Sheffield, Ashton-under-Lyne and Manchester Railway

Sheffield, Ashton-Under-Lyne And Manchester Railway

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Sheffield, Ashton-under-Lyne and Manchester Railway

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The Sheffield, Ashton-under-Lyne and Manchester Railway was an early British railway company which opened in stages between 1841 and 1845 between Sheffield and Manchester via Ashton-under-Lyne. In conjunction with the proposed Sheffield and Lincolnshire Junction Railway and Great Grimsby and Sheffield Junction Railway, it was renamed the Manchester, Sheffield and Lincolnshire Railway in 1847.

Origins

At the end of the eighteenth century the need for improved transport links between Manchester and Sheffield was increasing. The canal route involved a long northwards detour through the Pennines, a journey taking eight days; the more arduous direct route by horse and cart took two days.

By the 1820s a number of proposals had been made for canals, and cable railway had been proposed costing upwards of £500,000, but all these ideas had come to nought. Then the opening of the Stockton and Darlington Railway and the authorisation of the Cromford and High Peak Railway, both in 1825, caught the interest of a land surveyor in Sheffield, Henry Sanderson. In 1826 he published a comparative account of the previous proposals, with one of his own for a line via Edale to meet the Peak Forest Tramway. He was initially ignored; but the building of the Liverpool and Manchester Railway attracted greater interest locally, and with the support of some Liverpool financiers, a prospectus of the line - to be called the "Sheffield and Manchester Railway" - was issued in August 1830,...
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