page updated
9 March 2016

The Chronology was inspired by a suggestion in the M&GN Circle's 'E-Line' and is divided into sections, each section representing a company and / or section of line.

Constituent Companies

Amalgamated Companies

Midland & Great Northern and After

given are those that reached me. In may cases these are 'secondary' and need replacing with 'primary' source information.

Closure dates: official closure dates are usually given as "on and from" and the despatch of parcels and goods to the location was ceased a few days earlier to prevent traffic being left in transit and limbo. Last trains normally ran the day before and only any necessary train to clear wagons and stock would be run on or after the official date. Where closure was from a Monday and no Sunday service was scheduled to run then last trains would run two days earlier; thus the official closure of much of the M&GN was on and from Monday 2 March 1959 and last trains ran on Saturday 28 February 1959. This situation is not always appreciated by writers of books and magazine articles and closure dates sometimes descend into confusion as a result.

Sources of Information

Sources are split into two sections: primary and secondary.

Primary Sources

Primary sources are original publications and correspondence or photocopy or facsimile copies of such. Generally they were issued by the body concerned and are generally considered to be reliable. Ordnance survey maps are also primary sources. However, error is not entirely unknown and a second primary source should be sought for corroboration.

Pictures can usually be treated as primary sources.

Source Explanation
Act of Parliament Printed copy of the Act itself as printed by the printer appointed by Parliament for the purpose.
GNR Great Northern Railway. Official document issued by the company, accompanied as appropriate by the document reference.
London Gazette Official Notices required for compliance with parliamentary standing orders are published in the London Gazette. Announcements in this publication can be treated as primary source material but be aware that publication of a notice is not evidence of an Act being passed in the following year or of the relevant section being included in the Act.
OS Map Ordnance Survey map, the survey year(s) being quoted. Easy access to on-line copies of the 6inch and 1:2,500 series is provided on the map page of the Signalling Record Society, generally against key locations.
Early issues are generally reliable insofar as the information they show but be aware that the OS's definition of a signal box is at variance to what you might expect. In short, if it was a free-standing building containing levers that the surveyor could see they would mark it as 'SB' for signal box. Thus true signal boxes (block posts in railway terms) and ground frames in boxes or huts were treated equally.
Following the first world war (1914-1918) new editions of the maps were published with little or no revision so far as railways were concerned.By the late 1920s or the 1930s some revision was carried out but then the rush to reprint led to the same failings again.
Key abbreviations to look for: MP mile post (with or without explanation of zero point); SB signal box (or covered ground frame); SP signal post. Air shafts for tunnels are usually denoted by a small circle.
Inclusion of the mileage figure ceased on the 6 inch maps about 1890, after which only the letters MP appeared.
It is apparent that some issues of the 6 inch maps were updated without this fact being declared by a revision date being included.
TNA Original documents held in The National Archives, Ruskin Avenue, Kew, Surrey TW9 4DU. Usually followed by a document reference.

Secondary Sources

Secondary sources are everything that does not fit within the primary definition above. It includes all published works, no matter how trustworthy the author.

Source Explanation
Bulletin M & G N Circle Bulletin issued monthly to members. Accompanied as appropriate by the issue / page numbers.
Mike Back Member of M&GN Circle and Signalling Record Society who has carried out much research into signalling.
Quick “Railway Passenger Stations in Great Britain” by Michael Quick, fourth edition published 2009 by Railway & Canal Historical Society. Quick cites his sources for each entry and these are added in brackets against the relevant entries.
RM 1908-8 Railway Magazine, August 1908 issue, pages 89-95. Article by H L Hopwood, Great Northern Railway.
RM 1936-9 Railway Magazine, September 1936, pages 201-209. Article by Alexander Maxwell.
The Railway Magazine editor appended a set of notes to Maxwell's article, setting out opening and other dates.
The January 1937 issue, page 67, carried a summarised list of points raised in correspondence received in consequence of the articles in September and October 1936.
RM 1936-10 Railway Magazine, October 1936, pages 273-279. Article by F H Gillford.
TIA 1960 Trains Illustrated Annual 1960, published by Ian Allan.
Warren Register of British Railway & Tramroad Companies Incorporated Before 1948 compiled by Anthony R Warren, published 2005 by Railway & Canal Historical Society.