John Speller's Web Pages Leeds, Dewsbury & Manchester Railway

John Speller's Web Pages - L&NWR
Leeds, Dewsbury & Manchester Railway LNWR Untitled
The Leeds, Dewsbury & Manchester Railway was incorporated by an Act of 30 June 1845 to build a line from Manchester via Huddersfield and Dewsbury to Leeds. The Chairman was John Gott and William Eagle Bott was the Secretary. The tracks between Huddersfield and Mirfield were shared with the Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway. Additional branches including one to Birstall were authorized under an additional Act of 27 July 1846. The line was leased to the London & North Western Railway for 999 years under an Act of 1847. It was originally intended that the Birstall branch would be extended to provide access to Bradford, but the Great Northern won out on this route in 1861 and the L&NWR never succeeded in reaching Bradford. An additional branch to Kirkburton was constructed in 1867. A second route between Huddersfield and Leeds, officially known as the Heaton Lodge & Wortley Railway and unoficially as the Leeds New Line, was constructed in 1900. After the Grouping of 1923, the LMS found itself with three routes to Leeds, originally built respectively by the Midland, Lancashire & Yorkshire and London & North Western Railways, of which the L&NWR route was the least profitable. After years of neglect the northern part of the L&NWR route was closed piecemeal under the Beeching Axe.
Map of the Leeds, Dewsbury & Manchester Railway and branches
WD "Austerity" Class 8-F 2-8-0 No. 90541 on a westbound goods train between Ravensthorpe & Thornhill and Mirfield stations on 11 August 1953. Image Copyright Ben Brooksbank and licensed for re-use under this
L&NWR Radial Tanks were at the best of times unstable beasts and on 10 August 1909 the 2-4-2 tank on the 9.20 a.m. Huddersfield to Stockport train derailed at Saddleworth. The driver and fireman were killed and seven passengers seriously injured
The picturesque Saddleworth Viaduct, constructed in 1849, is now a Grade II Listed Structure. Perhaps there is a little overkill in 1,250 h.p. diesel-electric locomotive No. 25244 propelling a single wagon over the viaduct on 5 March 1983. Image courtesy of Wikipedia Commons
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