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While the first public passenger-carrying railway operated between Liverpool and Manchester from 1830, it was the construction of the Grand Junction and London & Birmingham that created the first long-distance, inter-city route from 1838. The meeting point of these two independent companies was Birmingham. The new railways came to benefit the town, through the carriage of goods, parcels and passengers and complimenting the already extensive canal network in the area. In addition to the London & Birmingham and Grand Junction, railways to Gloucester and Derby were constructed. That to Derby joined up with railways to Nottingham, Sheffield and Leeds, placing Birmingham at the heart of an inter-city rail network. The aim of this book is to investigate railway construction within the West Midlands, showing how the system developed and how it served both the needs of the travelling public and the conveyance of goods and merchandise.