South Yorkshire Railway

The first railway to reach Ecclesfield was the Blackburn Valley branch of the South Yorkshire Railway. Construction commenced in 1851 and a single line was built from Aldam Junction, near Barnsley to Blackburn Valley  Junction near Meadowhall, where the line joined the Midland Railway.

A passenger service was planned to connect Sheffield with Barnsley but difficulties between the S.Y.R. and the Midland over use of the latter's Wicker station led to a delay of over nine months after completion of the railway.

South Yorkshire Railway Timetable

The 3 times daily passenger service started on 9 September 1854, however it was to be another two months before Ecclesfield station opened for traffic.

The view below shows Ecclesfield Station in 1959, looking towards Sheffield. The down platform is in the foreground, and the up platform is on the left behind the wagons and the gantry. A footbridge originally connected the two platforms.


Timetable taken from Sheffield & Rotherham Independent 16 September 1854.

The first passenger services over the line were worked by the Midland Railway, chiefly because the SYR possessed no passenger coaches. The South Yorkshire Railway later planned a line from Meadow Hall Junction to a new terminus near the canal basin in Sheffield. 

Ecclesfield Station - MS&LR

The Manchester, Sheffield & Lincolnshire Railway offered the SY use of its new Sheffield Victoria station and with an eye to future coal traffic originating in the Barnsley area and passing on to its own line, offered to lease the S Y R, which it did from 1861 until 1 August 1864, when the S Y R fully merged with the M S & L.

The single track branch proved a bottleneck and plans were drawn up to double the line by 1876. This doubling of the tracks meant the adoption of a strange layout for the station at Ecclesfield. Sidings and a goods shed had been erected opposite the single platform and so the new platform for the up (Sheffield direction) line was constructed to the south east of the down platform. A footbridge was provided to link the two.

Passenger services were withdrawn as long ago as 1953. The station was a long way out of the village, being situated nearly two miles from the Church. Through traffic to Aldam Junction was withdrawn in the mid 1960s when the line was severed at Birdwell by the newly built M1 motorway. The branch survived as an outlet for traffic from Smithy Wood coking plant until it closed in the early 1980s. The track was lifted shortly afterwards and today very little remains of Ecclesfield's first railway link.

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