Category Archives: Some Early Lines

Posts about lines and branches which ceased operations – some restored, some sadly lost for ever.

Some Early Lines – The Folkestone Harbour Branch (A bit more!)

Some Early Lines
The Folkestone Harbour Branch
(A bit more!)

Gas Lamp

A unique line on the Southern Region was the Folkestone Harbour Branch where South Eastern Railway 0-6-0 tank locomotives worked boat trains up the very steep, but short, line to Folkestone Junction. Trains were rostered to have three or sometimes four locomotives, usually two at the front and two at the back, but sometimes triple heading occurred. Here No.31174, built in 1892 and withdrawn in 1959, is leading a train through Folkestone’s gas-lit streets, devoid of motor cars.

3 locos

South Eastern Railway R1 0-6-0Ts lined up at Folkestone Junction ready for action on a continental boat train. Notice the unusual parallel track layout, left of the locomotives, for a weighbridge. The locomotive shed is on the right-hand side and is now defunct. The locomotives are Nos.31407, 31174 and 31337, all built at Ashford as R class 0-6-0s and rebuilt as R1s under the South Eastern and Chatham Railway. The front and rear locomotives were the last of this famous class to be scrapped at Ashford in 1960. !959 saw the replacement of these engines by GWR pannier-tank locomotives.

Before elec
The Folkestone Harbour Branch before electrification, with R1 class 0-6-0Ts giving the all-pullman Golden Arrow a shove from the rear en route for Folkestone Junction (now Folkestone East). No.31047 was built at Ashford in 1895, rebuilt to R1 class in 1913, and withdrawn in March 1960, being replaced by pannier-tank locomotives in 1959.

Some Old Lines – The Great Central Railway

Some Old Lines

Great Central Railway

 

QuornQuorn & Woodhouse Station

The Great Central Railway (GCR) was a railway company in England which came into being when the Manchester, Sheffield and Lincolnshire Railway changed its name in 1897 in anticipation of the opening in 1899 of its London Extension (see Great Central Main Line). On 1 January 1923, it was grouped into the London and North Eastern Railway. Today, small sections of the main line in Leicestershire and Nottinghamshire are preserved; see Great Central Railway (preserved). Several other sections of GCR lines are still in public operation.

BelgraveBelgrave & Birstall Station

Nowadays the Great Central Railway (GCR) is a heritage railway in Leicestershire, named after the company that originally built this stretch of railway.
The GCR is currently Britain’s only double track mainline heritage railway, with 5.25 miles (8.45 km) of working double track, period signalling, locomotives and rolling stock. It runs for 8.25 miles (13.28 km) in total from the large market town of Loughborough to a new terminus just north of Leicester.

RothleyRothley Station

I’ve come across a few photos of old stations on the Great Central Railway.
The Great Central Railway was one of Britain’s biggest closures. The line from Sheffield to London was built at the turn of the 19th/20th centuries and designed for high speed running. It was built to the continental loading gauge as the entrepreneurs of the Great Central had ideas of building a channel tunnel and running through-trains to the centre of the country. The line was built on a grand scale and the architecture was well known.
Typical country stations were Quorn, Rothley and Belgrave & Birstall. Built as island platforms, the stations were more economical to staff and operate.

EPSON scanner imageBelgrave & Birstall Station
View southward, towards Leicester, London etc.; ex-GC Sheffield – Nottingham Leicester – London Main line (closed mainly 5/9/66). Station closed 4/3/63, but reopened by Great Central Railway as ‘Leicester North’, being southern terminus of restored line from Loughborough (Central), which reached here on 3/7/91. The photograph shows the station in the original form typical of ‘London Extension’ stations – an island platform accessed from entrance buildings on a bridge.
© Copyright Ben Brooksbank and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

Some Early Lines – A couple of Midlands cross-country routes

Some Early Lines

Dukeries

A couple of Midlands cross-country routes which did not achieve their geographical ambitions. The first one was the ambitious Lancashire, Derbyshire and East Coast Railway, which extended no further than Chesterfield in the west and Lincoln in the east, and was absorbed by the Great Central in 1907. It lost its passenger services in the 1950s, and most of the line is now abandoned. This view shows a train from Lincoln at Dukeries Junction in 1946, headed by GNR 4-4-2T No. 4531.

Wath Station

The old Hull & Barnsley Railway was another line which did not live up to its title, in that it did not quite reach Barnsley, the connection being made at Cudworth on the Midland main line. Its passenger services ran only over the main line between Hull and Cudworth (with certain through services to Sheffield) and a branch to Wath. The latter ceased in 1929 and this view shows Wath station as it was in 1947.

Some Early Lines – Ireland – Arigna, Cavan and Leitrim Railway

Some Early Lines 

Ireland

Arigna – Branch Terminus from Ballinamore

Arigna railway station opened on 2 May 1888, but finally closed on 1 April 1959. It was part of the narrow gauge Cavan and Leitrim Railway.

Arigna 1Arigna – Branch Terminus from Ballinamore with 2-6-0 locomotive No.3T. The line was opened in May 1888 primarily to meet the needs of the countryside. The settlement was however three miles from the station and the mines were served by an extension to the 1888 branch opened in 1920. The local houses had no running water, and water for baths was made available from the footplate by agreement with the fireman of the locomotive who would fill the necessary tin baths and buckets with hot water.

Arigna 2Turning the locomotive at Arigna was a very exacting task as the locomotive turntable was short for the Tralee and Dingle engines. The locomotive had to be properly balanced on the pivot otherwise the fireman would not be able to move the engine. The driver is pushing from the rear.

Old Railway Stations – Nottingham Victoria

Old Railway Stations

Nottingham Victoria

Nottingham Victoria Station 1903

Nottingham Victoria Station 1903

Nottingham Victoria railway station was a Great Central Railway and Great Northern Railway railway station in Nottingham, England. It was designed by the architect Albert Edward Lambert, who also designed the rebuild of the Nottingham Midland station (now known more simply as Nottingham Station).
It was opened by the Nottingham Joint Station Committee on 24 May 1900 and closed on 4 September 1967 by the London Midland Region of British Railways. The station building was entirely demolished (except for the clock tower) and the Victoria Centre shopping centre was built on the site, incorporating the old station clock tower into the main entrance on Milton Street (continuation of Mansfield Road).

Nottingham Victoria 1
Nottingham Victoria on a summer Saturday in August with B1 class 4-6-0 No.61192 taking water on the 6.45am Leicester central to Manchester Victoria train. This vast station site is now occupied by a large shopping centre. The clock tower, which is now overshadowed by skyscraper flats, has been incorporated into the shopping precinct and survives as a monument of a more spacious age.

Nottingham Victoria 2

Nottingham Victoria with a class 9F 2-10-0 rumbling through on an empty coal train from the south. Known to railway staff as ‘Annersley Runners’, these long coal trains were a feature of Great Central main line running. Passengers are waiting for the through trains to Scarborough or Cleethorpes which used to run summer Saturdays only over the closed Lancashire, Derbyshire and East Coast line.

Nottingham Victoria 3

Nottingham Victoria and the arrival of the 7.20am Leicester Central to Cleethorpes train behind K3 class No.61896. This train ran on three days of the year only and traversed the closed Lancashire, Derbyshire and East Coast Railway from Mansfield Central to Lincoln, calling at Edwinstowe and Ollerton, two stations which were open to the public for two months of the year only. Note the wheeltappers wondering whether to tap or not.

Some Early Lines – Lynton & Lynmouth Cliff Railway

Some Early Lines

Lynton & Lynmouth Cliff Railway

Lynton & LynmouthLynton-Lynmouth Cliff Railway
The railway connects Lynton at the top with Lynmouth at the bottom.
© Copyright Janine Forbes and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

The Unique Victorian Water Powered Lift

No family trip to the picturesque towns of Lynton and Lynmouth in North Devon would be complete without a ride on the famous funicular cliff lift.

The area situated in the centre of the “Exmoor National Park” and nicknamed “Englands Little Switzerland” a “Day out in Devon” would not be complete without visiting one of the southwests top attractions.
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It’s the best and most exciting way to travel between these two historic towns and will be one of the highlights of the day – for Mums, Dads and all the family.

Enjoy stunning views of Exmoor and the North Devon Coastline as you glide up and down the 862 foot length of track; from Lynmouth nestling at the foot of the cliffs to Lynton perched 500 feet above.

Visit Lynton & Lynmouth and The Cliff Railway for a great day out in Devon go to our links page to find Hotels, B&Bs and Guest houses in Lynton, Lynmouth, Brendon, and the whole of the Lyn Valley area.

Lynton & Lynmouth Cliff RailwayLynton & Lynmouth Cliff Railway Car

Some Early Lines – The LNER also operated trams.

Some Early Lines

The LNER also operated trams.

LNER Tram

The Grimsby & Immingham Electric Tramway was opened by the GCR in 1912 to provide transport for Immingham dockworkers. Seven miles long, the line started at Corporation Bridge, Grimsby, and ran the first mile in the public street and then into open country. The GCR’s single deck bogie cars had a central area for milk and merchandise. It was a line of great character, but closed down in favour of buses on July 1st, 1961. Car No.16 stands at the tramway station in Corporation Road, Grimsby, on 23rd May 1953. Car No.14 was in the care of the National Tramway Museum, in store awaiting restoration (1986).
Photo: O.H.Prosser.

Some Early Lines – Hawes Railway Station – Pennines

Some Early Lines

Hawes Railway Station – Pennines

A Midland Railway 4F 0-6-0 arrives at Hawes with the daily goods train from Garsdale.  Formerly Hawes Junction, in the midst or the Pennines, Hawes was served by the Midland Railway from one direction and the North Eastern Railway from another.  By joining up with the North Eastern, the Midland was able to gain access to the North East industrial area.

A Midland Railway 4F 0-6-0 arrives at Hawes with the daily goods train from Garsdale. Formerly Hawes Junction, in the midst or the Pennines, Hawes was served by the Midland Railway from one direction and the North Eastern Railway from another. By joining up with the North Eastern, the Midland was able to gain access to the North East industrial area.

Hawes railway station is a disused railway station that served the town of Hawes in North Yorkshire, England. It was closed in 1959 and now forms part of the Dales Countryside Museum.
History
The station was opened in October 1878 by the Midland Railway (MR) as the terminus of their 6-mile (9.7 km) branch line from Hawes Junction. The MR branch made an end-on junction here with the North Eastern Railway (NER) line from Northallerton via Bedale which had been opened as far as Leyburn by 1856 and then extended onwards to Hawes in the summer of 1878. Although the station belonged to the Midland, the NER (and later the LNER) operated most of the passenger services from there — the MR section being worked as an extension of the service to/from Northallerton. The only exception to this was a single daily return service between Hawes and Hellifield that for much of its life was known by the somewhat unusual nickname of Bonnyface.

A view of Hawes station with a 4F 0-6-0 locomotive shunting in the goods yard.  Although the station was owned by the North Eastern Railway, Midland trains used it.  The slanted wooden fencing was typical of the NER and Midland but was also used by the Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway.

A view of Hawes station with a 4F 0-6-0 locomotive shunting in the goods yard. Although the station was owned by the North Eastern Railway, Midland trains used it. The slanted wooden fencing was typical of the NER and Midland but was also used by the Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway.

The NER section of the line lost its passenger service in April 1954, but the station retained a nominal service of one train each way from Hawes Junction (by now renamed Garsdale) until final closure to passengers on 16 March 1959. Goods traffic from the Leyburn direction continued until complete closure in April 1964, after which the track was lifted and the buildings left to fall into disrepair. However after many years of disuse, the site was purchased by the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority and converted into a museum and tourist information centre in the early 1990s, a role it continues to fulfil to this day. As part of this scheme, the station buildings and platforms were refurbished, a short length of track relaid and a preserved industrial tank locomotive, cosmetically painted in British Railways colours, together with a pair of ex-BR Mark 1 coaches were installed as a static exhibit.

The daily passenger train to Hawes arriving nearly empty behind a class 4 2-6-4 in bleak windswept country with dry stone walls.  The Hawes line closed on 16th March, 1959.

The daily passenger train to Hawes arriving nearly empty behind a class 4 2-6-4 in bleak windswept country with dry stone walls. The Hawes line closed on 16th March, 1959.

Although isolated from the national rail network for over fifty-five years, the Wensleydale Railway hopes to one day eventually rebuild, re-instate and re-open the currently abandoned and derelict section of line between Redmire and Garsdale (thus would involve restoring the station to its former glory and active use).
However the train with three carriages which currently reside in the platform would have to be removed and be placed in a new-built siding out of harms way as the project would involve re-instating the entire station to its former use.

Accident at Hawes Junction, 24 December 1910. The two engines of the passenger express, Nos. 549 & 48, off the track.  spellerweb.net

Accident at Hawes Junction, 24 December 1910. The two engines of the passenger express, Nos. 549 & 48, off the track. spellerweb.net

Some Early Lines Midland and Great Northern Joint Railway – Bourne & Sleaford Railway

Some Early Lines
Midland and Great Northern Joint Railway

Bourne & Sleaford Railway

EPSON scanner imageBillingborough & Horbling Station (remains)
View southwards, towards Bourne; ex-GN Bourne – Sleaford branch. Station and line closed to passengers 22/9/30, to goods 28/7/56 (from Sleaford) 15/6/64 (from Bourne).
© Copyright Ben Brooksbank and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

The Midland and Great Northern Joint Railway, (M&GN) was a joint railway owned by the Midland Railway (MR) and the Great Northern Railway (GNR) in eastern England, affectionately known as the ‘Muddle and Get Nowhere’ to generations of passengers, enthusiasts, and other users.
Location
The main line ran from Peterborough to Great Yarmouth via South Lynn and Melton Constable. Branches ran from Sutton Bridge to an end on junction with the Midland Railway branch from Saxby, at Little Bytham near Bourne, Lincolnshire; from Melton Constable to Cromer; and from Melton Constable to Norwich. There was also a short spur connecting South Lynn to King’s Lynn and its docks.

Bourne and Sleaford Railway

Bourne - BlogBourne Station
Station architecture on the Midland & Great Northern Joint Railway at Bourne, which was the junction for the Sleaford and Essendean branches of the Great Northern Railway. Bourne signal box had a huge deflector screen at the corner to prevent the headlamps of cars using the crossing from blinding the drivers of oncoming trains.

The Bourne and Sleaford Railway was a 18-mile (29 km) long Great Northern Railway built single track branch railway line that ran between Bourne, on the Midland and Great Northern Joint Railway main line between the Midlands and the Norfolk Coast, to Spilsby, on the Peterborough to Lincoln Line via four intermediate stations, Morton Road, Rippingale, Billingboro and Horbling, and Aswarby and Scredington.

River Nene Crossing - BlogNene River crossing
The view from a train from Spalding to Yarmouth Beach showing the complex arrangements made to take road and rail over the river Nene. The bridge swings open to take river traffic when required, the line being protected by two signal boxes, one at each end. The bridge itself has a box to operate the bridge and signal to ships when the river is clear.

The line was first proposed by the Great Eastern Railway as part of their plan to create a line from Cambridge to York. This plan failed to obtain parliamentary authorisation and was eventually built by the Great Northern Railway, opening in 1872. Although operated by the same company, the line was run separately from the Essendine line, and had its own goods yard. The line closed to passengers in 1930, although the section from Bourne to Billingborough remained open for goods until 1964.

Yarmouth Beach - BlogThe Midland & Great Northern Joint Railway terminated at a place called Yarmouth Beach, an undistinguished terminus at the back of the town.

 

Some Early Lines – Six Counties Scenes

Some Early Lines

Six Counties Scenes

Pic 1Fintona Junction was one of those Irish stations at which, because it was a junction and a single-line passing place, everything happened at once between long periods of inactivity. GNR 4-4-0 goods engine No.73 of Class ‘P’ stands in the bay, having shunted its train to await the passing of the two passenger trains of the evening of August Bank Holiday Saturday, 1954.

Pic 2Cookstown Junction lay between Antrim and Ballymena, on the NCC main line from Belfast to Londonderry. The branch from the junction took the form of a loop which joined the main line again at Macfin, close to Coleraine. No.57 ‘Galgorm Castle’ leaves Cookstown Junction with a train for Cookstown via Magherafelt on 20th June, 1938.

Pic 3The Beyer Peacock 4-4-2 tanks were the standard passenger engine used on the Belfast & County Down Railway, and they worked the branch to the end. Unlike many Irish lines, the County Down ran its tank engines bunker first when it suited them; No.13 waits at the terminus at Donaghadee for the right away to Comber and Belfast. This branch was the last section to go, under the 1950 closures.

Pic 4In 1948 the Belfast & County Down Railway fell into the hands of the newly formed Ulster Transport Authority, and by 22nd April, 1950, the whole of the Railway had been shut down, with the exception of the Bangor branch which apparently still prospered. The first section to go was the main line south of Comber in January, 1950, and with it the branch to Ballynahinch, which was sometimes worked by the only remaining tender passenger locomotive 2-4-0 No.6