Hinckley Railway

The Railway between Hinckley and Nuneaton was built in 1861.

Hinckley Railway
Loco in Hinckley Station c.1868

1850 The South Leicestershire Railway was founded as the Nuneaton and Hinckley Railway, with Parliamentary powers to build a 4.5 miles of railway from Nuneaton on the London and North Western Railway to Hinckley in Leicestershire.

1859 On Wednesday 19th October the first sod of soil was turned by Lord Curzon, in a field near the Station on the estate of N.E.Hurst, and in the occupation of Mr Thomas Morley. At the time it was said in the Hinckley Times 'The construction of this short line of railway cannot be overestimated, as it conferred great advantages on the commercial interests of the town'. John Stevenson would be the resident engineer at Hinckley for 6 years that the construction of the South Leicestershire Railway would take, along with the 'greatly esteemed' agent of Brassey & Fields, the contractors.

1860 On 22nd February the construction was proposed of an extension to the line 'from the Nuneaton and Hinckley Railway at Hinckley to the Midland Railway at Wigston Magna, near Leicester, by the Nuneaton and Hinckley Railway Company, or by a new company'. This also included the construction of a new road (Station Road) from the town centre of Hinckley to the railway station.

On 14th June, The Act received the Royal Assent, the company became known as the South Leicestershire Railway. The relevant plans and sections of the extended line (by John Addison who would design Hinckley Station), were drawn up with an estimate of £150,000. Parliament authorised the company to extend its line to Wigston Junction on the Midland Railway and to rename itself the South Leicestershire Railway.

The single line of railway, known as the Nuneaton and Hinckley Railway, was just 4½ miles in length. A number of men and horses were employed, the contractor was T.Brassey of Rugely, Staffs. Great progress was made in a deep cutting between the Sketchley foot road and the end of the line near the Hinckley and Lutterworth turnpike road. One hundred parcels of land in Hinckley parish were affected, and the consent of the owners, lessees and occupiers of each had to be sought. The estimated cost was £45,000.

1861 Hinckley Railway Station was opened.

1862 The extended line was opened.

1867 The South Leicestershire Railway was taken over by the London and North Western Railway.

1923 London and North Western Railway was taken over by London, Midland and Scottish Railway. Besides being the world's largest transport organisation, LMS was also the largest commercial undertaking in the British Empire and the United Kingdom's second largest employer, after the Post Office.

1948 On the 1st January the "Big Four" British railway companies (GWR, LMS, LNER and SR) were nationalised, becoming part of the state-owned British Railways.

1960s British Railways closed all of the South Leicestershire Railway's stations except Hinckley.

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