Readers Letter: Royal train in our area

Following on from the story about Worksop Station and WH Smiths it also had a direct train service to Doncaster.

In 1903 they built the South Yorkshire joint line which joined the Great Central at Brancliffe junction which is a mile through Shireoaks with a direct route to Doncaster and beyond. They ran a train service four times a day from 1920 until 1929. The trains stopped at Anston/Dinnington and Laughton/Maltby /Tickhill and Wadworth. It also was used to move coal from Dinnington, Thurcroft, Maltby, Firbeck and Harworth colleries. It is mostly single track and with the increase in coal movement on the line it was more profitable for coal to run than a passenger service and it stopped running in 1929, plus the stations were a long way from the places they served.

The line is still open with trains servicing the Aire Valley and Trent Valley power stations and Humber Ports and as readers will realise all the collieries are closed. In the 1980’s, the royal train travelled this route through Worksop and onto Firbeck junction which was a triangle. This was done at night with high security as the Queen was on board. It stood on this angle all night with the village of Tickhill only half a mile away and the people unaware the Queen was sleeping on the train prior to a royal visit to Doncaster.

The line is also used by steam train enthusiasts on round trips. Only last year one went over the route.

After all I have said, wouldn’t it be nice to have a direct rail service to Doncaster we can all dream but it could be reality as the track has been modified with the signalling and with such a short journey time straight into the heart of Doncaster, there would be no traffic to worry about!

Derek Bowskill