveying and selecting a route are much the same today as in the 1830s, except that land use and population are so much greater today, making route selection more difficult and controversial. The process of designing the line and its structures is much the same today as for the first line, although the techniques and technical aides are so developed now by comparison with the early equipment previously used. Stephenson was challenged by a limited knowledge of soil mechanics and he learned much about the characteristics of different soil and rock as he proceeded with construction. Today’s engineers have detailed knowledge of soil and rock they will find along the chosen route arising from samples they have taken. This is an essential pre-requisite to the issue of tender invitations for which contractors base their estimates. The planning and building of a rail route requires the close co-ordination of practitioners from several professions each of which has evolved in the intervening years. These include surveyors, lawyers, civil engineers, structural engineers, quantity surveyors, contractors, permanent way engineers and signalling engineers, whilst the rolling stock teams of today are formed of mechanical engineers, electrical engineers and electronic engineers, a far cry from the steam locomotive engineers of yesteryear.

About the Speaker Michael Bailey was a transport professional for many years, including six years in railway service. His interest in, and passion for, early railway history, and early locomotives in particular, has led him to undertake many research projects on these subjects. He has published the findings in several books

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