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How to improve services in the Rotherham and Dearne Valley area

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Established Member
19 Nov 2011
This thread is a result of the East Midlands Extension possibilities thread going off at a tangent, and a suggestion that Rotherham Masborough be reopened, and I’m afraid I had a bit of a laugh at it. However @Ianno87 managed to find a set of proposals, which I reproduce here:

In summary:

  • A new station on the Midland Main Line (sic) at Rotherham and one at Goldthorpe (Dearne Valley Parkway) would enhance travel opportunities
  • Location of this Rotherham station not confirmed
  • Aspirations are for two trains per hour between Doncaster and Sheffield, serving Rotherham, two trains per hour between Sheffield and Leeds, serving Rotherham, and for one train per hour between Rotherham and London
  • "This station will allow NPR trains between Sheffield and Leeds and Hull to stop there and will significantly enhance regional rail connectivity for Rotherham, enabling residents and businesses to capitalise on the benefits generated from NPR services. The Manchester Airport to Cleethorpes NPR service could also stop at the proposed station."
  • A permanent tram-train service between Sheffield and Rotherham, extending the network to Doncaster and Doncaster Sheffield Airport, via Swinton in Rotherham
  • Completion of this package of improvements would deliver a HS2 and NPR-ready section of the network within the next ten years.

@tbtc commented on some of these ideas on the EMR thread, so I don’t know if he would like to copy and paste any relevant bits here.

I just said:

I am sure current users of the Doncaster-Sheffield stopper would be delighted by a 25 minute journey from Rotherham Central to Sheffield, stopping at every tram stop. It also implies electrification between Parkgate and Doncaster, which is certainly not high on the list.

Any thoughts?
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RailUK Forums


Veteran Member
16 Dec 2008
Reston City Centre
Good idea for a thread - thanks for setting it up.

::Gets Crayons Out::

I think that the best option for Rotherham would be a five platform station near the A6123:

  • two platforms for local services (e.g. the two Doncaster stoppers, the hourly Dearne Valley stopper)
  • two platforms for longer distance service (XC/ TPE), allowing them to either stop there without having to wait for a local service to clear, or to overtake without any awkward flat junctions (given the way that a Sheffield - Donny stopper has to cross the southbound line twice on flat junctions to get into/ out of the Rotherham Central "loop")
  • one platform for TramTrain services - if there were no heavy rail passenger services through Rotherham Central then you could run TramTrains every ten minutes - instead of the awkward 20/10/30 splits at the moment - you'd have to keep TramTrains rather than "regular" trams (given the freight through Central plus the diversions etc)- have the tram platform next to the current line north out of Central - similar to the current Parkgate platform - a stone's throw from the "main line" platforms

That way you'd have no conflicts, could overtake the local services, could significantly increase the number of services that stop at Rotherham, you'd have a frequent connecting tram service into Central... and also very little change out of a large sum of money or many crayons left from a jumbo box of Crayola (so I can't see it happening) - but Rotherham is stuck with a limited service, flat junctions, a single track stretch of the Holmes Chord...

...the current set up restricts potential improvements and causes delays (e.g. if one of the three stopping services per hour from Sheffield to Swinton - two to Donny, one to Leeds - is late either of the times that it crosses the main line then that could delay a southbound XC/TPE service which means that they lose their slot at Dore or New Street or wherever.

Another way of looking at it is that the three TramTrain services per hour have to be really badly balanced (two within ten minutes then nothing for half an hour) because they have to fit in amongst the existing Northerns services through Rotherham Central - but the Northern services can't be tweaked because the paths into and out of the Rotherham "loop" are fixed... everything is constrained by everything else. And the long distance services through South Yorkshire can't be sped up since any time improvements elsewhere just see the services caught up in their fixed paths here.

PTR 444

Established Member
22 Aug 2019
How feasible would it be to build a tram branch from Rotherham Central to Masbrough via College Road and New Wortley Road? You could then move all heavy rail services to a reopened Masbrough station and leave Central to be served by tram-trains only, with half of services continuing to Parkgate and the other half using the new link to Masbrough.

Regarding services stopping at a reopened Masbrough, I don’t see why you couldn’t stop every train en-route there. Thinking ahead to a post-HS2 scenario, the XC services won’t be nearly as long as they are now, and what is left of them might be worth adding extra stops to in order to improve local connectivity. Here’s an idea for a possible service pattern:

2tph to Leeds via Moorthorpe
1tph to York via Pontefract Baghill
1tph to Newcastle via Doncaster
2tph to Hull via Goole
2tph to Cleethorpes


6tph to Sheffield
1tph to Manchester Piccadilly
1tph to Birmingham New Street


Established Member
29 Jun 2012
This thread is a result of the East Midlands Extension possibilities thread going off at a tangent, and a suggestion that Rotherham Masborough be reopened, and I’m afraid I had a bit of a laugh at it.
The exclamation mark was very much equivalent to a sarcastic wink ;)
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