After the Midland Railway scupper the London & North Western Railway's plans for Morcombe and Heysham, relations deteriorate to an all time low and L&NWR make it clear that MidR trains will never use their West Coast main line to Carlisle. The directors of the MidR make a risky decision to build their own line to Carlisle, then use the Glasgow & South Western Railway's route to Glasgow St Enoch. With limited options of where to build their line, they opt for a costly route through the hilly Yorkshire Dales.
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The Great Western Railway continue to criss-cross the Cotswolds with a new line from Birmingham Snow Hill to Cheltenham via Stratford-upon-Avon to steal some of the MidR's traffic. Another line runs from Oxford to their Worcester Shrub Hill station to link that part of their network with London Paddington via Oxford.
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A branch line from Maidenhead to High Wycombe via Marlow is also constructed with an eye at extending through more of Buckinghamshire in the future.