Some Early Lines – The Midland Railway in the East Midlands

Some Early Lines

The Midland Railway in the East Midlands

The Midland spread its rail network like spiders’ webs throughout the eastern Midlands, with tentacles reaching out to the Great Northern’s main line at Peterborough and Newark and the Great Eastern at St. Ives with running to Cambridge.  Most branches were run by 0-4-4 tanks and elderly 2-4-0s or 0-6-0s with standard class 2P 4-4-0s on the secondary lines.  This Pattern remained until Stanier’s coming when his new standardisation construction released some Fowler engines for work where weight restrictions allowed.

One of the branches to succumb in the fuel shortage period immediately after World War II was that from Duffield to Wirksworth in Derbyshire (16th June 1947).  This photograph (taken in the 1920s) shows Johnson 1P 0-4-4 tank No.1428 in early lined out LMS red livery approaching Duffield with a branch train.  Photo: W.Leslie Good, P.B.Whitehouse collection.

The Wirksworth branch served an unusual purpose in that its terminus was used by Derby Works as a prime spot for some of its official photographs.  When the ex-Midland Railway locos were stored in the works, prior to the establishment of a national museum, the opportunity (in 1960) was taken to ensure their preservation on film and they were hauled up to Wirksworth dead in a train (complete with brake van) by the Midland Compound and duly lined up for the official photographer.  The photographs were taken from the station platform and even at that late date a large plate camera was used.  Shown here is Kirtley 2-4-0 No.158A.  Photo: P.B.Whitehouse.

Buxton was served by two of the LMS constituent companies, the LNWR from Millers Dale on the main (now closed) Derby – Manchester line.  The stations lay side by side in Buxton and tank engines usually operated the services, the LNWR using the Bowen Cooke 4-6-2Ts and the Midland its smaller 0-4-4Ts.  Sometimes, however, trains ran south beyond Millers Dale and here is Class 2 4-4-0 No.447 at Buxton (Midland) on 3rd May 1934.  Photo: H.C.Casserley.

Manton Station on 26th May 1953 with Fowler 2-6-4 tank as BR No.42330, leaving with the 2.10pm Kettering to Melton Mowbray train.  Manton was the junction for Luffenham, Stamford and Peterborough.  Photo: P.M.Alexander.

Still carrying her Midland Railway cast iron smokebox number plate, Kirtley double framed 2-4-0 No.12 heads a Kettering to Cambridge train near Cambridge in the early days of the LMS.  Photo: P.B.Whitehouse collection.

An LNWR/Midland Joint line left Nuneaton (TV) and meandered via Shackerstone to Burton, the last section from Overseal and Moira to Burton being pure Midland.  The passenger service was axed on 13th April 1931.  MR Johnson class 1P 0-4-4 tank No.1369 in unlined black is seen here approaching Ashby Junction, Nuneaton with an Ashby and Burton train in 1930.  Photo: A.W.Flowers.


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