Remnant of the Yorkshire light railway
Derwent Valley
1 July 2001  
Back Contact Geoff Jack drifts down towards Leadhills station
Many years ago I lived near York, and made one or two visits to the Derwent Valley Light Railway. The DVLR, like one or two others, survived the grouping and nationalisation to retain its independence. Originally running from Layerthorpe, York to Cliff Common near Selby, line was cut back during the 60s and early 70s until when I first knew it, the terminus was Dunnington. Here a grain supply business sent barley by rail to Scotland for distilling. In the mid 70s, growing a little more adventurous, the line acquired some passenger coaches and NER-designed J72 no 69023, and began running a passenger service for tourists. Then, sadly, the grain contract was lost, and the line closed and was lifted. At Murton, between York and Dunnington, there is a farm museum, through whose grounds ran the trackbed of the railway, and here it is that a group of enthusiasts have put together the present day operation, with about ¾mile of track. Always intending to have a look, I was reminded of its existence when the group's webmaster, Vince Middlebrough, contacted me when he found one of my snaps of the DVLR station at Dunnington, on "Geoff's Rail Pages". I was able to furnish him with a number of pictures of the pre-preservation DVLR, which can be seen on the society's website. In the meantime, I found myself in York, and
Geoff’s Rail Diaries
went out to have a look. Motive power consists mainly of ex-industrial locomotives, apart from ex-BR 03 079. One of the diesels present is "Churchill", the diminutive Fowler 0-4-0 which used to shunt the grain wagons at Dunnington*. It was these two locos which worked the passenger service on this occasion, topping and tailing a solitary coach and brake van. The two steam locomotives, a Barclay 0-4-0ST and a Hudswell Clarke 0-6-0ST, recently rebuilt as a side tank, see use on bank holidays. Currently there is just one station - and what a superb example of railway preservation it is! The formerly DVLR station building at Wheldrake has been reconstructed and named "Murton Park". The line runs westwards to a point just beyond the A64 overbridge, where once a level crossing took the line on to Layerthorpe. Perhaps one day DVLR trains may run in to York - the route is still intact. So if you're in the area, look in at the Derwent Valley, have a ride, and see the work this friendly bunch have done to recreate this unique Yorkshire byway. Link: Derwent Valley Light Railway
Churchill at Colthrop, Berks © D E Canning Looking towards the station The station, looking towards York No 1 "Jim" RH 417892/59 and "Churchill" JF 4100005/47 03 079 No 8 AB2369/55 "Churchill" JF4100005/47 stands beside the signal box JF4200022/48 sits in the sidings No 4 "Octavius Atkinson" RH466630/62 Murton Park station