John Speller's Web Pages Masham Branch

John Speller's Web Pages - North Eastern Railway
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The seven-and-a-half-mile Masham Branch ran from Melmerby on the Harrogate to Northallerton line to the market town of Masham in Wensleydale, with one intermediate station at Tanfield. It was authorized under the North Eastern Railway (Additional Powers) Act of 1871 and opened to goods on 9 June 1875 and to passengers the following day. Its proximity to the ruins of Jervaulx Abbey brought a few tourists, but the line relied mainly on local traffic. It closed on 11 November 1963, although British Railways forgot to inform the National Coal Board and this led to the need to provide coal trains for several days longer than intended.

Map of the Masham branch line and connections
The former station house and goods shed at Masham in 2007. Image copyright Gordon Hatton and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence
An early view of Masham station a few years after opening with a saddle tank locomotive, perhaps one of William Bouch's designs, and a three-coach train. Note the brake van with a caboose-like raised lookout for the guard
T. W. Worsdell's Class "B" 0-6-2 compound tank (LNER Class "N-8") No. 855. The Worsdell-von Borries compound system made use of an 18 in. high pressure cylinder which fed into a pipe in the smokebox and then fed into a 26 in. low pressure cylinder. A valve operated by the driver enabled steam to be fed directly into the low pressure cylinder when starting. Forty-eight compounds were built, but Wilson Wordell eventually rebuilt all of them as simples with two 19 in. x 26 in. cylinders
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