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An electric telegraph - invented by Gloucester's own Charles Wheatstone - had warned spectators that the train had passed Cheltenham, but when Her Majesty finally appeared on the platform and it was time for the Corporation and Clergy of Gloucester to move forward with their addreses the crowd followed behind them and , as the Gloucester Journal reported, Indeed, the Great Western Railway was to link Gloucester but not yet Cheltenham to Swindon by May 1845: thereby bringing even more trains to the crowded Gloucester platforms. "Another placard explained that the distance of 37 miles between Gloucester and Bristol could be traversed by a Broad Gauge train in 1 hour 45 minutes while the best timing for the 51 mile Gloucester to Birmingham journey was 2 hours 35 minutes.
By July 1845 the Government became so alarmed at the prospect of further railway breaks of gauge that it set up a Royal Commission to investigate the matter. It was also true that at this time as much as 300 tons of freight were being transhipped at Gloucester while less than 50 tons were handled at Bristol in the same way.
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.
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 ".
You resolve that no consideration will ever tempt you to bring your horses again by Railway where there is a "break of gauge".
Then Parliament approved Midland plans to construct an independent Standard Gauge route from Tramway Crossing to Standish and a mixed gauge line from there to Bristol.Thinking on his feet when he heard of the Great Western plans, Ellis also a Quaker wool merchant whose business had suffered due to the Break of Gauge, offered his travelling companions the necessary 65.00 a share.Both Bristol and Birmingham boards accepted and the Midland Railway leased the two lines from May 7 1845 prior to gaining full ownership on August 3.The Gauge being thus broken your journey is brought to a dead halt.With all your luggage and rattle traps, whatever they be in size and number, you are obliged to shift from one carriage to another.On 14 January 1845 the Chairmen of both the Bristol & Gloucester and Birmingham & Gloucester Railways agreed to merge their respective companies in an effort to minimise confusion.Then, on January 24, the Great Western offered to buy them both.Part of the Gloucester & Stonehouse Junction Railway followed the same route as that of the High Orchard Branch to the Docks built by the Midland Railway in 1848.This followed the approximate line of what is currently Trier Way and consolidated the influence of the Midland Railway on the Eastern side of Gloucester Docks.The system of transferring coal from ship to tram wagon to railway wagon adopted in 1841 had proved very wasteful so in 1844 the Birmingham & Gloucester Railway had lain rails outside the tram plates to give Standard gauge access to the Docks.However, this sharply curving route was still worked by horses and so an independent High Orchard Branch was the only real way forward.