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Sheffield and Rotherham Railway

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The Sheffield and Rotherham Railway was a short railway between Sheffield and Rotherham and the first in the two towns. It was sanctioned in 1836 and ran from what is now (1924) the Midland Company's goods station in the Wicker, Sheffield, to Rotherham.

1834 Proposal for a line by Henry Sanderson of Sheffield.[1]

1836 August 9th. First AGM. Directors: William Ibbotson (Chairman), Edward Vickers, Samuel Jackson, John Marsh, William Vickers, John Booth, John Spencer (the Master Cutler), James Roberts, Thomas Linley, William Glossop, George Wilton Chambers, William Swann, John Graves Clark, Joseph Slater, and Edward John Heseltine.[2]

Two of the engineers were John Stephenson (not known to be a relation of George) who introduced scientific methods into earthwork construction and the excavation of deep cuttings, and Isaac Dodds whose "talent for invention was highly respected in his day", which included the job of designing the railway's first engine The Cutler. Whether this locomotive was built by him, or whether the railway itself built any, is unclear, though Dodds left in 1842 to set up in business on his own. Certainly, at that time, demand may have been outstripping supply.

1838 October 31st. Line opened. 'Ten o'clock was the time appointed for starting, but some delay was caused by the non-arrival of Earl Fitzwilliam, who had kindly promised to be present with a large party of his family and guests. At length they arrived, and the engines took their places at the head of each train. The first train consisted of three first and three second class carriages, drawn by the engine, Victory. The second train was composed of one first class, two second class, and three third class carriages, drawn by the London. There is third engine called the Leeds. These beautiful engines are manufactured by Messrs. Robert Stephenson (engineer of the London and Birmingham railway, and only son of the celebrated Mr. George Stephenson) and Co., of Newcastle. The first class carriages are very elegant. They are painted yellow, bearing on an escutcheon the arms of Sheffield, — two sheaves of arrows, crossed; and of Rotherham, three cannons. They are called the Victoria, the Enterprise, the Sheffield, and the Rotherham. Their internal fittings are of the most elegant kind, and completely adapted to ensure the comfort of the passengers. The second class carriages are also very agreeable conveyances. The carriages are the manufacture of Messrs. R. Melling & Co., of Green Hays, Manchester. The third class carriages are, of course, of common appearance, but substantial in their structure, and being open, will probably often be preferred in fine weather. Each of the first and second class carriages was attended by guard, dressed in the neat brown uni form which has been adopted by the company.....William Vickers, Esq., the chairman of the board of directors...'[3]

1838 November. Directors or provisional committee were: E. Vickers (Sheffield); T. Linley (Sheffield); W. Parker (Attercliffe); J. Marsh (Sheffield); J. Spencer (Sheffield); J. Roberts (Sheffield); J. Slater (Sheffield); T. Smith (Sheffield); G. W. Chambers (Rotherham); J. G. Clarke (Rotherham); W. Glossop (Rotherham); E. J. Heseltine (Rotherham); W. Swann (Rotherham); S. Barker (Mexboro'). Directors who retired by ballot and re-elected were T. Linley; W. Jackson; J. G. Clark; G. W. Chambers; and W. Vickers.[4]

1839 One engine, the 2-2-2 Agilis was supplied by Fenton, Murray and Jackson, who provided another Rotherham, built under subcontract by Bingley and Co of Leeds.

1840 Another engine, the Sheffield, said to be the first to have been built in that city, was provided by Davy Brothers.

In 1840 they were running hourly trains from 7:30 in the morning to 8:30 at night with fares ranging from 1s to 6d for a single journey

The line was merged with the Midland Railway in 1845.

See Also

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Sources of Information

  1. Sheffield Independent - Saturday 04 October 1834
  2. Sheffield Independent - Saturday 13 August 1836
  3. Sheffield Independent - Saturday 03 November 1838
  4. Sheffield Independent - Saturday 03 November 1838
  • [1] Wikipedia
  • Bradshaw’s Railway Companion 1840