Sheffield and Midland Railway Companies' Committee

Last updated

Sketch map of Midland Railway lines into Manchester Midland to Manchester.jpg
Sketch map of Midland Railway lines into Manchester

The Sheffield and Midland Railway Companies' Committee was incorporated by Act of Parliament in 1869 as a joint venture between the Midland Railway and the Manchester, Sheffield and Lincolnshire Railway.


List of stations served


For many years the Midland had been wishing to extend its line from London St.Pancras to Manchester, via Derby and the Manchester, Buxton, Matlock and Midlands Junction Railway.

It was thwarted by the London and North Western Railway which already had a line from Manchester to London, via Birmingham and had built a branch line to Buxton. Meanwhile, The Great Northern Railway was also averse to more competition in the area, and the MS&LR wished to expand southwards from its main line from Manchester, via Penistone, to Sheffield. The three joined forces in a series of tripartite agreements, which not being sanctioned by Parliament, were of doubtful legality.

However James Allport, with some other Midland directors, met some members of the MS&L board while surveying the area. Allport had worked for the MS&LR and was familiar with the state of their finances. Since it was clear that the Midland was determined to enter Manchester, the MS&LR agreed to a joint scheme. The Midland would take its line from Millers Dale as far as New Mills, and the MS&LR would build its branch from Hyde on its main line to Hayfield via New Mills.


This agreement, including the Sheffield and Midland railway companies' Committee, was formalised in the "Manchester, Sheffield and Lincolnshire Railway Act" of 6 August 1872 [1]

In 1867 the line opened into Manchester Store Street, by then renamed London Road (now Piccadilly), which the MS&LR shared with the LNWR. However, the Committee, seeking a more direct route, opened a line through Bredbury and Reddish in 1875.

Increasing friction with LNWR led to the Cheshire Lines Committee being formed and when Manchester Central opened in 1880 trains were diverted at Romiley through Stockport Teviot Dale (as it was originally spelt). [2]

This entailed another new line, the "Manchester South District Railway Company" from Heaton Mersey to Chorlton-cum-Hardy. Although incorporated in 1873, there was a lack of interest on the part of the MS&LR and the GNR (the Midland's partners in the CLC). It was therefore taken under the wing of the Sheffield and Midland Committee, with the Midland taking overall control in 1877. The line finally opened in 1880.

Manchester Central - London St Pancras express at Chinley South Junction in 1957 Chinley South Junction geograph-2160517.jpg
Manchester Central - London St Pancras express at Chinley South Junction in 1957

However, by the end of the century congestion around Stockport had increased, and with speed limits, gradients and curves, the Midland looked for yet another route. The "New Mills and Heaton Mersey Railway" was authorised in 1897 from New Mills South Junction, between New Mills and Buxworth through Disley Tunnel.

Modern times

The earlier lines remain busy as the Hope Valley Line, as does that from New Mills through Disley Tunnel, where it branches to the old LNWR line from Buxton at Hazel Grove railway station into Stockport. However the stations from Hazel Grove to Manchester Central closed in 1967 and have practically disappeared, although the section of the railway between Didsbury and Manchester Central has reopened as a Metrolink line. There are hopes that this will extend further in the future through Heaton Mersey, and then leaving the alignment and heading into Stockport town centre.

It became a corporate body, renamed the Great Central and Midland Joint Committee, on 22 July 1904. It was vested in British Transport Commission under Transport Act of 1947.

See also

Great Central and Midland Joint Railway

Related Research Articles

Midland Railway British pre-grouping railway company (1844–1922)

The Midland Railway (MR) was a railway company in the United Kingdom from 1844. The Midland was one of the largest railway companies in Britain in the early 20th century, and the largest employer in Derby, where it had its headquarters. It amalgamated with several other railways to create the London, Midland and Scottish Railway at grouping in 1922.

Hope Valley line

The Hope Valley line is a trans-Pennine railway line in England, linking Sheffield with Manchester. It was completed in 1894.

Manchester, Sheffield and Lincolnshire Railway

The Manchester, Sheffield and Lincolnshire Railway (MS&LR) was formed in 1847 when the Sheffield, Ashton-under-Lyne and Manchester Railway joined with authorised but unbuilt railway companies, forming a proposed network from Manchester to Grimsby. It pursued a policy of expanding its area of influence, especially in reaching west to Liverpool, which it ultimately did through the medium of the Cheshire Lines Committee network in joint partnership with the Great Northern Railway and the Midland Railway.

Cheshire Lines Committee Railway in England: active from 1863 to 1947

The Cheshire Lines Committee (CLC) was formed in the 1860s and became the second-largest joint railway in Great Britain. The committee, which was often styled the Cheshire Lines Railway, operated 143 miles (230 km) of track in the then counties of Lancashire and Cheshire. The railway did not get grouped into one of the Big Four during the implementation of the 1923 grouping, surviving independently with its own management until the railways were nationalised at the beginning of 1948. The railway served Liverpool, Manchester, Stockport, Warrington, Widnes, Northwich, Winsford, Knutsford, Chester and Southport with connections to many other railways.

The Ashton, Stalybridge and Liverpool Junction Railway was opened in 1846 to connect the industrial town of Ashton-under-Lyne to the developing railway network, and in particular to the port of Liverpool. It was a short line, joining the Manchester and Leeds Railway at Miles Platting and the connection to Liverpool was over that line and the Liverpool and Manchester Railway.

Manchester, Buxton, Matlock and Midland Junction Railway

The Manchester, Buxton, Matlock and Midland Junction Railway ran from a junction with the Midland Railway at Ambergate to Rowsley north of Matlock and thence to Buxton.

Chinley railway station Railway station in Derbyshire, England

Chinley railway station serves the village of Chinley in Derbyshire, England. The station is 17 12 miles (28.2 km) south east of Manchester Piccadilly, on the Hope Valley Line from Sheffield to Manchester. It is unstaffed, and is managed by Northern Trains.

Hazel Grove railway station Train station in the United Kingdom

Hazel Grove railway station is on the Stockport to Buxton / Sheffield line, serving the village of Hazel Grove, Greater Manchester, England. It was built for the Stockport, Disley and Whaley Bridge Railway by the London and North Western Railway and opened on 9 June 1857. From 1923 until 1948 it was owned by the London Midland and Scottish Railway and following nationalisation it was operated by the London Midland Region of British Railways.

New Mills Central railway station Railway station in Derbyshire, England

New Mills Central railway station serves the town of New Mills in Derbyshire, England. It is on the Hope Valley Line between Manchester Piccadilly and Sheffield, 12 34 miles (20.5 km) east of the former. The town is also served by New Mills Newtown station, which is on the Buxton to Stockport and Manchester line.

Dove Holes Tunnel railway tunnel

Dove Holes Tunnel is a tunnel built by the Midland Railway between Peak Forest Signal Box and Chapel-en-le-Frith in Derbyshire in the years 1860–64.

Buxton line

The Buxton line is a railway line in Northern England, connecting Manchester with Buxton in Derbyshire. Passenger services on the line are currently operated by Northern Trains.

Disley Tunnel

Disley Tunnel [UK] was built by the Midland Railway in 1902 on its line between New Mills South Junction and Manchester Central, which was more direct than the congested and difficult lines through Stockport Tiviot Dale.

Stockport Tiviot Dale railway station

Stockport Tiviot Dale was one of two main railway stations serving the town of Stockport, Cheshire, England; the other being Stockport Edgeley.

The Cheshire Midland Railway was authorised by an Act of Parliament, passed on 14 June 1860, to build a 12 miles 65 chains (20.6 km) railway from Altrincham on the Manchester, South Junction and Altrincham Railway (MSJAR) to Northwich.

The Stockport, Timperley and Altrincham Junction Railway(ST&AJR) was authorised by an Act of Parliament, passed on 22 July 1861 to build a 8 miles 17 chains (13.2 km) railway from Stockport Portwood to Altrincham.

Cheadle Heath railway station

Cheadle Heath railway station was a railway station in Cheadle Heath, Cheshire, England.

Hazel Grove railway station (Midland Railway)

Hazel Grove (Midland) railway station was a railway station in Hazel Grove, Cheshire, England, which was in use between 1 July 1902 and 1 January 1917.

The Lancashire, Derbyshire and East Coast Railway (LD&ECR) was built to connect coalfields in Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire with Warrington and a new port on the Lincolnshire coast. It was a huge undertaking, and the company was unable to raise the money to build its line. With the financial help of the Great Eastern Railway it managed to open between Chesterfield and Lincoln with a branch towards Sheffield from 1896. Despite efforts to promote tourist travel, the passenger business was never buoyant, but collieries were connected to the line, at first and in succeeding years. The Great Eastern Railway, and other main line companies, transported coal to the southern counties, and the company's engines took coal to Immingham in great quantities. The company had a fleet of tank engines.

The Stockport, Disley and Whaley Bridge Railway was an early railway company in England which was opened in 1857 between Stockport Edgeley and Whaley Bridge.

South Manchester Line tram line of the Manchester Metrolink

The South Manchester Line (SML) is a tram line of the Manchester Metrolink in Greater Manchester running from Manchester city centre to Didsbury. The line was opened between as far as St. Werburgh's Road in 2011 and then to East Didsbury in 2013 as part of phase three of the system's expansion, and runs entirely along a former railway trackbed.