Shirebrook North railway station

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Shirebrook North
Place Langwith Junction
Area Bolsover
Coordinates 53°12′55″N 1°12′48″W / 53.2154°N 1.2132°W / 53.2154; -1.2132Coordinates: 53°12′55″N 1°12′48″W / 53.2154°N 1.2132°W / 53.2154; -1.2132
Grid reference SK 525 688
Original company LD&ECR
Pre-grouping Great Central Railway
Post-grouping LNER
British Railways
Platforms 4
8 March 1897 Opened as Langwith Junction
2 June 1924 renamed Shirebrook North[1]
17 September 1955 closed for regular passenger traffic
5 September 1964 Summer excursions ended
5 December 1964 Closed completely[2]
Disused railway stations in the United Kingdom
Closed railway stations in Britain
170433 at Edinburgh Waverley.JPG UK Railways portal


There have been four separate stations with "Shirebrook" in their names:

  • Shirebrook North which is the subject of this article
  • Shirebrook South,
  • Shirebrook Colliery (later renamed Shirebrook Colliery Sidings) for colliery workmens' trains only, and
  • Shirebrook station which is on the Robin Hood Line.

Shirebrook South, Shirebrook Colliery Sidings and Shirebrook North have been closed for many years. Shirebrook West closed in 1964 but reopened in 1998 as plain "Shirebrook". Shirebrook West was actually on the eastern edge of the village.

Shirebrook North railway station is a former railway station in Langwith Junction, Derbyshire, England.


The starting position[edit]

The station was opened by the Lancashire, Derbyshire and East Coast Railway (later part of the GCR and subsequently the LNER) in March 1897 and was closed to regular passenger traffic by British Railways in September 1955.[3]

The station was originally called Langwith Junction, and gave this name to the adjacent steam locomotive shed[4][5][6][7] and the settlement that grew up around it, although the station was renamed as "Shirebrook North" on 2 June 1924, despite not being in Shirebrook. It was located on the LD&ECR line between Chesterfield Market Place and Lincoln Central. A branch ran north-west via Clowne to meet the Midland Railway near Beighton, on the outskirts of Sheffield, originally with the aim of running on the MS&LR - later Great Central - line into Sheffield Victoria. That company rejected the idea and, for a time, it led to a goods depot at Beighton, until it was linked with the Sheffield District Railway in 1900,[8] giving access to The Midland Railway station at Sheffield. The line to Sheffield was occasionally called "The Sheffield Branch" but far more commonly The Beighton Branch.

The station had four platforms[9][10][11][12] and was one of the three with a refreshment room, the others being Chesterfield Market Place and Edwinstowe.[13] The signalmen would warn passengers of the arrival of a train by ringing a bell. The main station building was in the line's standard modular style.[14][15]

Langwith Junction and Halwill Junction on the Devon/Cornwall border are the only two place names (as opposed to station names) in Britain including the word "Junction."

Service enhancements[edit]

In November 1901 the Great Northern Railway's "Leen Valley Extension" line arrived from Sutton-in-Ashfield, Pleasley and its own Shirebrook station, later known as Shirebrook South. Passenger trains plied that route from Nottingham Victoria to Shirebrook, but terminated at Shirebrook South until 1925, despite Shirebrook North being only a mile further on. From 1925 these trains were extended to Shirebrook North, but the writing was already on the wall.

The LD&ECR had plans for its own branch to Mansfield but gave them up and built curves into the Midland Railway line from Nottingham to Worksop, converging at Shirebrook Junction. For reasons lost in time these were known locally as "The New Found Out".[16] During the First World War the GCR promoted the building of the Mansfield Railway which connected with the ex-LD&ECR Main Line at Clipstone. This enabled trains from Shirebrook North to head east through Warsop then turn south to Mansfield Central. Thus, at its zenith, regular timetabled passenger trains left Shirebrook North in five directions to six destinations:[17]

  • West to Chesterfield Market Place, first stop Scarcliffe
  • North West to Sheffield, first stop Creswell and Welbeck
  • East to Lincoln Central, first stop Warsop
  • East to Mansfield Central, first stop Warsop, then turning down the Mansfield Railway
  • South East to Mansfield (ex-MR), first stop Shirebrook (later renamed Shirebrook West) and
  • SSE to Nottingham Victoria, first stop Shirebrook (later renamed Shirebrook South.)

A notable feature was the care taken to timetable Sheffield-Mansfield services along the Beighton Branch to connect with Chesterfield-Lincoln services along the main line. At 10:44, for example, all four platforms would have a train:

Anyone catching the last weekday departure from Chesterfield, the 19:00 to Mansfield Central, could stay in his or her seat at Shirebrook North and arrive at Mansfield Central at 19:50 or change trains and arrive at Mansfield Town at 19:40.[18][19]

For seven years from 1903 the Sheffield-Mansfield service was formed of LD&ECR stock hauled by Midland Railway locomotives.[20][21]

Five routes, six destinations, an engine shed, a wagon works, a goods shed and sidings led to complex trackwork.[22][23][17] This was controlled by Langwith Junction signalbox which stood in the "V" of the original junction of the Chesterfield and Beighton lines.[24] The Class 1 rated 'box was staffed 24/7 until its dying years when it was closed on Sundays.[25]


Passenger services[edit]


Shirebrook North was closed to regular passenger traffic in stages.

First to go was the last to arrive, i.e. SSE to Nottingham Victoria via Shirebrook South. This lasted only from 1925 to 1931,[26] though timetabled Summer weekend services and excursions continued until 1964.

Next was NW-SE from Sheffield along the Beighton Branch via Creswell and Welbeck through Shirebrook North to Mansfield ex-MR via Shirebrook West, which closed abruptly on 10 September 1939. Timetabled Summer weekend services, excursions and diversions along the Beighton Branch continued until 1964, but the "New Found Out" curves joining the LD&EC lines east of Shirebrook North to the Midland's Worksop-Nottingham line were lifted between 1946 and 1950.[27]

Services west to Chesterfield Market Place ended on 3 December 1951. The sparse traffic made the £1M (1951 prices) cost of repairing Bolsover Tunnel, plus uncosted concerns over the Doe Lea Viaduct west of Bolsover South hopelessly uneconomic. Track between Markham Junction (between Bolsover and Arkwright Town) and a few hundred yards west of Shirebrook North was lifted immediately. The remaining yards of track west of Shirebrook North were used as a headshunt and a wagon store for several years.

The Mansfield Central service is shown in the August 1939 Bradshaw's Guide,[28] but was not mentioned when Mansfield Central closed to regular passenger services in January 1956.[29]

The remaining Monday to Saturday service ran between Shirebrook North and Lincoln Central,[30] serving a sparse population between. Inevitably it succumbed; the last trains ran on 17 September 1955. Extra carriages were provided for the last day service, but few people turned up.[31] The lines eastwards were rationalised over the years and Shirebrook North was subsequently cut off in 1974, but they still serve a remnant of Britain's deep-mined coal industry and have been chosen for Network Rail's High Marnham Test Track which includes a short electrified section.

Former Services
Preceding station Disused railways Following station
Line and station closed
  Great Central Railway
Line and station closed[32]
Creswell and Welbeck
Line and station closed
  Great Central Railway
  Shirebrook West
Line closed, station open[33]
Terminus   Great Northern Railway   Shirebrook South
Line and station closed

Contraction of infrastructure[edit]

The following complex history of change is most clearly rendered by the superb map in Lawson Little's "Langwith Junction, the life and times of a railway village."[27]

The Beighton Branch heading North from Shirebrook closed in two stages. The first took effect from 9 January 1967 when a wholly new connection was opened from a point on the branch south of Creswell and Welbeck to the ex-MR Nottingham-Worksop branch (now the Robin Hood Line) near the future site of Langwith-Whaley Thorns station. The branch north of that point to the northern portal of Spinkhill Tunnel was closed and lifted. From Beighton Junction southwards to the northern portal of Spinkhill tunnel, a distance of 3 miles, remained open until Westthorpe Colliery, Killamarsh closed in 1984.

This had no direct impact on Shirebrook North as the remaining traffic along the branch still passed through.

The Leen Valley Extension across the embankment through Shirebrook Village[34] then through Shirebrook South closed completely on 27 May 1968. The running lines near Shirebrook North were adopted as sidings of the wagon works.

This left the site of Shirebrook North as an East to North through line with sidings to Davis's Wagon Works.

This came to an end on 11 November 1974 when a wholly new single line connection was blasted between the ex-MR line and the LD&ECR line east of the former. This cutting slopes up to the East-bound former LD&ECR,[35][36] enabling the removal of "Bridge 37"[37] over the ex-MR line and the closure of the southern remnant of the Sheffield branch (aka the Beighton Branch) which had been performing this function.[38][39]

Davis's Wagon Works was still a significant railway customer, so the South to West "New Found Out" curve was reinstated to serve the works,[40] which it still does.[41][42] This curve (which was originally the inside leg of a flyover junction with the Midland facing Mansfield) has an interesting syphon which appears to have been preceded by a launder going over.

Since that date the site of Shirebrook North has been a headshunt for the wagon works.[43]

The station footbridge, which had been replaced in 1960,[25] was finally demolished in Spring 1986 and loaded on a train[44] which ran down the New Found Out then reversed towards Worksop, taking the ex-MR "Clowne Branch" at Elmton & Creswell.[45]

Other services[edit]

September 1955 left Shirebrook North providing three services and witnessing two others.

1. Goods were handled up to 4 January 1965.

2. Excursions[46] called until 5 September 1964, notably to East Coast resorts[5] and to football matches.[47][48][49][50]

3. Timetabled Summer weekend services also survived or passed until 5 September 1964:

  • NW via Clowne South to Blackpool[51]
  • NE via the Tuxford West to North curve and Retford to the Yorkshire Coast
  • East via Lincoln to the Lincolnshire Coast[52][47] and to Yarmouth Vauxhall[53][54][55] and
  • SSE to Nottingham Victoria to connect with holiday expresses to many points South and West.[49]

The Yorkshire coast service provided a minor "last", in that the final, timetabled, steam-hauled train south from Retford was not an "A3" for Kings Cross, but was hauled by Black 5 45444 via Tuxford, the LD&EC and Mansfield Central, with a connection from Ollerton calling at Shirebrook North.[56]

4. The route from Lincoln through Shirebrook North and Clowne South served as a diversionary route. Notably, this led to the occasional appearance of March "Britannia" 4-6-2s on the Liverpool Central-Harwich Parkeston Quay Boat Train (known locally as "The Boaty") trundling through Warsop and Shirebrook North in the early 1960s.[57][58][59]

5. GC main line trains were also sometimes diverted or routed via Shirebrook North, travelling from Nottingham Victoria via the Leen Valley, through Shirebrook South, Shirebrook North and Clowne South, regaining the GC Main Line at Killamarsh.[57] The route had a last hurrah when a sleeping car service from Marylebone to Glasgow was routed through Clowne South from 1962 to 1964.[60]

Passenger traffic[49] was very small beer compared with the massive mineral traffic, in which coal was head and shoulders above the rest.

Modern times[edit]

The Shirebrook railway station used today is on the Robin Hood Line, which is the modern branding of the Midland Railway's Nottingham to Worksop route. It closed in 1964 as Shirebrook West (despite being on the eastern edge of the village) and reopened in 1998 as plain "Shirebrook".



  1. ^ Butt 1995, p. 138.
  2. ^ Butt 1995, p. 211.
  3. ^ Booth 2013, p. 26.
  4. ^ Fox, Kinder & Briggs 2011, pp. 410-1.
  5. ^ a b Kaye 1988, p. 73.
  6. ^ Little 2002a, pp. 5-15.
  7. ^ Ludlam 2013, p. 141.
  8. ^ Cupit & Taylor 1984, p. 12.
  9. ^ Goode 1983, p. 45.
  10. ^ Lund 1997, p. 34.
  11. ^ DVD1 2005, 34 to 37 mins from start.
  12. ^ Anderson 2013, p. 333.
  13. ^ Lund 1999, p. 21.
  14. ^ Felix & McKeown 2004, 25 mins from start.
  15. ^ Langwith Junction station: via PictureThePast
  16. ^ New Found Out curves at Shirebrook Junction: via flickr
  17. ^ a b Booth 2013, p. 25.
  18. ^ Bradshaw 1985, p. 718.
  19. ^ Bradshaw, August 1939: via flickr
  20. ^ Hurst 1987, p. 53.
  21. ^ Dow 1965, p. 175.
  22. ^ Dow 1965, p. 160.
  23. ^ Little 1995, pp. 6&7.
  24. ^ Little 2002a, p. 4.
  25. ^ a b Little 1995, p. 52.
  26. ^ Little 1995, p. 81.
  27. ^ a b Little 1995, p. 67.
  28. ^ Bradshaw, August 1939: via flickr
  29. ^ Cupit 1956, pp. 58-61.
  30. ^ Aves 2011, p. 324.
  31. ^ Little 1995, p. 69.
  32. ^ Bradshaw 1985, 718 upper.
  33. ^ Bradshaw 1985, 718 lower.
  34. ^ Shirebrook Embankment: via PictureThePast
  35. ^ Shirebrook Junction N to E curve: via flickr
  36. ^ Shirebrook Junction N to E curve: via flickr
  37. ^ Booth 2013, pp. 30,31&33.
  38. ^ DVD2 2005, 5 to 6 mins from the start, stills.
  39. ^ Booth 2013, pp. 74-78.
  40. ^ Little 1995, pp. 61-4.
  41. ^ Clinnick 2013, p. 32.
  42. ^ Modern New Found Out in use: via flickr
  43. ^ Booth 2013, pp. 32&70.
  44. ^ Booth 2013, p. 32.
  45. ^ Shirebrook North footbridge 1986: via flickr
  46. ^ Little 1995, p. 70.
  47. ^ a b Little 2002b, p. 6.
  48. ^ Flying Scotsman at Shirebrook North: via PictureThePast
  49. ^ a b c Booth 2013, pp. 26-30.
  50. ^ Marsden 2004A, 4 mins from start.
  51. ^ Bailey 2013, p. 233.
  52. ^ Little 1995, p. 54.
  53. ^ Walker 1991, inside front cover.
  54. ^ Summer 1964 Working Timetable(1): via flickr
  55. ^ Summer 1964 Working Timetable(2): via flickr
  56. ^ Marsden 2004B, 33 minutes from start.
  57. ^ a b Grainger 2002, p. 76.
  58. ^ Allen 1960, p. 4.
  59. ^ Kaye 1988, pp. 64&65.
  60. ^ Howard Anderson 1973, p. 166.


  • Allen, G. Freeman (January 1960). Allen, G. Freeman, ed. "Talking of Trains". Trains Illustrated. Hampton Court, Surrey: Ian Allan Publishing. XIII (136). 
  • Anderson, Paul (June 2013). Hawkins, Chris, ed. "Out and About with Anderson". Railway Bylines. Clophill: Irwell Press Ltd. 18 (7). ISSN 1360-2098. 
  • Aves, Bill (May 2011). Smith, Martin, ed. "Unsung heroes - N4 and N5 0-6-2Ts (Part Two)". Railway Bylines. Radstock: Irwell Press Limited. 16 (6). ISSN 1360-2098. 
  • Bailey, Brian C (February 2013). Hawkins, Chris, ed. "Langwith Junction Shed Until the End of Steam... and Beyond". British Railways Illustrated. Clophill: Irwell Press Ltd. 22 (5). ISSN 0961-8244. 
  • Booth, Chris (2013). The Lancashire, Derbyshire and East Coast Railway A pictorial view of the "Dukeries Route" and branches. Blurb. 06715029. 
  • Bradshaw, George (1985) [July 1922]. July 1922 Railway Guide. Newton Abbot: David and Charles. ISBN 978-0-7153-8708-5. OCLC 12500436. 
  • Butt, R. V. J. (1995). The Directory of Railway Stations: details every public and private passenger station, halt, platform and stopping place, past and present (1st ed.). Sparkford: Patrick Stephens Ltd. ISBN 978-1-85260-508-7. OCLC 60251199. 
  • Clinnick, Richard (2013). Harris, Nigel, ed. "Fleet". RAIL. Peterborough: Bauer Media (714). 
  • Cupit, J.; Taylor, W. (1984) [1966]. The Lancashire, Derbyshire & East Coast Railway. Oakwood Library of Railway History (2nd ed.). Headington: Oakwood Press. ISBN 978-0-85361-302-2. OL19. 
  • Cupit, Jack (February 1956). Allen, G. Freeman, ed. "The end of Passenger Services on the Mansfield Railway". Trains Illustrated. Hampton Court, Surrey: Ian Allan Publishing. IX (2). 
  • Dow, George (1965). Great Central, Volume Three: Fay Sets the Pace, 1900–1922. Shepperton: Ian Allan. ISBN 978-0-7110-0263-0. OCLC 500447049. 
  • DVD1 (2005). The Lancashire, Derbyshire and East Coast Railway - Memories of a Lost Route. Chesterfield: Terminus Publications. DVD, stills with commentary, 61 mins. 
  • DVD2 (2005). Diesels Along:-The Lancashire, Derbyshire and East Coast Railway. Chesterfield: Terminus Publications. DVD, stills and film with commentary, 60 mins. 
  • Felix, Richard; McKeown, Ron (2004) [1968]. Farewell to the GNR lines in Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire. Derby: Local Videos 2004 Ltd. DVD. 
  • Fox, Ray; Kinder, Mike; Briggs, John (June 2011). Hawkins, Chris, ed. "The Job Langwith Shed, Saturday Afternoon 22 May 1965". British Railways Illustrated. Clophill: Irwell Press Ltd. 20 (9). ISSN 0961-8244. 
  • Goode, C.T. (1983). Railway Rambles on the Notts. & Derbyshire Border. Hull: C. T. Goode. ISBN 978-0-9508239-2-8. 
  • Grainger, Ken (2002). Sheffield Victoria to Chesterfield Central, The "Derbyshire Lines" of the Manchester, Sheffield and Lincolnshire Railway Part 1. Bredbury: Foxline Limited. ISBN 978-1-870119-83-2. 
  • Howard Anderson, P. (1973). Forgotten Railways: The East Midlands. Newton Abbott: David and Charles. ISBN 978-0-7153-6094-1. 
  • Hurst, Geoffrey (1987). The Midland Railway Around Nottinghamshire, Volume 1. Worksop: Milepost Publications. ISBN 978-0-947796-05-1. 
  • Kaye, A.R. (1988). North Midland and Peak District Railways in the Steam Age, Volume 2. Chesterfield: Lowlander Publications. ISBN 978-0-946930-09-8. 
  • Little, Lawson (1995). Langwith Junction, the Life and Times of a Railway Village. Newark-on-Trent: Vesper Publications. ISBN 978-0-9526171-0-5. 
  • Little, Lawson (Summer 2002a). Bell, Brian, ed. "Lancashire, Derbyshire & East Coast Railway A personal View 1945-74 (Part I)". Forward. Holton le Clay: Brian Bell for the Great Central Railway Society. 132. ISSN 0141-4488. 
  • Little, Lawson (Autumn 2002b). Bell, Brian, ed. "Lancashire, Derbyshire & East Coast Railway (Part II) A lineside look at Langwith Junction: (1) the 1940s". Forward. Holton le Clay: Brian Bell for the Great Central Railway Society. 133. ISSN 0141-4488. 
  • Ludlam, A.J. (March 2013). Kennedy, Rex, ed. "The Lancashire, Derbyshire & East Coast Railway". Steam Days. Bournemouth: Redgauntlet 1993 Publications. 283. ISSN 0269-0020. 
  • Lund, Brian (1999) [1991]. Nottinghamshire Railway Stations on old picture postcards. Keyworth: Reflections of a Bygone Age. ISBN 978-0-946245-36-9. 
  • Lund, Brian (1997) [1995]. Derbyshire Railway Stations on old picture postcards. Keyworth: Reflections of a Bygone Age. ISBN 978-0-946245-86-4. 
  • Marsden, Michael (2004A) [1963-4]. Sheffield to Nottingham Marsden Rail 10. Birkenshaw, West Yorkshire: Marsden Rail 2004. DVD10. 
  • Marsden, Michael (2004B) [1959-65]. Doncaster Marsden Rail 11. Birkenshaw, West Yorkshire: Marsden Rail 2004. DVD11. 
  • Walker, Colin (1991). Eastern Region Steam Twilight, Part 2, North of Grantham. Llangollen: Pendyke Publications. ISBN 978-0-904318-14-2. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Anderson, Paul; Cupit, Jack (2000). An Illustrated History of Mansfield's Railways. Clophill: Irwell Press. ISBN 978-1-903266-15-1. 
  • Clinker, C.R. (1988) [1978]. Clinker's Register of Closed Passenger Stations and Goods Depots in England, Scotland and Wales 1830–1980 (2nd ed.). Bristol: Avon-Anglia Publications & Services. ISBN 978-0-905466-91-0. OCLC 655703233. 
  • Conolly, W Philip (1998). British railways pre-grouping atlas and gazetteer (9th impression; 5th ed.). Shepperton: Ian Allan. ISBN 978-0-7110-0320-0. OCLC 221481275. 
  • Gilks, David (April 2002). Blakemore, Michael, ed. "Mr. Arkwright's Railway". Back Track. Penryn: Atlantic Publishers. 16 (4). 
  • Hilmer, John (2007). British Railways Past and Present: Derbyshire. Kettering: Past & Present Publishing. ISBN 978-1-85895-252-9. No. 56. 
  • Jowett, Alan (2000). Jowett's Nationalised Railway Atlas (1st ed.). Penryn, Cornwall: Atlantic Transport Publishers. ISBN 978-0-906899-99-1. OCLC 228266687. 
  • Kingscott, Geoffrey (2007). Lost Railways of Derbyshire. Newbury: Countryside Books. ISBN 978-1-84674-042-8. 
  • Little, Lawson (Winter 2002). Bell, Brian, ed. "Lancashire, Derbyshire & East Coast Railway (Part III) Brief History of Tuxford". Forward. Holton le Clay: Brian Bell for the Great Central Railway Society. 134. ISSN 0141-4488. 
  • Little, Lawson (Spring 2003). Bell, Brian, ed. "Lancashire, Derbyshire & East Coast Railway (Part IV) A personal View 1945-74, Chesterfield". Forward. Holton le Clay: Brian Bell for the Great Central Railway Society. 135. ISSN 0141-4488. 
  • Marsden, Michael (2004C) [1962-6]. Retford Marsden Rail 18. Birkenshaw, Bradford: Marsden Rail 2004. DVD18, film with commentary, 55 mins. 
  • Quick, Michael (2009) [2001]. Railway passenger stations in Great Britain: a chronology (4th ed.). Oxford: Railway and Canal Historical Society. ISBN 978-0-901461-57-5. OCLC 612226077. 

External links[edit]