John Speller's Web Pages Skipton & Colne Extension Railway

John Speller's Web Pages - Midland Railway
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The Leeds & Bradford (Shipley - Colne Extension) Railway Act received the Royal Assent on 30 June 1845. It involved building an extension of the Leeds & Bradford Railway (then under construction) from Shipley to Colne via Skipton. The Shipley to Skipton section later became part of the Midland Railway main line to Carlisle, while the Skipton to Colne section became a branch with an end-on connection to the Blackburn, Burnley, Accrington & Colne Extension line of the Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway at Colne. The Skipton to Colne section opened on 2 October 1848. Although the line was in theory part of a through route from Liverpool to Leeds, this route suffered from being under the ownership of several different rival companies and the traffic was always substantially local. The line needed to be built to main line standards since it was used by heavy coal trains drawn by Fowler "8-F" Class 0-8-0 locomotives. Services were drastically curtailed under the Beeching Plan of 1963, and complete closure followed on 2 February 1970. There is some talk of reinstating it.

The 1-mile Barnoldswick Railway was chartered by Act of Parliament on 12 August 1865. It opened on 9 February 1871 and was worked by the Midland Railway which absorbed it in 1899. Passenger traffic ceased on the Barnoldswick branch on 25 September 1965, and goods traffic on 30 July 1966.
Map of the Skipton & Colne Extension Railway
Barnoldswick Station in 1961. Image courtesy of Wikipedia Commons
The Barnoldswick Branch train behind Midland Class "1-F" 0-6-0T No. 1347 in around 1905
Another view of Johnson "1-F" Class 0-6-0 tank No. 1347 operating on the Barnoldswick Branch in around 1905
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