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Copy Pit to Stansfield Hall: 90412 & 42727 tackle Copy Pit

In the early 1950s and 60s the WD Austerity 2-8-0s were deployed on the Central Division of the London Midland Region, replacing the LMS Derby-built 0-8-0 G3 'Austin 7s'. They were dominant on the Healey Mills - Rose Grove minerals and freights, with Crabs providing the banking. From the mid-60s onwards, Stanier 8Fs took over both the haulage and the banking.

This sequence records WD 90412 and Crab 42727 working a mixed freight, and starts when the pair emerge from Kitson Wood Tunnel and cross Lydgate viaduct. The photos are taken from Knotts Road bridge.

A freight train bound for Copy Pit and Rose Grove hauled by WD 90412 and banked by Crab 42727 emerge from Kitson Wood Tunnel and cross Lydgate viaduct, and are seen approaching Knotts Road bridge. 

Banker Crab 42727 is seen approaching Knotts Road bridge at the rear of a freight train bound for Copy Pit and Rose Grove hauled by WD 90412.

Banker Crab 42727 is seen having passed under Knotts Road bridge at the rear of a freight train bound for Copy Pit and Rose Grove hauled by WD 90412.

Although not taken on the same day, but believed to be the same photographer, here is the view from the cab as a Copy Pit-bound mineral train passes over Lydgate Viaduct with the banker adding to the general gloom as it erupts from Kitson Tunnel. This photo captures the drama of steam operation that made Copy Pit such a magnet for photographers. The second view was taken as the same train passed through Portsmouth Station.

An up mineral bound seen from the footplate of the lead WD Austerity 2-8-0 bound for Copy Pit erupts from Kitson Tunnel with the banker fully engaged.

View from the cab of a WD 2-8-0 Austerity on a Copy Pit-bound mineral train passing Portsmouth station and signal box.

The pair are next seen flogging past Ratten Clough Cottage - a view which is more difficult today as trees now screen the cottage.

WD Austerity 90412 and banker Crab 42727 ares seen passing Ratten Clough Cottage on the climb to Copy Pit and Rose Grove in the early 1960s.

Finally the train arrives at Copy Pit. The train is signalled straight through on the main and is not to be recessed in the loop. It is difficult to tell from the photograph whether the train has a fitted head, and it may be the case that brakes will need to be pinned down for the descent to Rose Grove.

WD Austerity 2-8-0 90412 arrives at Copy Pit, having completed the climb up the Cliviger George from Stansfield Hall Junction in Todmorden some time in the early 1960s. Banker Crab 2-6-0 42727 can be seen under the road bridge still under steam. The train is bound for Rose Grove.

Finally, the train keeps moving but Crab 42727 has already dropped behind, and will shortly be crossed onto the other line so it can return to Stansfield Hall.

Steam has been shut off and the banker, Horwich-built Crab 42727, has come to a stand at Copy Pit behind the freight train it has banked from Stansfield Hall.

Copyright JK Wallace

A Stanier 8F 2-8-0 arrives at Copy Pit with an up mineral working.

A Stanier 8F 2-8-0 passes Copy Pit box with a loaded mineral working.