John Speller's Web Pages Derbyshire Lines

John Speller's Web Pages - Great Central Railway

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What came to be known as the "Derbyshire Lines" of the Manchester, Sheffield & Lincolnshire Railway was a network of lines between Sheffield, Chesterfield and Annesley. After prolonged squabbles in Parliament the Manchester, Sheffield & Lincolnshire Railway finally obtained an Act for the Derbyshire Lines on 26 July 1889. The first sod was cut by Earl Manvers at Beighton 7 February 1890. The Engineer was Charles Liddell (1813-1894). There was a 474 yard tunnel at Chesterfield, which was the major engineering work on the line. There were three main sections. A line from Beighton linking Sheffield to Annesley, where there was a junction with the Great Northern Railway's Leen Valley Branch to Nottingham and thence to King's Cross, paving the way for the Great Central Railway's London Extension from Annesley to Marylebone. Additionally there was a northern line from Staveley to Chesterfield Central, and a connecting southern line from Chesterfield Central to Heath, together forming what was known as the "Chesterfield Loop." The Beighton to Chesterfield section was completed first and passenger trains began running from Sheffield to Staveley and Chesterfield on 1 June 1892. The Staveley to Annesley section opened on 2 January 1893, and the southern half of the Chesterfield Loop followed on 3 July 1893. Following Nationalization it was found that the Great Central route from Nottingham to Chesterfield and Sheffield was almost entirely duplicated by the Midland Railway's line, and the Great Central line closed, even before the Beeching Plan, on 2 March 1963.
Map of the "Derbyshire Lines" of the Midland and Manchester, Sheffield & Lincolnshire Railways.
Staveley Works station on the northern part of the Chesterfield Loop
An early view of the entrance of the rather meager station at Chesterfield Central
Train of empty coal wagons coming off the Derbyshire Lines at Beighton behind ex-WD 2-8-0 No. 90002 on 23 July 1953. Image copyright Ben Brooksbank and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons License
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