The hills which had caused problems with road transport into and out of Sheffield were also the cause of the late arrival of adequate rail transport compared with other towns in England.
The North Midland Railway, constructed in 1840 passed to the east of Sheffield on its way from Chesterfield to Leeds.
From 1845 until 1870, Sheffield was served by the Manchester, Sheffield and Lincolnshire Railway. Sheffield Victoria station, at the Wicker in the Don Valley, opened in 1851.
Access to the line to London was via a North Midland Railway branch line to Rotherham to the north east of Sheffield.
The construction of two major tunnels allowed the development of railway lines through the Sheaf Valley.
The direct line from Sheffield to Chesterfield and the south was opened in 1870 when the line from Chesterfield through the Bradway Tunnel and along the Sheaf Valley to the new Midland Station was completed.
In 1894, the Sheffield to Manchester line (via Dore and Chinley) was opened, following the completion of the Totley Tunnel in 1893. This route is now known as the Hope Valley Line.
The junction of the two lines is at Dore.