John Speller's Web Pages Chesterfield to Sheffield ("New Line")

John Speller's Web Pages - Midland Railway
Chesterfield to Sheffield ("New Line") MR Horizontal Menu Untitled
It is strange to think that when the North Midland Railway, precursor of the Midland Railway, built its original line from Derby to Leeds it bypassed Sheffield and ran from Chesterfield to Rotherham in order to avoid a grade of 1 in 100. For the first thirty years of the Midland main line's existence there was no direct connection between Chesterfield and Sheffield and passengers for Sheffield had to change to the Sheffield & Rotherham Railway at Rotherham. The situation was finally rectified by the Midland Railway (New Lines and Additional Powers) Act of 1864, which authorized the building of a line from Tapton Junction, just north of Chesterfield Midland, to Sheffield Midland. This became known as the "New Line", leaving the original Midland main line as the "Old Line." There were two tunnels on the New Line at Broomhouse (92 yards, opened out in 1969) and at Bradway (2,027 yd.) The line climbs at an average grade of 1 in 100 from Tapton Junction to the summit at Bradway Tunnel, and then falls at an average grade of 1 in 100 to Sheffield. Partly because a rock fall in Bradway Tunnel delayed the opening by several months, the line did not finally open until 2 February 1870. The "New Line" is slated for electrification on the 25 kV AC overhead system as part of the "Spine Line" from Southampton via Oxford and Bedford to Sheffield.
Map of the "Old" and "New" lines of the Midland Railway
Postcard view of Dronfield station in around 1905
Accident at Heeley on 22 November 1876. Owing to a track problem a Pullman car in the middle of the Scotch Express derailed. The front coupling broke and the front half of the train continued on the track. The rear half of the train followed the Pullman car in derailing. Fortunately nobody was killed
Accident at Dore & Totley station on 9 October 1907. The 1:30 p.m. Sheffield to Bristol express was running behind 4-4-0 No. 319 and 2-4-0 No. 1527 when the second locomotive became derailed on the points moving from the up main to the up relief line. This in turn derailed the rear wheels of the tender of the leading engine and the first five carriages. Fortunately again nobody was killed, though two crew were injured and four passengers had to be treated for shock. There was a speed restriction of 20 mph on the crossover, and it seems that the train was not exceeding this; the Board of Trade report suggested that the speed limit should be lowered
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