London Northwestern Railway celebrates 180 years since the first train between London and Birmingham

London Northwestern Railway has been celebrating 180 years of history by marking the anniversary of the very first train to operate between London and Birmingham.

On 17 September 1838, the company known as London and Northwestern Railway, operated the first departure from London Euston. The train arrived Birmingham’s Curzon Street station five and half hours later.

180 years later, and 180 passenger services a day now operate along the route during the week.

On Monday 17th September, between 0800 and 0900, passengers arriving at London Euston enjoyed a surprise breakfast at the station.

There was also a special giveaway at Birmingham New Street station later in the day, to coincide with the year that the original owning company on the route, London and Birmingham Railway (which later became London and Northwestern Railway), was formed.

The 112 mile stretch of railway has seen vast improvements since it opened, with record levels of investment due to be spent over the coming years.

Network Rail is continuing to upgrade junctions and signalling on the route. The most recent improvements took place at North Wembley Junction over three weekends during August and September 2018.

London Northwestern Railway is also planning to provide an additional 20,000 seats a day into London during peak times as part of a £700 million worth of investment into new trains.

In addition to this, with the construction of HS2, Birmingham’s Curzon Street station will be rebuilt on it’s former site.

Andrew Conroy, customer experience director for London Northwestern Railway said: “The southern stretch of the West Coast mainline remains a key route on our network. To mark this significant anniversary, we wanted to give something back to our customers who travel with us day in day out. A lot may have changed over the past 180 years, including the operators who run services – even though the names seen on the route have remained very similar!”