Robin Hood Line

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Robin Hood Line
Principal stations (* connection with NET)

Sutton Parkway
Mansfield Woodhouse
Langwith-Whaley Thorns

The Robin Hood Line is a railway line running from Nottingham to Worksop, Nottinghamshire. The stations between Shirebrook and Whitwell (inclusive) are in Derbyshire.

The towns and villages served by the route are listed below:

Passenger services are operated by Central Trains. The line in its present form opened to passengers in stages between 1993 and 1998. Following the Beeching cuts of the 1960s, the line had been freight-only. The cuts had left Mansfield as one of the largest towns in Britain without a railway station.


The current Robin Hood Line never previously existed as it does now, it being formed from two formerly separate railways. The bulk of the line re-uses the former Midland Railway route from Nottingham London Road to Worksop. However, to keep the costs of the re-opening initiative as low as possible, as much still extant line as possible was to be re-used.

From Nottingham, the line remained intact as far as Newstead, where it had served the now closed Newstead Colliery.

From Worksop, the line followed the old Midland route as far as Sutton-in-Ashfield. Between Sutton-in-Ashfield and Kirkby-in-Ashfield, the line had been diverted to join the former Great Northern Railway (GNR) route through the area. This had allowed British Rail to sell land right in the centre of Kirkby-in-Ashfield whilst keeping a route through the town. After crossing the town on the GNR route, the line re-joined the old MR route, where it remained as a freight line to Pye Bridge, near Ironville.

When plans for the Robin Hood Line were drawn up, it was decided to stay with the GNR route through Kirkby-in-Ashfield (as this avoided having to buy-back land), then swing south-east via Kirkby South Junction onto the former Great Central Railway main line from Manchester to London.

After briefly following the GCR, the line would then climb to re-join the Midland route to Nottingham, to allow reconnection at Newstead.

This plan had a major obstacle: The Robin Hood hills at Annesley. Both the Great Central Railway and the Midland Railway had driven tunnels through these picturesque landmarks, however since both lines were closed both tunnels had been filled in! The Great Central Railway's tunnel had been at a lower level than the Midland's, and so was much longer. It was therefore much cheaper to re-excavate the Midland's tunnel.

The new line from Nottingham to Newstead opened in 1993, although Bulwell station didn't open until 1994. It was extended to Mansfield Woodhouse in 1995, with Kirkby-in-Ashfield station opening in 1996. The through passenger route from Nottingham to Worksop opened in 1998.

Since then the section between Bulwell and Hucknall has been converted from double track to single track to allow space for the new Nottingham Express Transit tramway, which follows the route as far north as Hucknall. The Nottingham tram opened in March 2004.

External links

Railway lines in Central England:
Main lines:  Cross-Country Route   Midland Main Line   West Coast Main Line
 Birmingham-Peterborough via Leicester Line   Birmingham-Worcester via Bromsgrove Line  
 Birmingham-Worcester via Kidderminster Line   Cherwell Valley Line   Chiltern Main Line  
 London-Aylesbury Line   Trent Valley Line   Welsh Marches Line   Wolverhampton-Shrewsbury Line
Commuter lines:  Birmingham-Rugeley "Chase" Line   Birmingham-Stratford Line   Birmingham-Walsall Line  
 Coventry-Nuneaton Line   Cross-City Line   Leicester-Loughborough "Ivanhoe" Line  
 Northampton Loop Line   Robin Hood Line   Rugby-Birmingham-Stafford Line  
 Stourbridge Junction-Stourbridge Town Line   Walsall-Wolverhampton Line 
Rural lines:  Cotswold Line   Crewe-Derby Line   Derwent Valley Line   Leamington-Stratford Line  
 Marston Vale Line   Nottingham-Lincoln Line   Nottingham to Grantham Line  
 Oxford-Bicester Line   Princes Risborough-Aylesbury Line   Shrewsbury-Chester Line