Viaduct Repairs

Doesn’t look real  does it?  The train going over Loftus viaduct is dumping shale from the mines to convert the viaduct into an embankment.  The viaduct was seriously weakened by undermining from the ironstone mines, so these drastic measures were taken to fix the problem. Simon Chapman tells us: ”Messrs Bell Brothers wanted to mine ironstone from beneath the viaduct from their Carlin How Mine so arrangements were made to fill in the viaduct to support it from 1907. In January 1911 it was found that one of the piers had begun to crack because of unequal infilling so rail services were suspended for a fortnight to enable extra tipping to take place. Shale was tipped from Liverton and Loftus Mines and was completed by 1914.”

Image courtesy of the Pem Holliday Collection and thanks to Simon Chapman for that update.

Loftus Railway Station

An image of Loftus Railway Station, unfortunately a little age-bleached, but showing the beautiful Victorian canopy well.

Image courtesy of Pauline Dolling.

Kilton Viaduct and “New London” in Background

A view of Kilton Viaduct (prior to filling-in) to create the embankment of more recent times with – New London – being the planned name for the present day community 0f Liverton Mines when investors took on the venture. The investors had even suggested a variation in the name to Little London if they could get aggrement of the locals. The long sweep of the viaduct is easily visible in this image, as are the calcining kilns at Liverton Mine; the fumes from which used to rot the clothes of the labourers working on them. Norman Patton says ”Our family moved from “Brickyard” to Liverton mines in 1952. The promise of a fitted bathroom and hot and cold running water; with a garden front and back was too much to resist! Wages at Kilton pit were good at the time and the journey on push-bike much easier for our father. We even had a television before the Coronation and the Stanley Matthews Cup Final (12” Black and White, Console model no less)”. The new estate of council houses inspired the name ” New London” for the village and the council estate was the “Holy City”. ”Brickyard” being the local name for the Hartington Street, High Row and St Hilda’s Terrace area of Loftus; similar epithets applied in Brotton and elsewhere in Cleveland.

Thanks to Norman Patton and Derick Pearson for additional information.

Battersby Junction (1950’s)

A pristine locomotive – another A8, number 69883 – pictured at Battersby Junction in the 1950’s. Battersby Junction is now a station on the Middlesbrough to Whitby, Esk Valley line; it was originally the junction for the line which connected with the Rosedale ironstone mines.

Location identification courtesy of Simon Chapman.

North Skelton Junction

Simon Chapman has advised: “This is quite a well-known picture of North Skelton Junction. The train, hauled by a J27, is coming down the gradient from Brotton towards Saltburn. The line to the right served North Skelton Mine but had originally gone through to Priestcrofts Junction near Boosbeck.” Chris Davies advises:”Engine number would be in the 65780-65894 range as it is of BR Class J27 0-6-0.” Re-posting the image has enabled the Archive to advise that the engine number is 65788.

Thanks to Simon Chapman and Chris Davies for this information; also thanks to Ian Pearson for noticing the slip of the fingers in entering the locomotive number.

Ormesby Station

We wonder whether that first coach of this train made it to preservation?  The locomotive a Raven/Gresley A8 4-6-2T 69862 didn’t, it was cut up at Darlington in 1958.


Taken from the old road bridge that carried the A171 over the railway at Slapewath (the scene of many minor bumps in the distant past), the picture shows the backs of the houses at Slapewath.  The train is approaching Spawood junction from Boosbeck.  It’s difficult to visualise this view now as the A171 re-alignment was so major, I seem to remember two bridges, one over the railway, one over the beck and one rail bridge over the road (to South Skelton or Park) pit) at Fancy Bank (the remains of the railway can be seen on the hillside as a gated forest road).  Some of the remains of the old road and rail structures can be seen with the beautiful viaduct at Spawood (now becoming enshrouded in trees) and the road bridge over the beck adjacent partly covered by the modern A171 as it sweeps down Fancy Bank. I think the locomotive is numbered 67678, which would make it a V3 2-6-2T, but it’s not an easy one to see.

Commondale Halt

There’s not a lot to say about this image – it’s a photograph of Commondale Halt – as a location we were initially uncertain.

Updated location courtesy of Simon Chapman.

Grosmont Station

A shot of the Whitby-Middlesbrough platform at Grosmont Station, change here for Pickering and all intermediate stations.  Alan Woods tell us: “The locomotive number is 69877.” The junction point of two railways, the Whitby-Pickering and the Whitby-Middlesbrough lines.  Both lines still traversable by train,  the Middlesbrough-Whitby Line having escaped the Beeching axe by virtue of remoteness (it wasn’t economically viable to replace the routes with a bus service) and the Grosmont-Pickering Line by the good fortune of becoming the first Heritage railway; The North Yorkshire Moors Railway. A line I’ve been travelling regularly since they had ”Salmon”.  Long may it flourish!

Thanks to Alan Woods for the update.

Guisborough Station

A good shot of BR Standard 2-6-4T 80118 standing at Guisborough Station with a local train. Alan Featonby tells us: ”80118 was allocated to Whitby (50G) shed at this time and is on Middlesbrough to Whitby service via Loftus, depending on the time of day it could have run to Scarborough.  The train, having run directly into Guisborough station from Middlesbrough, would reverse back to Hutton junction prior to changing direction once again to head towards  Brotton.  These 4MT tank loco’s were turned at Middlesbrough in order to run chimney first up Nunthorpe bank thus ensuring water was always around the firebox.  There was no Saltburn service between 1955 and 1958 when this photograph was taken. I suspect this train is the first return working on the last day of through running to Whitby in 1958 and it did terminate at Whitby.  80116 and an L1 doing the final honours on the Scarborough trains.  DMU’s then took over the service on the following Monday but from Loftus to Middlesbroug; the Esk Valley route then being the only route to Whitby from Middlesbrough.”

Many thanks to Alan Featonby for this explanation of this lines working systems at the time this image was taken.