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George Stephenson was appointed as Consulting Engineer to the Whitehaven Junction Railway.
By 1836, Stephenson had formulated a scheme for a coastal line from Cumberland down into Central Lancashire, known as "The Great West Coast Railway."
1838 The full details of the scheme were revealed at a Public Meeting held in Whitehaven on April 21st 1838, attended by the residents of Cumberland and Furness.
1844 Issue of the first prospectus for the Whitehaven and Furness Junction Railway
1847 The Whitehaven and Furness Act allowed the incorporation of the new company
The original starting point for the line was the Newtown station at Preston Street, Whitehaven, which was later altered to be a goods depot. From there the route passed through Bootle and Silecroft to Holborn Hill. The line continued from Holborn Hill along the northern shores of the Duddon estuary to join the Furness Railway at Broughton-in-Furness. By taking this course, only a short viaduct across the River Duddon at the top of the estuary near Foxfield was required.
1850 the section from Whitehaven to Bootle was opened to public traffic.
1852 The tunnel from Corkickle to Bransty Station at Whitehaven was completed, linking the Preston Street terminus and the Whitehaven Junction line at Bransty.
1858 The company declared a dividend for the first time.
1866 The Furness Railway acquired the company.