Kirklees Light Railway
Down the line with Badger
18 January 2009
I missed the Clayton West branch. It was one of
those lines - like the Alston branch - that I
should have travelled on before it closed, but
didn't. And, like the Alston branch, it's seen a
revival on a smaller scale - in this case, a 15"
gauge line laid along the full 3¾ miles of the
route, back to the junction with the
Huddersfield - Sheffield line at Shelley. The full
history of the Kirklees Light Railway is well
told on the Friends of the KLR website.
We've visited the line's headquarters twice before (see the links
below for more on the line's fine fleet of locomotives) - on the
first occasion, the Santa trains were running - but not travelled.
Today, driving from York to Shropshire, we decided to take the
trans-Pennine road over Holme Moss, and with time to kill before
the promised pub lunch, called in at Clayton West and booked
two return tickets.
The journey to Shelley is a pleasant one, tree-lined with distant
views to Emley Moor and its huge concrete TV mast. Nearer
Skelmanthorpe, where there was an intermediate station in BR
days, the line enters a rough-sided rocky cutting
before diving into Shelley Woodhouse tunnel,
nearly 1/3 mile in length. Twenty minutes after
leaving Clayton West, we arrive at Shelley, in
sight of the main line. Time for a few photos
before the return journey.
Arriving back at Clayton West, I took the
opportunity for a photo or two of the next
departure up the line, then it was time to go - much too cold to
stand around. Don't be misled by the clear skies and bright
sunshine - it was a bitterly cold day (the coaches are steam-
heated). And we were getting hungry... A most enjoyable little
outing, well worth a visit for the railway enthusiast, especially
the younger ones.
A quick look at Kirklees and
15" and 56s on Geoff's Rail Diaries
Kirklees Light Railway official site and
Friends of the Kirklees Light Railway
Geoff’s Rail Diaries