Hellifield To Carlisle All Stations

Discussion in 'Railway History & Nostalgia' started by RichmondCommu, 5 Jan 2017.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. RichmondCommu

    RichmondCommu Established Member

    Messages:
    6,556
    Joined:
    23 Feb 2010
    Location:
    Richmond, London
    G'day everyone,

    During the 1960's, at least until April 1966 this service was pretty much guaranteed super power haulage for a three coach local train with Britannias and Jubilees often in charge not to mention the 'Clans'. However I'm really interested to know why the train started at Hellifield and not Skipton, especially as the other 'all stations' started from Bradford.

    Any ideas / thoughts anyone? I'm also interested to know whether the timetable remained the same when diesel units took over in April 1966.

    Kind regards,

    Richmond Commuter!
     
  2. Welshman

    Welshman Established Member

    Messages:
    2,487
    Joined:
    11 Mar 2010
    Purely a guess, but as services between Leeds/Bradford and Wennington/Carnforth/Lancaster/Morecambe were more frequent then, they were intended to connect at Hellifield.
     
  3. Springs Branch

    Springs Branch Member

    Messages:
    393
    Joined:
    7 Nov 2013
    Location:
    Where my keyboard has no £ key
    I spend the odd hour or two browsing through railway timetables from the steam era and I've concluded it's usually pointless trying to deduce any logic behind some of the odd service patterns like this Hellifield example.

    I know that passenger trains generally shared paths with a lot of low-speed, unfitted goods trains back then and there were sometimes special cases like trains for schoolchildren or market days in rural locations. But a good fraction of timetables seemed designed for maximum inconvenience to passengers and/or inefficient rolling stock utilisation - even pre-Beeching, before any alleged attempts to drive away custom and engineer line closures.

    You wonder who dreamed up the timetables, whether anyone ever thought from a passenger's perspective or if they were some intractible carry-over from Victorian times which no-one felt able to change.

    One of my pet examples is on the Wigan to Southport line. Up until dieselisation in the 1960s, a handful* of stopping trains from the Manchester Vic /Wigan Wallgate direction started or terminated at Burscough Bridge. For some reason, these steam trains couldn't make the remaining 7 miles into Southport, even though the overall frequency of through Wigan/Southport trains was not fantastic back then. You might say "Ah, yes, but there were Southport-Ormskirk trains then. Passengers could probably change to/from these at Burscough Bridge." But the times of the Ormskirk/Southport trains usually did not connect.

    These BCB short workings were discontinued when DMUs were introduced - despite the fact that reversing direction of a DMU was much easier than faffing about changing a tank engine from one end of the train to the other.

    * In 1960 weekday timetable there were:-
    0720 BurscoughBridge - Manchester Vic
    0829 BurscoughBridge - Wigan Wallgate
    1340SO Burscough Bridge - Manchester Vic
    1715 BurscoughBridge - Manchester Vic
     
  4. yorksrob

    yorksrob Veteran Member

    Messages:
    14,796
    Joined:
    6 Aug 2009
    Location:
    Yorks
    Wasn't there a steam shed at Hellifield in those days ? Maybe that's where the loco was based.
     
  5. RichmondCommu

    RichmondCommu Established Member

    Messages:
    6,556
    Joined:
    23 Feb 2010
    Location:
    Richmond, London
    Yes there was but there was also a shed at Skipton and of course one at Holbeck. As far as I know the Jubilees, Britannia's and 'Clans' were not based at Hellifield.
     
  6. 70014IronDuke

    70014IronDuke Established Member

    Messages:
    1,431
    Joined:
    13 Jun 2015
    I'm pretty certain the shed at Hellifield had closed by 1965, let alone 1966. (Part of the national collection was stored there at this time.)

    Nontheless, the rostering and diagramming for this train could easily have related to the former depot. My impression is that, historically speaking, Hellifield was a more important operations centre than Skipton.

    And/or, it might have been down to union agreements and/or shift arrangements. just because Skipton (or wherever the stock and loco came from) was only a few miles up the line, it may well have gone over some 'trigger' point that would have meant extra mileage or time payments.

    OK, when Hellifield closed, it may have made nonsense of the working, but since there were plans to dieselise the local services, meaning whole new diagrams would be created, perhaps the powers at be decided the whole rigmarole of changing this service before the general changes was not worthwhile?

    The above is largely speculation on my part, however. I have no firm evidence.

    Your question also raises another point: when both Skipton and Hellifield sheds were open, what were the various duties: presumably Skipton worked the Colne branch, and Hellifield shared traffic to Blackburn with the former L&Y crews and locos (?) - but who (if relevant) had dominance over main line workings to Carlisle?
     
  7. RichmondCommu

    RichmondCommu Established Member

    Messages:
    6,556
    Joined:
    23 Feb 2010
    Location:
    Richmond, London
    Hellifield shed had in fact closed in 1963 and I also get the impression that the Hellifield was the more important depot, especially after it was modernised in the 1930's. However given that one of the two daily all stations services ran through to Bradford I was just surprised that the other service terminated effectively in the middle of nowhere.

    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---

    Many thanks for your post. That could well have been the case but if you were traveling south on a local train from say Dent there would surely be a good chance that your destination was Skipton market or perhaps even Leeds or Bradford. Hellifield was and indeed still is just a little village.

    I wonder if the amount of traffic heading south of Hellifield (as you mention) perhaps meant that there wasn't room in the timetable for another stopper.
     
    Last edited: 6 Jan 2017
  8. Bevan Price

    Bevan Price Established Member

    Messages:
    3,039
    Joined:
    22 Apr 2010
    It would have been the return working of a Carlisle - Hellifield all stations service.The times varied over the years, but there were connections with fast services to / from Leeds (some involving longish waits.)

    For example:-
    1965/66 LMR Timetable:

    Carlisle 08:05; Hellifield 10:33
    Connection, 09:33 ex- Morecambe Promenade)
    Hellifield 10:47; Leeds 11:55

    Leeds 10:45 (SX) to Morecambe & Carnforth; Hellifield arr 11:56
    Hellifield 12:08; Carlisle 14:28.

    or (SO) Leeds 10:15,; Hellifield 11:27
    (Birmingham - Leeds - Glasgow Central service)
    then as above.
     
  9. Welshman

    Welshman Established Member

    Messages:
    2,487
    Joined:
    11 Mar 2010

    I'm still speculating here!!!

    Although, as you say, Hellifield was and is just a little village, it was a considerably important railway settlement, having not only the mpd referred to in an earlier post, but it was also, in effect, the junction for five railway lines - the Midland routes to Carlisle, Skipton and Lancaster, the North Western to Sedburgh and the L & Y to Blackburn. It was also, in its day, the luncheon stop for Anglo-Scottish expresses before the introduction of restaurant cars - hence the long platforms for such a small settlement.

    There was little incentive to change historic traditions on the railways and many traditional practices continued long after there was any reason or need for them. Perhaps the Hellifield-Settle stoppers fell into this latter category and existed into the 1960s.

    Perhaps the odd one or two Settle stoppers which were extended back to Bradford Forster Square, were not as a result of passenger demand, but to satisfy the large Grattons Mail Order store, adjacent to Forster Square station before it was rebuilt.

    I well remember that station's original large concourse being almost filled with barrows strewn with parcels, and a 3.40pm stopping service to Carlisle which comprised of about 2 passenger coaches and a dozen or so parcels vans!!
     
    Last edited: 6 Jan 2017
  10. RichmondCommu

    RichmondCommu Established Member

    Messages:
    6,556
    Joined:
    23 Feb 2010
    Location:
    Richmond, London
    Many thanks for this :)

    I'm amazed that a long distance express service in the mid 1960's was making a station call at Hellifield!
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    Many thanks this :) Lots of interesting information here, especially in the last two paragraphs.
     
  11. Bevan Price

    Bevan Price Established Member

    Messages:
    3,039
    Joined:
    22 Apr 2010

    Even more amazing when you consider that some of them did not call at Keighley, the largest town between Leeds and Carlisle. (And that included "The Thames Clyde Express" & "The Waverley".)
     
  12. 30907

    30907 Established Member

    Messages:
    4,168
    Joined:
    30 Sep 2012
    Location:
    North Lancs Loop
    Of the three regular S and C expresses, the Northbound Leeds-Glasgow and southbound Waverley both had decent L&Y connections in the 1958 timetable and (I suppose) justified the Hellifield stop, which explains the balancing stops.
    Timetable inertia is a wonderful thing!

    Keighley was only served by the Leeds-Glasgow pair (with restaurant to/from Kilmarnock - later a last haunt of the Gresley Buffets).

    The Thames-Clyde was non-stop in those days.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page