In a land far from Essex where miners had blacked faces and the steelmen blackened the sky the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway saw there was money to be made from transporting the goods produced by the labours of these men. They built a line that came down from Huddersfield, through Barnsley to the northern part of Sheffield. At the same time the Great Northern Railway wanted its own line to Sheffield going northwards to Doncaster, being short of cash the L&YR helped build this line, the South Yorkshire Junction Railway. Massive mineral and goods marshalling yards and their accompanying locomotive depots were built where these two lines formed a junction. These were too far from the city centre for passenger services so a line was built from the junction tunnelling under the yards to the northern edge of the city. The plan was for the Great Northern to extend the line to the south linking up with its Nottingham to Derby line. Sadly events over took the construction of the southern extension and the L&YR and GNR joint station remained a terminus with its building on the west side of the station. During LMS and LNER ownership the station was given the grand title of Sheffield Exchange.
The station was never a terminus for long distance express trains but was busy serving the local communities. Stopping trains to Manchester, Huddersfield, Leeds, Bradford and Doncaster being its main source of income, both Leeds and Bradford were accessed by the two routes. Some through portions of express trains commenced and terminated their journeys here. The LNER extended the eastern services to various towns in Lincolnshire. This was to remain the style of services that were seen at the station until the mid-sixties, then slowly the through train portions disappeared. The further away towns and cities were no longer reached in one journey unless you were to travel from Victoria or Midland stations. In 1968 first the Doncaster route closed and then just before Christmas the last train left for Barnsley. Today the cutting has been filled in and a little used business park sits on the site.
As I seem to like the mid-sixties as my modelling period the station is in its last throws of full usage. There you have it an excuse for a Minories type layout, with DMUs as the main type of trains. The Sheffield area seemed to ideal for units from the LMR, ER and NER to be seen together. There will be some short corridor coach trains representing the through portion of the express trains, even the possibility of coaches off a Paignton to Leeds train in chocolate and cream and Bournemouth to York train in green. There will be some parcels trains as well. I am also keen on running a few suburban loco hauled passenger services. Should some of my steam modelling mates join me at home or at shows then I would be very happy for them to run 2-6-4 tank locos on local trains.
I have already purchased the track, I am going to use Peco code 70. I am clearing the old track off the Hanging Hill baseboards. I will reuse the controllers and some of the point motors from Hanging Hill. The fiddle yard lends itself to be either cassettes or a traverser, both depend on my limited use of woodworking tools. I am still not too sure about the signalling I like the idea of using mechanical signals but still not one hundred percent certain how I will operated them. It of course might have been an early conversion to colour lights.
The signal box will be one of those nice L&YR ones with a wooden base. If mechanical signals then the LMS would have renewed them in the 30s and 40s. The station building was rebuilt in the 1930s to the same style as the stations on the LTSR line, a nice bit of LMS Modern Image. I like the idea of an LMS station in Eastern Region colours.
The track plan.
The proposed signalling plan.
Edited by Clive Mortimore, 24 August 2018 - 22:57 .