RAIL CHRONOLOGY : MOORTHORPE JUNCTION - SOUTH KIRKBY JUNCTION :
passenger service chronology
Page updated: 8 August 2015.
This 52 chain curve, owned by the Swinton & Knottingley Joint (Midland and North Eastern), provided a link from Moorthorpe Junction to the West Riding & Grimsby Joint (Great Northern and Manchester Sheffield & Lincolnshire, later Great Central) at South Kirkby Junction. Follow this link to Railway Clearing House Junction Diagram for this area - no. 44, 1910 edition.
The MS&L had running powers for passenger services, which reached the S&K at Mexborough West Junction the curve to Dearne Junction which was perhaps better known for the GCs service between Sheffield and York which started on 16 March 1899 and finally expired in 1965.
1 August 1879: MS&L commenced Sheffield Leeds weekday service [as evidenced by MS&L minutes and Midland working timetables, and Dow Vol.II p.68; Joy is in error in quoting 1 July 1879]
2 October 1893: service reduced to Wednesday only between Sheffield and Wakefield Westgate for the Wakefield cattle market [Dow Vol.III p.28 and Joy regard this as a "closure"]
1 May 1903: Sheffield Leeds weekday service restored in addition to the Wednesday Market service [Dow Vol.III p.28 and Joy regard this as a "reopening"]
20 March 1912: service again reduced to Wednesday only service between Sheffield and Wakefield Westgate, for the Wakefield cattle market [Joy notes this as a reduction from daily, not as a "closure" this time]
1 May 1918: residual Wednesday service (a single train in the northbound direction only, 0610 from Sheffield Victoria) withdrawn [Joy gives April 1918 but a GC notice is more specific]
For the next 49 years there was no regular passenger service.
1 May 1967: some Sheffield Leeds trains restored, being diverted from the Midland Cudworth route to serve Wakefield Westgate [Joy is in error in quoting 7 October 1968]
7 October 1968: Sheffield Leeds via Normanton trains diverted from Cudworth route because of severe speed restrictions in consequence of mining subsidence (they ran forward via Hare Park and Calder Bridge)
1 May 1972: Sheffield Leeds via Normanton trains reverted to Cudworth route upon lifting of most speed restrictions
7 May 1973: Sheffield Leeds via Wakefield trains reverted to Cudworth route (they used the Oakenshaw curve); Moorthorpe Jn South Kirkby Jn service reduced to summer Saturday only use by Sheffield Blackpool and Leeds Weymouth services
18 May 1980: some Sheffield Leeds Sunday trains restored in addition to the summer Saturday services
4 October 1982: Sheffield Leeds trains restored, being diverted from the Cudworth route in preparation for its demise
The curve is now the principal route between Sheffield and Leeds for long distance trains apart from those CrossCountry trains calling at Doncaster.
Dow = George Dow Great Central Locomotive Publishing (Vol.II 1962, Vol.III 1965)
Joy = David Joy Regional History of the Railways of Great Britain Vol. 8 David & Charles (1975)
= current measurement (the 1910 RCH Junction Diagram gives 56 chains)
This article also appeared in Railway and Canal Historical Society Railway Chronology Group Co-ordinating Newsletter no. 71, July 2012.
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