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Sheffield Victoria Train Station


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Sheffield History

 

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SHEFFIELD VICTORIA RAILWAY STATION

Sheffield Victoria train station was the main Sheffield railway station on the Great Central Railway (known prior to 1897 as the Manchester, Sheffield and Lincolnshire Railway), between Chesterfield and Penistone.

History

Early History

The Sheffield, Ashton-under-Lyne and Manchester Railway between Manchester and Sheffield, which was engineered by Joseph Locke, 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.

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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 built 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, well-known railway contractors Logan and Hemingway being awarded the contract.

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The station was given a new frontage in 1908 and took on great importance when the line through the Pennines known as the Woodhead Route because of the long tunnel on it was electrified for freight purposes after World War II.

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Electrification

The 1950s saw the station at its zenith: Manchester London Road - Sheffield Victoria - London Marylebone expresses ran over the former Great Central line, other expresses ran to London Kings Cross over the East Coast Main Line and the named expresses The Master Cutler 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 and Lincoln.

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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 in the UK. After this time all passenger trains heading to Manchester required a change of locomotive at Sheffield Victoria to a British Rail Class 76 or express passenger British Rail Class 77.

Seeing the peak of the services at the station, the 1950s also saw the start of its run-down. 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 Sheffield's remaining train services at Sheffield Midland, leaving Victoria with just the hourly Manchester service and the daily Manchester-Harwich "Continental".

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Closure

In 1965 a revised 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, and 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.

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.

PICTURES OF THE STATION IN THE 80'S - http://www.leytransport.i12.com/shef.htm

HOW IT LOOKS NOW

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Picture 1 is the approach to the station taken in 1937.  2 is the top end from 1948 and picture 3. Picture 4 shows the turntable also 1948   By the way the

A bit more nostalgia in £-s-d .                                              

By comparison with the Midland the Vic had a ticket area which was spacious and quite modern...unlike the former which always seemed as if "run down" was the norm...perhaps that because it was once a

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Sheffield History

Amazing stuff - thanks for posting it

That's just what we've been looking for as we've been trying to complete the page about the station

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  • 3 weeks later...
Sheffield History

48df_1.JPG

remember when the chap used to come along the train and check your tickets - putting a hole in it or clipping it ?

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Guest Jeremy

It's worth noting that the 1969 photo posted by mickjj a couple of replies up (along with the text of the original post) comes from the Wikipedia article on Victoria Station. This photo was kindly released under a Creative Commons licence by the photographer so that I could add it to that article. The photographer goes under the alias of loose_grip_99 and has posted a whole set of Victoria photos, along with some other Sheffield photos on his flickr pages.

When I drew the 1930s map posted by admin above I also drew equivalent maps for the 1850s and the present. Taken together you can see how the railways around Sheffield have grown and then declined over the last 150 or so years.

Jeremy

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Sheffield History

Thanks Jeremy - good to have a friendly person advising us on the correct crediting of the photo's etc

We're in the process of updating the site with correct credits so your post's a welcome one !

We're new to all the wikipedia credit system and the common creative stuff so welcome the input on that too

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  • 2 weeks later...
Guest exmrbd

Hello Everyone, First time on this site and im on my favourite subject Sheffield Victoria, This might be a long shot but I was just wondering if anyone has any photo's of when they pulled Sheffield Victoria down :(

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  • 1 month later...
Guest Broakham

I once worked with an old boy who had been an engineer with BR. He was a notorious 'bodger'. There was a (possibly apocryphal) tale that he hooked a crane to the rear of a train waiting at Victoria because he was too lazy to find the proper test weights. As you might guess the train then pulled away dragging the crane, now on its side, up the length of the platform.

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  • 4 months later...

Over 1,900 posts, that's my first broken link, I've lost the plot !!!

Hi RichardB That's it now downward slope you might not reach the mighty 2,000 without any more broken links, and i could have nightmares because of Victoria Station due to the fact when i went to work on British Rail many moons ago not long after stopping smoking i suddenly had to start smoking again, Then my mother told me i was petrified of trains and used to hide screaming behind the benches on the station on our many trips to Scarborough.Thats it i am going to bed i am starting to ramble!!!!!

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Found this cracking shot of the old station in it's heyday. I am guessing it was taken late fifties early sixties but stand to be corrected.

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Found this cracking shot of the old station in it's heyday. I am guessing it was taken late fifties early sixties but stand to be corrected.

That is a great photograph.

That must be a Rotherham bus waiting to leave.

I used to catch one each week to go to Rotherham Tech.

I still prefer "Railway Station" must be getting old.

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  • 6 months later...

seen many pics of victoria station, derelict, with steps boarded up from wicker, can you actually get onto the station in any way legally?

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Guest bus man

My initial thoughts on the picture above with the bus on is early 60's but after 8th Oct 1960 as there are no tram tracks on blonk st or exchange st . I can not find a closure date for trams using exchange st anyone any ideas?

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