Tag Archives: Shackerstone

Some Early Lines, Old Railway Companies, The Ashby and Nuneaton Joint Railway

Some Early Lines

Old Railway Companies

Ashby & Nuneaton Joint Railway

58The Ashby & Nuneaton Joint Railway was the only joint MR/L&NWR project. Market Bosworth station, now used as a garage, was, at this time, also the southern limit of the Battlefield Line, which aimed to extend along the track-bed beyond the station towards Shenton and Bosworth battlefield.

The London & North Western Railway proposed a line from Ashby to Nuneaton via Market Bosworth in conjunction with the Nuneaton – Wigston line opened in 1864, but the Midland Railway had already obtained powers for an identical line in 1846, which had lapsed at the time of the purchase of the Leicester & Swannington Railway. Now, however, it revived the plans the result being a joint project, authorised on 1 September 1873, was worked by both partners, becoming part on the London, Midland & Scottish Railway in 1923. Three miles of track-bed between Shackerstone and Market Bosworth are now part of the preserved ‘Battlefield Line’.

Market Bosworth 1905Midland Railway train behind 0-4-4 tank No. 2081 at Market Bosworth in around 1905

The Battlefield Line is the last remaining part of the former Ashby and Nuneaton Joint Railway which was opened in 1873. It runs from Shackerstone via Market Bosworth to Shenton in Leicestershire and is operated by the Shackerstone Railway Society.

Shackerstone Station is at the northern end of the line, and is the headquarters of the railway with museum, Victorian tea room souvenir shop, loco shed and main rolling stock located here. There is ample free parking, and the Ashby Canal is just a stones throw away.

Our remarkable railway captures the very essence of a country line, with steam, diesel and railcar train services along with small stations meandering along a single track line. It really does convey something of the feeling and atmosphere of heady days past.

For anyone who retains a sense of nostalgia for times gone by, you’ll be pleasantly surprised at this place – one of Leicestershire’s best kept secrets, not just a train ride but a journey into history as well.

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Some Early Lines Ashby and Nuneaton Joint Railway (Including the Battlefield Line, Shackerstone)

Some Early Lines

Ashby and Nuneaton Joint Railway

(Including the Battlefield Line, Shackerstone)


A Midland train behind a 2-2-2 locomotive at Market Bosworth station, close to the site of the Battle of Bosworth Field  (spellerweb.net

The Ashby and Nuneaton Joint Railway was a pre-grouping railway company in the English Midlands. Construction began in 1869 and the railway was opened in 1873. The railway was built to serve the Leicestershire coalfield. It linked Moira and Coalville Town with Nuneaton.


Until the 1923 grouping the railway was jointly owned by the Midland Railway and the London and North Western Railway. It then became part of the London, Midland and Scottish Railway, which withdrew passenger services in 1931.Nationalisation in 1948 made the railway part of British Railways, which closed the line to freight traffic in 1971.


Midland Railway train behind 0-4-4 tank No. 2081 at Market Bosworth in around 1905   (spellerweb.net


BattlefieldPart of the line between Shackerstone and Shenton has been re-opened as the Battlefield Line Railway, a heritage railway.

DSCF9046Shackerstone Station.

Your journey starts from this wonderful authentic example of a Victorian country station which houses a museum of rare and interesting artefacts, with a special emphasis on the area’s railway history.  Step into the quaint station booking hall where you buy your tickets and on colder days you can enjoy the warmth of a real coal fire.

DSCF9051While you’re waiting for the next train, visit the Victorian Tea Rooms and the ‘Fund Stall’ shop on platform 1, or the souvenir shop on platform 2.  Whilst on board why not sample the ‘on train’ buffet serving meals or snacks, with a variety of hot and cold drinks.


Once the guard blows his whistle, the train leaves on its five mile journey, running for most of the way alongside the Ashby canal, meandering its way past small villages and farms to the newly re-opened Market Bosworth Station.  This picturesque small market town, in the heart or rural Leicestershire, is a walk from the station, and hosts a range of antique shops and galleries.

2013_07090143The award-winning Shenton Station is the southern terminus of the line and the platform building you see once stood at Humberstone Road, Leicester, from where it was demolished and transported to Shenton and rebuilt, brick by brick.

Shenton StationShenton Station, Leicestershire

Shenton Station is located in the centre of Bosworth Field, the site of the last great medieval battle in 1485,and the final battle of the War of the Roses.

Creative Commons Licence [Some Rights Reserved] © Copyright Roger Kidd and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

Robert Stephenson & Hawthorn 0-6-0T 7684/1951

Robert Stephenson & Hawthorn 0-6-0T 7684/1951Nechells 1970 – H.B.Holland

A powerful locomotive of a design originated by Hawthorn Leslie.  Ex the builders’ Forth Bank works, Newcastle-upon-Tyne on August 7th, 1951, 7684 was one of a batch supplied to the British Electricity Authority initially being delivered to Meaford Power Station near Stone, Staffordshire.  By October, 1951, just two months later, 7684 was transferred to Nechells Power Station, Birmingham to serve the old Power Station ‘A’ which had opened in 1916 and ‘B’ station then still under construction on land previously occupied by the Birmingham, Tame and Rea Drainage Board (the body responsible for control of the city’s sewage).

7684 became number 4 in the steam locomotive fleet at the Power Stations, sharing duties with a couple of sister locomotives and a pair of much smaller Peckett 0-4-0 saddle tanks.  Rakes of loaded coal wagons were collected from the British Railways exchange sidings on the former Midland Railway Birmingham to Derby line, and worked up a line approximately ¾ mile in length into the Power Station to supply the boilers, empties being returned in the opposite direction.

Regular steam working ceased in 1972 and the locomotives tendered for disposal with the exception of the Peckett No.1 which moved on the Northampton Power Station.  Peckett No.2 was scrapped but the big RSH side tanks 3 and 4 were purchased privately, going to Shackerstone, Leicestershire.  No.4 was preserved at the Battlefield Line Railway at Shackerstone, arriving there on 11 June 1973.


It was restored to working order by its owner in 1995, and then moved to the Foxfield Railway on 8 July 1996, where its livery was completed in the lined green form originally carried when new at Meaford Power Station. “No 2” has been a regular and powerful performer on Foxfield passenger trains ever since.

The owner of 7684 recently decided to sell the locomotive which has now been purchased by Chasewater members and arrived at Chasewater on 11th December 2010.

Information – Barry Bull and Foxfield Railway

In the yard at Chasewater.