The full route would run through to Manchester but the line was not completed until the 4th January 1841 with completion of the Summit tunnel at
Littleborough which at that time was the longest in the world.
The 60 ½ mile route's somewhat tortuous crossing of the Pennines was completed surprisingly quickly in only 5 years under the instruction of George
The route taken was a somewhat indirect one following much the same route the canals of the previous century had done. The
canal owners, fearing the obvious competition it would bring, took every opportunity to object to and obstruct the construction of the line. This caused considerable delays and
complications at some pinch points along the route where the canal and railway were required to co-exist.