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John Speller's Web Pages - Great Central Railway

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The Manchester, Sheffield & Lincolnshire Railway was formed in 1847 by the amalgamation of the Sheffield, Ashton-under-Lyne and Manchester Railway with two lines that were under construction the Sheffield and Lincolnshire Junction Railway and the Great Grimsby and Sheffield Junction Railway. It is the last of these that was responsible during the second half of the nineteenth century into making Grimsby the world's largest fishing port. The engineer of this line was Sir John Fowler and the first train reached Grimsby in 1848. Besides the fish traffic the Great Central Railway had an extensive coal traffic out of the port of Grimsby, and also a number of ferry services to the contenent of Europe.

In 1908 the Railway Magazine announced: "In connection with the Great Central Railway's turbine steamers Marijlebnne. and Immingham. now in the Grimsby and Rotterdam service, a new Continental boat express, composed of corridor carriages, with restaurant car, runs on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, leaving Liverpool (Central) at 3.30 p.m., Manchester (Central) at 4.22 p.m., Sheffield at 5.31 p.m., and Retford at 6.3 p.m. for Grimsby Docks, connecting at Sheffield with the 1.40 p.m. express from London (Marylebone), and at Retford with the express leaving Edinburgh at 10.20 a.m., Newcastle at 1.45 p.m., and York at 4.10 p.m. A similar train leaves Grimsby Docks on Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays at 11.30 a.m. for Sheffield and Manchester, with connections to Leeds, Bradford, York, Newcastle, Liverpool, Nottingham, Leicester, and London (Marylebone). This train waits the arrival of the steamer which leaves Rotterdam at 10 p.m. on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays."
Arrival of the first train in Grimsby -- Manchester, Sheffield & Lincolnshire Railway -- 1848.
Railway Clearing House map of Grimsby 1914. To enlarge click here
Advertisement for the Great Central Railway's ferry services between Grimsby and the Continent, from the Timetable of 1903
In the middle of the nineteenth century it was desired to operate the Grimsby Dock gates by hydraulic power, and for this purpose the 200 ft. Grimsby Dock Tower was built in 1854. The design was based on the Palazzo Pubblico in Siena
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