The Mansfield Railway was an eleven-mile railway line in Nottinghamshire, England.
The Mansfield Railway Act was passed on 26 July 1910, authorising the newly formed Mansfield Railway Company to build a railway line from a junction with the GCR's former LD&ECR main line near Clipstone in Nottinghamshire, to a junction with the GCR main line, eleven miles away near Kirkby-in-Ashfield, also in Nottinghamshire.
The line had three purposes:
- to tap passenger traffic, notably from Mansfield southwards to Nottingham Victoria and beyond
- to shorten the through route from Immingham to the South, and
- to tap the rapidly expanding coal industry in the Mansfield area.
Of these three aims, the last far outweighed the other two put together.
The Mansfield Railway Company was legally independent, but the GCR rubbed their hands as the traffic would fall to them at both ends, with coals for export through Immingham being the biggest single element. The Mansfield Railway Company had no locomotives or rolling stock of their own, so the GCR provided both and maintained the line for 60% of its gross earnings. Both the GCR and the Mansfield Railway became part of the LNER in 1923.
The line was opened for goods in stages between 1913 and 1916.
Three stations were built on the line: Mansfield, Sutton-in-Ashfield and Kirkby-in-Ashfield. They all had "Central" added informally, to reduce confusion with neighbouring stations, though the word "Central" never appeared on station nameboards. A passenger service of three trains per day, calling at all stations between Nottingham Victoria and Ollerton began on 2 April 1917. By 1939 this had expanded to 14 trains per day between Nottingham Victoria and Mansfield Central, with some going on to Ollerton. There was even a Sunday service of four trains per day. By the time passenger services were withdrawn on 2 January 1956 the service had been reduced to seven trains per day between Nottingham Victoria to Mansfield Central, four of which went on to Edwinstowe.
Long distance freight used the line into the 1960s, notably the Grimsby to Whitland express fish train.
Coal traffic remained the mainstay. Mansfield Concentration Sidings ("Con", locally) handled and distributed countless wagons of coal to all parts over the years.
The line South of Crown Farm Colliery, Mansfield closed on 7th Jan 1968. Mansfield Central Station and associated earthworks in Mansfield were razed in 1972.
The triangular junction with the LD&ECR at Clipstone remains in place in 2013, though the West to South and East to South arms are disused and under threat of closure.
- Anderson, Paul; Cupit, Jack (2000). An Illustrated History of Mansfield's Railways. Clophill: Irwell Press. ISBN 1-903266-15-7.
- Booth, Chris (December 2011). Gellatly, Bob, ed. "Signalling on the Mansfield Railway Part 1". Forward. North Anston, Sheffield: Bob Gellatly for the Great Central Railway Society. 170. ISSN 0141-4488.
- Booth, Chris (March 2012a). Gellatly, Bob, ed. "Signalling on the Mansfield Railway Part 2". Forward. North Anston, Sheffield: Bob Gellatly for the Great Central Railway Society. 171. ISSN 0141-4488.
- Booth, Chris (June 2012b). Gellatly, Bob, ed. "Signalling on the Mansfield Railway Part 3". Forward. North Anston, Sheffield: Bob Gellatly for the Great Central Railway Society. 172. ISSN 0141-4488.
- Cupit, Jack (February 1956). Allen, G. Freeman, ed. "The end of Passenger Services on the Mansfield Railway". Trains Illustrated. Hampton Court, Surrey: Ian Allan Ltd. IX (2).
- Dow, George (1971) . Great Central, Volume 3. London: Ian Allan. ISBN 0 7110 0263 0.
- Haigh, Philip (2013). Harris, Nigel, ed. "Network". RAIL. Peterborough: Bauer Media (722).
- Howard Anderson, P. (1973). Forgotten Railways: The East Midlands. Newton Abbott: David & Charles. ISBN 0 7153 6094 9.