Barnsley Coal Railway

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Former trackbed under Back Lane, east of Wintersett. (2012)

The Barnsley Coal Railway was a short railway which, when fully opened, ran between Stairfoot Junction, on the Mexborough to Barnsley line of the South Yorkshire Railway (SYR) and a triangular junction at Nostell on the line of the West Riding and Grimsby Railway (WR&GR).

The railway rights were purchased by the SYR in July 1863, just one year before that company was absorbed into the Manchester, Sheffield and Lincolnshire Railway.

Scheduled passenger services on the lined ended in 1930, and goods services in 1961.


Railway Clearing House diagram of 1911 showing the line

In the parliamentary session of 1860/1 an act was applied for to incorporate a company, and construct a line from a junction with the South Yorkshire Railway (SYR) west of Ardsley railway station to Crigglestone.[1] An act was passed in 1861, allowing the creation the Barnsley Coal Railway, with £40,000 of capital allowed to be raised by share issue, and £13,000 by loans. The first permitted section of line was from Stairfoot (west of Ardsley in Darfield) to Applehaigh (in Notton), 4 miles (6.4 km) long.[2][3][4]

In 1863 an act was passed allowing the South Yorkshire Railway, which had subscribed £10,000 of the railway's capital, to take over the company.[5][6][2]

In 1864 an act was obtained allowing a short 1.25 miles (2.01 km) extension to the Midland Railway's line near Barnsley;[2][7][8][9] the new chord would have enabled the South Yorkshire company to take advantage of their recently acquired running powers to Wakefield and Leeds over the Midland's lines.[10] This connecting line was not built.[clarification needed][11]

The first section line served Rosa Colliery, and opened to traffic in January 1870.[citation needed]

In the session of 1873/4 the SYR's successor the Manchester, Sheffield and Lincolnshire Railway (MS&LR) obtained powers to build an extension from near the 1860s terminus at Notton, to a two way junction with the West Riding and Grimsby Railway northwest of Nostel station; also sought were powers for a junction from the line to the Midland's line near to the Barnsley Canal;[note 1] and a second junction from Coal railway to SYR's Barnsley line, creating an extended triangular junction to that line.[12][13]

The second section was opened for goods traffic in August 1882. This section ran from Applehaigh to a triangular junction with the West Riding and Grimsby Railway (WR&GR) at Nostell. The line included passenger stations at Staincross and Mapplewell, Notton and Royston and Ryhill, later renamed Ryhill and Wintersett. A passenger service commenced on 1 September 1882.

Regular passenger services were withdrawn in 1930, goods services in 1961.[14]

Train services[edit]

The passenger service on the line was part of a Leeds (Central) / Barnsley (Court House) service via Wakefield (Westgate). The July 1922 issue of Bradshaw's Railway Guide shows 5 trains in each direction on Mondays to Fridays, 6 trains on Saturday from Barnsley to Leeds and 7 on Saturday from Leeds to Barnsley. There was no Sunday service.


  1. ^ Northwest of Royston and Notton railway station, and at the site of the (future) Royston junction.


  1. ^ "Barnsley Coal Railway. (Incorporation of Company for making Railway from South Yorkshire Railway to Crigglestone; Powers to South Yorkshire Railway Company.)", London Gazette (22450): 4505–4506, 23 November 1860 
  2. ^ a b c Bradshaw's Railway Manual 1866, p. 274.
  3. ^ Barnsley Coal Railway Act, 1861 (24 & 25 Vic., Cap.165) ; An Act to authorize the Construction of a Railway in the West Riding of Yorkshire, to be called "The Barnsley Coal Railway".
  4. ^ Ordnance Survey Sheets 274SE, 274NE, 262SE
  5. ^ "South Yorkshire Railway. (Alteration of Line to Thorne, and continuation of Branch from that Line ; Arrangements with North-Eastern Railway Company, and with Manchester, Sheffield, and Lincolnshire Railway Company; Purchase of Barnsley Coal Railway; Level Crossing of Long Sandall Road).", The London Gazette: 5472–, 18 November 1862 
  6. ^ The South Yorkshire Railway Act, 1863 (26 & 27 Vic., Cap 146) ; An Act to enable the South Yorkshire Railway and River Dun Company to alter their authorized Line; to purchase the Barnsley Coal Railway; and for other Purposes relating to the same Company.
  7. ^ Rickards 1864, p.543, "The South Yorkshire Railway Act, 1864.".
  8. ^ "South Yorkshire Railway. (Branch to, and Running Powers over, Midland Railway).", London Gazette (22791): 5768–5769, 24 November 1863 
  9. ^ South Yorkshire Railway Act, 1864 (27 & 28 Vic., Cap.19) ; An Act to enable the South Yorkshire Railway and River Dun Company to extend their Railway to the Midland Railway at Barnsley.
  10. ^ Sheardown, William (1965), Doncaster in 1864, p. 28 
  11. ^ See Ordnance Survey Sheets 274NE
  12. ^ "Manchester, Sheffield, and Lincolnshire Railway (Additional Powers.) (Construction of new Railways in the counties of York, Nottingham, Derby, and Chester; consequential powers as to Compulsory Purchase of Lands; Purchase of Additional Lands by Compulsion and Agreement; Diversion of River Tame; Stopping up .and Diversion of Roads and Streets; Confirmation of Purchase, and Appropriation of Lands; Application of Funds Sale and Disposition of Lauds; Purchase by and vesting in the Company of Widues Railway; Dissolution of Widnes Railway Company; Release of Deposit Money, and Construction of New Road in Widnes; Vesting in the Company of Macclesfield, Knutsford and Warrington Railway; Deviation, Abandonment and alteration of levels of portions of that Railway; Revival of Powers for compulsory Purchase of Lands, and Extension of Time for completion of Works; Power to subscribe towards Hull Docks, and appoint Directors; Power to the Company, and North Staffordshire Railway Company, to subscribe to-undertaking of Macclesfield Committee; Additional Capital; Consolidation of Ordinary Guaranteed and Preference Stocks; Enlargement of Powers as to Superfluous Lands Power to Manchester, South Junction and Altrincham Railway Company to acquire additional Lands at Altrincham; Amendment of Acts, and other purposes.)", London Gazette (24037): 5210–5215, 21 November 1873 
  13. ^ Manchester, Sheffield and Lincolnshire Act, 1874 (37 & 38 Vic., Cap.132) ; An Act for authorizing the Manchester, Sheffield, and Lincolnshire Railway Company to make new Branch Railways and other Works; for Vesting in them the undertakings of the Macclesfield, Knutsford, and Warrington Railway Company and the Widnes Railway Company; for conferring upon them additional powers; and for other purposes.
  14. ^ Speller.


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