The Shrewsbury and Hereford Railway was an English railway company, which obtained an Act of Parliament during the “Railway Mania” year of 1846 and built a standard gauge line between those two places. It opened its main line in 1853.
Its natural ally would seem to be the broad gauge Great Western However the promotors had other ideas, and fought against building to the broad gauge. With other lines the Shrewsbury and Hereford formed a route between the mineral resources of South Wales and the industries of the north-west of England. The hope was that the London and North Western would either buy the line or offer to work it. However, when the S&H finally opened in 1853, the post -mania financial climate was very different, and the railway was leased to Thomas Brassey, the civil engineering contractor for nine years. The GWR and the LNWR jointly leased the S&HR line in 1862, later jointly acquiring ownership of it, in 1871. LNWR mineral traffic developed, and after the opening of the Severn Tunnel in in 1886, the line became an important main line for traffic from the south-west of England to the north-west. It was a great asset during the Great War and WWII.
This document offers an insight into railway operating, after the era of individual pointsmen and “Policemen” stationed at individual signal posts, but bfore the itroduction of absolute block working and interlocking of points and signals.