New member introduction and Bilton Junction Exchange Sidings

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New member introduction and Bilton Junction Exchange Sidings

Post by elliottcowton » Sat Oct 29, 2005 6:06 pm

Hi all

New member signs in and asks a $64k question. I am Elliott Cowton, I am a OO/EM gauge modeller living in the south of England mainly doing southern stuff (well I am the chairman of the Fareham & District MRC), but with family roots firmly in North Yorkshire and that is the purpose of this query.

I have been talking with my father who grew up in Bilton and spent a lot of his spare time at the Harrogate Gasworks Exchange Sidings at Bilton Junction as well as riding on the footplate of the Barber. We have decided to look into building a model of the same.

I have a 25":1 mile OS map of the area and I have the Narrow Gauge Society's excellent book on the Barber Line. This shows a lot of detail of the layout of the sidings, sufficient to be able to make a convincing model of them. However, what I lack is any decent reference material that shows the standard gauge side of the operation.

Can any group member help by pointing me at suitable material please? Thanks.



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Post by Colombo » Sat Oct 29, 2005 7:54 pm

Welcome Elliott,

For information about Gas works in Yorkshire you can do no better than contact the Barry Wilkinson, the Editor of the Historic Gas Times which is published under the auspices of the Institution of Gas Engineers and Managers. He can be contacted as follows:

"You can contact the Institution's Panel for the History of the Industry, a group of very knowledgeable people happy to help other researchers, via Email: or Post: Panel for the History of the Industry, Attn: Barry Wilkinson c/o IGEM, Charnwood Wing, Holwell Park, Ashby Road, Loughborough, Leicestershire. LE11 3GH"

Barry is a Yorkshireman and is likely to have lots of information about Harrogate Gas Works. Whether he has much information about the LNER/BR side of the transfer sidings, I am not so sure.

The best place to try for information about the exchange sidings would be the Ken Hoole study centre: ... Centre.htm

Best of luck.

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Post by richard » Sat Oct 29, 2005 10:06 pm

Welcome Elliott!

I think Colombo's references will probably give more information, but I have found two references to add to the list:

"Railways around Harrogate" vol.2 by Martin Bairstow and David Beeken has three photos of the gasworks railway.
The photos are of 0-6-2ST 'Barber' discharging tar into LNER tanks (the camera is at narrow gauge level, so you can just see the tops of the LNER tanks). The second photo shows the north portal of the tunnel, and the third is of the Peckett 0-6-0ST at Boston Lodge.

"The Railways of Harrogate and District" by James Rogers (NERA) has a chapter devoted to the gasworks railway. Alas it is less than a page of text, a photo, and a plan of Bilton Junction. This latter plan might be of use - it looks to be a signalling plan but doesn't look to be to scale. Distances to the Distant Signals are quoted, though.
The plan references (is an edit from?) an earlier drawing: NER Engineers Office, York Drawing No. 514/275/9, Dated 17th June 1913. PRO MT612229/1. (those slashes might be '1's, it s difficult to tell)

The tar dock and coal depot are marked, but not the narrow gauge track - makes sense, this is a signalling diagram for the NER.

The photo shows the exchange siding with the coal drops from standard gauge sidings to narrow gauge sidings

The Bairstow book is definitely out of print (Vol.3 is in print, Vol.1 is relatively easy to find, but Vol.2 is the hard to find one!), but I think the Rogers book is still in print.

Hope this helps.

Richard Marsden
LNER Encyclopedia

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