The first day of the new railway
On July 7th, 1845, just one year after the Act for the construction of the line was passed, the York to Scarborough line was opened with the usual festivities, commencing with a public breakfast at York. The inaugural train of 35 coaches left York at 11am and according to reports of the time: “proceeded at a slow rate over the line, with the first stop at Castle Howard Station to pick up Lord Morpeth.”
The stop at Castle Howard probably proved quite worthwhile, as apparently the Earl of Carlisle provided “a supply of strong ale from the cellars of Castle Howard for all those who chose to partake”.
The report goes on: “The arrival at Scarborough was soon after 2pm and the company proceeded to an elegant luncheon, which had been laid out in the temporary station.”
Afterwards, a procession headed by a band, was formed and proceeded around the town of Scarborough, before rejoining the train for York. In the evening, 700 gentlemen attended a dinner in the Town Hall at York, and there were speeches congratulating George Stephenson and George Hudson who had made it all possible.
It isn’t clear just how much of the line was single or double track when the line was opened in July, but it is stated that doubling would be finished throughout between York and Scarborough by the middle of April 1846.
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