Uppingham’s history might have been quite different had it formed part of a proposed railway linking Leicester and Norwich made during the height of the railway boom between the 1830s and 1840s. Mr Charles Henry Skinner, a surgeon from Leicester, was the main proposer for the venture, with a provisional registration of a company for that purpose under the Joint Stock Companies’ Registration Act. The Leicester, Uppingham and Peterborough Direct Railway Company changed its name to the Leicester and Norwich Direct Railway Company in October 1845. There was also a change in the initial stated purpose or business of constructing a railway from Leicester to Peterborough passing through or by Uppingham and other places, with an alteration adding towns eastward of Peterborough, including March, Walton and Hingham.
The London and North Western Railway Company managed the Seaton to Uppingham line, working from their offices in Euston Station in London. In 1912, a private siding for a quarry was constructed after the two-and-a-half mile post from Uppingham Station that had to be approved by the government department responsible at the time, the Board of Trade, who sent Colonel Yorke, R.E., C.B., on their behalf.
Uppingham was one of the towns affected by widespread railway closures made in the 1960s. Regular passenger services were withdrawn on 13 June 1960. The freight depot was closed and the branch between Seaton and Uppingham abandoned on 1 June 1964. The closure meant that parcels and passenger train merchandise for Uppingham was subsequently often taken to the railway station at Oakham. Whereas the branches of the line between Market Harborough to Seaton, and Luffenham to Seaton carried through freight between the Great Eastern Section of the Eastern Region and Western Lines, and vice versa, the Seaton to Uppingham branch carried no through freight at all.
In February 1962, the records of the London Midland Railway Board reveal the financial implications of the withdrawal of all freight services between Seaton and Uppingham, the closure of Uppingham Depot for goods and parcels traffic, and the recovery of redundant assets – which continued into the early 1970s – would lead to an ultimate improvement of £2,861 in net revenue. .
One final item of importance for London Midland was that unless facilities could be withdrawn quickly, thereby closing the whole of the Seaton-Uppingham branch, a sum of £8,700 for permanent way renewals would have been needed to be spent in 1964 for the safety of the running line.
Traffic on the Uppingham Line
Between June 1962 and May 1963 records were kept of the traffic on the line and the results were as follows:
Special Schools trains continued after regular passenger services ceased, with trains from Euston Station in London on school vacations at Easter, August and Christmas. Traffic included 2,882 passengers, which generated £3,506. Parcels totalling 1,612 netted £332, while 1,305 pieces of school luggage created £251.
Freight was measured as being forwarded or received to or from Uppingham. There were 17 wagons forwarded, totalling 206 tonnes, generating £160 in receipts, whilst 96 wagons were received totalling 785 tonnes, generating £1,719 in receipts. In addition, coal, coke and patent fuel were measured separately, with 205 wagons received totalling 2,222 tonnes, generating £1,575 in receipts.