Author: Mansfield & Pinxton Railway Project Group
Format: Hardback, 99 pages
Status: In Stock
The Story of the Mansfield & Pinxton Railway: Celebrating 200 Years of England’s Oldest Continuously Running Commercial Railway by the Mansfield and Pinxton Railway Project Group. This little-known railway boasts the oldest railway viaduct in the country and was the first double tracked line to be constructed between two towns. The line was opened in 1819 at a cost of £35,000. In 1847, after almost 30 years as a horse drawn operation, it was sold to the newly formed Midland Railway who introduced steam engines.
In 1923 the line became part of LMS until nationalisation of the railways in 1948. Closed to passenger traffic in 1964 it was then reinstated as part of the newly opened Robin Hood Line in 1993, making it one of the oldest railways in the UK in continuous use.
This book tells the full 200-year history including the story behind its origins, which starts with Mansfield business owners recognising that the town was losing business because all other nearby towns had connected to the canal network, but it wasn’t practical to bring a canal into Mansfield. Consequently, the decision was made to construct a railway to the nearest canal wharf, which also enabled Pinxton coal to be economically brought into town to fire the new steam engines.
The reader will learn about the early horse drawn wagons, the conversion of both track and motive power to steam locomotives and connecting to the rapidly emerging national network of railways and finally onto diesel engines. Initially the track was constructed for goods only, but passenger travel was soon introduced, and both ran in harmony for over 130 years, with over 90 passenger trains each day by 1900 and countless goods trains, mostly serving the local coal mines. The Beeching cuts axed the passenger services but the goods trains prospered for many more years; just as the goods trains were diminishing, passenger trains returned. Nowadays the line sees around 60 passenger trains each day with an average of just five goods trains each week.
The Mansfield & Pinxton Railway has seen many changes, minor deviations, and several upgrades over the years but the basic route remains the same. It is thanks to this railway that Mansfield was able to maintain its economic progression throughout this period; without it the town would have fallen into a substantial depression, especially during the later Georgian period. This book tells the full story and contains a substantial appendix for those who like those further details.
Customers wil also receive a free 40 page booklet on ‘Walking the Line’.