Letter: Reopening Klondike

This letter sent to the Star was written by Stephen Gay, Clipstone Road, Darnall, S9

By Stephen Gay
Friday, 21st May 2021, 6:52 am
Catcliffe Railway Station
Catcliffe Railway Station

I would like to congratulate Frank Newell and Paul Wright in their effort and commitment with the opening of the new Freightliner railhead depot, at the former Tinsley Marshalling Yard (The Star, May 10).

Regarding the terminal, could I make a suggestion about the route these long container trains make?

Coming from the Doncaster direction, they branch at Aldwarke Junction and soon share the already busy lines with Northern Trains and Tram-Trains through the Rotherham area.

Surely a better option would be to reopen the now closed line from Treeton, through Catcliffe and have their own dedicated line into the new terminal.

By awakening the railway sleepers through Catcliffe who knows what future railway development could follow?

The possibility of new passenger trains would help with the ever expanding business and housing developments in and around the Waverley area.

My accompanying poem is to complement this letter and is a brief history of this particular line.

Reopen Klondike not the Canadian goldfields of the 1890s – Klondike was the nickname given by locals to Catcliffe station, for its bleak and lofty location.

Finally regarding the recent local elections Frank Newall and Paul Wright would get my vote always for their green credentials.

Reopening Klondike

The Sheffield District Railway was authorised in 1896

And opened in May 1900 by the Duke of Portland

Complete with ceremonial luncheon

Lord Mayor, 400 guests, an occasion so very grand

At three and half miles, not the longest route ever constructed

From Brightside to Treeton via Tinsley and Catcliffe

Over the Rother and Don

Also with a short goods branch to Attercliffe

A line with two stations at Catcliffe and Tinsley Road

Basic buildings and platforms to lessen the weight

Standing high above ground

Their structures shaking with every passing freight

The Lancashire Derbyshire and East Coast Railway

Up until 1907 were the routes joint creator

Followed by the Great Central

Until the LNER came along sixteen years later

Passenger services were discontinued in 1939

With renamed West Tinsley, Catcliffe aka Klondike

Both closing down

Lack of usage and Catcliffe’s location and long hike

The official opening of Tinsley Yard came in 1965

With new track remodelling construction and design

Back then a modern railway

Now is the time to reopen Klondike and its line