Great Central Railway

The Great Central Railway (GCR) was a British railway company that existed from 1897 to 1922. The length of its route network was 1372 km. The main route of the GCR, the Great Central Main Line, led from the station Marylebone via Leicester and Nottingham to Sheffield and was decommissioned in 1966-1969.


Establishment of the GCR

The establishment of the GCR in 1897 by renaming the existing since 1847 Manchester, Sheffield and Lincolnshire Railway ( MS & LR). At that time they operated a route from Manchester ( London Road Station ) via Penistone, Sheffield, Brigg and Grimsby to Cleethorpes. A second route branched off and opened in Penistone Barnsley, Doncaster and Scunthorpe and met in Barnetby on track after Grimsby.

Further routes linked with Sheffield Barnsley (via Chapeltown ) and Doncaster (via Rotherham ) and Lincoln with Wrawby Junction. Branch lines in northern Lincolnshire led to Barton -upon -Humber and New Holland and opened the iron ore mines in the region Scunthorpe. To Manchester led routes to Stalybridge and Glossop.

In the 1890s, the MS & LR began construction of the " Derbyshire - line ", which should allow for expansion to the south. This chain at Beighton Junction - 9 km east of Sheffield - from the east-west main route from and led by the coalfield of Nottinghamshire Nottingham. A branch line tape Chesterfield at this link.

Extension to London

1893, the MS & LR had received from the Parliament the authorization to extend its southern route to London. Construction began in 1895, changed on 1 August 1897, the MS & LR changed its name to Great Central Railway. The new, 148 -kilometer route was first opened on July 25, 1898 for the coal traffic on 15 March 1899 the passenger traffic and on April 11, 1899 for the remaining freight traffic.

The new connection to London joined in Annesley in Nottingham on to the previously opened south range and led to Marylebone Station. The section between the Quainton Road station in Buckinghamshire and Harrow led on the existing route of the Metropolitan Railway. On April 2, 1906 "alternative main line " of Grendon Underwood was opened after Neasden, the section between High Wycombe and South Ruislip was co- owned by the GCR and the Great Western Railway.

With the entry into force of the Railways Act 1921, the GCR went on in the London and North Eastern Railway in January 1, 1923.

Other new routes of GCR

  • Lancashire, Derbyshire and East Coast Railway (LD & ECR): This route was opened in 1897 to connect coal mines with deep-water ports. It was originally run from Sutton on Sea in Lincolnshire to Warrington in Lancashire. Finally, however, only the portion of Pyewipe Junction was built at Lincoln and Chesterfield Market Place. The GCR acquired the LD & ECR on January 1, 1907.
  • Wrexham, Mold and Connah 's Quay Railway, acquired on January 1, 1905
  • North Wales and Liverpool Railway, acquired on January 1, 1905
  • Wigan Junction Railway, acquired on January 1, 1906
  • Liverpool, St Helens and South Lancashire Railway, acquired on January 1, 1906
  • North Lindsey Light Railway (Scunthorpe - Whitton ), opened on December 1, 1910, powered by the GCR, next to a little passengers mainly iron ore transport

Plant communities

Apart from the above-mentioned three branch lines in the region Liverpool all routes of GCR lay east of Manchester in northern England. Nevertheless, it was the GCR possible to operate with any other party trains from coast to coast in the context of plant communities. The largest of these plant communities was the Cheshire Lines Committee ( along with the Midland Railway and the Great Northern Railway ). Other joint companies were ( from west to east):

  • Manchester, South Junction and Altrincham Railway ( GCR / LNWR )
  • Oldham, Ashton -under- Lyne and Guide Bridge Railway (GCR / LNWR )
  • Macclesfield, Bollington and Marple Railway ( GCR / NSR )
  • South Yorkshire Joint Railway (GCR, GNR, Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway, MIDR and North Eastern Railway )
  • Sheffield District Railway (GCR and MIDR )
  • West Riding and Grimsby Joint Railway (GCR / GNR) - access to Wakefield and Leeds