Syston and Peterborough Railway - Later History

Later History

By 1879 the Midland's main line through Leicester was becoming overcrowded. From London as far as Kettering the line was quadrupled, but northwards the Midland took the opportunity of diverting through Manton to give both Oakham and Melton Mowbray a direct London service, proceeding thence to Nottingham by what became known as the "Melton Line".

The curve around Stapleford Park was a nuisance for the express trains and, in 1880 when the Midland and Great Northern Joint Railway built a branch from Bourne in Lincolnshire to Saxby, the opportunity was taken to reduce the curve with Saxby station being moved in the process. Lord Harborough had died in the meantime and the estate had been bought by Lord Gretton of Burton upon Trent, who was more sympathetic to the railway. The Midland had, after all, made his fortune by taking his beer all over the country and, indeed, his son was later to build the Stapleford Miniature Railway within the park.

In 1882 the Midland built a branch line from Ashwell to Cottesmore to service iron ore extraction with an exchange sidings. This is now the site of the Rutland Railway Museum. Of note also are the stations at Helpston and Walton. When the GNR built its line north from Peterborough to Grantham in 1853, it ran next to the Midland line but, in return for the latter's transport of materials, agreed not to build competing stations.

Although most of the branches are gone, or at least no longer support regular passenger services, the Syston and Peterborough Railway is still in daily use as part of the Birmingham to Peterborough Line

The advent of Google Earth has meant that what is still known as "Lord Harborough's Curve", as well as the trackbed of the M&GNR branch, at Saxby can clearly be seen.

Read more about this topic:  Syston And Peterborough Railway

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