Jump to content

Sheffield Victoria Train Station


Recommended Posts

The car on the left in the first picture is a Ford Anglia 105E, a very popular car with the police, you should have no trouble locating a suitable model of this type. A Black Cab is at the Station and a MINI is parked behind the one about to depart, I haven't identified that one yet!

A slight typo on the registration on the Rover 2000, it's a Sheffield registered (1969) XWE 734G, with the next couple of cars showing what looks like '67 and '68 (could be a Triumph) registrations, yellow AA badges also evident! Definitely some Executive type users drove these, very much in fashion, limo's.  Sorry, don't know who as I had left Sheffield by then. Probably models still available via someone like Hattons or 'Rails' locally.

Link to post
Share on other sites
History dude

A question that seems perfect for this thread. Would Victoria Station still have been here if the big four railway companies not been nationalised in 1948? 

My take on it would be yes it would be still here. The LMS and LNER would have been in competition still with each other. The LNER had the better and faster route to Manchester and there would have been no need to get rid of the over duplication of routes. Plus being private companies the Conservative party would have let them compete with the private road haulage firms and would have been more willing to invest in improvements, rather than moaning about how much public money was being used to top up the national railway system. LNER before the war had already made investments in the electrification scheme, so they would have continued to invest in electrification probably faster than British Rail did. The route to London from Victoria was much better than the Midland's. And I suspect the electrification scheme would have gone all the way to London King's Cross. 

In many way Nationalisation of the railway was disaster for it. Since it meant that someone looking at the whole system could see where two stations serving one place wasn't cost efficient. And even though the rail unions wanted it, they would have thought different I think if they could have seen how many staff lost their jobs because of it. And they lost jobs not because lines lost money. But because one person could view the entire system. And also the National system was easily undercut by private road transport arguing that the British Rail had more advantages over them. When they knew how to bypass them. Had the four railway operators still been running the system, they could have got as much investment as what the road lobby did. And things like building road bridges over the Humber without having a railway on it too, would have been unlikely to have happened. But BR could have never argued the case, since it would have been seen as asking for more public money to invest in the bridge scheme.

Because Victoria had a good connection route with the suburbs of Sheffield that emerged later at Halfway, Mosbrough and Killamarsh, I believe that improvements to the stations, including a new one for Halfway itself would have taken place. Especially as the main line to London also would have still used the route. This would have cut the traffic down using the main roads into Sheffield, which was the argument for the expensive Supertram Scheme. Thus eliminating Supertram. Whereas under BR keeping the route open, when the London link had stopped, wasn't economic. Indeed running trains out of Midland station going North then diverting South would have been silly. And London trains coming down from the North from Rotherham and Leeds for example, again would not making sense turning them around to go via Nunnery Curve to get them back on LNER line to London. Ending up for the need of Supertram from Halfway to Sheffield. 

I rather doubt the Tinsley marshalling yard and depot would have been built though. The two railway companies would have looked at the long term economics of the scheme. Darnall depot would have continued in operation for the LNER and the Midland would have used the one at Attercliffe. The people at British Rail were thinking on a national scale for the movement of freight. Whereas the private road operators were on a local level on that subject, responding to what was needed by private companies. I suspect the four railway companies would have done the same. So would have built yards on the demand that was there already.           

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
Lemmy117

Seems no one has anything to say on this, so here's my take on it.

Assuming World War 2 hadn't happened and the railways hadn't fallen into such a dilapidated state, and Labour didn't win the election, they Big Four would probably have survived, at least for a while. By the 1950's travel was changing, with an increase in road freight competition and the rise of the private car. Could the companies have competed any better than BR? Railways had to compete on a national scale as far as freight went, to keep the long haul stuff and let local distributors deal with the town areas. The trouble with the smaller depots like Darnall and Attercliffe was they were incredibly labour intensive, and costs were rising, so pushing the traffic onto the roads where fewer people were involved , hence lower costs. With the onset of containerisation new facilities would have to be built, but would each company want to go to that expense? Tinsley was already pretty redundant by the time it opened as the freight traffic had changed in just a few years. The electrification scheme started by the LNER would probably have been extended to London, there was originally a large order for the EM2's which was cut back to just seven, so it was obviously on the cards.

How long the companies would have lasted is another matter, falling passenger numbers, falling freight loads, all due to road traffic, would probably have led to amalgamations and takeovers, and assuming the Government didn't get involved, we would probably end up with a couple of large private companies, like First and Stagecoach. Non profitable routes would have to be cut (just like local bus services are these days), so some rationalisation would be inevitable.

It's difficult to say if Sheffield Victoria would still be with us today, there are so many variables, remember its staple traffic was coal, and that's gone, passenger numbers from the intermediate stations wouldn't be high enough to keep it viable so we are left with just the through traffic from Sheffield to Manchester. The alternative via the Hope Valley has the stone and cement traffic to keep it viable, so the Woodhead would probably been closed, but probably not as early as the 1980's.

It's all conjecture, and others may have a different take on it.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
History dude

While I agree with a lot in what you say Lemmy117, the growth of the road system might have been altered due to the fact the rail companies were private business. It's likely that they would have been able to take on many of the private road haulers and even take them over. British Rail could have never done that. The eventual loss of the coal trade would have impacted operations. But the increase in home deliveries would have been a great boost to the private companies. When I worked for British Rail in 1977 at Midland, they had a lot of parcel traffic for the catalogue companies and even passengers would have noticed the blue BRUTE trolleys all around platform one. So I saw what railways could have done on the home delivery front. We have all seen the recent adverts on TV for Amazon showing warehouses and big trucks going in and out in large numbers. That would be perfect for the rail system. But those warehouses are not built with rail links. And if cost factors come into it, it's cheaper to send the lorries content by rail than it is by road. Even sticking the lorry on the back of a train loader and linking them together could see 30 of those big trucks pulled by one very efficient engine doing upwards of 70mph. I would like to see 30 Amazon trucks all doing 60 mph on the A57!    

Link to post
Share on other sites

The irony is, of course, that the Great central was intended to be the first part of a link from the North to France via a projected channel tunnel, but closed down before the chunnel was opened. I don't know the dates, but i suspect that the Great Central line closed at about the sam etime that work on the chunnel was starting.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Closure started with withdrawal of the Express passenger services in 1960. The last bit was the service between Rugby and Nottingham and that finished in 1969. Only the Chiltern services out of London to Aylesbury remain.

After several false starts work on the channel tunnel finally started in 1988, so well after the GC closed. 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for that clarification.

I know that the Chunnel was already being discussed in the 1960s, obviously, as is the way with committees, those discussions took a LONG time!

Link to post
Share on other sites
Peter Hall

I have been putting a page together on the RCTS Website called 'Penistone's Passenger Train Highlights'.    Principally a listing of the most notable locomotive hauled passenger trains through the town since the 1960's, enthusiast excursions excepted.  This might be of interest to some of you as many of the trains mentioned also passed through Sheffield Victoria.

It can be found at https://rcts.org.uk/haulage-highlights/penistones-passenger-train-highlights/

Penistone's greatest highlight of the era was aguably also Sheffield Victoria's.  I will leave it to others to decide.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Peter Hall
On 29/09/2017 at 10:35, Unitedite Returns said:

The station remained reasonably intact, post closure for many years, and if I remember rightly, was temporarily reopened late in 1976, in order to facilitate the electrification of the points and signalling systems at Sheffield Midland Station, following which, it closed once again. However, shortly after the electrification scheme was completed, Sheffield Midland Station was flooded out, when the River Porter breached its banks, and the new points and signals were rendered useless. So, Victoria Station reopened again, as a temporary solution, and remained in use until such time that the wiring had been dried out. That was early January 1977.

The attached photograph, taken by me on a snowy day on 06/01/1977, shows a Sheffield Victoria bound D.M.U. at Woodhouse Station. I caught this train, which was on the Lincoln to Sheffield service in order to arrive at Sheffield Victoria.

WRS024-Woodhouse (GCR) Station-(D.M.U.)-06-01-1977.jpg

A classic example of DMU's with destination blinds containing long since lost destinations.  Sheffield Victoria Station closed to regular services in January 1970.    The temporary re-opening was in January 1973 for the Sheffield re-signalling.  There was another temporary opening a few months later due to flooding as mentioned.  I'm sure some pictures of that have appeared on here somewhere.  There were a couple of emergency re-openings as well in the early 1970's when Sheffield Midland was inaccessible for other reasons.

Going back to the DMU.  I would suggest the blind was showing Sheffield Victoria in error or had been wound to that by mischevious train crew. My notes show various observations were made at Sheffield Midland that day so presume that was its actual destination.

The DMU is of interest as it is a locally built Cravens set.  For many years a trio of sets E51286+E56444, E51287+E56445, E51288+E56446 were based at Lincoln and used extensively on local services around Sheffield.  Not sure if the picture is of one of the trio or of another set allocatted to Lincoln for a short period.

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
Peter Hall

Careful forensic examination of the picture suggests the number just visible on the Cravens DMU mentioned in the previous post is E503x8. Between October 1975 and January 1977  the Lincoln DMU allocation was augmented with Cravens DMU E50388+E56120.  It seems very likely that it this set depicted in its last few days on local services.  

Link to post
Share on other sites
lysandernovo

The major problem with the old Great Central was that its London extension served lots of "cabbage patches" and, having been built at great cost, scarcely ever made a satisfactory financial return. Its  line into the capital had not a single level crossing and was built to the Continental loading gauge. Its best locomotives were second to none...as was its best rolling stock, signalling and safety measures 

Sheffield Victoria was doomed as soon as the system became part of the Midland Region....who had no time for another line into London... especially as freight and passengers returns were diminishing as customers increasingly used road transport.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
Edmund

Alamy reckon this engraving is from 1844 but more likely from an edition of the Illustrated London News in 1851 when the Victoria Station opened.

1983801763_SheffieldfromVictoriaStn.png.27e75bda31fb2f838fe6a3cd224d368a.png

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
Sheffield History

Victoria Station Sheffield.jpg

Platforms of the Victoria Railway Station, Sheffield in the early 1980's

I think this is facing towards the North?

Link to post
Share on other sites
Sheffield History

Screenshot 2021-01-11 at 18.45.28.jpg

 

Screenshot 2021-01-11 at 18.45.56.jpg

Sheffield Victoria Train Station in the early 1980's when it was in a bad state

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
Lemmy117
1 hour ago, Sheffield History said:

Victoria Station Sheffield.jpg

Platforms of the Victoria Railway Station, Sheffield in the early 1980's

I think this is facing towards the North?

Well north west, but definitely towards  Manchester.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
History dude

I managed to sneak onto the station in the late 1970 via the cattle dock bay and used the white steps to get onto the platform. We had to sneak pass the signal box when the guy wasn't looking. It was bit more intact at that point too. It always fascinated me even to this day. I suppose it was due to the fact that it was very different to Midland Station. Being raised above ground and having the electric overhead wires running through it. The style of the buildings was different to the Midland and for someone interested in train spotting there was the possibility of seeing locos that didn't go into Midland station. After a while you got fed up of the endless DMU and class 45 going to London and back, plus 47 doing everything else at Midland. The only time you got to see anything of the Victoria line was the excursion trains to the seaside places that took the Nunnery Curve towards Darnall. I could swear I saw a steam loco (shunter) parked up in the sidings once, as well as stacks of freight trains that didn't pass through Midland station at all. 

Darnall station too had lots of old buildings on it, which made it look old and fascinating. It took me many years to work out how you got onto the platform at Darnall. Sadly the station has only a bus stop shelter on the platform. Which probably contributes to it being the leased used station these days in South Yorkshire.   

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
lysandernovo

I was a keen train "spotter" in the early 1950s The Midland station seemed to have far more traffic than did the Vic ." Namers" were what we were after and you stood a good chance of "kopping" a Jubilee there...with always the chance of a Patriot...Derbyshire Yeomanry being an occasional visitor. The Vic, on the other hand, after periods of little activity  sometimes saw a more interesting array ....with A3's, V2's , D11's and named B1's to say nothing of the daily appearance of a B17 on the boat train. Latterly, we had the electric 27000's...all of which were named This was long before the Midland Region took over the line and handed down some very weary Royal Scots.

Link to post
Share on other sites
southside

My foray into train spotting only lasted a couple of years, though I do remember catching the train from Victoria Station to Doncaster a couple of times, "copped and cabbed" my first Streak (A4) at Donny, can't remember the name, though, I do remember being disappointed with the drab grey livery, nothing like the colourful photographs in my Ian Allan loco book!!

There was always great excitement whenever a plant stream of locomotives was hauled through the station on its way to the locomotive works, often too many engines to take down all the numbers, had to do a lot of comparing numbers with other spotters, also "copped" class B14 Sheffield Wednesday standing in a siding just out side Doncaster on our way back to Victoria Station.

Link to post
Share on other sites
lysandernovo

By the time I was "spotting" the A4 "streaks" were all painted Brunswick green....so the one you "cabbed" must have been wanting a clean, a new paint job or was just after nationalisation. Sheffield Wednesday was a B17 of the type which reglarly pulled the Boat Train from the Vic. Happy, innocent days...days when a number could bring such excitement to a young lad ( never did met any female "spotters"!)

Link to post
Share on other sites
History dude

In case anyone is wondering on the position of these 1980's pictures. I can take you through them.

The first picture is platform 3 the top end with the lines in the foreground leading over the Wicker Arches. Between the column of stone and the red light signal is the fuzzy image of the signal box, which I mentioned that I had to avoid the signalman in my last post.

Picture two and three is platform two looking down the other way to the above picture. You can see the remains of the bay platform or platform one which would not need to be accessed by the subway system or bridges. The bay platform was the first platform to have it's line lifted first, which must have happened as early as 1966. For a 1967 picture has no trace of the track, except the ballast impression. I suspect before it's removal that it was used only by DMU's for local services to the north, such as Doncaster or out to Lincoln. When these were sent to Midland they wasted no time in lifting the track. Personally if I had been in charge of the two Sheffield stations I would have put in a link service using a two car DMU running back and forth between Midland and Victoria using the bay platform. Reversing the DMU to go down the Nunnery line, rather like they did with the Huddersfield service after the closure of Victoria.

The last picture is platform 3 looking down the other side, with Platform 4 over the tracks. The Green building on Platform 4 was the licensed buffet which was quite new and the last thing to be added to the station. 

You can see on the first and last picture the stone beams the remains of the overall roof which was removed well before the station closed. 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
On 11/01/2021 at 18:47, Sheffield History said:

Screenshot 2021-01-11 at 18.47.09.jpg

Very sad. I can see ghosts and smell steam. I stood on those platforms many a time, I remember the electric locos, lots of 4-6-0s (probably B1s) the Britannia which came in with some prestigious train (boat train? Master Cutler?) and, on one occasion, D11 'Butler Henderson' which went through light-engine. 30 years later I taught two Butler-Henderson boys who were descendants of the great man, and I still know their aunt Lady Butler (though no one ever calls her that).

   What I don't remember is a "station pilot" shunter. At the Midland, 41209 and 41245 performed that duty for years; did the Vic have one?

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
lysandernovo

"Brittania" ,70000 ,itself pulled a special train into the Vic hauling a trainload of dignatories for the official opening of the electrified line to Manchester!

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
16 hours ago, lysandernovo said:

"Brittania" ,70000 ,itself pulled a special train into the Vic hauling a trainload of dignatories for the official opening of the electrified line to Manchester!

Before my time, I think: didn't the electrified service start in about 1953?

Link to post
Share on other sites
lysandernovo

The electrified line was fully operational on 30/05/1954... delayed by several months following a problem with the new Woodhead tunnel.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...