Major piece of rail history unearthed during work on Britain's HS2 train link

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, March 12, 2020
Adjust font size:

LONDON, March 11 (Xinhua) -- The world's oldest roundhouse used in the early days of the railway age to turn around steam trains has been uncovered in Birmingham, HS2 announced Wednesday.

The company building a new terminal for Britain's high speed HS2 rail link discovered the hidden brick roundhouse during excavation work on the site of the new station in Britain's second biggest city.

The roundhouse was discovered adjacent to the old Curzon Street station, which was the first railway terminus serving the center of Birmingham.

It was built to a design by 19th century railway engineer Robert Stephenson, and operational in 1837 predating the current titleholder of 'world's oldest' in the UK city of Derby by almost two years, said HS2 Ltd.

HS2 will see the Birmingham site become home to the first brand new intercity terminus station built in Britain since the 19th century.

The original 180-kilometer rail link between the old Curzon Street Station in Birmingham and finishing at Euston Station in London took 20,000 men nearly five years to build. It has been estimated that to build the railway, construction workers shifted more material than the ancient Egyptians did when they constructed the pyramids.

The roundhouse, and specifically the turntable, was used to turn around the engines so locomotives could return back down the line to London.

Its sister roundhouse in London is now better known as the world-renowned Roundhouse music venue in London's Camden.

Jon Millward, HS2's historic environment advisor, said: "HS2 is offering us the opportunity to unearth 1,000's of years of British history along the route and learn about our past. The discovery of what could be the world's oldest railway roundhouse on the site of the new HS2 station in Birmingham City Center is extraordinary and fitting as we build the next generation of Britain's railways." Enditem

Follow on Twitter and Facebook to join the conversation.
ChinaNews App Download
Print E-mail Bookmark and Share

Go to Forum >>0 Comment(s)

No comments.

Add your comments...

  • User Name Required
  • Your Comment
  • Enter the words you see:   
    Racist, abusive and off-topic comments may be removed by the moderator.
Send your storiesGet more from