Penistone’s passenger train highlights – since 1964

Haulage Highlights – top page

Class 40 no 40108 heads 1Z80 10:47 Liverpool Lime Street – Wadsley Bridge football special through Oxspring, having just passed through Penistone, on 12 April 1980. Paul Braybrook

Penistone is very much associated with the Woodhead route. Not surprising then that many of its passenger train highlights, since electrification, were through its electrified platforms. However, the platforms serving the former Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway line to Huddersfield have had their fair share too. This includes what was the greatest highlight of all, the visit of 6858 Woolston Grange.

GWR 6858 Woolston Grange – 15th August 1964

Ask any 1960’s Penistone, or West Riding for that matter, area enthusiast what was the most unusual locomotive to ever appear in the area. You would be hard pressed to find any that wouldn’t say that it was 6858 Woolston Grange when it called at Penistone on its way to Huddersfield in 1964. A GWR locomotive reaching Sheffield Victoria was unprecedented in itself. Then not to be detached from its train and instead continue on to Penistone under the wires, then to Huddersfield via the L&Y, was something that could never happen, but it did on the 15th August 1964!

The event was recorded in the Huddersfield notes of The Railway Observer (p. 320 10/64) as follows:-

“The greatest highlight for many years occurred on 15th August when 6858 Woolston Grange arrived on the 08.55 Bournemouth (West)-Leeds being replaced by 45048 (5A) for the remainder of the journey. 6858 distinguished itself by making a lightning run between Penistone and Huddersfield in eighteen minutes instead of the twenty-four minutes allowed and striking the edge of the wood platform at Denby Dale with the left-hand cylinder as it passed through ! Its subsequent stay at Hillhouse shed was surrounded by what can best be described as a strict security cordon, on one occasion the Railway Police being required to disperse would be sightseers. 6858 departed for Oxley at 00.50 on 26th August running via Micklehurst, Edgeley and Crewe, speed being restricted to 35 m.p.h and travelling under bell code 2-6-1 (out of gauge load).”

The Summer of 1964 was the last in which the West Riding Summer Saturday trains to Bournemouth and beyond were routed via Sheffield Victoria and then the Great Central route to Nottingham. 6858 Woolston Grange bringing the era to a spectacular climax. In 1964 two trains were timetabled in both directions, details of these are given below.

HeadcodeTrainDates
1O2021:45 Leeds City – Bournemouth West Fridays 17 Jul – 15 Aug
1O4110:08 Bradford Exchange – Poole (A)Saturdays 20 Jun – 5Sep

(A) – 09:55 ex Leeds City portion attached at Huddersfield

HeadcodeTrain Dates
1N7208:55 Bournemouth West – Leeds CitySaturdays 18 Jul – 15 Aug
1N6310:34 Bournemouth West – Bradford ExchangeSaturdays 20 Jun – 5 Sep

The following year the Leeds train was diverted to run via Normanton, thus not serving Penistone. The Bradford train still served Penistone from where it was routed via Silkstone, Barnsley and Elsecar to Sheffield Midland and then via the Midland route to Nottingham.

Other highlights are listed in roughly chronological order below. Click on the highlight or the list to the left for further information.

1966 – ‘Jubilee’ Summer

1970 – Footex’s via Woodhead

1971 & 1972 – Summer Saturday Kings Cross flyer

1974-1981 – Winter Sunday diversions

1974 – Footex’s via Woodhead

1977 – Footex’s via Woodhead

1980 – Footex’s via Woodhead

1988 – 20081+20166 head 2f22

This is currently very much a work in progress with various highlights still to be added. Please contact Peter Hall with any comments you might have.

Page maintained by Peter Hall.