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

Trains Illustrated: Motive Power Miscellany Calder Valley extracts 1960

The issues of 'Trains Illustrated' and 'Modern Railways' provide much detail on loco and train movements in the 'Motive Power Miscellany' section. The issues for 1960 to 1964 have been scanned for items relevant to the Calder Valley main line between Manchester Victoria and Bradley Wood Junction, and then eastwards to Wakefield and Normanton. News items relating to the Huddersfield route where it shares the Calder Valley route have been omitted, although items relating to Mirfield have been captured. However, workings on the Oldham loop are also ignored, even though these often materialised at Rochdale. This period also saw the last movements of a number of L & Y classes, notably the Aspinall Fast Shunting engine, the 0-4-0 Pugs, the Radial tanks, the 0-6-0 goods locos and the 18 inch gauge 'Wren' at Horwich, and these also feature.

Reading the originals, it is apparent that Rochdale is a major centre for reporting, due to the sterling work of one R S Greenwood who submitted a monthly report with great regularity.

Some surprises for followers of the Calder Valley are the fairly regular appearances of 'Britannias', K3s, Stanier 2-6-0s and Patriots (including a Rebuilt version) and even a WD 2-10-0 and a couple of 'Clan' Pacifics. There are various attempts to send a V2 up the Calder Valley, but they never got beyond Mytholmroyd. There's also a report of the first Class 40s having to edge their way via Todmorden after the Diggle line was blocked, but before the class had been cleared for the Calder Valley route. Enjoy.

1961  |  1962 | 1963 | 1964

January 1960

In the early hours of November 18 a J39 0-6-0, No. 64743, arrived at Rose Grove with the 10:40 pm Aintree – Copley Hill fitted freight, which attaches and detaches traffic at Rose Grove. It is reported that the two B16s were on loan to Mirfield depot in mid-November but their numbers are not known. Agecroft B1 No. 61008 was noted on the 4.20 am Manchester Victoria – Normantion and on the 8.50 am back on November 20; earlier, on November 6, No. 61273 was seen on the evening Rochdale – Normanton parcels, an incident worth remark as previously B1s had confined their attention to passenger workings.

The last L & Y 2-4-2 tank on the NER No. 50795 was hauled away from Manningham to Horwich for scrap on November 3; the tank had been stored in the open for more than a year.

February 1960

A ‘Royal Scot’ visited the Lancashire side of the Calder Valley main line on December 8 when No. 46128 (5A) headed the 5.35 pm Manchester Victoria – Todmorden; the ‘Royal Scot’ returned on a Todmorden – Rochdale pick-up freight. On weekdays the 5.35 pm from Manchester is ordinarily hauled by a locomotive from a Chester district shed; on Saturdays, when it is a Newton Heath duty, it is sometimes used as a filing in turn and on December 5 produced rebuilt ‘Patriot’ No. 45539 carrying a Carnforth shedplate but working from Edge Hill. On arrival, the 4-6-0 turned on the Castleton triangle and spent the remainder of the afternoon in Rochdale carriage loop; normally locos off specials go to Newton Heath or to Bury for servicing. Another Edge Hill ‘Patriot’ to visit Rochdale was No. 45550with the 7.5 pm Blackpool Central – Rochdale on December 11. A Trafford Park standard Class 4 2-6-0 No. 76086, was noted on Agecroft workings on December 11 and 12; on the former date it had the 4.42 pm Halifax – Manchester Victoria and on the latter the 12 noon Wakefield Kirkgate – Manchester Victoria.

On December 12 and 19 the 2.15 pm SO Wakefield – Manchester was double-headed by a brace of B1s, No’s 61017/96 (56A) on the first date, and on the second, No’s 61008 (26B) and 61049, without a shedplate but believed to have been transferred to Wakefield.

On the second occasion Fowler 2-6-4T No. 42311 was making its fifth consecutive appearance on the 12.15 pm SO Bradford – Manchester, running bunker-first but carrying Class A headcode; the Fowler engine is able to make the run without a stop at Rochdale for water, which was beyond the ability of the Low Moor 2-6-4 tanks. On Christmas Eve Stanier 2-6-0 No. 42966, fresh from Horwich works, traversed the Calder Valley route with a Manchester – Newcastle relief, returning the same day with an extra from Durham to Liverpool.

The newly introduced diesel multiple-unit service between Todmorden, Burnley and Accrington shows only one extra train by comparison with the former service and times little altered.

Two ex-L & Y 0-6-0s have returned home after service as Crewe works shunters; No. 52201 is at Bury and No. 52207 at Newton Heath.

At the beginning of December two B16 4-6-0s, No’s 61452/62 were on loan to Mirfield and wearing 56D shedplates. Others of this type were recorded in the Calder Valley as well. No. 61422 (50A) had charge of a freight from Dewsbury to Mytholmroyd on December 10 and afterwards retired to Mirfield shed; and next day No. 61464, which was observed in Cleckheaton goods yard on December 9 and 10, made two freight trips to Mytholmroyd, visiting Mirfield after each sortie.

March 1960

At a reader’s suggestion, Bolton’s surviving ex- L & Y 2-4-2 tank, No. 50850, was specially turned out on January 2 to work the last regular passenger trains on the Blackburn – Chorley – Wigan branch; the workings concerned were the 12.13 pm from Horwich to Blackburn and the 1.35 pm from Blackburn to Bolton.

WD 2-10-0 No. 90763 (6F) appeared on Rose Grove shed on January 11, having worked a freight from the Calder Valley.

Newton Heath shed duly received its first two ‘Britannia’ Pacifics No’s 70045/8, towards the end of January, and also the first of its two Gloucester RC&W diesel parcels cars.

A notable innovation in January was the through working of large Gateshead engines to Mirfield; Class A1 No. 60151 was on shed there on January 15, Class A3 No. 60075 on January 19 and V2 No. 60974 on January 20. The Pacifics are believed to have used the Heckmondwike – Thornhill lines to turn, being too big for the local turntable. They worked home from Healey Mills. B16 4-6-0s No’s 6140/43 were on loan to Mirfield at the end of January.

April 1960

Newton Heath has gained two ‘Britannia’ Pacifics, No’s 70045/8, principally to replace ‘Jubilees’ on the turns it has with the Glasgow – Manchester expresses…. Todmorden had its first sight of the pair on February 13 when No 70048 worked the 5.35 pm Manchester – Todmorde; on February 17 No. 70045 was seen on the 7.47 am Todmorden – Manchester.

On February 8 a ‘WD’ 2-10-0 No. 90763 (12A) passed through Bury towards Heywood on a breakdown train.

Bolton’s last ex-L & Y 2-4-2 tank is to be transferred to Southport, whose 50781 was recently damaged in a collision.

Another Type 4 to penetrate west of Leeds was D252, which on February 13, the day the threatened strike was called off, brought a mixed freight from Dringhouses into Mirfield; it left Mirfield light. NER Pacifics were again seen on freight workings into Mirfield in February; in the third week of the month A3 No. 60060 made two visits with hauls from Dringhouses, turning on the Bradley Wood – Heaton Lodge triangle as the turntable at Mirfield could not accommodate it. The now regular double-heading of the 2.15 pm Wakefield – Manchester train on Saturdays by a brace of B1 4-6-0s provides one engine for the Sunday 4.5 pm Manchester-Normanton.

The three-car Metro-Cammell diesel units [Class 111] for the Leeds – Bradford – Manchester service via the Calder Valley have begun to arrive at Bradford; they have the new four-character headcode panels above the front windows. At the end of February they were being run in on a variety of duties, including Leeds City – Pontefract and Leeds City – Barnsley workings.

The 56G depot is now officially known as Bradford (Hammerton Street) and 55F as Bradford (Manningham).

May 1960

Aintree shed, incidentally, is the home of the sole surviving Aspinall 0-6-0 tank, No. 51537, which still works a 13-hour day of shunting.

On March 8 A3 60075 (52A) arrived [at Mirfield] with an early morning Class C from Park Lane and next day the same working produced A1 No. 60124; after March 22 had seen Type 4 deisel No. D250 on this duty, the next day the Park Lane Class C arrived behind A4 No. 60023, which was later seen turning on the Bradley – Bradley Wood triangle while on March 24 A3 No. 60045 was noted on Mirfield shed.

During the month K3s were recorded several times on freights to Mytholmroyd while on March 22 No 61813 (50B) headed the 1.25 pm Huddersfield – Leeds City.

June 1960

A ‘Clan’ Pacific No. 72003 was appropriated by Newton Heath for the 7.47 am Todmorden – Manchester on March 30 and on Good Friday it worked an excursion to Morecambe out of Manchester Victoria. Newton Heath has two of the six surviving Fowler 0-8-0s (the other four are at Agecroft) and this pair No’s 49508 and 49618 are still in regular use of freight hauls into Yorkshire, sometimes making two trips a day.

Previous reference has been made to the double-heading, often by a pair of B1s of the Saturday 2.15 pm Wakefield – Manchester; the pilot engine is now used on the 5.15 pm Rochdale – Wigan before its return from Manchester and is detached at Rochdale (though for three weeks it still went through to Manchester and returned light to Rochdale). The two Bank Hall Class 2 4-4-0s No’s 40588 and 40684 have resumed regular appearances at Rochdale on the 12.42 pm from Liverpool, returning on the 3.45 pm. The outstanding traveller through Rochdale at Easter was B1 No. 61366 (40B) which materialised on a Belle Vue train from the Bradford district on Easter Monday; on Easter Saturday a Heaton B1 No 61012 was used on several workings and was last seen on the 6.30 pm Liverpool – York.

Two B1s had Easter trips to Morecambe, No’s 61265 (9G) on Good Friday and No. 61020 with a Bank Holiday working from Wakefield.

On April 30 ‘Jubilee’ No. 45661 (26A) brought a Manchester Football excursion into Newcastle.

A Doncaster K3 No. 61925 (36A) headed an excursion from Retford to Burnley up the Calder Valley main line on April 2 and on Aprl 23 V2 60859 worked as far as Mytholmroyd with a freight from Mirfield. In April Mirfield was still short heavy freight power and was borrowing ex-LNER engines from York and Neville Hill sheds, amongst others, for local haulage in the area.

There is a local rumour that the NER wishes to see if A3s or V2s can be employed on the summer traffic from the north-east to Blackpool via Accrington. Another A4 to be recorded at Mirfield is No. 60023 of Gateshead, which arrived with freight on March 23 and turned on the Bradley Wood triangle.

July 1960

One FA Cup special leaving Blackburn at 10.50 am on May 6 headed by ‘Patriot’ No. 45542 was routed to St Pancras and came by Gannow Junction and the Calder Valley main line to Thornhill. On May 3 the 11.47 am SO Bolton – Leeds Central produced an unusual type in standard Class 4 2-6-0 No. 76052 (12D) which returned with the 3.55 pm Leeds Central – Manchester Victoria. The 7.47 am Todmorden – Manchester Victoria stopping train continues to be graced by unexpectedly large engines when Newton Heath’s resources are severely taxed. Royal Scots No’s 46102 (66A) and 46106 (9A) were respectively in charge on May 10 and 18, while on May 12 ‘Clan’ Pacific No 72001 (66A) was an unexpected sight (it finished the day at St. Pancras).

August 1960

The Barton Wright 0-6-0 which has remained intact at Horwich Works since its withdrawal, No. 52044, was repainted ulined black, without number, in May. It is now reported to have been sold to a private individual in Retford.

After a break of several weeks, K3 2-6-0s have reappeared on excursions through Rochdale. First, No. 61980 (56B) hauled a Bradfor – Blackpool excursion on May 28 and on June 18 the same locomotive was employed as far as Hooton (in company with B1 No. 61274 of Low Moor on a special train from Halifax) on a Sowerby Bridge – New Brighton train, while No. 61887 (36A) headed a Doncaster – Blackpool excursion. It is possible that K3s will appear on the turns that last summer produced K1s as the latter have since been transferred away from the West Riding. The summer Saturday Lincoln – Blackpool train has been re-routed away from the Copy Pit and East Lancs line, through Rochdale and Bolton; on the first two Saturdays it produced Doncaster B1s No. 61036 and 61124 respectively.

For three months to the beginning of the summer timetable the 6.47 pm Manchester Victoria – Todmorden on Saturdays was handled by an engine from Crewe North. After a succession of ‘Jubilees’ , from May 28 the working produced a ‘Royal Scot’ for three weeks running – No’s 46163 (5A); 46134 (5A) and 46108 (9A) respectively. On June 4 the 5.35 pm Manchester Victoria – Todmorden also had a ‘Royal Scot’ No. 46129 (5A) which returned light engine.

Ex- L & Y 0-6-0 No. 52270 piloted 2-8-0 No. 48553 from Rochdale to Oldham on a returning excursion.

According to local railway man’s report in the Rochdale district, writes a correspondent, two ‘A3s’, No’s 60039/77, worked the overnight Hull – Aintree freight on separate occasions in April, returning the next evening with an Aintree – Healey Mills goods.

On June 18 a 2-10-0 No. 92017 arrived at Southport with an excursion from Todmorden.

On June 2, the Friday before Whitsun, ‘Patriot’ No 45517 (27A) failed at York after working the 10.30 am Liverpool – Newcastle, and its balancing working on the 5.10 pm Newcastle – Liverpool was taken over by Class 5 73046 (41C) which kept the ob until returning to York with the 10.30 am from Liverpool on June 4. Restored to health, No. 45517 was evidently appropriated by York on the evening of June 3, when it was glimpsed approaching the outskirts of Newcastle with a down train at 9.25 pm; next morning it returned to York and that evening set out for home on the 5.10 pm Newcastle – Liverpool.

It is evident that changes have been made to the plans for Trans-Pennine services. The Leeds Central – Manchester Victoria and Liverpool Exchange service via Bradford and the Calder Valley will be provided by Birmingham RC&W three-car units and may not begin until February 1961, owing to the late delivery of vehicles. As we suggested last month, the main Leeds – Liverpool (via Huddersfield) scheme will probably begin on November 7, 1960, with the simultaneous introduction of (1) the ‘City-to-City’ units (2) intermediate stopping services and (3) the accelerated diesel-hauled Newcastle – Liverpool service we forecast last month. Both services (1) and (3) will employ the Spen Valley route which will eventually controlled as far as Birstall by the new Leeds City box. It is possible that BR/Sulzer Type 2 deisels working from Neville Hill will have a spell on the Hull – Liverpool trains before the multiple units take over.

September 1960

A Hull K3 was noted on July 7 in the Calder Valley at the head of a Hull – Manchester Ship Canal special freight and on July 9 it was used on the Scarborough – Sowerby Bridge Saturday train extended to Ramsbottom whence the 2-6-0 was to take the ECS via Baxenden to Lostock Hall. A Frodingham Class O4 2-8-0 No. 63799 worked a westbound special freight through Rochdale on July 12 and returned eastwards on the lunchtime Middleton Junction – Manvers Colliery empties, a working often employed to return ER locos from the Central Lancs area.

In mid-July a Bristol Class 5 No. 73068 took over a Southport diagram for a day from the Low Moor end, making a round trip from Bradford to Southport and another to Liverpool Exchange on July 19 and 20. ‘Patriot’ No. 45504 of the same shed was on the York – Manchester Red Bank ECS on July 22; on July 8 this train produced Class 5 No. 45022 (64C) and on July 45452 (64D). A Fowler 2-6-4 tank from Sowerby Bridge No. 42405 was again recorded on the 5.23 pm York – Manchester express on July 12, appearing at Rochdale before time; our correspondent noted that the Fairburn tanks normally employed on this working keep better time than B1s on the 10.10 am from York, so long as the load is not more than 7 bogies but feel the strain when the load is increased to nine on some weekdays – and especially with the occasional Saturday rakes of 13 bogies. J39 0-6-0 No. 64801 of Low Moor was assisting with carriage pilot work at Liverpool Exchange on July 23.

Fowler 0-8-0s No’s 49104 and 49396 were reported to have been particularly badly damaged in the Preston shed fire.

On July 19-21 the prototype Swindon-built multiple-unit had its first outings on the route that will employ it. Leaving Leeds City at 10.0 am and running via the Leeds New Line it was booked to pass Spen Valley Junction at 10.24 am, call at Huddersfield from 10.28.5 to 10.30 and reach Liverpool Lime Street at 11.49.5 am. The return from Liverpool was at 1 pm and in this direction the unit was to make Leeds in 1hr 47 min. An afternoon run from Leeds to Hull and back was scheduled in 59 minutes outward, leaving Leeds City at 3.30 pm and in 63 minutes on the return. Farnley engineman were employed between Leeds and Liverpool, and Neville Hill men between Leeds and Hull.

Class 4 4-6-0 No. 75031 [was used] on the 9.29 am Scarborough – Manchester Victoria on July 2.

An Ardsley K3 2-6-0 was given a regular working to the West Coast this summer on the 8.25 am Bradford – Blackpool and 7.33 pm back.

During July a growing number of Scottish Class 5s were noted in the Calder Valley, particularly on Newton Heath duties.

October 1961

Several ex-LNE locomotives travelled through to Morecombe over August Bank Holiday weekend. On July 30 No. 61240 brought in the ‘Sheffield Seaside Express’ and No’s 61338/53 (51A) came with excursions; in addition, two more B1s No. 61126 (36E) and 61138 (41D), K1 2-6-0 No. 62005 was here on August 1. A Doncaster B1 No. 61360 worked the ‘Humber Rover’ from Hull to Southport on August 3 and two days later the same train was seen on the Padiham branch, between Rose Grove and Burnley, heading towards Blackburn behind B1 No. 61080 (50B). An eye-catching combination double-headed the 4 pm to Leeds out of Manchester Exchange on July 30 – K3 2-6-0 No. 61847 (50B) and ‘Royal Scot’ No. 46104 (66A).

A variation on this summer’s Saturday theme of K3-hauled excursions from Yorkshire to the Lancashire coast was the provision of a pair these engines, No’s 61856 (56B) and 61932 (50B), to work a Blackpool – Sheffield relief on the afternoon of July 30. The same day one of the ex-Crosti 2-10-0s No. 92025 worked a Mytholmroyd – Ramsbottom freight. The first K1 to be seen at Rochdale this summer was No. 62069 of March, which worked empty stock from Bradford to Manchester on August 11.

On August 20 on of the former SR Class 5 4-6-0s No. 73087 of Bath Green Park was seen at Rochdale on a returning Bournemouth relief. Rebuilt Patriot No. 45521 (8A) headed the 4.35 pm Rochdale – Blackpool on August 13.

Three of Ardsley’s four K3 2-6-0s were operating almost continuously from Low Moor during the summer on Lancashire Coast trips, one daily on the Bradford – Blackpool service. No. 61975 made the most interesting trip of the period on August 10 when it was assigned to a Clayton West – Morecombe excursion throughout and visited Carnforth depot for servicing. A WD 2-8-0 was recorded on a passenger train in the Calder Valley for the first time on August 25. No. 90689 (24C) had been booked to assist a returning Southport – Sunderland excursion over the Lancashire gradients to Stansfield Hall, but mayhem was done to the vacuum system of the train engine when it was detached and it had to take over instead working as far as Leeds City; the 2-8-0 was barred from exceeding 40 mph with the 11 coach train, including two restaurant cars. A 2-10-0 worked into Leeds Central on August 6 with a Fleetwood – Accrington extra which was extended to Leeds; No. 92059 (15A) was the engine. V2 2-6-2 No. 60939 (52A) worked empty stock into Low Moor on August 4.

November 1960

The three ‘Britannia’ Pacifics at Newton Heath do not appear to be particularly healthy and seem to spend much of their time nowadays under repair or on such jobs as the 7.47 am Todmorden – Manchester. The 6.47 pm Manchester – Todmorden, after producing some eye catching Class 6 and 7 power on Saturdays last winter and then being handed over to less interesting local types during the summer, was again distinguished by a ‘Royal Scot’ on the first Saturday of the winter timetable; this was September 17, when it was headed by No. 46144 (1B), the first ‘Royal Scot’ seen at Rochdale since June. Up to the end of September K3 2-6-0s were still making frequent weekend appearances in Lancashire; the most interesting sites were No. 61940 (36A) on an Ipswich – Blackpool day excursion, including a buffet-car roof-boarded ‘Liverpool St – Bury St Edmunds’ on September 3 and No. 61853on the 7.40 am Bolton – Rochdale on a mid-week day, instead of the usual Class 5. On Saturdays the 7.40 am from Bolton gives Rochdale its only sight of a regular working by an Ivatt Class 2 2-6-2 tank, normally No. 41206 (27A).

During August all three surviving ex-L & Y 2-4-2 tanks were at work. The Flower Show traffic at Southport was heavy and as a result No. 50746 and 50850 were at times employed simultaneously as station pilots, normally only one is needed; No. 50721 was also seen on station pilot work at Liverpool Exchange. No. 50850 was given some attention at Horwich works prior to appearance on a railway enthusiasts’ special organised from Rochdale on September 17.

The total of excursions from the NER was high and included one from Hull which was double-headed throughout by B1s No. 61080 and 61256; Tweedmouth’s B1s No, 61199 and 61241, and Immingham’s No. 61114 were also recorded.

A new addition to the express passenger types appearing on freight traffic at Mirfield was recorded on September 17 when ‘Royal Scot’ No. 46141 (3B) worked the 10.40 am Mirfield – Bushbury Class H; the 4-6-0 is believed to have arrived earlier on a Crewe – Healey Mills freight.

December 1960

The first Class C fitted freight (as distinct from parcels train) to be regularly routed via the Calder Valley main line is a new 6.30 am Dringhouses – Edge Hill; it is normally worked by a B1 4-6-0 from York or Mirfield. Midland division 8F 2-8-0s are now regularly working through Rochdale on hauls of coal from Tibshelf to Middleton Junction, sometimes to the extent of two a day. A Carlisle Upperby rebuilt Patriot No. 45526 headed the 7.51 am Todmorden – Manchester on October 18. No. 45551 headed the 5.35 pm Manchester – Todmorden on October 22.

Bank Hall depot has received No’s D2850/1, the first two of a Yorkshire Engine Co. order for 170 hp 0-4-0 diesel shunters to replace ex-L & Y ‘Pugs’. A correspondent reports that eight of these new diesels are destined for the district, among them one to replace the last Aspinall 0-6-0 dock tank, No. 51537, at Aintree. Visiting Aintree in October, another reader noted that No. 51537’s usual turn at Bankfield goods depot was being performed by 0-4-0 saddle-tank No. 51229, which was recently outshopped with the overhead electrification warning signs. Another ex-L & Y 0-6-0 No. 52322 has been bought by a private individual; repainted in L & Y livery with the railway’s crest and its original number of 1122, it is to be kept at Adlington, It is understood in Huddersfield that the forecast introduction of the Hull – Leeds – Manchester – Liverpool ‘Inter City’ diesel multiple unit service and of Type 4 diesels on the Newcastle trains will begin on January 2, 1961.