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Boundary between northern and southern England on WCML

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Philip

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In your view, does Kilsby tunnel mark the boundary between the north and south of England, in railway terms? I can't speak for the ECML, but Kilsby tunnel always feels like a boundary marker on the WCML route, whenever I go through it. I'm just wondering what others think?
Coincidentally the well known Watford Gap Motorway Service and its informal 'north-south' boundary is located close to the tunnel.
 
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lancededcena

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If we include the Midlands as part of the north, I would think the Watford gap is the boundary, but personally in ECML terms, anything north of Peterborough is Midlands\North too, but yet again Peterborough is more north than the Kilsby tunnel so I think its diagnoal line.

If we include the Midlands as its distinct entity, anything south of Crewe\Retford and anything north of Kilsby\Peterborough is the Midlands, anything further up is the North, but obviously thats my opinion.
 

Robertj21a

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If we include the Midlands as part of the north, I would think the Watford gap is the boundary, but personally in ECML terms, anything north of Peterborough is Midlands\North too, but yet again Peterborough is more north than the Kilsby tunnel so I think its diagnoal line.

If we include the Midlands as its distinct entity, anything south of Crewe\Retford and anything north of Kilsby\Peterborough is the Midlands, anything further up is the North, but obviously thats my opinion.
Not sure how anybody can suggest that the Midlands is 'oop north ! - that's why it's called the.........Midlands.
 

InOban

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I always thought that to Londoners the North culturally began at Watford, not Watford Gap!
 

Mcr Warrior

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I'd consider Crewe to be just within the Northern boundary, South of Rugby (i.e. Hillmorton Junction) to be just within the Southern boundary, with the in between bit, (i.e. Basford Hall Junction to the South of Crewe towards Stafford, all the way to Rugby), to be in the Midlands, so no Northern/Southern boundary as such.
 

Gloster

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If you can’t get there by tube it’s the north. Or Scotland. Or somewhere beyond the edge of the civilised world.
 

WatcherZero

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I'd consider Crewe to be just within the Northern boundary, South of Rugby (i.e. Hillmorton Junction) to be just within the Southern boundary, with the in between bit, (i.e. Basford Hall Junction to the South of Crewe towards Stafford, all the way to Rugby), to be in the Midlands, so no Northern/Southern boundary as such.

Yes Ive always considered Crewe to be the boundary between the north and the midlands, the town can be considered to be both.
South of Crewe you have Stoke, Nottingham and Derby all firmly midlands, north of it you have Chester, Chesterfield and Sheffield. On the opposite side of the Country Lincoln similarly straggles both as the city is firmly midlands but the rest of the county is certainly northern.
 
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Robertj21a

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I'd consider Crewe to be just within the Northern boundary, South of Rugby (i.e. Hillmorton Junction) to be just within the Southern boundary, with the in between bit, (i.e. Basford Hall Junction to the South of Crewe towards Stafford, all the way to Rugby), to be in the Midlands, so no Northern/Southern boundary as such.
That seems to be a very realistic view.
 

Ianno87

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I consider the South to become the Midlands at Kilsby Tunnel, and the Midlands becomes the North at Madeley.
 

Philip

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Yes Ive always considered Crewe to be the boundary between the north and the midlands, the town can be considered to be both.
South of Crewe you have Stoke, Nottingham and Derby all firmly midlands, north of it you have Chester, Chesterfield and Sheffield. On the opposite side of the Country Lincoln similarly straggles both as the city is firmly midlands but the rest of the county is certainly northern.

Do Chester and Crewe/Nantwich feel particularly 'northern'? They feel more 'southern' than Lancashire and Yorkshire areas, even places like Stoke and Birmingham feel more 'northern' than much of Cheshire.
 

cle

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OP asked about the north and south re WCML. Not culture, accents, or midlands.

For me (abd this is a heavily subjective question) - heading north on the WCML past Rugby and the split, I’m out of the south.
 

Mcr Warrior

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OP asked about the north and south re WCML.
The OP did indeed, and in that regard, the question was perhaps flawed.

IMHO, the Midlands acts a buffer zone (or 'DMZ' if you like) between the North and South, and as such, there is no "boundary line" delineating the North and South of the WCML, there's the North/Midlands boundary and then a separate Midlands/South boundary.
 

Nottingham59

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Kilsby tunnel marks an important boundary, crossing the watershed between the River Nene that flows East through Peterborough into the Wash; and the Warwickshire Avon that flows West into the Severn. It's also pretty close to the watershed for the Trent. So if you had to divide the WCML into North and South of England, I'd say it was a pretty good marker.

Personally, I'd put the boundary between the South and the Midlands a bit further south, between Milton Keynes and Northampton.

As for the Midlands / North boundary, for me Stoke on Trent is certainly Midlands, and Macclesfield is in the North.
 

LNW-GW Joint

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Armitage (boundary between Rugby SSC and Stoke SSC) is where NR divides the WCML between south and north.
It also represents the northern end of the Trent Valley 4-tracking project.
Although Rugby also now controls Stafford to Betley Road approaching Crewe.
When the ROC boundaries were originally drawn up, I think Rugby was due to control as far north as Weaver Jn eventually, but that might have changed.
The future junction with HS2 (Phase 1) is taking shape at Handsacre, which is very close to the Armitage dividing point.
Depending on when Phase 2a opens (Handsacre-Crewe), this could be an important point on the WCML for a while.

The ECML pretty much divides at Shaftholme Jn north of Doncaster.
Going right back to 1848 it was where the GN handed over to the L&Y on the original route towards Leeds and York, and it still has strategic significance in railway terms.
The extension from Shaftholme to York via Selby and on to the border was North Eastern territory.
 

4F89

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Northants is definitely midlands tho. Not southern. Bucks, however, is southern, but on occasion more northerly than Northants.... hmmmm
 

LNW-GW Joint

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As for the Midlands / North boundary, for me Stoke on Trent is certainly Midlands, and Macclesfield is in the North.
Stoke is a world unto itself, but the way TV aerials point is a good guide, and quite a few in North Staffs point north to Winter Hill rather than south to Sutton Coldfield.
For centuries, Cheshire was part of the Lichfield diocese and Canterbury archdiocese (ie south), before Henry VIII created Chester diocese (which included much of Lancashire and some of Yorkshire) aligned with York archdiocese (ie north).
Before that Cheshire was part of Mercia, and the Mersey was the boundary with Northumbria.
 

Senex

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Stoke is a world unto itself, but the way TV aerials point is a good guide, and quite a few in North Staffs point north to Winter Hill rather than south to Sutton Coldfield.
For centuries, Cheshire was part of the Lichfield diocese and Canterbury archdiocese (ie south), before Henry VIII created Chester diocese (which included much of Lancashire and some of Yorkshire) aligned with York archdiocese (ie north).
Before that Cheshire was part of Mercia, and the Mersey was the boundary with Northumbria.
The pre-Henry VIII See of Lichfield (and Chester and Coventry) extended right up to the Ribble, where it bordered the See of York (Archdeaconry of Richmond). Then Henry VIII created Chester as one of his six new dioceses, forming it by taking the Archdeaconry of Chester out of Lichfield and most of the Archdeaconry of Richmond out of York (so that for the best part of 300 years the Bishop of Chester's territory extended to within a few miles of the City of York. For the first year Chester was in the Province of Canterbury, and then it was moved into the Province of York, where it has been ever since.
 

The Planner

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Armitage (boundary between Rugby SSC and Stoke SSC) is where NR divides the WCML between south and north.
It also represents the northern end of the Trent Valley 4-tracking project.
Although Rugby also now controls Stafford to Betley Road approaching Crewe.
When the ROC boundaries were originally drawn up, I think Rugby was due to control as far north as Weaver Jn eventually, but that might have changed.
The future junction with HS2 (Phase 1) is taking shape at Handsacre, which is very close to the Armitage dividing point.
Depending on when Phase 2a opens (Handsacre-Crewe), this could be an important point on the WCML for a while.
Rugeley Colwich resignalling puts it in Rugby ROC in 2023. Crewe will likely go to Manchester.
 

Djgr

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Do Chester and Crewe/Nantwich feel particularly 'northern'? They feel more 'southern' than Lancashire and Yorkshire areas, even places like Stoke and Birmingham feel more 'northern' than much of Cheshire.
Chester is barely in England. Some of its suburbs are in Wales.
 

William3000

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On the East Coast Mainline, I think the South becomes the Midlands at Great Barford just south of St Neots, and the Midlands becomes the North at Bawtry.
 

181

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In your view, does Kilsby tunnel mark the boundary between the north and south of England, in railway terms? I can't speak for the ECML, but Kilsby tunnel always feels like a boundary marker on the WCML route, whenever I go through it. I'm just wondering what others think?
Coincidentally the well known Watford Gap Motorway Service and its informal 'north-south' boundary is located close to the tunnel.

Kilsby tunnel marks an important boundary, crossing the watershed between the River Nene that flows East through Peterborough into the Wash; and the Warwickshire Avon that flows West into the Severn. It's also pretty close to the watershed for the Trent. So if you had to divide the WCML into North and South of England, I'd say it was a pretty good marker.

Personally, I'd put the boundary between the South and the Midlands a bit further south, between Milton Keynes and Northampton.

As for the Midlands / North boundary, for me Stoke on Trent is certainly Midlands, and Macclesfield is in the North.
I'd say that on the WCML the Midlands start around Milton Keynes and the North around Crewe.

I agree that Kilsby is a crossing of an important boundary but, as Nottingham59's post implies but doesn't quite say, it's a boundary that runs from south-west to north-east, not west to east. The British Geological Survey website indicates that it's not, as I thought, through the Jurassic limestone that forms the Cotswolds and Lincoln Edge, but rather the next layer down, but it is an important watershed. It seems analogous to Box* on the Great Western and Stoke on the ECML.

*Not a major watershed because the Avon has cut its way through the high ground near Bradford-on-Avon, but still a geographical boundary.
 

MedwayValiant

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On the opposite side of the Country Lincoln similarly straggles both as the city is firmly midlands but the rest of the county is certainly northern.

Places like Scunthorpe and Grimsby are certainly northern, and so is Boston.

But I'd place Grantham with Lincoln in the Midlands, and Spalding in East Anglia.

Stamford thinks it's in the Home Counties.
 

Philip

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I mentioned Kilsby tunnel initially because all of the towns or cities above there feel very much Midland/Northern (the accent for one!) and leaning towards Birmingham. Below Kilsby on the other hand places like Northampton, Milton Keynes, Daventry, Leighton Buzzard and Blisworth are places where the southern accent is more dominant and they lean more towards London than Birmingham.

On the east side, Sheffield is always considered to be a northern city because it is ex-industrial and in Yorkshire, but the climate there is more closely related to that of the South East than the rest of the north or the West Midlands.
 

paddy1

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Not wsihing to be or sound pedantic, officlally, geographically, and by government administrative definition (but not in ECML or WCML railway terms), Northamptonshire, Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire and Leicestershire all all East Midlands, whereas Staffordshire, Warwickshire, Shropshire, Worcestershire, Herefordshire and the old West Midlands Metropolitan area are all West Midlands.

To add to the confusion, the unitary authority authorities of North Lincolnshire (Scunthorpe and surrounds) and North East Lincolnshire (Grimsby and Cleethorpes) are NOT part of present day Lincolnshire and therefore NOT in the East Midlands but are 'up North'.

Therefore, officlally, many parts of the Midlands are further north than places which are 'up north' proper and vice versa. This will not necessarily coincide with the perceptions of people who live in those borderline areas between 'Midlands' and 'North' as to whether they consider themselves to be 'Midlanders' or 'Northerners'. Places like Retford, Worksop, Glossop, Buxton, Stoke on Trent, Newcastle under Lyme, Chesterfield etc all spring to mind, all in the Midlands but their next nearest major regional city not being so. Accents, TV channels, which major regional centre they look towards for work, retail etc will all influence or distort that self or others perception of regional identity or affiliation one way or the other.

The same applies between the Midlands and the South. Banbury is in the 'South East' because it is in Oxfordshire whereas Kings Sutton, a few miles south of Banbury, is in the 'East Midlands' because it is in Northamptonshire.

Hope that clears that up.
 
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