John Speller's Web Pages Barnsley Branch

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Barnsley Branch
The Manchester, Sheffield & Lincolnshire's Barnsley Branch was mooted as early as 1840, but had a long and difficult progress through Parliament and only finally succeeded in obtaining an Act in 1849. Even then work proceeded slowly and it was necessary to go to Parliament for an extension in 1853. Part of the line opened on 1 July 1854 and the rest on 1 November 1855. It is thought that frustration with the Directors over these and other delays influenced the General Manager, Sir James Allport, to leave the MS&LR for the Midland Railway. The Barnsley branch ran from Barnsley Junction, near Penistone on the Manchester to Sheffield main line, via Silkstone (later Silkstone Common), Dodworth and Summer Lane to Bradford Exchange. The major engineering works were the viaduct and tunnel at Oxspring. The line was doubled in 1871 and the section from Penistone to West Silkstone Junction was electrified on the 1500 V DC system in the 1950s as part of the Manchester to Sheffield and Wath electrification scheme. Although the electric equipment was removed in the 1981, unlike the Manchester to Sheffield main line the Barnsley branch remains open today.
Ex-War Department 2-8-0 No. 77138 with a Wath to Penistone goods train at Silkstone Junction on 11 August 1950. Note the supports for overhead electric wires are in place, but the catenaries not yet installed. Image copyright Ben Brooksbank and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons License
Barnsley Exchange Station, 22 April 1961. Image copyright Ben Brooksbank and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons License
Postcard view of Silkstone station in around 1920
EM-1 electric locomotives on a train passing over Oxspring Viaduct in the 1960s. Image courtesy of Wikipedia Commons
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