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Manchester, Sheffield, and Lincolnshire Railway, Cheshire

Historical Description

Manchester, Sheffield, and Lincolnshire Railway, a railway running eastwards from Manchester, and traversing Derbyshire, South Yorkshire, Nottinghamshire, and Lincolnshire as far as Grimsby. Westwards of Manchester the line traverses part of Lancashire, and there is a detached portion in Cheshire. A chief portion of it, 41½ miles long, originally the Sheffield, Ashton-under-Lyne, and Manchester, was authorized in 1837 and opened in 1845; goes by Mottram, Glossop, and Penistone, to Sheffield; and traverses some of the finest mountain scenery in the N of England. The entire system was constituted in 1846-47, by the amalgamation of the Sheffield, Ashton-under-Lyne, and Manchester, the Great Grimsby and Sheffield Junction, the Sheffield and Lincolnshire, the Sheffield and Lincolnshire Extension, the Manchester and Lincoln Union, and the Great Grimsby Dock. In 1849 the whole was incorporated as one company under the present title, since which time it has been greatly extended by the construction of new lines and the absorption of others.

Starting from Manchester, the main line of the M.S. & L.R. runs eastwards to Penistone, whence one branch inclines southwards to Sheffield and thence goes on to Retford and Lincoln, while another important branch runs from Penistone through Barnsley and Doncaster to Great Grimsby and to New Holland on the Hnmber, opposite Hull. There are also many branches and cross-country lines in the districts traversed by the company. For many years the M.S. & L.R. was under a great disadvantage from the fact that it largely served as a collector of traffic and feeder for other lines, and the directors felt that if they had an independent route to London they could retain much of the traffic which they handed over to other lines. Their first attempt to acquire such a through route was in 1873, when they, in conjunction with the M.R., promoted a bill for a series of joint lines, but it was rejected. In 1888 the company returned to the attack by seeking powers to construct a line southwards from Sheffield to Chesterfield. This was rejected, but in 1889 they obtained powers to construct a line from Sheffield to Staveley, Chesterfield, and Annesley; and in 1893 they obtained powers to extend this line through Nottingham, Loughborough, Leicester, Lutterworth, and Rugby to Quainton Road, and thence to run over the Metropolitan railway to London, where the M. S. & L. R. Company is to have a separate passenger station on the Marylebone Road, and a mineral station near the Edgware Road, a special line being constructed from Willesden Green to give access to them. The whole of the contracts were given out in 1894, and the first sod cut in November of that year.

In common with the M.R. and G.N.R. Companies, the M.S. & L.R. owns the Cheshire Lines system, which comprises a through route from Manchester via Warrington to Liverpool, and another from Manchester via Chester to Wrexham; also from Manchester to Wigan and from Liverpool and Manchester to Southport. The company owns 348 miles of line, and is joint-owner of 207 additional miles. It also owns 169 miles of canals and extensive docks at Grimsby. The head offices are at London Road station, Manchester.

Transcribed from The Comprehensive Gazetteer of England & Wales, 1894-5

Land and Property

The Return of Owners of Land in 1873 for Cheshire is available to browse.


Newspapers and Periodicals

The British Newspaper Archive have fully searchable digitised copies of the following Cheshire papers online: