Timeline of the GER
1836 Eastern Counties Railway Bill receives assent.
1836 Bill for the Northern & Eastern Railway receives assent.
1839 First section of ECR opens.
1840 First section of N&ER opens.
1840 London & Blackwall Railway partially opens.
1841 L&BR opens its Fenchurch Street terminus.
1843 ECR is complete between Shoreditch/Bishopsgate and Colchester.
1844 ECR takes over the working of the N&ER.
ECR's Act of Parliament passes, allowing it to extend the N&ER to Cambridge and beyond.>
1844 Norwich & Yarmouth Railway opened.
1845 Norwich & Brandon Railway opened.
Also merges with the N&YR to become the Norfolk Railway.
1845 Extension to Cambridge and Brandon opened.
Allows the first through train from London to Norwich.
1845 George Hudson becomes Chairman of the ECR.
1846 Eastern Union Railway opens between Ipswich and Colchester.
1846 Ipswich and Bury Railway opens
1847 EUR and I&BR merge and retains the EUR title.
1847 East Anglian Railway formed by merger of three lines around Kings Lynn and Ely.
1848 ECR take control of the NR.
1848 First section of the Newmarket Railway opens.
Shortly afterwards, operation of the NmR passes to the ECR.
1848 Stratford Works opens.
1849 EUR extension between Ipswich and Norwich opens.
1849 Hudson removed from the Board.
1849 The ECR build what is probably the UK's first steam railcar.
1851 Link opens in Norwich, enabling EUR trains to use the former NR terminus at Norwich Thorpe.
1851 GNR takes over the operation of the EAR.
1852 ECR takes over the operation of both the East Anglian Railway (from the GNR) & the Newmarket Railway.
1852 ECR takes over the NR.
1854 ECR takes control of the Eastern Union Railway.
ECR now controls virtually all the railway lines in East Anglia.
1860 Independent Colne Valley & Halstead Railway opens.
1862 Formal amalgamation of the ECR, EAR, NMR, NR and EUR to become the GER.
1863 First Continental ferry services start from Harwich.
1866 L&BR is leased to GER for 999 years.
1868 The Tottenham & Hampstead Joint line opens.
1870 All "Express" surcharges are abolished.
1872 Lord Claud Hamilton is appointed to the Board
Lord Claud Hamilton will remain on the GER Board for 50 years.
1872 Third class accommodation is provided on all trains.
1874 Liverpool Street terminus opens over a period of 18 months.
1878 William Adams designs and builds the first UK 2-6-0; named "Mogul".
1879 Formation of the GN&GE Joint line.
1882 Missing GN&GEJR link between Spalding and Lincoln opens.
1883 Parkeston Quay opens.
1886 New station at Norwich Thorpe opens.
1891 First restaurant car introduced.
1891 GER promotes the Lancashire, Derbyshire & East Coast Railway
With running powers over the LD&ECR, the GER gains direct access to the Yorkshire Nottinghamshire coalfield.
1900 GER involved with the Sheffield District Railway, allowing access to Sheffield via the LD&ECR.
1904 Motor bus services introduced.
1914 Henry Thornton becomes General Manager.
1920 New intensive steam-operated London suburban service introduced.
1923 The GER becomes a part of the LNER, and ceases to exist.
Thank you to Richard Barron for the above information.