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Modified 9-Aug-13
Created 26-Mar-11
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The Rugby and Stamford Railway was an early railway in England built in 1850. The London and Birmingham Railway had already built a branch from Blisworth to serve Northampton and extend to Peterborough. The success of this, the Northampton and Peterborough Railway encouraged the directors to look for other ventures. They decided upon a branch from Rugby to Stamford which would link up with other new railways in the east of the country. At approximately the same time the Midland Railway was building its Syston to Peterborough line which opened in 1848. It was therefore necessary to share its line between Luffenham and Stamford
Like the earlier branch it was built as a single line which could be doubled at a later date if needed. From Rugby the line followed the valley of the Warwickshire Avon and then the Welland Valley. Although it eased construction with few earthworks it involved a number of river crossings. During the construction the major contractor became bankrupt in 1948. Joseph Firbank, railway contractor, lost much of his savings as a result
The section from Rugby to Market Harborough, opened in 1850. Originally single track, it was doubled at the end of 1878. Market Harborough to Rockingham opened a month later, but the remainder to Luffenham was not completed until a year later. The line was not doubled throughout until 1878. The increased traffic into Rugby proved a problem, particularly when the Northampton Loop Line opened in 1881. The LNWR therefore applied to build a flyover at the south end of the station and a single track viaduct of some 30 arches which would bring the line in from Clifton Mill. These were completed in 1885. At Market Harborough the Midland Railway arrived in 1857 on its way to Bedford and London. The Midland arranged to share the station but traffic increased to such a degree that a flyover was planned over the LNWR lines north of the station. However instead the two companies build a new joint station which opened in 1884 although not fully completed until February 1886. Passenger traffic was not great, with only a few trains each way on weekdays and two on Sundays.
In order to gain a more direct route the LNWR gained permission to build a line from Seaton to the Northampton and Peterborough Railway line near Wansford. This opened for freight on 2 July 1879, and passengers on 1 November. Although the line from Seaton to Luffenham was now of little importance, it remained double and Morcott station was built as a double line station and the section was not singled until 1907
Despite offering a more direct route between the Midlands and East Anglia, the line was closed on 6 June 1966 as part of the Beeching Axe in favour of the longer Birmingham to Peterborough Line which served larger population centres

[Thanks to those who have given me permission to use their work to illustrate the line more fully]

Map of Rugby to Stamford line

Map of Rugby to Stamford line

Railway viaduct, Butlers Leap, Rugby - 1 Nov 2008

Railway viaduct, Butlers Leap, Rugby - 1 Nov 2008

Railway viaduct, Butlers Leap, Rugby - 1 Nov 2008

Railway viaduct, Butlers Leap, Rugby - 1 Nov 2008

Truncated disused line on top of the Butlers Leap Viaduct - 3 Dec 2009

Truncated disused line on top of the Butlers Leap Viaduct - 3 Dec 2009

Bufferstop on disused railway spur, Butlers Leap - 23 Jul 2009

Bufferstop on disused railway spur, Butlers Leap - 23 Jul 2009

Bufferstop on disused railway spur, Butlers Leap - 23 Jul 2009

Bufferstop on disused railway spur, Butlers Leap - 23 Jul 2009

Bridge portal, Oxford Canal, Clifton Wharf - 1 Nov 2008

Bridge portal, Oxford Canal, Clifton Wharf - 1 Nov 2008

Bridge portal, Oxford Canal, Clifton Wharf - 1 Nov 2008

Bridge portal, Oxford Canal, Clifton Wharf - 1 Nov 2008

Bridge portal, Oxford Canal, Clifton Wharf - 1 Nov 2008

Bridge portal, Oxford Canal, Clifton Wharf - 1 Nov 2008

Steps up to level of railway, Clifton Wharf, Oxford Canal - 1 Nov 2008

Steps up to level of railway, Clifton Wharf, Oxford Canal - 1 Nov 2008

Viaduct across Rugby Golf Club - 1 Nov 2008

Viaduct across Rugby Golf Club - 1 Nov 2008

Trackbed heading towards viaduct across Rugby Golf Club - 1 Nov 2008

Trackbed heading towards viaduct across Rugby Golf Club - 1 Nov 2008

Railway bridge, Rugby Road, Clifton - 1 Nov 2008

Railway bridge, Rugby Road, Clifton - 1 Nov 2008

Railway bridge, Rugby Road, Clifton - 1 Nov 2008

Railway bridge, Rugby Road, Clifton - 1 Nov 2008

Clifton Mill - c1964/65

Clifton Mill - c1964/65

Filled-in trackbed, Clifton - 1 Nov 2008

Filled-in trackbed, Clifton - 1 Nov 2008

Clifton Mill Station

Clifton Mill Station

Old trackbed, Clifton Mill - 21 Mar 2013

Old trackbed, Clifton Mill - 21 Mar 2013

Old trackbed, Clifton Mill - 21 Mar 2013

Old trackbed, Clifton Mill - 21 Mar 2013

Clifton Mill - 7 Jun 1988

Clifton Mill - 7 Jun 1988

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