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Bilton Sidings, Harrogate?

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6Gman

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I thought I knew the railway system pretty well but then I come across new ones!

Today it was Bilton or Bilton Sidings which I think was near Harrogate (between there and Knaresborough perhaps?).

It seems to have handled around 40 trains per day, mostly through services (e.g. Newport-Normanton or Neville Hill-Stockton) and mostly to/from the Tees-side area.

Can anyone tell me exactly where it was?
 
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Gloster

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It looks as though they were on the west side of the line just beyond Bilton Road Junction at the north point of the Starbeck Triangle. They may have been exchange sidings for gas works traffic.

EDIT: There is another Bilton Sidings near Rugby.
 

John Webb

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It looks as though they were on the west side of the line just beyond Bilton Road Junction at the north point of the Starbeck Triangle. They may have been exchange sidings for gas works traffic.

EDIT: There is another Bilton Sidings near Rugby.
Martin Bairstow's book "Railways Around Harrogate - Volume 2" (published in 1988) confirms your location of the sidings. They were for coal traffic to the Harrogate gasworks - it was carried on a 1.75 mile 2ft gauge railway from the sidings to the gasworks. The railway also carried by-products, such as tar, from the gasworks to the sidings for onward transit. There was a tunnel 1,100 yards long on the gasworks railway.

But I suspect it is the Rugby sidings of that name - I can't imagine the Bilton, Harrogate, sidings dealing with all that traffic!
 

Gloster

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In view of the trains mentioned by the OP, perhaps the question refers to the Bilton Signal Box, not the sidings themselves. There is something on the LNER encyclopaedia about the sidings being shunted by the shunter from Starbeck Yard and there is a semi-thumbnail (or whatever it is called) on the Signalling Record Society’s site.
 

6Gman

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Martin Bairstow's book "Railways Around Harrogate - Volume 2" (published in 1988) confirms your location of the sidings. They were for coal traffic to the Harrogate gasworks - it was carried on a 1.75 mile 2ft gauge railway from the sidings to the gasworks. The railway also carried by-products, such as tar, from the gasworks to the sidings for onward transit. There was a tunnel 1,100 yards long on the gasworks railway.

But I suspect it is the Rugby sidings of that name - I can't imagine the Bilton, Harrogate, sidings dealing with all that traffic!

Definitely not the Rugby one; not least because I found it in an old set of York loco and enginemen's diagrams! (York men wouldn't have worked to Rugby - Saltley men would have kidnapped them at shovelpoint! :D )

Since most of the services seem to have been through services I assume it was a set of sidings for recessing and crew changes rather than marshalling. I think it was useful as it kept services out of York by going Leeds - Harrogate - Ripon - Northallerton.
 

Gloster

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Th SRS signalling diagram shows Up and Down loops to the north of the gasworks sidings; these may be World War II additions due to their distance from the box. However, I think that they are also a long way from Starbeck shed.
 

Mcr Warrior

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Thanks.

So are we talking about the sidings a short way to the North West beyond Bilton Road Junction?

If so, then as mentioned upthread, this would have been the site of the interchange sidings with the narrow gauge Harrogate Gas Works railway.

Might be some more info and pics in Martin Hallowes' 1995 "Harrogate Gas Works" booklet, but it's a bit expensive to get hold of these days.
 

Mcr Warrior

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The line of the short, two foot gauge gasworks line, from the interchange at Bilton Road Junction to the gasworks site at Ripon Road, Harrogate, can be seen quite clearly on old OS maps. Slightly difficult to follow in its entirety as the line weaves around a bit and straddles two 6 inch (to the mile) OS map sheets. Shown as a "mineral railway".
 
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Pinza-C55

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The line of the short, two foot gauge gasworks line, from the interchange at Bilton Road Junction to the gasworks site at Ripon Road, Harrogate, can be seen quite clearly on old OS maps. Slightly difficult to follow in its entirety as the line weaves around a bit and straddles two 6 inch (to the mile) OS map sheets. Shown as a "mineral railway".

Easy to see on the 25 inch map though.

 

Mcr Warrior

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Here we go. Quite clear on this one... Interchange sidings are top right, gas works site bottom left.

post-32910-0-95391900-1527957992.png
 

Mcr Warrior

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Following is from a local history newsletter from 2015...

Bilton Historical Society Newsletter said:
To eliminate complaints and reduce the cost of transporting coal the company opened a coal yard at Bilton Junction where the railway to Ripon crossed Bilton Lane. Again the coal was transshipped from Bilton Junction by steam road locomotives. This was in 1880 and, though the shorter road route alleviated both the transport and environmental problems, it was not the ideal solution. The growing demand for ‘town gas’ outstripped the carrying capacity of these road locomotives and in 1908 - 1909, a narrow gauge railway was constructed from Bilton sidings to the New Park gasworks. The gas company purchased its first locomotive in 1908 which it named 'Barber' after the chairman of the gas company The line, which included a tunnel carrying the tracks under the A59 at New Park and today’s Knox Avenue estate, was officially opened in December 1908. The works were enlarged again in 1908 – 1909, 1911 and 1914. In 1925 the Harrogate Gas Company took over the Pateley Bridge Gas Company whose works were at Glasshouses and by 1927 Harrogate Gas Company extended its
area of supply again by absorbing the gas undertakings of Knaresborough UDC, Tadcaster, Boston Spa and the Boroughbridge. On nationalization in 1949 the undertaking became part of the Harrogate / York Group of NEGB. The almost insatiable demand for gas to meet Harrogate’s expanding township meant that even the narrow gauge railway could not carry enough coal and during the 1950s a large proportion of the coal had to be transported by road (20 tonne diesel wagons) which led to the decision in September 1955 to close the line and revert to road transport. The last train passed through the New Park tunnel in July 1956.
 
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