Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 126,805 pages of information and 199,900 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.
Read the article about The Midland Railway from One Hundred Years of British Railways in The Engineer here:
The Midland Railway (MR) was a railway company in the United Kingdom, which existed from 1844 to 1922.
1844 The Midland Railway was formed by the merger of:- 
1844 July 16th. First AGM held with George Hudson as Chairman.
1845 It took over the:-
1845 December 31st. Owned 95 engines and tenders, 282 carriages, and 1,256 wagons.
1846 In competition with the GWR's plans to extend to Birmingham, after a legendary chance meeting on a train, of the Midland's John Ellis and two Birmingham and Gloucester directors, they took over the:-
1846 December 31st. Owned 113 engines and tenders, 366 carriages, and 2,386 wagons.
1847 To build a connection between Chesterfield and Trent Junction at Long Eaton along the Erewash Valley to give access to the Nottinghamshire coalfields it took over the:-
1847 December 31st. Owned 164 engines and tenders, 578 carriages, and 5,886 wagons. It had 377 miles of line.
1848 May 1st. Syston to Peterborough section opened.
1848 October 28th. Complaints over the running of the railway as it passed its zenith of ever increasing profits
1848 Report of a committee of investigation into the financials of the company. At this time William Henry Barlow is the Resident Engineer.
1851 Under the name of W. H. Barlow of the Midland Railway they had an award at the 1851 Great Exhibition. See details at 1851 Great Exhibition: Reports of the Juries: Class V.
1851 June 4th. The purchase of the Leeds and Bradford Railway approved
1851 The company had 496 miles of line
1854 The line was converted to standard gauge, initially as mixed gauge track with three rails so that both broad and standard gauge trains could run on it.
1857 The company had 500 miles of line
1858 May 8th. Opening of the long planned Leicester and Hitchen line which included the Wellingborough Viaduct
1858 July. John Ellis the Chairman and Samuel Beale the Deputy-Chairman resign but Beale stays on for a period
1861 The company had 620 miles of line
1864 Samuel Beale is finally forced to resign due to ill health. W. E. Hutchinson is elected Chairman with W. P. Price as his deputy. Joseph Cripps an auditor of the company for twenty years died and the remaining auditor Alfred Allott signs the accounts with Major Robert Hearne of Gloucester put forward as a replacement.
1868 St. Pancras Railway Station completed
1870 The company had 826 miles of line
1873 Matthew Kirtley the locomotive superintendent dies
1875 See 1875 Number of Locomotives where they are listed third with 1,196 locomotives.
1876 June. Company owns or leases 1,534 miles of line with 1,261 locomotives, 3,343 coaches and more tan 33,000 wagons. In th ewhole coultry the figures are 16,000 miles, 12,000 engines and 23,000 carriages.
1877 There are fifteen directors and each must hold at least £2,000 of company stock. The directors work in committees and these are the: Way and Works, Traffic, Locomotive, Carriage and Wagon, Finance, Construction (which is in two parts - north and south of derby), Parliamentary, Stores and the General Puposes. James Williams is the Secretary and James Allport is the General Manager.
The Midland pioneered the use of gas lighting for trains in Britain, put third-class carriages on all its trains in 1872, and abolished second class in 1875, giving third class passengers the level of comfort formerly afforded to second class passengers (elsewhere some third class passengers travelled in open wagons).
The railway introduced the first British Pullman supplementary-fare cars. The non-contiguous numbering of classes, with 1st and 3rd class only, continued until 1956, when third class was renamed second.
1888 See Locomotive Stock June 1888 where they are listed 4th with 1,807 locomotives.
1894 A connection between Sheffield and Manchester, by means of a branch at Dore to Chinley, opened in 1894, involving the construction of the Totley and Cowburn Tunnels, now known as the Hope Valley Railway Line.
1902 On May 1st the Midland, by the opening throughout of the New Mills-Heaton Mersey line, obtained a shorter route to Manchester, and over its own metals to Throstle Nest Junction, immediately outside Manchester Central Station. A loop at Cheadle Heath gave access to the Cheshire Lines, and thence to Warrington and Liverpool. The Whitechapel-Bow was opened on June 2nd. The only serious accident of the year occurred at Hackney on April 25th, when three lives were lost as a consequence of the breakage of the axle of a carriage.
1905 Guy Granet took over as General Manager
1908 The company, as it stands now, is the result of the 1844 amalgamation of the Midland Counties Railway, the Birmingham and Derby Junction Railway and North Midland Railway companies. The line is 1,654 miles in length, and the company partly owns 325 miles more. 
The company was grouped into the London, Midland and Scottish Railway (LMS) on January 1, 1923 and was the most influential of the pre-grouping companies that formed the LMS