John Speller's Web Pages Hull & Barnsley Railway

John Speller's Web Pages - British Railways

Hull & Barnsley Railway HBRHorizontal
The Hull Barnsley and West Riding Junction Railway and Dock Company was formed with the backing of Hull Corporation to break the monopoly of the North Eastern Railway on dock and rail traffic from Hull. One of the line's principal projectors was local entrepreneur Sir Gerard Smith (1839-1920), later a Groom-in-Waiting to Queen Victoria and Governor of Western Australia. The Hull & Barnsley Railway ran from Hull to Cudworth, a few miles short of Barnsley (into which it ran on Midland Railway rails), and opened on 20 April 1885. It owned two additional lines. The first of these was the South Yorkshire Junction Railway from Wrangbrook Junction to Denaby, with a connection to the Great Central Railway at Lowfield Junction, near Conisbrough. The second was the Hull & South Yorkshire Extension Railway, an eight-mile branch to Wath-upon-Dearne, opened 31 March 1902. The Hull & Barnsley Railway was taken over by its arch-rival, the North Eastern Railway, on 1 April 1922, just before the Grouping of 1923.

The General Manager from 1905 to 1922 was Edward Watkin, the nephew of Sir Edward Watkin who had successively been General Manager and Chairman of the Manchester, Sheffield & Lincolnshire Railway (later the Great Central). One of his first actions on the Hull & Barnsley was to introduce through services, four trains each way daily, from Hull to Sheffield in collaboration with the Midland Railway.

It is unthinkable that the British Government should have allowed the Hull & Barnsley to be taken over by the North Eastern Railway, creating a monopoly over the port of Hull. It ought to have been merged with either the Midland or the Great Central, both of whom would have been able to develop its lines and make them more profitable.
Map of the Hull & Barnsley Railway. Courtesy of Wikipedia Commons.
Hull & Barnsley Railway Third Class Brake 1908
Hull & Barnsley Railway logo
The H&BR's Springhead Locomotive Works, Hull, shortly before the Grouping of 1923
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