The Anonymous Widower

Could The Wensleydale Railway Become A New TransPennine Route?

Yesterday, The Times had a nearly full page article with a title of The Village With Nowt Taken Out.

It describes how the small market town of Hawes has by its own efforts turned itself from a very much declining town into a thriving community.

The town’s latest project is to take over the only filling station in the town, to avoid a 36-mile round trip to fill up.

The Times was also very impressed, as the newspaper published a Leading Article, which was entitled Hawes for Thought. This is said.

Hawes is a phenomenon, a case study in self-sufficiency, community spirit, bloody-mindedness and the awesome power of bootstraps.

The Leading Article said that Hawes station closed in 1959, which would have been when I was just twelve.

The station buildings are now part of the Dales Countryside Museum.

I got to wondering as I do, where the railway used to run.

Hawes station used to be on the Wensleydale Railway, which connected the East Coast Main Line at Northallerton station to the Settle-Carlisle Line at Garsdale station.

The Wensleydale Railway is now a heritage railway running trains between Northallerton West and Redmire stations, with up to six intermediate stations.

This section from Wikipedia, details their future plans.

The company’s longer-term aim is to reopen the 18 miles (29 km) of line west from Redmire via Castle Bolton, Aysgarth, Askrigg, Bainbridge, Hawes and Mossdale to join up with the Settle-Carlisle Railway Route at Garsdale. A study commissioned by the railway indicated that an initial extension to Aysgarth from Redmire (3 miles (4.8 km)), would generate an extra income of £3.1 million into the local economy with an additional £500,000 in ticket sales for the railway.

There is also this in the Wikipedia entry for Northallerton West station in a section call Future.

The aim of the Wensleydale Railway in the long-term is to extend the line to Northallerton station and allow passengers to interchange with National Rail services. As this will require an agreement with Network Rail, the provision of the platform is an interim solution which will allow the track to be brought into more regular use whilst also bringing in extra income for the heritage railway.

I’ve have looked on at Ordnance Survey map at the track at the Western end and its original position is clearly visible.

Surely, this is the sort of project that rural areas with a high level of tourism need, if the sums add up in the right way!

Consider.

  • The line will have a full length of about forty miles. So it could be a Grand Day Out?
  • The line would connect to the iconic Settle-Carlisle Line at its Western end, with connections to Carlisle, Carnforth and Cumbria and Black and Lancashire.
  • The Line would connect to the East Coast Main Line at its Eastern end, with connections to Darlington, Middlesbrough, Newcastle and York.
  • Network Rail have spent a fortune on the Settle-Carlisle and this would feed in more passengers.

An extended Wensleydale Railway would greatly add to the tourism infrstructure in the area.

Conclusion

If the residents of the area, show the grit and determination, that has been shown by the residents of Hawes, this railway will get built!

There would be another slow-speed TransPennine route.

 

 

November 12, 2017 Posted by | Travel | , , | 4 Comments

Dunfermline

I’d never been to Dunfermline before, so my friend and I took a look round before returning to Edinburgh over the bridge.

It would certainly be worth another visit.

Dunfermline certainly needs an electrified rail line from Edinburgh, as I talked about in Running Electric Trains Across The Forth Bridge.

This Google Map shows the centre.

Note Dunfermline Town station in the South-East corner of the map.

September 11, 2017 Posted by | Travel, World | , | Leave a comment

Scenic Rail In Britain

The Association Of Community Rail Partnerships have put all the scenic rail lines on one web site called Scenic Rail In Britain.

Links to  Heritage Line websites are also included.

June 9, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

Ascending The Heights Of Abraham

The Heights of Abraham is a tourist attraction at Matlock Bath, close to the station.

I walked down, as I needed to get a train back to Derby. I did it in sensible trainers and don’t do it in anything less!

I’m sure this attraction would benefit from a better train service from Derby and Nottingham.

June 1, 2017 Posted by | Travel | , , | Leave a comment

How Times Change

Several hundred years ago, those living in the North of England, would have waited with fear and trepidation at the thought of invasion from those living across the Border.

But not anymore!

According to this article in the Cumbria Crack, which is entitled Settle-Carlisle groups welcome Scottish rail study.

This is said.

Putting this into historical context, Mark Rand, Joint Vice Chairman of the 3500-member Friends of the Settle-Carlisle Line said: “People often ask why did the Victorians build a railway line from tiny Settle to the border city of Carlisle. It was part of a much greater whole – the Midland Railway’s main route from London St Pancras to Scotland via Leeds and Carlisle, from where what is today called the Borders Railway continued to Edinburgh. What opportunities the full Edinburgh-Carlisle re-opening would enable! The Friends of the Settle-Carlisle Line welcomes this study with open arms.”

Further, the full re-opening would give a railway offering world-class scenery for much of the 211 miles from Leeds to Edinburgh, attracting huge numbers of international tourists, as happens in countries such as Norway and Switzerland, an industry so vital to the UK economy.

Unlike many railway projects, this project only needs the railway to be built, as the trains that would be ideal for Leeds to Edinburgh via Caelisle, were built forty years ago.

What better route would there be to serve with refurbished examples of Terry Miller‘s masterpiece, the InterCity 125?

May 12, 2017 Posted by | Travel | , , , , | 2 Comments

Would I Go Back To The Harz Narrow Gauge Railways?

The Harz Narrow Gauge Railways is not a small system and if I was in the area again, I would certainly pay the railways a visit.

The trip I took from Nordhausen to Wernigerode between two Deutsche Bahn lines is possible on almost an hourly basis througthtout most of the year, although it would be a better trip in sunny weather.

I didn’t do the trip up the Brocken, which is a peak of over a thousand metres high. That is best accessed from Wernigerode, if you only have a short amount of time available.

May 4, 2017 Posted by | Travel | , , | Leave a comment

Wernigerode Station

Wernigerode station is the Northern terminus and main depot of the Harz Narrow Gauge Railways.

It has an interchange with the Deutsche Bahn, that runs between Goslar and Magdeburg.

This Google Map shows the layout of the station.

It appears to me that the station has a common layout for this part of Germany, where there is a loop that serves the platform closest to the station building.

Trains on Deutsche Bahn seem to be about every hour and although the local diesel services seem to link together fairly well, the information isn’t as good as it might be.

I certainly think that if the weather had been better, it would have been a more interesting town to visit.

May 4, 2017 Posted by | Travel | , , , | Leave a comment

Drei Annen Hohne Station

 

Drei Annen Hohne station is a junction station on the Harz Narrow Gauge Railways.

We stopped on our way to Wernigerode to change locomotives, so that our locomotive could be replenished with water.

 

 

May 4, 2017 Posted by | Travel | , , , | Leave a comment

By Steam Between Eisfielder Talmühle And Drei Annen Hohne Stations

At Eisfielder Talmühle station, we changed from the diesel rail-car to a steam-hauled train.

Note.

  1. I sensed that the train climbed quite a bit.
  2. There were a lot of level crossings.

It’s certainly a spectacularly railway.

 

 

 

 

May 4, 2017 Posted by | Travel | , , , | Leave a comment

By Diesel Rail-Car Between Nordhausen Nord And Eisfielder Talmühle Stations

I travelled between Nordhausen Nord And Eisfielder Talmühle stations in a vintage diesel rail-car.

I got the impression that this train was used by locals to come into town for work or shopping.

Note the rather unusual hybrid tram that duplicates part of the route.

May 4, 2017 Posted by | Travel | , , | Leave a comment