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The Lost Railway Stations of Retford

Published: 16/11/2020 By Richard Bennett

Thanks to Dr Richard Beeching, we have a hundreds of disused railway stations throughout the UK and here in Retford, we wasn’t spared the Axe of Beeching.

We have our fair share of country stations that were once the lifeline of our villages, both for leisure and also business. Here, we have made a short list of the stations that were once the lifeblood of our villages and towns, now long forgotten and some cases, overgrown.

Barnby Moor & Sutton Railway Station 
Barnby Moor & Sutton railway station served the village of Barnby Moor and Sutton but was actually closer to Sutton. The station opened as Sutton & Barnby Moor in July 1850 by the Great Northern Railway and had 2 platforms built in the typical design favoured by the GNR. The station's name was changed to Sutton in September 1850 and changed again to Barnby Moor and Sutton on 16th November 1909. The station closed to both passengers and freight traffic on 7th November 1949. The crossing keepers/station masters house is still present today as a private dwelling. As does the signal box, although is boarded up and empty. Next up the line was…….

Ranskill Railway Station 
Ranskill railway station served the village of Ranskill from 1849 to 1964 on the East Coast Main Line. The station opened on 4th September 1849 by the Great Northern Railway, again in their typical design. The station was closed to passengers on 6th October 1958 and was closed completely on 7 December 1964. The platforms are demolished and no trace exists. The signal box however still stands and plays an important role in the signalling of the East Coast mainline as it has sole control over the level crossings at Ranskill, Torworth, Sutton, Botany Bay and Grove Road. Next up the line was…..

Scrooby Railway Station
Scrooby railway station on the Great Northern Railway running between Retford and Doncaster. The station served Scrooby until it closed in 1931, though an excursion train stopped there in 1938. When it was built, it had a booking office, waiting room, stationmaster's house, signal box and 5 passenger trains a day each way but no goods facilities. The signal box was replaced in 1978 by a brand new signalling centre at Doncaster. The area was also famous for the water troughs on the line from about 1903 to 1969 where steam locomotes would pick up water from troughs in the middle of the tracks filled with water to provide non-stop train services. The station masters house survives today as a private residence. The next station was….

Bawtry Railway Station
Bawtry Station was opened on the 4th September 1849, and was later closed by British Rail in June 1965. The signal box at the platform end controlled the area between Scrooby and Rossington. Bawtry railway station was situated to the east of the town of Bawtry and had lengthy platforms. The main buildings were on the town side of the line. The station was unique in its structures, these being highly individual. The main building had a small portico leading to the booking office at the front with all the usual facilities within the building. Platform shelters were in wood in the typical style of the Great Northern Railway. In the first half of the 20th century, the royal family customarily attended Doncaster races. They would alight at Bawtry and proceed by road to the racecourse. The station closed to regular passenger services in 1958 but occasional special trains served the station until the mid-1960s. The buildings and platforms have been swept away but a couple of goods yard buildings are now houses.

Beckingham Railway Station
Beckingham railway station was on the line between Gainsborough and Doncaster. The station was closed to passengers in 1959 although the line through the station remains open. Goods trains served the station until 19 August 1963. On the 16th April 1968 a tragic accident occurred when a express train hit a car on the crossing north of the station, killing all five occupants. The signal box is still operational today. Going north was…..

Walkeringham Railway Station 
Walkeringham Station station closed for passengers on 2nd February 1959 and for freight on 19th August 1963 but trains between Gainsborough and Doncaster continue to pass through. The signal box was closed in 1977 when control was transferred to Beckingham signal box. The crossing keepers house is a private dwelling and the station buildings are also a private residence. Next on the line was……

Misterton Railway Station
Misterton Station was opened by the Great Northern and Great Eastern Joint Railway but was in the hands of British Railways when it closed in 1961. Trains between Gainsborough and Doncaster continue to pass through. Misterton signal box was also closed in 1977 when Beckingham signal box took over.

Checker House Railway Station
Checker House Station (also known spelt as 'Chequer House' by locals) was the only station between Retford & Worksop. It was opened on the 1st April 1852 but was subsequently closed on the 14th September 1931. The new A1 bridge embankment replaced the road crossing. The signal box and crossing keepers house were demolished and the area today shows no resemblance whatsoever of what it was. Several concrete 'platforms' are still situated nearby although not actually on the line itself. These were used as an ammunition loading/unloading bay during the second world war.  A local farmer now uses these as hay bale storage.

Leverton Railway Station
Leverton railway station was located between North Leverton and South Leverton and closed in November 1959. The line was reopened in 1967 for freight trains serving Cottam power station, although the rest of line, through to Lincoln remained closed. Several accidents happened at the crossing adjacent to the station, culminating in a near collision with a school bus in January 1970, automatic gates were later fitted. South Leverton windmill was nearby but now demolished. Since the closure of Cottom Power Station, the line is unused and is slowly becoming overgrown. Down the line was….

Cottam Railway Station
Cottam station was on the last part of the route which coal trains used to serve Cottam power station. The station was closed to passengers in November 1959. The crossing gate near the station is still in situ, attached to the original concrete post, 61 years after closure. The crossing keepers house is now a private dwelling. There are no indications within the small village of Cottam that it actually had a station.

Tuxford North Railway Station
Tuxford North railway station once served the town of Tuxford. There were three stations in Tuxford and the town had a large railway presence, though none was very near the centre of the town. The three stations were Tuxford North, Dukeries Junction and Tuxford Central. Tuxford North was opened in 1852 by the Great Northern Railway (GNR) on its main line from King's Cross to Doncaster. The GNR became part of the LNER in 1923, then British Railways on nationalisation in 1948. The station had two platforms and a signal box. The station was closed in 1955 and has since been razed to the ground. The tracks through the station site are now part of the electrified East Coast Main Line.

Tuxford Central Railway Station
The station was opened by the LD&ECR (Lancashire, Derbyshire and East Coast Railway) on its main line from Chesterfield to Lincoln. The LD&ECR was taken over by the GCR in 1907 and subsequently became part of the LNER in 1923 then British Railways on nationalisation in 1948. The station buildings were in the company's standard design. The station was electrically lit, rare in those days as most were lit by oil or gas. The station opened in March 1897 and closed in 1955. The station buildings no longer exist. The line through Tuxford Central was reopened to non-passenger traffic in August 2009 as a Test Track for new trains.

Dukeries Junction Railway Station
Dukeries Junction, originally called Tuxford Exchange, was a railway station opened in 1897 and closed in 1950. It was located at the bridge where the Lancashire, Derbyshire and East Coast Railway crossed over the East Coast Main Line (ECML), with sets of platforms on both lines. The platforms and buildings were made entirely of wood due to being built on the metal bridge also carrying the lines. The high-level location is now part of a Test Track.

Fledborough Railway Station
Fledborough railway station was opened in 1896 and closed by British Railways in 1955. From Tuxford the line fell gently past Marnham, where High Marnham Power Station was built in 1960. The junction to the power station was about 500 yards west of Fledborough Station, which was, in turn, just before the line crossed the River Trent by means of the Fledborough Viaduct. Trains continued to pass the station after closure including Summer excursions which continued until 1964 but the site was in progressive decline. A derailment east of Fledborough Viaduct in February 1980 led to the immediate closure of the line from High Marnham Power Station through Fledborough and the tracks were subsequently lifted. Today the track bed towards Ollerton is a test track while eastwards from the site of Fledborough Station is now part of National Cycle Route. The station masters house and platforms remain.

Ollerton Railway Station
The station was opened in 1896 and closed to local passenger traffic in 1955, though summer holiday excursions to and from the East Coast continued to call until September 1964. The Royal Train used the station because the line passed through an area of great landed estates of Thoresby and Welbeck. This led to visits to the area by King Edward VII, usually in connection with a race meeting such as the St Leger. The line through Ollerton Station was reopened to non-passenger traffic in August 2009 as a Network Rail Test Track to test new engineering trains. The platforms remained in place 65 years after closure.