Hall Royd Junction Signal Box Nameboard
End of BR Steam: 2 - 3 August 1968

The August 2018 issue of 'Steam World' provides a detailed analysis of steam's last movements on the BR network.

The last operational steam deports were Carnforth, Lostock Hall and Rose Grove.

As far as Hall Royd Juction was concerned, it was locos from Rose Grove that provided the action in the last 24 hours.

In the east bound direction (towards Leeds) it was 7N99, a freight from Preston to Healey Mills. This left Preston at 18:45 on Friday 2 August 1968 behind 8F 48423, which was swapped (as per the working timetable) at Rose Grove for 48773. So it would have been 48773 that edged its way down from Copy Pit to Stansfield Hall and Hall Royd Junction in the early evening.

Having arrived at Healey Mills, 48773 would have been turned and serviced, ready to return with a special that appears to have run all week. The nature of this special is unknown but it left Healey Mills at 01.30. This would have passed Eastwood at 01.37 and then taken the Copy Pit line at Hall Royd Junction at 01.42, and arriving at Stansfield Hall Junction at 01.43.

It is not known whether it would have stopped to take on a banker.

However, the 'Steam World' log shows two bankers would have been available.

There were two shifts involving two locos worked daily, with the exception of Saturday evening.

On Friday evening 48167 would have arrived at Stansfield Hall at 20:00, and was booked to be 'on station' until 01.45. Slightly later in the evening at 22:00, 48393 would have arrived from Rose Grove. This was also booked to leave for Rose Grove at 01.45 on Saturday morning. So looking at the timings for 48773 it is quite possible it could have been banked by either, or even both, locos. Or it could have not taken a banker and the pair could have followed light engine.

This then left the final banking turns for Saturday 3 August. 48278 would have arrived from Rose Grove at 05.20 and returned from Stansfield Hall at 11.25. The other loco involved was 48191 which arrived at 07.00 and left at 11.00, slightly earlier on Saturdays, as during the week it would stayed until 12:30.

So the last steam loco in Todmorden was 48278.

Interestingly 48393 was the last loco out on the line. Mike Taylor has recently posted the following on Facebook:

"Apart from light engine movements, probably correct on that assumption, [the] loco was 48393 on the Padiham trips Saturday 3 August 1968, however, on arriving at Rose Grove with the empties, the driver, Hughie Wheeldon was told to take the empties to the loop at Copy Pit. 48393 arrived back on shed at 00.40 and thus was the last BR steam loco (specials excluded) to work over Copy Pit, as the two 8F's on the Copy Banker duty that Saturday, 48278 and 48191 had already arrived back on shed."