Sheffield Victoria railway station

Infobox UK disused station
name = Sheffield Victoria
gridref = SK362880


caption = Sheffield Victoria, as seen in 1971
manager = Manchester, Sheffield and Lincolnshire Railway
Great Central Railway
owner = London and North Eastern Railway
London Midland Region of British Railways
locale = Sheffield
borough = Sheffield
platforms = 5
years = 15 September 1851
events = Opened
years1 = 5 January 1970
events1 = Closed

Sheffield Victoria was the main Sheffield railway station on the Great Central Railway, between Chesterfield and Penistone.

History

Early History

Engineered by Joseph Locke, the Sheffield, Ashton-under-Lyne and Manchester Railway linking Manchester and Sheffield opened in 1845. Originally, this line terminated at the Bridgehouses 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 the Manchester, 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 the Forth Railway Bridge in Scotland, was employed to engineer the extension and station. Fowler's design included a 40-foot high, 750-yard viaduct over the Wicker. The extension was completed in 1847–1848 and the new Victoria station opened on 15 September 1851. The station received a new roof spanning the main line platforms in 1867 and was enlarged in 1874, the well-known railway contractors Logan and Hemingway being awarded the contract.

The station received a new frontage in 1908 and took on great importance when the line through the Pennines—known as the "Woodhead Route" after the long Woodhead Tunnel on it which was electrified for freight purposes after World War II.

Electrification

The 1950s saw the station at its zenith: Manchester London Road - Sheffield Victoria - London Marylebone travelled the Great Central line, other expresses ran to London Kings Cross over the East Coast Main Line and the named expresses The Master Cutler, The Sheffield Pullman and The South Yorkshireman served the station. There were also many semi-fast trains running trans-Pennine from Manchester to destinations on the East Coast, and local trains to Chesterfield, Barnsley, Nottingham, Doncaster, Retford, Penistone and Lincoln.

The electrification of the line reached Sheffield Victoria by 1954, reducing the journey time to Manchester to 56 minutes. This was the first main line in the UK to be electrified, but the only one at 1500 V d.c., a system which was already obsolescent. From this point onwards, all passenger trains heading to Manchester required a change of locomotive at Victoria to a British Rail Class 76 or express passenger British Rail Class 77.

Although the 1950s saw services at the station reach their peak, this period also marked the beginning of its decline. In 1953 Barnsley was an early casualty as the line ran almost parallel to the former Midland Railway's Sheffield Midland - Barnsley line, serving mostly the same communities. By the end of the decade, the expresses to Marylebone were either cut or re-routed to Kings Cross (in the case of The Master Cutler). In the mid-1960s there was a concerted effort to concentrate Victoria's remaining local and express train services at Sheffield Midland, leaving Victoria with just an hourly Manchester service and the daily Liverpool-Harwich "Continental".

Closure

In 1965 the second Beeching Report recommended that the Sheffield to Manchester service be consolidated; after much local wrangling British Railways favoured the Hope 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.

The station re-opened very briefly in 1972 for diverted trains while Sheffield Midland was closed for re-signalling.

The Manchester-Sheffield-Wath electric railway was entirely closed east of Hadfield in 1981; and the tracks through the Woodhead Tunnel were lifted in 1986. Except for the goods avoiding line, which still exists to serve the steelworks at Stocksbridge, the track through the station was lifted in the mid-1980s and the station buildings were demolished in 1989 to make way for an extension to the adjacent Victoria Hotel complex. Outlines of the platforms still remain, and the trackbed has been protected for a possible future extension of the Sheffield Supertram. [ [http://www.subbrit.org.uk/sb-sites/stations/s/sheffield_victoria/index.shtml Sheffield Victoria at Subterranea Britannica] ] , and may also be used for the Don Valley Railway, which will terminate at Nunnery, linking into the Supertram approximately m to ft|abbr=no|spell=Commonwealth|1200 to the east.

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Trivia

*Sheffield-based industrial music pioneers Cabaret Voltaire filmed the video to their track Yashar in the remains of the station in the early-1980s; at one point an electrically-hauled freight train is seen passing through. The band was noted for the use of decaying urban scenery in its videos.

ee also

*Sheffield Midland station
*Sheffield Wicker railway station

External links

* [http://www.leytransport.i12.com/shef.htm Photos of Sheffield Victoria station in the 1980s]
* [http://www.leytransport.i12.com/sheftt.htm Train services from Sheffield Victoria] 1942-1969]
* [http://www.thewoodheadsite.org.uk/ History and photos of the Woodhead route]

References


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