HUDDERSFIELD AND MANCHESTER RAILWAY AND CANAL.
The half-yearly ordinary meeting of shareholders of the above Company (now incorporated with the London and North-Western), was held within the Guildhall, Huddersfield, on Monday last; William Aldam, jun., Esq., in the chair.
The advertisement convening the meeting having been read by the secretary, and the common seal of the Company affixed to the register of proprietors, The Secretary (Mr. Gilmer) proceeded to read the following
“The proprietors are already aware that the Bill for the amalgamation of this and the Leeds, Dewsbury, and Manchester Railway Company with the London and North-Western Company, received the Royal assent on the 9th ultimo; and your Directors upon this occasion — the first at which they have had the pleasure of meeting their proprietors since the ill was passed — beg to congratulate them upon the successful termination of a measure of so much importance to the welfare of the undertaking. The advantages of a connection with the London and North-Western Company (which your Directors have no doubt will prove reciprocal), whether viewed as the means of affording to the public the most complete system of intercommunication, or of developing the traffic of the important district through which the line passes, cannot be over-rated; and these reasons, apart from all financial considerations, which are by no means unimportant in the present position of monetary affairs, satisfy your Directors that the amalgamation will prove most beneficial to the interests of this Company.
“Your Directors have also the satisfaction to report that the Bill for certain alterations and deviations of the Oldham branch received the Royal assent on the 9th ultimo.
“Since 31st December last the providing of the funds requisite for the regular payment for works and land has been a source of much watchfulness and anxiety to the Directors. The expenditure for the works on the line, including stations, as will be seen from the balance sheet, amounts, during the half year, to £127,716 18s. 11d.; for land and compensation, to £36,697 0s. 7d.; for engines, carriages, rails, chairs, &c., to £34,325 6s. 10d. To meet this large outlay two calls have been made during the half-year, namely, a fourth call on 2nd February, and a fifth call on 3rd May; and your Directors are happy to announce that these have been responded to with much promptitude, when the existing depression in the money market is taken into consideration. The payments to account of the calls on the whole and third shares, due 2nd February, amount to £100,520; and to account of the calls due 3rd May, to £69,702.
The arrears, to 30th June last, were as follows:—
but since then that amount has been reduced to £19,122.
“It will be seen, by a reference to the balance sheet, that the amount of money obtained on mortgage is £59,300, but of that sum £10,500 is simply a transfer from the canal department — the mortgagees upon the Huddersfield Canal being the first mortgagees under this Company's Act. This amount has been very considerably increased since 30th June last, and the tenders for loans which have been accepted by the Company, to the 18th instant, amount to 83,5201., exclusive of the £10,500 before referred to. Most of this amount, has been borrowed at 5 per cent. — £30,700 for three years; £49,420 for five years; £2,500 for seven years; and the remaining £11,400 at six months' notice.
“The payment of £45,284 13s. 4d. for Sir John Ramsden's Canal, which will be made in a very short time, will absorb the balance now at the credit of this Company with their bankers; and as the two monthly payments to contractors for work done fall due at the end of this month, another call has been made by your Directors, payable on the 6th proximo. Previous to declaring this call a strong effort was made by the Directors to obtain a loan of a large amount for a lengthened period, so as to defer the making of the call for some time, but the fullest inquiry has satisfied them that loans cannot be calculated upon to any great extent in larger sums than £500 and £1,000.
“The portion of railway extending from Huddersfield to Heaton Lodge Junction was opened for passenger traffic on the 3rd instant, Captain Simmons, the Government Inspector of Railways, having previously examined the same, and expressed himself highly satisfied with the workmanship and stability of construction along that portion. As yet, only one line of rails has been laid down, but your Directors are proceeding with the second line as speedily as possible, and they confidently anticipate it will be completed within the next fortnight. The traffic upon this portion of the line has fully answered the expectations previously formed of it, the average number of passengers carried since the opening being 990 daily.
“For the progress of the works since 31st December last your Directors refer to the report of Mr. Mackworth, which is appended.
“The balance sheet of income and expenditure for the last half-year has already been circulated amongst the proprietors, in accordance with the usual practice.
“To the Directors of the Huddersfield and Manchester Railway.
“Gentlemen, I have the honour and satisfaction of reporting to you the general progress of the works for the information of the proprietors of this railway.
“The part of your line between Huddersfield and the Manchester and Leeds Railway (a distance of 3½ miles) has been approved of by the Government Inspector, and opened for public traffic on the third instant without accident. Since this time passengers have been conveyed with regularity and dispatch, and as soon as the second line of rails is completed the large goods traffic of Huddersfield will be brought by this railway into the heart of the town. The Cooper Bridge branch will be finished in a few months, and the communication from Huddersfield, east and west, with the valley of the Calder, will then be completed.
“The works in Standedge tunnel are proceeding with all possible rapidity; 1,200 yards in length have been completed at twenty-three faces of operation, and the necessary, galleries and driftways are in progress for adding thirteen more faces. The rate of progress will then be about eighty-five yards per week, the present speed being only fifty-five.
“The five extensive viaducts at Stalybridge, Uppermill, Slaithwaite, Crimble, and Milnsbridge, have been raised for the most part up to the level of the arches, and several arches of the Milnsbridge via duct have been turned. The Stalybridge tunnel is completed for one-half its length. Scout tunnel, which is two hundred yards in length, is nearly half finished, and the Huddersfield tunnel will immediately be proceeded with at six faces of operation.
“A total quantity of 1,450,000 cubic yards of excavation have been removed on the line, and four turnpike-road bridges, thirteen public and twenty-four occupation road bridges have been completed. All the remaining bridges and excavations are in hand, and nearly 4,000 men are at work on the line, About 6 miles in length of the railway, besides the part already opened, are formed ready for receiving the permanent way, and no exertion shall be spare to accelerate the works, so that they may fairly vie with those of any other Company in the country.
The Chairman congratulated the shareholders on the position of the Company. He confidently hoped that the entire line would be opened, including the Standedge tunnel, by May, 1849. He moved the adoption of the report and also of the balance sheet, which was carried unanimously.
A vote of thanks was passed to the Chairman, and the meeting separated.