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 | 1962 | 1964

January 1963

Crew-training with diesel locomotives between Manchester and Todmorden continued from November, but there was a change of mount from BR/Sulzer Type 4s to English Electric Type 4s, usually of Camden depot, which afterwards worked the 4.15 pm Manchester – Glasgow each day. For the first time since dieselisation of the Calder Valley services with m.u. sets a steam train covered some services on November 17, when ‘Crab’ 2-6-0 No. 42863 (56A) was noted on the 8.31 am arrival at Rochdale from Normanton and later on the 10.25 am Manchester – Harrogate.

A report in our November issue that the ex-LYR 0-6-0STs were extinct overlooked the three which are still active as Horwich works shunters.

On November 13 an English Electric Type 4 diesel broke new ground in the West Riding. One was deputed to make a test run in each direction was a 14-coach train of empty stock between Wakefield and Laisterdyke, Bradford via Ossett, Dewsbury and Batley. One of Sowerby Bridge’s LYR 0-6-0s has been withdrawn and two more of the quartet have been stored; only 52515 was active at the end of November and Class 4 2-6-4T No. 42151 had been brought out of store to take over the 0-6-0 duty as Hebden Bridge pilot.

February 1963

On December 21 a Class K1 2-6-0 No. 62042 (50A) was recorded at Rochdale for the first time in some 18 months at the head of an afternoon working of coal empties. During December coal traffic over the ex-LYR main line was heavy; even on Sundays up to 24 extra coal trains were counted heading westwards from Mytholmroyd and Crofton. Because of congestion at Mytholmroyd some of the traffic has been handled at Healey Mills yard instead. The local industrial recession has been reflected in the declining merchandise tonnage passing over this route, however, the Bolton – Goole Class4, which loaded to more than 40 wagons nightly earlier last year, was sometimes reduced to fewer than 20 wagons in December.

The J39 0-6-0s at Low Moor and Mirfield have been sent to Ardsley, which returned to Low Moor the latter’s B1s which it was holding in store.

The last of the ex-LYR 0-6-0s has been withdrawn from duty at Sowerby Bridge depot and replaced by Class 4F 0-6-0s; a standard Class 3 2-6-2T 82026 was also despatched to Sowerby Bridge but this was soon moved onto Low Moor and the mooted transfer of No. 82027 as well was cancelled.

March 1963

Central and East Lancashire was another area where diesel multiple units were badly affected by the weather; by January 19 writes a correspondent, no fewer than nine Calder Valley passenger services were being steam hauled. The worst blizzards struck on the night of 19 January blocking the Calder Valley main line till after noon the next day and the Middleton – Middleton Junction and Bury – Bacup lines until late on January 21.

On January 21 Class B16 4-6-0 No. 61476 (56D) penetrated to Lancashire on a Tibshelf – Middleton Junction oil train, while on January 11 Class B1 No. 61040 (56A) was on Bury shed.

The last former LYR 0-4-0ST ‘Pug’ in capital stock has surrendered its job to Yorkshire Engine Company 170 hp diesel-hydraulic 0-4-0 D2858, previously working at Oldham Clegg Street parcels depots, which has taken over the ‘Pug’s’ job in Salford goods yard.

A further new venture by an English Electric Type 3 was seen in the trial of No. D6737 (50B) with a brake tender between Crofton yard and Rose Grove on January 23 outward with some 35 loaded wagons and back with a heavier train; in each direction the journey was approximately 2.5 hours.

Following a number of fires in the Birmingham RCW diesel multiple-units providing the Calder Valley services, all were temporarily withdrawn on January 18 and substitute sets were borrowed from the Darlington and Newcastle areas but for the time being steam took over the Bradford – Blackpool (Low Moor ‘Jubilees’); Bradord – Stockport (2-6-4Ts ); York and Halifax –Manchester (Class 5s and B1s) and certain Bradford and Penistone services. On January 23 BR Class 3 2-6-2T No. 82026 (56F) headed the 4.11 pm Bradford – Penistone.

April 1963

Another Class B16 4-6-0 reached Lancashire on February 23 when No. 61420 (50B) took the Central Lancashire line from Rochdale to Bolton with a Hull – Aintree freight. Three day earlier another unusual spectacle on this line was provided by 7P 4-6-0 No. 45522 (26A) on the 10 am Rochdale – Liverpool semi-fast. An unprecedented visitor to Castleton on February 7 was Fowler 0-6-0 dock tank No. 47165 (26C) working a local trip will on loan to Bury as deputy for the latter’s ‘Jinty’ 0-6-0T, which was under repair. The solitary Fowler 2-6-4T recently transferred to Newton Heath No. 42327 is being employed on parcels and empty stock.

May 1963

A correspondent points out that the remarks on B1 4-6-0 workings through Blackburn in the March issue were incorrect as they concerned the regular duty of a Hull locomotive on a Hull – Aintree freight service outward via the Central Lancashire line one night and back the next via Blackburn and the East Lancashire line. By the time this issue is in print it is expected that English Electric Type 3 diesels from Hull will have taken over the duty. On February 28 Class K1 2-6-0 No. 62063 (50A) penetrated to the East Lancashire line with a York – Bury vans special. The stay of diesel shunter No. 2858 at Salford goods yard was short; it was reported to have had difficulty on the sharp curves and been unpopular with local staff because of its noise. It returned to Oldham Clegg Street in mid-February, leaving the field once more to ex-LYR 0-4-0ST No. 51232.

June 1963

English Electric Type 4 diesels for the LMR Western Division are still making sporadic crew-training trips over the former LYR main line from Manchester to Todmorden. Easter excursions from the Sheffield area to the Lancashire coast were both steam and diesel powered by West Riding Class 5, B1 and ‘Jubilee’ 4-6-0s and Sheffield Darnell Brush Type 2 diesels, but Bury depot, which is responsible for most of the excursions from the Rochdale and Todmorden areas now has nothing larger than four ‘Crab’ 2-6-0s for workings of this kind. On Easter Sunday one Brush diesel No. D5689 was recorded among excursion traffic to Southport.

Passenger train punctuality in the Calder Valley is suffering, writes a correspondent, because the NER appears short of the Birmingham RC&W sets built for this service, the high power of which is necessary to maintain the point-to-point schedules and other types of unit or mixed formations are often assembled instead. The 5.10 pm Manchester – York, in particular, often includes a Bradford area suburban four-car unit, in which case, with its heavy passenger complement, it needs former B1 4-6-0 allowance of 19 minutes to reach Rochdale instead of the 15 minute multiple-unit schedule.

July 1963

On May 29 V2 2-6-2 No. 60952 was observed working the 2 am goods train from Normanton to New Allen Street (Manchester, Oldham Street) as it was not allowed in New Allen Street yard it was replaced at Middleton Junction and ran light to Newton Heath shed.

For the first time for 18 months another of the class was recorded at Rochdale on May 10, when No. 70002 (1A) headed an early morning freight from Moston. An English Electric Type 4 was observed in the Calder Valley on April 28, when No. D283 was piloted by ‘Jubilee’ No. 45646 on the Sunday Newcastle – Manchester Red Bank empty stock; the diesel returned to the NER next day on the 7.30 pm Manchester – York parcels.

August 1963

The most interesting item of the Whitsun holiday traffic in East Lancashire was the employment of ‘Royal Scot’ No.46115 (9A) on a Manchester – Bridlington party special on the Saturday and on a Heckmondwyke – Morecambe day excursion on the Monday; on its return from the latter outing the ‘Royal Scot’ had ‘Crab’ 2-6-0 No. 42719 as pilot, although its 10-coach load was no heavier than that which a B1 brought from Bolton to Rochdale single handed. On June 21 Class B16 4-6-0 No. 61434 passed through Rochdale as pilot to a Class 5 4-6-0 on the York – Manchester Red Bank parcels train back from Rochdale the same evening.

At the end of May the ex-LYR ‘Pug’ at Salford Low Level goods yard, No. 51232, fractured its rear axle. It was replaced by Kitson-built 0-4-0ST No. 47001, which was soon discarded as unsuitable for the severe curves in the yard; diesel shunter No. D2866 then took over. The only other LYR ‘Pugs’ still intact are No. 51237, removed recently from store at Agecroft to Horwich works and reportedly acquired for private preservation, 51253 stored at Speke Junction as a standby shunter for the Ford plant at Halewood, and 51218, recently given a light overhaul at Horwich for service in South Wales.

A Crewe North Type 4 diesel has a new summer service diagram in the West Riding. It hauls the 9.25 pm Blackpool – Huddersfield – Leeds parcels then runs light from Leeds City to Leeds Central to take on the 3.32 am Leeds Central – Halifax and the 2.8 am ex-York forward from Halifax to Manchester, where it takes charge of the 9.15 am to Glasgow. This is the first regular Type 4 duty over the Calder Valley main line.

On the evening of June 7 No.70015 (6G) was more unusually employed on the 11.20 pm Copley Hill – Lostock Hall freight an next day No. 70048 was recorded on the 12.10 am Copley Hill – Bolton freight. A general shortage of motive power in the West Riding was responsible for the drafting, reported in last month’s LMR column, of Class V2 2-6-2 No. 60952 (56B) to the 2 am Normanton – Manchester Oldham Road freight on May 29 (this working had had Class B16 No. 61461 (56D) 0n May 10); the V2 returned the same night on the 11.35 pm Brewery Sidings – Leeds fitted freight. Another V2 was in the Calder Valley on June 18 when No. 60885 (51A) powered empty stock from Darlington to Luddendenfoot. On June 17 the 9.30 am Newcastle – Manchester empty stock had the combination of B1 4-6-0 No. 61021 (50A) and ‘Royal Scot’ No. 46142 (26A) of which the latter was unexpectedly used for the 2.23 am Carlisle – Halifax and 9 pm Low Moor – Aintree freights on May 28.

September 1963

The 8.10 am Windermere – Manchester occasionally has a ‘Britannia’ Pacific. On June 25 the 8.10 am was headed by ‘Clan’ Pacific No. 72005 (12A) which the following day made an unusual spectacle on the 5.55 am Rochdale – Preston. On July 14 Pacific No. 46229 is reported to have been on Newton heath shed; the next day it is known to have taken over the 9.30 am Manchester – Glasgow at Preston after a Type 4 failure at Bolton.

Newton Heath’s Class 7P 4-6-0s have been transferred to Longsight as they now find little work in ex-LYR territory. For the first time in our correspondent’s memory, it has not been necessary this summer to draft extra motive power to Newton Heath for holiday traffic.

October 1963

The LMR has undertaken an extensive reorganization of its motive power districts and depot coding to take account of recent inter-Regional transfers of territory and shed closures both complete and prospective. It is unofficially reported that the new grouping of depots and their codes, to come into force on September 9, is as follows:

[only Calder Valley related depots shown below]

9D Newton Heath; 9J Agecroft; 9K Buxton; 9M Bury; 9P Oldham (Lees)

10D Lostock Hall; 10E Accrington; 10F Rose Grove; 10G Skipton; 10H Lower Darwen

Class V2 2-6-2 twice penetrated to Lancashire in August. In the summer the 8.16 am Newcastle Scotswood – Manchester Red Bank newspaper van ECS was booked to be double-headed by a York B1, which returned home on the 6.18 pm parcels from Burscough Bridge. After three substitutions by B16 4-6-0s – Nos 61454 on July 26 and 61457 on August 1 and 3 – V2 No. 60828 was coupled to the Newton Heath Black 5 train engine (off the previous night’s 7.32 pm from Manchester) on August 2; it did not go back as rostered with the Rochdale – Normanton parcels but headed the following days Manchester Red Bank – Sowerby Bridge empty stock. On August 6 another V2 , No 60932 worked the scheduled duty throughout. Three days later a Class K1 2-6-0 No. 62009 (50A) brought a van special from Newcastle into Rochdale.

During August several Rochdale and Manchester to Liverpool and Blackpool services reverted to sporadic steam operation because of an unusually high rate among the diesel multiple-units in the area, In the winter timetable an interesting train to be cancelled is the Sunday 10.50 pm Liverpool Exchange – York, unique for a non-stop run over the Bolton – Rochdale line and also one of the few scheduled B1 turns in Lancashire.

It is reported that Sowerby Bridge and Huddersfield motive power depots are to be closed this autumn.

November 1963

There are now three regular diesel locomotive turns over the Calder Valley main line. They are the 6.30 pm York – Liverpool parcels (a 50A unit); the 2.8 pm York – Manchester passenger ( a 5A unit, which later works the 9.30 am Manchester and Glasgow); and the Sunday Scotswood – Red Bank ECS, which has been rostered for an LMR unit since the start of the winter timetable and was formally hauled by a pair of steam locomotives off Farnley Junction. On weekdays the Scotswood – Red Bank ECS is till double-headed by steam, the normal combination being a York B1 and a Stanier Class 5. On September 28 Clas A1 4-6-2 No. 60114 was employed throughout from Lincoln to Blackpool on an Illuminations excursion.

Lees shed (9P, late 26E) is expected to close in November, writes a correspondent; Bury (9M, late 26D) and Wigan L&Y (8P, late 27D) are also believed to be under sentence.

On September 17 No. 77013 was observed as far afield as Rose Grove, covering a Skipton turn on the 8.40 am Skipton – Rose Grove Class 7 freight and the 12.15 pm Rose Grove – Hunslet empties.

On September 26 No. D8501 was sent from Healey Mills with 26 loaded mineral wagons via Heckmondwyke to Low Moor, to regain Ardsley via Bowling, Laisterdyke and Wortley, but it failed at Heckmondwyke and was still there the next day.

Following an interlude of some months, ex-LNER Pacifics have again been bringing freight into the Calder Valley. On August 22 Class A3 No. 60045 worked the 10.10 pm Tyne Yard – Mirfield and turned on the Bradley triangle before picking up a return working from Healey Mills yard; on September 13 Class A4 performed the same routine.

December 1963

Last month we referred briefly to the through-out working of Class A1 4-6-2 No. 60114 ‘W.P.Allen’ from Lincoln to Blackpool on September 28. In amplifying our report, a correspondent points out that the train travelled through Rochdale, Bury Knowsley Street and Bolton, a line over which nothing larger than a ‘Jubilee’ 4-6-0 is normally permitted. The LMR booked an assisting engine between Bolton and Rochdale for the return journey, but the A1 managed the 10-coach train without help.

At least two WR double-chimney 9F 2-10-0s Nos 92233/49 (86B) are working from Newton Heath and a further two members of the class 92008/79 (the later the Lickey banker) are said to be allocated there.

An apparent shortage of motive power in the Mirfield and Wakefield areas has brought a number of spare engines, particularly B1 4-6-0s from other depots to the LM Central Lines. The B1s have been used from Mirfield depot on coal trains over the Pennines.

Although ‘Britannia’ Pacifics frequently work into Mirfield for the Stockport direction, they are rare at the Lancashire end of the Calder Valley main line. On October 25, however, No. 70050 ‘Firth of Clyde’ made a circuitous journey over this route with empty stock from Tyseley to Laisterdyke over the Cleckheaton branch.