Kirklees and Healey Mills
15" and 56s
14 August 2002  
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This shortish day out took us to two railway installations in the old West Riding of Yorkshire - fairly close, geographically, but very different physically The only link is perhaps the common ancestry of the railway routes - our first destination, the 15" gauge Kirklees Light Railway is based on the site of Clayton West station, running on the trackbed of the former L&Y branch from Clayton West Junction (now known as "Shelley"). An interesting fleet of modern steam locomotives is based here, all built by owner Brian Taylor. 0-6-2ST "Badger" is seen above arriving with a train - the others were in the shed. First is "Owl" - perhaps the most unusual, an 0- 4+4-0 articulated loco which has a 2-cylinder V-engine under the boiler, powering the loco through a cardan shaft. The blue locomotive is "Hawk", another 0-4+4-0 articulated loco, this time powered by more conventional cylinders and valve gear. Lastly, the first of the several red locomotives we would see today, is "Fox", a fairly conventional 2-6-2T - an attractive locomotive.
Geoff’s Rail Diaries
My companion for the trip was keen to see some main line traction, so we next headed for Healey Mills - another ex-L&Y location, where we were able to record a number of class 56s in action, plus a 66 on a west-bound freightliner. We had to wait a fair length of time to get the photos - there didn't seem to be an awful lot going on. Eventually we decided to head for home, travelling over the top of the Pennines and down through Glossop and Buxton. "There might be a few trains along the Manchester - Sheffield line". Yes, there might have been - if drivers for the local TOC hadn't been on strike. An hour at New Mills South Junction rewarded us with just two trains - an east-bound Central Trains 170 unit, and one final 56 - on the Castleton - Toton rail train - just two flat wagons on this occasion. Enough was enough - time for home. Links: Kirklees Light Railway Friends of the Kirklees Light Railway
Badger arrives at Clayton West Owl in the shed at Clayton West Hawk in the shed at Clayton West Fox at Clayton West 66 159 arrives at Healey Mills 56 117 on the north side of the yard, Healey Mills 56 119 arrives light from the east, Healey Mills 56 051 heads out of the yard with a long train of flat wagons, Healey Mills New Mills - 170 630 56 071 at New Mills 56 071 joins the main line at New Mills