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Sheffield, Ashton-under-Lyne and Manchester Railway

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Sheffield, Ashton-under-Lyne and Manchester Railway

This line ran from Sheffield to Manchester via the famous Woodhead tunnel; the line was known as the "Woodhead Route". The company was one of the founder members of the Manchester, Sheffield and Lincoln Railway which became the Great Central Railway upon its extension to London. The line was electrified with DC to reduce costs.

However, much of the route, including the tunnel, is now closed.

Following Corus' recent announcement (29/04/2003) of the closure of Stocksbridge Steelworks the remaining Sheffield to Deepcar section must be under threat.

Survey To be entered
Engineers Joseph Locke
Act To be entered
Contractors To be entered
Opened To be entered
Closed Partly

Brechin and Edzell District RailwayMontrose and Bervie RailwayNorth British, Arbroath and Montrose RailwayNorth British, Arbroath and Montrose RailwayArbroath and Forf
ar Railway Sheffield and Rotherham Railway Manchester and Birmingham Railway Sheffield and Lincolnshire Junction Railway Huddersfield and Sheffield Junction Railway Clickable map of the Sheffield, Ashton-under-Lyne and Manchester Railway
Clickable Schematic of route [Key]

Local area

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This line runs from Manchester to its suburbs, then continued on through a remote area and through the famous Woodhead Tunnel to Penistone and other small towns before running into Sheffield.

Chronology

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Description of route

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From Sheffield to Manchester.

Woodhead

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Single bore Woodhead tunnel, looking east into the tunnel.
Single bore Woodhead tunnel, looking east into the tunnel.
Looking east over the staggered Woodhead station platforms.
Looking east over the staggered Woodhead station platforms.
Looking south over Woodhead station.
Looking south over Woodhead station.

The line is closed at this point and is now a walkway from here westwards. The two staggered platforms remain here as do the double track Woodhead tunnel and two original single track Woodhead tunnels.

Roy Peaker told me by email that "The north tunnel is used to transmit electricity. The cables are laid in a trough and water cascading down a series of weirs keeps the cables cool. I know because I travelled on the narrow gauge railway back around 1976 on an IRS trip. I know the north tunnel is fully lined and the south is only lined where needed. They are both incredibly straight but was told by an engineer that one of the two had a slight dog leg in it. I have a booklet the central electricity generating board: Newsletter No 82 March 1970, which describes the project."

Penistone

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Doncaster to Huddersfield service entering Penistone.

Class 47 draws steel flat wagons towards Sheffield.

Wath to Manchester train.

Manchester to Wath empties enter station.
Penistone looking towards the former junction.
Penistone looking towards the former junction.
Peniston station from the junction.
Peniston station from the junction.

Penistone station sat in the 'V' of the junction between the lines to Manchester and Huddersfield. Today the electrified line to Manchester is closed and lifted - it is now a walkway. The station building still stands, now used as various shop premises. The line from Barnsley to Huddersfield remains open to DMUs.

Stocksbridge Steelworks

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Exchange sidings at Deepcar.
Exchange sidings at Deepcar, looking west.
Stocksbridge Steelworks viewed from above.
Stocksbridge Steelworks viewed from above, looking west.

The steelworks is still served by rail by the remaining section of line from Sheffield to Deepcar and then to the Steelworks. At Deepcar there are exchange sidings on the first part of the branch. One of the three lines has recently been lifted and it is obvious that there were formerly many more.


Page created on 25/03/2002
Page last edited on: 02/04/2012
Contact: Ewan Crawford