© Geoff’s Rail Diaries 2011
The line from Ilkley to Embsay
Junction closed, with many others, in
the mid 60s. By the early 70s,
however, the Yorkshire Dales Railway
had been set up, with the objective of
opening part of the route. I had visited
this line a number of times during the
70s and early 80s, but had never been
on a train there. Now the line is open
from Embsay through to the newly-constructed station at
Bolton Abbey - and bears the name "Embsay and Bolton
Abbey Steam Railway". I decided it was time for a ride.
Trains leave Embsay station every 1½ hours from 10.30am to
4.30pm on operating days during the summer
months. The 10.30 was "up the line" when we
arrived, so, with tickets purchased, we had
plenty of time to photograph that train's arrival
and preparation for the 12.00 noon departure,
on which we enjoyed a very pleasant run.
In steam on this occasion was Bagnall 0-6-0ST
"Cranford No 2" (WB 2668 of 1942) - a fairly
hefty outside cylindered machine, resplendent
in a somewhat work-stained green livery.
All the steam locomotives on this railway
are ex-industrial, though there are a
couple of ex-BR diesels - the former
D9513 and D2203. The latter was in
action on a shunt - one of those moves
which looks like the preserved railway
equivalent of a chinese puzzle.
The new station at Bolton Abbey is a delight - a
substantial wood-clad building (around a block-
built shell, apparently) in Midland Railway
style. It is accompanied by the ex-Midland box
from Guiseley. In past years I had watched the
gradual decay of the original buildings when
passing on the nearby road. The old structure
was beyond repair, hence the new build.
Arriving back at Embsay, we had time to peruse
the excellent book shop, before retiring to the
nearby Cavendish Arms for lunch - which, like our trip on the
railway, was excellent and is highly recommended.
Embsay and Bolton Abbey Steam Railway