Kirklees Light Railway
Down the line with Badger
18 January 2009
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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. Links:   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
A reminder of BR days - DMU car at Clayton West Jay heads a short freight train Arrival at Shelley Shelley turntable Backing on to the train at Shelley Ready to depart from Shelley KLR crest Brake pump on Badger - home-made Back at Clayton West - turn again Oil and water The 12.00 departure Goodbye to Clayton West Jay stands outside the workshops Inside the workshops - the rest of the fleet