Sheffield FridayNightRide

we have nothing to lose but our chains

2014/04/11 Railways IV

Ride report: We didn’t have time to do one other than this tweet

Next Sheffield FridayNightRide
Friday 11 April
Railways IV
Start 6.30 pm Sheffield Tap, outside Railway Station

The last in the quadrilogy of SFNR Railways rides. We’ve done routes west to Totley (Railways I), SE to Woodhouse (Railways II), N to Chapeltown (Railways III) and this ride Railways IV is up to wards Stocksbridge as far as Oughtibridge.

So we are going to find the secret siding where they hide the London train,
mark the site of Parkwood Springs which had its bottom skirted by the trains,
and get up to the old station at Oughtibridge before having a drink at The Cock – which as somebody has said is much more pleasant now it is in new hands (!) oo-er missus
We will be going through Beeley Woods at some time and returning for refreshments at Kelham Island somewhere or the Sheffield Tap

Apols: We have been v busy with work, cycle campaigning and family so everything a bit late.

Heads up! Some paths and some rough roads – broken glass around! Wear tough tyres. Bring a spare tube, lights and locks

Map: Provisional Maps here
We are doing a recce this Wed and map will be available Thu
Simon is the curator as he has been for all the Railways rides – thanks.

A guide to the railway line and the stations is below the maps

View Railways IV ( in a larger map
and with elevation profile at


Sheffield Friday Night Ride- Stations

 In 1899  the Great Central railway  – formerly the Manchester, Sheffield and Lincolnshire – opened its London Extension – a little branch heading south from from the mainline  – offering a further opportunity for Londoners to escape the Blighted South and head Up North, but as it offered faster journey times to London on more comfortable trains, and later, fast electric trains to Manchester, it was never really popular. After all, with Sheffield being such a wonderful city, and being placed in God’s Own County, Yorkshire, who would want to leave? Nevertheless the railways played a crucial part in Sheffield’s development as a major industrial city.

One of the things that distinguishes Sheffield nowadays is that nearly all of the railways are still in use. The passenger network is thriving and steel and coal are still transported through the city by rail as well as limestone from the Peak District and that major economic output of the 21st century, garbage. With so few corridors available to the iron road, we don’t have the network of disused railways suitable for conversion to cycle routes that cities such as Edinburgh, Manchester, Liverpool, York and Bristol have benefited from.

The Great Central route, however, heading up the Don Valley corridor towards Stocksbridge, has not fared as well as other routes. A freight line to Stocksbridge still carries some traffic, but the demise of the Stocksbridge steelworks always appears to be imminent but never quite happens. At the moment the steel market worldwide is quite buoyant and this is keeping the large steelworks in the Sheffield area going – this delayed the completion of the Northern Inner Relief Road when extra trains were put on across the Wicker Arches while the highways people were working underneath. So at least one train a day heads up the steeply wooded valley to Stocksbridge and you occasionally glimpse them from the Trans-Pennine Trail. At Deepcar, the former junction for trains continuing up to Penistone, the line has been lifted and now forms part of the Trans-Pennine Trail. (NCN627)

All is not lost for the line however, as one plan is for tram-trains to operate along the line to Stocksbridge.(Recently mentioned in Sheffield’s Transport Vision 2013)

One of the core purposes of the MS & L and later the Great Central was to carry coal from the South Yorkshire coalfields to the mills of the North-West. So a marshalling yard was constructed at Wath (now Wath wetlands, home of the Old Moor RSPB sanctuary) and from there trains laboured up the bank to Silkstone Common and Penistone before heading for Woodhead Tunnels. This is now the route of the trans-pennine trail, and a bike ride along there (recommended) will bring home what an achievement getting these heavy steam and, later, electric trains over the pennines was.

This ride will take us alongside the Don corridor and visit some of the sites of disused railway stations, some with potential for development- with suitable refreshment stops of course!

Sheffield stations

(acknowledgements to wikipedia)

Sheffield Victoria was engineered byJoseph Locke. TheSheffield, Ashton-under-Lyne and Manchester Railway linkingManchester and Sheffield opened in 1845. Originally, this line terminated at theBridgehouses station about 1 km to the west of the future Victoria station. In 1847, the Sheffield, Ashton-under-Lyne and Manchester Railway merged with two other railway companies to form theManchester, Sheffield and Lincolnshire Railway. The station at Bridgehouses had been outgrown and an extension and new station were planned.John Fowler, who later gained fame for co-designing theForth Railway Bridge inScotland, was employed to engineer the extension and station. Fowler’s design included a 40-foot high, 750-yardviaduct over the Wicker and two island platforms 1000 ft long. The extension was completed in 1847–1848 and the new Victoria station opened on 15 September 1851. The station gained a 400-ft-long ridge furrow patterned glass roof likened at the time toThe Crystal Palace (in London) which spanning the main line platforms in 1867 and was further enlarged in 1874, the well-known railway contractorsLogan and Hemingway being awarded the contract.

The station received a new frontage in 1908 and took on great importance when the line through thePennines—known as theWoodhead Route after the longWoodhead Tunnel on it which was electrified for freight purposes afterWorld War II.

In 1965 the secondBeeching Report recommended that the Sheffield to Manchester service be consolidated; after much local wranglingBritish Railways favoured theHope Valley Line which was slower and not electrified but served more local communities. In 1967, plans were announced to withdraw passenger services along the Woodhead route. Following public outcry, an enquiry was launched that took two years to be completed. Eventually the enquiry backed British Rail’s plans and passenger services were withdrawn from the line on 5 January 1970. The last train to Victoria station, an enthusiasts’ special, arrived at 00:44 on 5 January and from that point the station was closed.

Neepsend railway station was a railway station on the former Great Central Railway in England.

History[edit source | editbeta]

Neepsend railway station was opened on 1 July 1888 to serve the industrial suburb of Neepsend, to the north west of Sheffield city centre. It was situated on the Manchester, Sheffield and Lincolnshire Railway‘s (latterly the Great Central Railway) Woodhead Line which connected Sheffield Victoria and Manchester London Road.

The station consisted of two flanking platforms joined by a footbridge which also served to carry a footpath over the railway. The platforms were both served by small buildings in the pre-double pavilion style used by the M.S.& L.R. It was unusually located, the Sheffield-bound (up) platform being built against the face of a cutting whilst the opposite platform (down) saw a long drop to street level. A signal box, narrow based but opening out above the stock loading gauge, was located at the Manchester end of the ‘down’ platform.

Due to low public usage of the station, caused by the better sited Corporation tramway services, it was closed to passengers on 28 October 1940 although the buildings and the signal box remained in situ until the 1970s.  All traces of the original station have been removed, with even the footbridge recently replaced with a new structure

More recently there was a proposal for a Ski Village railway station to occupy the former Neepsend station site – this is now unlikely to happen, but how about a Shirebrook MTB track station instead, served by tram-trains? (They’d have to carry bikes though)

Wadsley BridgeThe station opened on 14 July 1845 as part of the then Sheffield, Ashton-under-Lyne and Manchester Railway, on its original route from Bridgehouses in Sheffield (soon superseded by Sheffield Victoria) to Manchester London Road. This route became more popularly known as the Woodhead Line. The station stood on the north side of Halifax Road between Neepsend and Oughtibridge stations.[1]

The station closed to regular passenger service on 15 June 1959[1][2], with the Woodhead Line itself closing to passengers in 1970[2]. However, Wadsley Bridge railway station still saw occasional passenger use – summer specials were advertised until 31 October 1965,[2]Sheffield-Huddersfield passenger trains continued to run through the station until 1983[1] and football specials used the station until 1996, serving Sheffield Wednesday‘s Hillsborough Stadium.[1][2]

An old station sign, almost certainly from the signal box, can be seen attached to the adjacent John Fairest Funeral Home.

Oughty Bridge railway station[1] was a railway station on the Sheffield, Ashton-under-Lyne and Manchester Railway built to serve the village of Oughtibridge, nearSheffield, South Yorkshire.

The station, which lies between Wadsley Bridge and Deepcar was opened on 14 July 1845 and closed on 15 June 1959.[2] The old station house is a grade two listed building constructed from gritstone[3] and has been used for industrial purposes for a number of years. In 2008 it was renovated and converted into a house. When the station was still in use, the goods sidings were used for carrying wood pulp to the nearby paper mill and also freight to and from the Oughtibridge silica works.[4]

The spelling Oughty Bridge was used throughout the life of the station, despite the village name being spelt Oughtibridge. For examples see: Sharpe, John (1855). Sharpe’s road-book for the rail, eastern division. London: David Bogue. p. 22. and time tables and photographs reproduced in Batty, Stephen R. (2005). Rail Centres: Sheffield. Nottingham: Booklaw Publications. pp. 25, 29, 72, & 75. ISBN 1-901945-21-9.

A copy of this with the links is at