Hall Royd Junction Box nameboard as preserved at the East Lancashire Raiway, Bury

Modern Railways: Motive Power Miscellany Calder Valley extracts

Other years:  1960  |  1961 | 1963 | 1964

January 1962

No. 50850, the last survivor of the LYR 2-4-2Ts in active service (LYR 1008 is preserved at Horwich), is withdrawn. It made its final revenue-earning trip on October 8 with the 12.45 am Southport – Ormskirk and the 1.53 pm back, after which it was retired to await a move to Springs Branch shed on November 8 as a prelude to scrapping at Crewe. No.50850 had been shedded at Southport from early 1960, since when its chief occupation had been that of station pilot duties.

When the booked return working via Diggle is cancelled, V2s have been seen in Lancashire. They have been noted at Newton Heath depot and on at least three occasions they have returned east with the overnight Manchester Brewery Sidings – Goole freight via Rochdale and Todmorden (previously the V2s had never been allowed west of Sowerby Bridge on this route).

An even deeper penetration of ex-LYR territory by a V2 was reported on October 18 when No. 60848 (50A) travelled via Rochdale, Bolton and Wigan on a Dringhouses – Edge Hill Class C freight.

For the first time since July 1959 Horwich works gave a general repair and repaint to an ex-LYR 0-6-0 No. 52515 in November; the engine then returned to Low Moor where it had previously been stored as are the remainder of this class in Yorkshire. The three operating in the Oldham area were recently displaced by the transfer of standard 2-6-0s No. 46484-6 from Agecroft to Lees. The last active 0-60ST (apart from works shunters) No. 51408 has been moved from Bolton to Agecroft for use in New Bailey Yard, Salford, where a sharp 1 in 27 curve is said to have defeated all attempts so far to employ diesel shunters; an ex-LYR 0-40ST also works here.

Three Stanier Class 5 4-6-0s recently transferred to Mirfield have gone back to Low Moor in exchange for ‘Royal Scot’ 4-6-0s Nos 46117/45 which are now used on the York – Crewe Class C freight tirns formally worked by B1 4-6-0s. The Bls were taken off these jobs in deference to LMR opposition to the running of the locomotives without deep tender-front doors in a.c. electrified territory; on such engines crews might be tempted to climb dangerously close to the wires to bring coal forward from the back of the tender (Nevertheless B1s are still going through to Crewe).

By early October the Low Moor ‘Royal Scots’ had disappeared from passenger workings between the West Riding and Lancashire and the duties to Blackpool and Southport are back in the hands respectively of B1 and Stanier Class 5 4-6-0s. The ‘Royal Scots’, which were mostly in poor condition, are now primarily freight engines but even so they are hampered operationally by restrictions. On November 20 and 24, for instance, Nos 46167 (8F) and 46145 (56F) respectively were put on Dringhouses - Edge Hill freights, but had to come off at Hebden Bridge because they were bared through Heywood.

February 1962

A rare site in Rochdale on December 2 was a Class B16 4-6-0, No. 61468 (56D), on a York – Bolton special van train. The visitor did not run into Bolton Trinity Street, but took the Burnden spur. No. 61468 was the first of its type to be seen at Rochdale since January 1958 and the first ever recorded on the Castleton – Bolton line. Another V2 2-6-2 was seen on former LYR metals on December 23 when No. 60877 (50A) passed Rochdale with an eastbound freight at noon, which was believed to be bound from Brewery Sidings, Manchester to the new Tees yard at Thornaby. An unusual class K3 2-6-0 working noted in this area on Sunday December 17 was the use of Darnall’s No. 61938 on the 8 pm Manchester Victoria – Normanton train.

In recent weeks the regular 11.50 am Newcastle – Manchester Red Bank empty stock has occasionally produced a Type 4 diesel. On November 26 class B1 No. 61037 (51L) and English Electric Type 4 D358 (64B) was seen in partnership on the train and on December 10 the pairing was BR/Sulzer Type 4 No. D38 (82A) and a Darlington B1. An unusual visitor to Mytholmroyd on December 1 was a standard BR Class 4 2-6-0 No. 76077 (8G) on a freight from Crofton; the previous day No. 76077 had been recorded on a Middleton – Manvers freight. Another locomotive on unusual fright employment was ‘Royal Scot’ No 46168 (8F) which passed through the Calder Valley on a Carleton – Middleton Class J freight on December 12.

March 1962

In the first weeks of the new Calder Valley diesel multiple unit service introduced on January 1 and described in last month’s issue, Newton Heath depot was short of the necessary Birmingham RC&W units (some of which had appeared to be running in on local services) and the NER were providing some stop-gap formations of three-car Metro-Cammell and four-car Derby units. Newton Heath, for its part, was employing some Cravens units. By the end of January, however, the service was settling down to its correct pattern. There are hints of some complex diagramming with the new units; the 5.35 pm Manchester to Halifax, for example, appears to begin as the 4.12 pm Colne – Manchester via Accrington and Bury, to judge from announcements at Manchester Victoria.

An unusual Class B1 4-6-0 visitor to the Oldham line on December 27 was No. 61189 (56F) which worked the Bolton – Rochdale fish train and then, as diagrammed, took over the Bolton – Leicester parcels train at Rochdale.

A Class A3 4-6-2 penetrated deep into the Calder Valley on January 19 when No. 60054 (34F) worked through to Luddendenfoot with empty stock from Edinburgh. It was turned on the Bradley – Heaton Lodge Junction triangle, and on Sunday January 21 hauled Class V2 No. 60954 (50A) to York. The V2 had made a more eventful visit to the area on January 4 when it overran the down goods loop while hauling the 12.30 am Walton – York freight and plunged down a 20 foot embankment to finish on its side; the V2 was rerailed by the Darlington train the following Sunday and surprisingly was found to have suffered only slight damage. Another Class A3 to be seen at Mirfield was No.60086 on January 16; it came off the Low Moor line and departed in the Farnley direction. One of Low Moor’s new allocation of Class L1 2-6-4Ts, No. 67764 was noted on a Bradford – Rochdale parcels on January 11; another of the class No. 67759 overran a siding south of Bowling Tunnel on January 8 and blocked the Bradford Exchange line for a short time. Three ‘Royal Scots’ have been transferred from Low Moor to Mirfield.

April 1962

No. 44746 has been the usual choice for the second Class C service introduced over the Calder Valley main line. Two sections, one from Manchester and one from Bolton via the Central Lancashire line are combined at Rochdale and proceed behind the Bolton engine to the NER.

An eye-catching combination noted on the 11.50 am Newcastle – Manchester Red Bank empty stock on February 11 comprised V2 No. 2-6-2 No. 60809 (51A) and BR/Sulzer Type 4 diesel No. D40 (82A) [not stated whether they were replaced en route].

On February 21 Brush Type 2 diesels No’s D5807/25 from Darnel depot worked a test train of 53 mineral wagons from Wath to Elland power station on the Calder Valley main line via Penistone, Huddersfield, Bradley and Bradley Wood Junction. The object was to experiment with a more direct route for this coal traffic, originating from Dodworth, near Barnsley, than the present one via Cudworth, Royston, Thornhill Midland Junction and Mirfield, and to examine the possibilities of haulage by Brush diesels. The diesels returned with the empties the next day.

Mirfield has acquired for ex-LYR 0-6-0s No’s 52121 and 52515 from Low Moor and No’s 52413/61 from Wakefield; they have been put to work on local trips to Brighouse, Cleckheaton, Liversedge and Mirfiled Newton in place of Class WD 2-8-0s. Another Royal Scot No. 46113 has been transferred from Low Moor to Mirfield.

A GN Line Class K3 2-6-0 in the Calder Valley on February 7 was No. 61989 (41H) at the head of empty stock from Edinburgh to Luddendenfoot.

May 1962

The new Class C service over the Calder Valley main line, the second to be scheduled over that route, to which reference was made last month, runs from Bolton to Goole; a section from Manchester Brewery Siding is added to the train at Rochdale. This new service replaces two partly fitted workings, one from Manchester Ship Canal to Healey Mills and the other from Brewery Sidings to Goole. The amalgamation of services represented by this Class C train is a tendency in Calder Valley main line freight traffic, which is becoming less intense in numbers of trains but faster in average speed as more fitted stock is employed. Bolton’s recently acquired Caprotti Class 5 No. 44746 was still the usual choice of motive power in March, but occasionally ‘Jubilees’ from Newton Heath were employed. On March 23 the portion from Brewery Sidings Manchester to Rochdale was brought up by Newton Heath ‘Royal Scot’ No. 46142, which fulfilled the roster and travelled light engine up the Rochdale – Oldham line, the first 7P to be observed on this stretch in the memory of local observers. No. 46142 was not, however, the first ‘Royal Scot’ seen at Rochdale in 1962, since on March 21 and 22 No. 46113 worked the York – Red Bank ECS on a diagram which apparently includes in its roster a southbound passenger train from Newcastle after the initial Manchester – Newcastle newspaper train.

[A photo recorded that the last of the Fowler 7F 0-8-0s No. 49508 had recently been withdrawn]

The four ex-LYR 0-6-0s left in Yorkshire No’s 52121, 52413/61 and 52515 have moved on from Mirfeld to Sowerby Bridge, being found unsuitable for the Cleckheaton branch; the first two to be transferred were replaced at Mirfield by Class J50 0-6-0s No’s 68937/65, a type new to that depot. The 0-6-0s have found employment at Sowerby Bridge on such duties as Greetland banker and Hebden Bridge pilot; the first two 0-6-0s to arrive at Sowerby Bridge replaced Class 2 2-6-0s No. 46438/83 which were switched to Wakefield.

June 1962

Bank Hall Patriot No 45517 [a regular Calder Valley performer on the 10.30 am Liverpool Exchange – Newcastle] was due to be put into store, and was to be replaced by Jubilee No. 45627.

Bank Hall has recently lost all its Class 5 4-6-0s following the dieselisation of the Calder Valley passenger service with multiple units; some the Class 5s have gone to Southport, including one of the Caprotti value gear engines, No. 44744.

It is believed locally that the Copy Pit route from Todmorden to Burnley, which has a sparse regular passenger traffic and a fair amount of freight, but is an important path for seasonal excursion traffic for Blackpool via the East Lancashire line, may be closed shortly because of land movement that is affecting the track at one point [Holme Tunnel?].

Another Class7P 4-6-0 travelled the Rochdale – Bolton line on March 27, when No. 46133 ran over it light after bringing into Rochdale the Manchester Brewery Sidings portion of the Calder Valley Class C freight to Goole; by April 5, however, this working again had a 7P engine in charge; the locomotive returning light via Castelton.

Another stranger noted at Rose Grove was Class 04/8 2-8-0 No. 63788 (36C) on April 3; it arrived in the late afternoon on a Class J mineral special from Healey Mills and returned light to Yorkshire soon afterwards. A Stourbridge 2-8-0 No. 48424 wandered in Lancashire on March 26, when it was seen at Rochdale on the morning Preston – Royton Junction freight; next day it had a mid-day Middleton unction – Manvers haul of empties.

Mirfield has acquired members of another ex-LNER class for the first time; they are J39 0-6-0s No’s 64859 and 64927, from West Auckland. On April 19 V2 2-6-2 No 60978 (52B) travelled into the Calder Valley on an Edinburgh – Luddendenfoot ECS.

With dieselisation of the local services, Stanier Class 5 and B1 4-6-0s were available in substantial numbers for Easter excursion traffic over this route and few ‘Crab’ or K3 2-6-0s were used. Oddly, on the Sunday all excursions from the Sheffield area proceeding through the Calder Valley to the Lancashire coast were Brush diesel-hauled; but on Monday, apart from one from Heeley to Blackpool behind diesels Nos D5807/29, all were in the hands of Darnell B1s.

July 1962

Reports suggest that the LMR has now banned Class B1 4-6-0s from much of its territory in proximity to the a.c. electrified lines because of unsatisfactory features of their tenders that might bring fireman too close to the overhead wires. The B1s have been granted limited license to work excursions to Blackpool over short stretches of the West Coast main line in the Preston area and on May 26 a Grantham B1, No. 61389, appeared at Blackpool Central via the Calder Valley with a party special from Newark; it passed the night at Blackpool Central shed and returned its train the next evening.

Bolton’s solitary ‘Crab’ 2-6-0 No 42725 occasionally finds itself on the Bolton – Goole Class C when the two-day roster for Class 5 4-6-0s which normally covers this train breaks down.

The Class L1 2-6-4Ts at Low Moor are now seen frequently on the Bradford portions of trains between Kings Cross and the West Riding. Of other recent arrivals in the West Riding, the Mirfield J50 0-6-0Ts have not proved successful and they have been returned to Ardsley; their jobs have been taken over by Class J39 0-6-0s.

Certain coal trains from the Worksop area are now being hauled through to Elland power station in the Calder Valley by Class O2 and O4 2-8-0s from Retford shed. The ex-LYR 0-6-0s at Sowerby Bridge, Nos 52121 and 52515 were still active in May as Greetland and Hebden Bridge pilots; of the other two, No 52461 has been plundered for spares but No 52413 is intact and was awaiting a new lubricator in May.

August 1962

From the beginning of the summer service, an English Electric Type 4 diesel has been on the 6.56 am Liverpool Exchange – Manchester Victoria stopping train, the first occasion on which units of this type have been seen on this route by our correspondent at Wigan Wallgate. On Whit Monday Southport saw ‘Royal Scot’ No 46109 (56F) employed on a party special from Halifax. On June 24 Southport also saw Aston’s No 42966 head in an excursion from Todmorden.

At the Whitsun holiday the period trains from South Yorkshire to Blackpool were entrusted to Sheffield Darnell B1s outwards on the Saturday and back on the following Tuesday while the Sunday day excursion had Brush Type 2s; but on the Monday there was a novelty in the employment of Canklow ‘Jubilee’ 4-6-0s No. 45656 and 45725. Our Rochdale correspondent writes that the early season’s schools and works excursion traffic from Yorkshire to Lancashire appeared heavier than usual and the employment of corridor rather than non-corridor stock led to longer trains, rising to loads of as many as 14 bogies, which were double-headed on several occasions; double-heading between Bolton and Rochdale on the return journey, moreover, has been more common this year than previously.

Class L1 2-6-4T No67759 (56F) penetrated to Rochdale on June 12 with the evening parcels train from Bradford. Not one former LNER locomotive was seen on any of the 20 specials recorded at Rochdale on Whit-Monday, although K3 No. 61934 passed through on the Saturday. It is believed locally that in the winter service the recently introduced Calder Valley diesel multiple units service will be cut, especially in the off-peak period; fears are also felt for the maintenance of the Rochdale – Oldham and Rochdale – Bolton services at their present frequency. Our correspondent corrects a note a note in our June issue to the effect that the Bank Hall BR standard Class 2 2-6-0s have little work; in fact, one of them is invariably seen on the 12.42 pm Liverpool – Rochdale and 3.45 pm back, while another is engaged on the 8.40 am Rochdale – Liverpool semi-fast – and, more rarely, on the 10 am. In the same issue a reference to the use of a ‘Royal Scot’ on the Brewery Sidings – Rochdale Class C freight should have said that the locomotive returned up the Oldham and not the Bolton line; in fact, engines of this type are reportedly banned from both routes.

On June 22 No. 45605 (55A) reached Newcastle with a relief from Manchester.

Five ‘Royal Scots’ Nos 46109/13/7/30/45 have been reallocated from Low Moor and Mirfield to Holbeck.

September 1962

Despite the ban on employment of ‘Royal Scot’ over the Bolton – Rochdale line which curbed the activity of the 7P 4-6-0s during their period at Low Moor and Mirfield, it is still occasionally breached: on June 30, for example, No. 46140 headed the 7.5 pm Blackpool – Rochdale and 46139 the 10.15 pm Liverpool – Rochdale.

After the heavier-than-usual early season traffic to and from the Lancashire coast, a correspondent writes from Rochdale that mid-season excursions and reliefs have been well below the numbers of previous years; some trains arranged for town holidays have had to be cancelled at the last minute because of poor patronage.

The ‘Royal Scots’ returned from Low Moor and Mirfield to Holbeck, as reported last month, have been employed on the Leeds – Morecambe trains. ‘Britannia’ Pacific No. 70026 (21D) brought a freight train into Healey Mils on July 11, returning the same day with the 10.30 am Mirfield – Bushbury; eight days later the same roster was performed by BR standard 2-6-0 No. 76020 (21D).

October 1962

There were two motive power developments in an excursion working to Southport on August 25. An NER English Electric Type 3 diesel made its deepest westward penetration yet when No. D6731 (50B) headed an excursion throughout from Hull and an excursion from Newcastle was worked by English Electric Type 4 No. D276.

A Rochdale correspondent writes that the mid-season summer Saturday traffic through his town , both trains regularly scheduled and special reliefs, appeared less than in previous years. Blackpool trains from the Sheffield and Chesterfield area, both regular and relief, were powered exclusively by Brush Type 2 diesels either singly or in pairs, while some of the Leeds and Bradford trains to Blackpool via East Lancashire employed diesel multiple-units from the Calder Valley service. In the outward direction some of these train now use the Padiham loop between Burnley and Blackburn on Saturdays, but return workings usually follow the main Burnley – Blackburn line via Accrington. Class K3 2-6-0s were extremely scare this year but one from Hull Dairycoates depot was regularly employed on the Hull – Blackpool train; a Doncaster B1 was once more used on the Lincoln – Blackpool train, which this year travelled via Copy Pit instead of on the Central Lancashire line. The rail traffic in connection with Rochdale’s holiday fortnight was also down on previous years. This years highlight, which occurred during the middle weekend of Rochdae’s holiday fortnight, was the first known instance of a ‘Royal Scot’ traversing the Oldham line on a passenger train – No. 46138 (6J) in charge of a Pen-y-Chain – Castleton extra. On August 2 the evening Manchester Victoria – Bradford parcels was unexpectedly headed by a B1, No. 61041 (41H); the B1 remained on the roster, reappearing next day on the York – Manchester Red Bank empty stock train.

One of the Birmingham RC&W diesel multiple units on the Calder Valley service broke new ground on August 12 when it was employed for a works excursion from Halifax to Windermere outward bound via Blackburn, Preston and Oxenholme and inward bound via Morecombe Promenade and Preston.

On September 2 a ‘Trans-Pennine’ diesel m.u. strengthened to eight cars with an additional trailer and motor brake second was used on an excursion from Leeds and Bradford via Settle and Carnforth to Ravenglass, returning via Whitehaven, Cockermouth, Keswick, Carlisle and Settle.

November 1962

The winter timetable schedules the first regular Type 4 working through Rochdale. A unit from York is sent on the evening York – Liverpool Wavertree parcels in order to provide diesel traction for the previously steam-powered Manchester Exchange – Newcastle newspaper train via Huddersfield. Hitherto the returning locomotive of the eastbound newspaper train has been the second locomotive of the double headed 2.8 pm York – Manchester Red Bank empty stock but the double-heading of the latter is now done by a York B1, which has a very short turnaround at Rochdale before taking over a parcels train from Burscough Junction to Normanton. On Sunday mornings the Manchester – Newcastle newspaper train is still steam-hauled by a Newton Heath ‘Jubilee’ which returns on the Monday Danish bacon train from Hull to Oldham Road. Our correspondent speculates that more diesel locomotive-hauled trains may be introduced on the Calder Valley route before long. The inflexibility of multiple-unit formations, he suggests, is a noticeable disadvantage on this route, with its well-defined peaks of traffic; moreover a number of steam-hauled parcels trains have to be operated because this traffic overtaxes the limited accommodation of the multiple-units. In addition to some of the short-distance services at peak hours the 10.15 am York train is particularly prone to overload.

On September 15 a mishap at Blackburn caused all the East Lancashire line Saturday special traffic to be diverted through Rochdale, in addition to the extras routed that way. A Beeston – Blackpool special arrived behind ‘Royal Scot’ No. 46112, which was not allowed to take the Central Lancashire line through Heywood, but was further diverted via Manchester Victoria, a conductor being provided by Newton Heath.

Another ‘Royal Scot’ was stopped at Rochdale on September 19 when No. 46124 (8A) appeared on a York – Oldham special freight: the local authorities were not prepared to send the 4-6-0 over the Oldham line and it was removed in favour of Class 4 2-6-0 No. 43154 (40A).

Bolton’s last two LYR 0-6-0s Nos 52345 and 52523 were stored in September and the same fate is reported of the remaining two at Lees; the only examples of this class now active, therefore, are three of the quartet allocated to Sowerby Bridge, as those employed as Crewe Works shunters were recently condemned. The withdrawal of No. 51412 has rendered extinct the LYR 0-6-0STs.

The winter service has also been introduced of regular diesel haulage by Sheffield Brush Type 2s of coal trains from Wath to Elland power station, in the Calder Valley. From Tuesdays to Saturdays two such trains arrive at Elland in the early morning; on Saturdays an extra service reaches the power station in the early evening and there is one arrival in the early evening and there is one arrival in the early hours of Sunday. In addition there are two daytime workings from Barnsley Junction to Elland, Mondays to Saturdays which are covered by Huddersfield Class WD 2-8-0s. Royston depot has thus lost all its duties to the Elland power station.

On September 5 Haymarket English Electric Type 4 diesel No. D262 appeared in the Calder Valley on an Edinburgh – Luddendenfoot empty stock working; a similar working on the following Wednesday, however, produced York B16 4-6-0 No. 61453. BR standard Class 3 2-6-0 No. 77001 (51L), fresh from overhaul, headed a freight from Crewe to Healey Mills on September 12.

December 1962

From mid-October crew-training with BR Sulzer Type 4 diesels evidently started over the Calder Valley main line, as units of this type were seen almost daily on light trains from Manchester to Todmorden and back. No. D32 (55H) of this type was the first main-line diesel to traverse the Rochdale – Oldham branch when it worked a Carlisle – Oldham empty van train on October 22; it took the Central Lancashire line and returned over it bound for Hellifield.

The Hull – Blackpool excursion on September 30 headed by English Electric Type 3 diesel No. D6739 (50B) travelled via Rochdale and the Central Lancashire line , where a Type 3 had not been previously recorded. After being powered by Brush Type 2 diesels throughout the summer, Blackpool excursions from the Sheffield and Chesterfield areas reverted to B1 haulage in October.

Bolton saw its last two ex-LYR 0-6-0s withdrawn. On September 29 ex-LYR 0-6-0 No. 52515 coupled with Class 4F 0-6-0 No. 44408 took a railway enthusiasts’ excursion from Sowerby Bridge to York, travelling outward via Wakefield Kirkgate, Doncaster and York, and back via Darlington, York and Leeds City. No. 52515 (56E) had a second outing from its usual haunts on October 12 when it was used on a special freight from Greetland to Crofton, whence it returned with a coal haul from Mytholmroyd.

[A photo by J M Rayner appears in the January 1963 issue captioned: "Former LYR 0-6-0 No. 52515 pilots Class 4F 0-6-0 No. 44408 into Wakefield Kirkgate on September 29 with a railway enthusiats' excursion from Sowerby Bridge and Halifax to Doncaster and Darlington." The train is composed of a least six very clean BR Mark 1s.]

Three York V2’s were recorded on the Calder Valley main line in October on the 1.45 am York – Wavertree parcels – No. 60876 on October 9, 60954 on October 12 and 60982 on October 11 and 24.