Some Early Lines – The Nidd Valley Light Railway

Some Early Lines

The Nidd Valley Light Railway

From the Chasewater Railway Museum

The Nidd Valley Light Railway, was a light railway in upper Nidderdale in North Yorkshire, England. It was owned by Bradford Corporation Waterworks Department and the Corporation also operated its public passenger services. As far as the Waterworks Department was concerned, the railway’s primary purpose was to carry goods, materials and labour to construction sites high in the Nidd valley, where two large reservoirs were built at Angram (1904-1919) and Scar House (1921-1936). However, the 6-mile stretch of line between Pateley Bridge and Lofthouse-in-Nidderdale was constructed under the terms of a pre-existing Light Railway Order of 1901, taken over by Bradford Corporation in 1904, which obliged the Corporation to operate a public passenger service between those two places. Passenger stations were provided at Pateley Bridge, Wath, Ramsgill, and Lofthouse, which was the public passenger terminus of the line. The station also possessed a modest yard where wagons were assembled for the steep climb to the reservoir sites, a further 6 miles up the valley. The industrial 0-6-0T locomotives used by the Corporation and the contractor, John Best & Sons of Edinburgh, could take only 3 – 4 loaded wagons each up the grades to the reservoirs, so even quite short trains had to be banked.

Nidd Valley Light Railway. 1920s.

Goods train blasting up the incline between Lofthouse and the construction site at Scar House reservoir, at times the gradiant touched 1 in 40 hence the need for serious power, here the train is seen with four locomotives, two at the front, two at the back.  Photograph. H.G.W. Househould.

The NVLR was opened in 1907, closed to passengers on the last day of 1929, and was closed completely in 1937.

Nidd Valley Light Railway. Wath. 1928.

On the descent from Ramsgill, and approaching Wath station – Ex GWR railcar ‘Hill’.  Photo. H.G.W.Household.

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