Engineered by Joseph Locke, the Sheffield, Ashton-under-Lyne and Manchester Railway linking Manchester and Sheffield opened in 1845. Originally, this line terminated at the Bridgehouses station about to the west of the future Victoria station. In 1847, the Sheffield, Ashton-under-Lyne and Manchester Railway merged with two other railway companies to form the Manchester, Sheffield and Lincolnshire Railway. The station at Bridgehouses had been outgrown and an extension and new station were planned. John Fowler, who later gained fame for co-designing the Forth Railway Bridge in Scotland, was employed to engineer the extension and station. Fowler's design included a viaduct over the Wicker that was high, long and two island platforms long. The extension was completed in 1847–1848 and the new Victoria station opened on 15 September 1851. The station gained a -long ridge furrow patterened glass roof likened at the time to The Crystal Palace (in London) which spanning the main line platforms in 1867 and was further enlarged in 1874, the well-known railway contractors Logan and Hemingway being awarded the contract.