Great Northern and Southern Direct Railway (1845)

The Great Northern & Southern Direct Railway was a proposed scheme to build a line from Huddersfield to Derby. It was announced in September 1845[1] seemingly as a rival to the Leeds, Huddersfield, Sheffield & South Staffordshire Direct Railway scheme which was also proposing a route that included the Holme Valley (Holmfirth, Holme Bridge and Holme). Both schemes intended to seek running powers on the newly authorised Huddersfield & Sheffield Junction Railway (H&SJR) by connecting to a junction somewhere south of Honley.[2]

The scheme's Huddersfield solicitors were Battye & Clay of King Street and the intention was to raise £1,500,000 in capital with 75,000 shares of £20 each (deposit of £2 2s share). The engineer for the 57-mile line was to be John Urpeth Rastrick who was noted for constructing the London & Brighton Railway.

The proposed route passed through Holmfirth and then southwestwards to Holme before heading on to Woodhead, Glossop, Derwent, Hathersage, Baslow, Bakewell, Rowsley, Middleton, Winksworth and Derby. A branch was also proposed from Glossop to the Sheffield, Ashton-under-Lyne & Manchester Railway (SA&MR). The proposal noted that it would provided connections with the stone quarries and coal mines of West Yorkshire, Midland and Southern Counties, and Derbyshire.

By October 1845, Huddersfield timber merchant Jere Kaye and Cookson Stephenson Floyd of Holmfirth had been announced as two of the directors. Charles Blunt had become the main engineer and Joseph Hall was the surveyor. Proposed committee members included Joseph Brook (Greenhead Hall), Richard Dransfield (Dalton), Joseph Dransfield (Moldgreen), John Eastwood (Folly Hall), Richard Armitage (Huddersfield), John Hannah (Almondbury), Samuel Routledge (Seed Hill), and Benjamin Vickerman (Taylor Hill).

The application to Parliament was submitted on 15 November 1845 but was seemingly rejected.

In 1847, the surveyor, Joseph Hall, brought a legal case to recover £590 6s. 6d. that remain unpaid for his work.[3]

In the 1970 film The Railway Children, the trains were labelled for the fictional Great Northern & Southern Railway (GN&SR).

Notes and References

  1. "Railways" in Liverpool Mail (20/Sep/1845).
  2. "Applications to Parliament" in Leeds Intelligencer (29/Nov/1845).
  3. "Nisi Prius Court" in York Herald (24/Jul/1847).