Manchester & Leeds Railway first clas carriage, c 1844.
© NRM / Pictorial Collection / Science & Society Picture Library
Side elevation drawing by John Burges. In 1837 Parliament gave permision for a railway to be built on a 51 mile stretch acros the Pennines between Manchester and Leeds, under the supervision of George Stephenson (1781-1848). The Manchester & Leeds line was opened in 1839, with branches continuing to be opened well into the 1840s. The economic and industrial importance of the city of Leeds was greatly enhanced by the completion of the railway.