Rotherham Central railway station

Rotherham Central railway station

Infobox UK station
name = Rotherham Central
code = RMC

manager = Northern Rail
locale = Rotherham
borough = Rotherham
pte = South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive
usage0405 = 0.441
usage0506 = 0.442
usage0607 = 0.417
years = 1871
events = Opened
platforms = 2

Rotherham Central railway station is in Rotherham, South Yorkshire. The station was originally named "Rotherham", becoming "Rotherham and Masborough" in January 1889 and finally "Rotherham Central" on 25th September 1950. (It should be noted that the town's other station was at one time known as "Masbrough and Rotherham".) Although Rotherham Masborough is now closed, Rotherham Central has retained its suffix.


This is the fourth station to be built, within the town centre, on the line from Sheffield Victoria. The first, a single platform terminus was built on what became the coal yard by the South Yorkshire Railway. Today this approximates to the land off Brinsworth Street below the bridge which carries the Inner Relief Road over the railway. The S.Y.R. could not gain permission to pass below the already built line of the Sheffield and Rotherham Railway, opened in 1838. A few years later and following amalgamation into the Manchester, Sheffield and Lincolnshire Railway, a scheme was developed to fill the South Yorkshire Navigation, a canal already owned by that railway company and divert its course into the nearby River Don. As the Navigation already passed below the Sheffield and Rotherham line this would solve the problem, although until recent years the line was prone to flooding. The S.Y.R. already had a single line from Mexborough, on its Barnsley to Doncaster line, towards Rotherham, running alongside the canal but only as far as the pottery and brickworks at Kilnhurst, leaving a gap of almost 4 miles between. When the through line was completed a new, although temporary Rotherham station was built in the cut with access from the road above named "Amen Corner". This served the town from 1st August 1868. This was short-lived and removed as soon as the new permanent station was opened on 4th March 1871. This was an elongated affair with staggered platforms and a large stone main building opposite the "Statutes Fair Ground", with access from both Main Street, at the Sheffield end, and College Road, at the Doncaster end. This station came under the ownership of the Great Central Railway when the M.S.& L.R. changed its name on completion of its extension to London (Marylebone station), in 1899. The station was served by Sheffield Victoria - Doncaster local trains and others ranging from the north east to the south coast, the Great Central Railway being involved in many operations jointly with other companies. Its last main line train, a throw-back to these pre-First World War One joint operations, being the Newcastle to Bournemouth express. This station was closed on 5th September 1966 and soon demolished.

With the rationalisation of railways in the area in full swing plans to concentrate Sheffield's train services at Sheffield Midland station led to the building of a major new junction between the lines of the former Great Central and the Midland Railway at Aldwarke Junction north of Rotherham, allowing Sheffield - Doncaster trains to be routed onto the Midland line to Sheffield Midland station via Rotherham Masborough. With only one station in town, eventually, "Masborough" was dropped from the name of the remaining station.Rotherham Masborough was located almost half-a-mile away from Rotherham town centre and by the 1980s this was judged to be hindering the use of train services from the town.

The Present Station

In order to provide a more convenient service, a single line link was constructed from the Midland Line at Holmes Junction, on the Sheffield side of Masborough station, to pass below the Midland line and join the Great Central south of the planned new station. This was known as "The Holmes Chord". On Wednesday, 8th April 1987 the Chairman of the South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Authority, Councillor Jack Meredith ceremonally fixed the last rail clip.

The first sod of earth to be cut on the site of the new station was ceremonially cut by the Mayor of Rotherham, Councillor J. K. Skelton on Tuesday, 8th July 1986. He also unveiled a plaque to commemorate the event. The new Rotherham Central station was opened to passengers on 11th May 1987, is situated by the College Road bridge, near the town centre, the Doncaster- bound platform on the site of the 1871 platform but the Sheffield - bound platform is now opposite. The station buildings, of modern brick construction are at road level, with the entrance way through the ticket office; the platforms are approached by ramps. The whole scheme, the station and the Holmes Chord, cost £2,400,000, the P.T.E. funding the scheme with a contribution from Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council to enhance platform shelter facilities. A grant for half the cost was obtained from the European Regional Development Fund. After just 6 months the passenger usage was recorded as being up by 120% compared with the old Masborough station for the same period 0f 1986.

The official opening date was set for 2nd June, however this was postponed due to expected picketting by members of the National Union of Railwaymen demonstrating against the cutting of 11 jobs with the transfer of staff from Masborough and the concerns over the staff reduction on the platform at the new station, this being reduced to one person.

Rotherham Masborough remained for the 3 per day Sheffield-York trains having regained its suffix, until its closure in 1988, when all services were concentrated on Central station. Clearly, this time the will for rationalising station names had vanished, because the sole remaining Rotherham station still retains its suffix "Central".

In October 2007 it was announced that the station was to be redeveloped in a four-phase project beginning in 2009. The project will bring a new travel information centre, a passenger lounge, lifts to the platforms, track realignment and platform lengthening.


The line through Masborough survives, and is used by fast passenger trains to bypass Rotherham Central station (which as a result is served only by stopping services) and for freight trains travelling on the direct line to Chesterfield, known as "The Old Road".

Currently the station has a half-hourly service on weekdays to Doncaster (with most trains continuing on to either Scunthorpe or Adwick) and hourly to Wakefield & Leeds, along with three trains per hour to Meadowhall and Sheffield (one of which continues to Retford & Lincoln). The twice-daily service to York via the Dearne Valley Line also calls here.

Sundays see an hourly service to Doncaster, a train every two hours to Leeds, and either one or two trains per hour to Sheffield.

External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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