Crossgates Wetherby railway line

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North Briton
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Re: Crossgates Wetherby railway line

Post by North Briton » Wed Dec 03, 2008 8:45 pm

Can anyone date this track plan of Cross Gates or indeed confirm that it is accurate? It is logged on this site under the NER (Leeds & Selby) info pages and I have seen it in another publication but I am unsure that it is correct. The 1906 Ordnance survey map has a diamond crossing and so do the maps in Leeds City Library from around the early 50's (as far as I can tell as the crucial junction is across two sheets!). All the photographs that I have been able to get hold of appear to support a diamond crossing but if anybody has specific information or suggestions as to how to verify this I would be grateful for their advice.

http://www.lner.info/co/NER/selby/cross_gates_lg.jpg

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Re: Crossgates Wetherby railway line

Post by Bryan » Fri Dec 05, 2008 5:46 pm

Can anyone date this track plan of Cross Gates or indeed confirm that it is accurate?
Just checked my copy of the Leeds + Selby line diagram dated around 1915 - 20
This indicates a fairly standard double junction with diamond crossing.
A trailing crossover on the Selby side of the diamond and turnouts to the Up + Down slow lines Leeds side of the Turnout with an additional loop of the Up side before the junction toes.
Only 2 tracks go towards Selby. The ordanance sidings are located further out on a separate turnout. As is the Crossgates goods branch. which runs off the same turnout.
If required I could scan and email to you by PM but it will be next week at least. It will probably cover 4 - 6 A3 pages.
I do also have a copy of the Goods branch diagram separately.

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Re: Crossgates Wetherby railway line

Post by YNMR » Thu Dec 11, 2008 10:37 am

The Jan 2009 edition of BackTrack has an interesting article in it about this line & the other around Wetherby.

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Re: Crossgates Wetherby railway line

Post by stembok » Thu Dec 11, 2008 12:58 pm

The gradients on the lines out of Leeds via both Wetherby and Horsforth to Harrogate could be the cause of some serious anxiety for drivers in steam days, hence the resort to double -heading on occasions. With the dieselisation of the Newcastle -Liverpool services from January 1961 and the use of the Cross Gates route to avoid reversal in Leeds there were times when problems arose if steam had to be substituted for diesel power and if weather and rail conditions were poor. One report mentions A3 60074 failing to get a run at the climb from Cross Gates due to foggy conditions and stalling. Eventually, 73168 was summoned from Neville Hill and propelled the train some 17 miles to Harrogate. A few days later A1 60121 slipped to a stand between Bardsey and Thorner with the 09.45 Newcastle -Liverpool and in January,1962 A4 60016 came within a whisker of stalling at Bardsey with the same train. The climb out of Leeds on the Horsforth route could also be a problem. In February 1964 A3 60051, on a return footex to Sunderland, almost stalled due to problems with the sanding gear on the Pacific, only just scraping through on a damp and misty night.

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Re: Crossgates Wetherby railway line

Post by Bryan » Sat Dec 13, 2008 3:19 pm

Big article in the latest January "BACKTRACK" out yesterday, on the lines around Wetherby and featuring photos of both stations and intermediates including Pendas way.

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Re: Crossgates Wetherby railway line

Post by richard » Sun Dec 14, 2008 4:34 am

I might have to ask someone to send me an issue...

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Re: Crossgates Wetherby railway line

Post by North Briton » Tue Dec 16, 2008 8:23 pm

Further to Ploughman's post dated 5th December - sorry for the delay in responding - work the curse of the railway fan's lifestyle!

If you could scan your diagrams at some time that would be really helpful.

Also thanks for the tip about the Backtrack article.

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Re: Crossgates Wetherby railway line

Post by Bryan » Wed Dec 17, 2008 5:45 pm

No problem
However If you had replied before today I could have done it. But I have now finished work till Jan so it will be then that I can do them.
Can you give me a reminder around Jan 4 or 5

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Re: Crossgates Wetherby railway line

Post by North Briton » Wed Dec 17, 2008 6:38 pm

Ploughman

Thanks very much - I will be in touch as suggested after 5th January.

Have a good break.

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Re: Crossgates Wetherby railway line

Post by Bryan » Tue Jan 06, 2009 8:50 pm

North Briton
If you could scan your diagrams at some time that would be really helpful.
North Briton
If you could PM me your email address, I intend to scan the drawings tomorrow.

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Re: Crossgates Wetherby railway line

Post by warwick » Mon Nov 23, 2009 6:30 am

Just ran across this topic. I lived in Bardsey during the last years of the line's activities and took the school train in the 1950's. The morning locomotives varied quite a lot - an A8 was a regular, as was a G5 - can't remember their numbers, in the period 1953-55. D20's and D49's also appeared. The return trip, Tadcaster to Bardsey, became a regular fixture for 4MT 42141, which later took a workmans' train from Thorp Arch to Castleford, I believe. Some of the coaching dated from pre-WW1 and I recall gas-lit carriages!

Regular loco's on the lines were WD 2-8-0's or B16's doubled headed by J39's on heavy freights, D49's and B1's on passenger workings (in addition to A8 and G5's). The non-stop Liverpool-Newcastle expresses often had V2 or A3's. The only A4 I saw - couldn't believe it, was on the 5pm stopper Leeds-Harrogate: must have been repositioning.

Wetherby Race Days produced many LMS loco's, 4F and Crabs and the odd Black Five, on non-corridor stock coming from some distance - I'll bet the passengers were happy to arrive, especially going home after a day of refreshment at the races.

The most significant event I recall was after heavy rain, I think in 1955, the line adjacent to Bardsey Mill was undermined and the embankment collapsed, leaving a gap of several feet between rails and trackbed, on the down line (from Leeds). A light engine at 3am felt a lurch and stopped to report it at Bardsey station, preventing a disaster later, when passenger trains were due. This could have been the end of the line, but it was repaired as there was still a lot of freight being carried. Passenger receipts would not have achieved the same purpose - the line was poorly used. What a difference there would be now, if it were still there! It took weeks to repair and required extensive conduiting of Bardsey Beck, which presumably is still there.

My best memory of a loco in action was a D20 on a Thorp Arch-Leeds workman's train, about 6pm, taking the bank up through Bardsey at a much higher speed than usual - these had been express loco's in their prime around the 1900-20 period, with 6'10" wheels, and could move when pushed. With a fine exhaust, the old lady must have been doing 60 up to Bardsey station and must have squealed round the bend above it!

Happy days!

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Re: Crossgates Wetherby railway line

Post by richard » Mon Nov 23, 2009 4:05 pm

I think I've walked through that "conduiting" as a school kid! This would have been around 1983/4.
I would have described it as a bridge, although to a 10 year old it was gaining on tunnel proportions. There's also quite a flow in the beck at that point - almost a river. Wellies essential!

We were doing a project on "historic Bardsey" - so we saw some of the Norman church (I don't recall going in, but I think we must have?), the Bingley Arms, where the station was, where William Congreve was allegedly born (I've since heard that the birth place is more alleged that we were led to believe in classes...), etc.


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Re: Crossgates Wetherby railway line

Post by warwick » Tue Nov 24, 2009 11:27 am

Richard:

Referring to your comments, I think I should have said "culvert", not "conduit" for the 2-level tunnel under the old mill bridge (which was pretty old - the mill itself dated from just after the Conquest). The upper, dry level of that tunnel could tell a few stories - from my time and I'm sure more recently! Bardsey Church is part Saxon - one of the oldest in the UK, which is more than I would say for the claims of the Bingley Arms to the same title. As a regular worshipper at the Bingley in the 1960-70 era, I recall the claim being put forward. I remain unconvinced. But William Congreve certainly was born at Bardsey Grange - a farm in my time, now in the middle of a housing development. His entry is clear in the parish register for 1670 which was still in the church safe when I was a lad - now it will be in Leeds, I imagine. His famous saying was "Hell hath no fury...etc"

Back to trains. The line was busy with freight until nearly the end, including quite a lot of local stuff. Bardsey had its share. Coal was delivered to the sidings above the station and bagged and sold from there. There were often horse-boxes, with a compartment for a carer, in the bay below the station. These were delivered by passenger trains, slowing them down by about 10 mins as the box was shunted. The 5pm train from Leeds often fulfilled this role. But passenger receipts were very poor, even when diesel trains were introduced. The service was never boosted like on the Ilkley and Skipton services. Bardsey only had a handful of regular passengers, apart from the schoolkids. Even in the 50's the villages served were prosperous and many people had a car, which was used for the man of the house to go to work. No traffic problems back then. If you didn't have a car, you went by the frequent West Yorkshire buses, which were cheaper than the train. It's amazing it survived until Beeching.

Beyond Wetherby the service was abysmal, and unsupported. I only saw 2 passengers use Newton Kyme station in all the time I rode the school train. 2 farmers took the school train and alighted at NK to attend an agricultural event there one day, much to the surprise of the station master. As the only return working to Leeds to stop at NK stopped at about the same time in the morning, I wonder how they got home! That same return train was the only one to commence at Church Fenton and, despite there being no return train (the evening train terminated at Tadcaster), at least one passenger took the trip from Ch. Fenton to Thorp Arch daily. How did he get home?

Finally, a story of a near accident at Bardsey about 1956. All the schoolkids tended to rush for the 7.50am train and one morning, as a lad in a hurry dashed across the footbridge, part of the decking gave way (it turned out to be rotten). He fell through, but saved himself by grasping sections that still held - legs still pounding away above the tracks. A big strong lad, he was able to haul himself back up and get to the platform, brushing himself down. He made light of a few scrapes and bruises. He held on to his briefcase throughout the event! The bridge was immediately dismantled and not replaced, which meant that the late-comers, most of us, had to run the gauntlet across the lines in front of the train each morning. Can you imagine the fuss and enquiries that would have resulted in such an occurence today. H&S, legal, counselling, who knows what! But we were made of stronger stuff in those days.

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Re: Crossgates Wetherby railway line

Post by Squatch » Mon Apr 05, 2010 10:09 am

Hi everyone - sorry for bumping an old topic, but I hope someone might offer me some assistance. I have several ties with both Scholes and Wetherby, and have recently become interested in the old railway line running from Crossgates to Wetherby and beyond. Information seems sparse (expect on this thread!!) though I have read some interesting articles (though I need to order the edition of Backtrack mentioned earlier) and seen 2 editions of the excellent "Railways around Harrogate".

As an ongoing project, I am trying to recreate this line in a PC game called Railworks - though the skills needed are a bit difficult, it's not impossible, though it's obviously easier if any of the line your modelling still exists!! I have some gradient info, but what would help me no end are track plans of any/all of the route, including stations. To be honest, I'll not turn any info down, equally any suggestions of publications that would be useful would be great too.

I intend to get to the NRM at some point over the next few weeks and see if their research section has any useful info too.

Thanks in advance, Matt

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Re: Crossgates Wetherby railway line

Post by richard » Mon Apr 05, 2010 3:22 pm

Bairstow's "Railways around Harrogate" has 3 volumes, although you may have problems finding the earlier volumes.

Another one to look for (and was in print when I bought it 8-9 yrs ago) is James Rogers "The Railways of Harrogate and District", NERA. I'm now a member of the NERA and I don't think it is on the shop list - so it might be out of print.

An article on lines to Wetherby is on my to-do list for this site.


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