After the completion of the Manchester & Leeds Railway (M&LR) in 1841, which passed three miles to the north of Huddersfield, a number of schemes were proposed to provide a rail link to the town.
In April 1844 the Huddersfield & Manchester Railway & Canal scheme was proposed with the aim of building a line through Huddersfield with a capital of £600,000:
The company's Parliamentary Act was given Royal Assent on 21 July 1845. A second shorter Act was passed in July 1846 to amend the route through Huddersfield and to formally agree that a section of the line — including the section through Huddersfield Railway Station — would be operated jointly with the Huddersfield & Sheffield Junction Railway (H&SJR). The two companies also agreed to jointly operate the new railway station.
At a meeting held on 28 February 1846, the company decided against becoming part of the proposed Manchester, Sheffield & Lincolnshire Railway (MS&LR). Instead, the MS&LR was formed on 1 January 1847 from the following companies:
The company was acquired in 1847 by the London & North Western Railway (L&NWR).
Although the Manchester & Huddersfield Railway Company no longer existed as a separate entity, its logo was incorporated into the right-hand booking office of the railway station at Huddersfield.