RITES OF PASSAGE FOR A MODEL RAILWAY - 1: Area Research - North Eastern Region, British Railways

The coat of arms, the totems and the system -

The three constituents that made up the original North Eastern Railway in 1854 were (from left to right) the Leeds Northern, the York & North Midland and the York, Newcastle & Berwick Railway companies
The three constituents that made up the original North Eastern Railway in 1854 were (from left to right) the Leeds Northern, the York & North Midland and the York, Newcastle & Berwick Railway companies | Source
From 1923 until 1947 the amalgamated east coast companies were known officially as the London & North Eastern Railway (LNER). This might seem more than a nod to the NER. The region suffered badly in the Depression when industry took a downturn
From 1923 until 1947 the amalgamated east coast companies were known officially as the London & North Eastern Railway (LNER). This might seem more than a nod to the NER. The region suffered badly in the Depression when industry took a downturn | Source
British Railways' North Eastern Region totem, black lettering, tangerine body with white trim and black edging
British Railways' North Eastern Region totem, black lettering, tangerine body with white trim and black edging | Source
Route map of the North East with connections to other companies' lines - the NER was one of the richest, with a large slice of industry and the East Coast Main Line as well as many major cities (Hull, Leeds, Newcastle, Bradford, Durham, York)
Route map of the North East with connections to other companies' lines - the NER was one of the richest, with a large slice of industry and the East Coast Main Line as well as many major cities (Hull, Leeds, Newcastle, Bradford, Durham, York) | Source

British Railways North Eastern Region

The photographs are atmospheric and in colour. You get a good idea of the true nature of steam, dirty, sooty, greasy, smelly... And yet it's better, more picturesque than the subsequent diesel era and what came after. Why do you think people turn out in their droves for steam galas everywhere between Land's End and John O'Groats? It's almost... Well it is emotional, isn't it. You only get the images here, if you want more there's the North Yorkshire Moors Railway - now with a platform at Whitby Town station!

Grosmont Station on the Middlesbrough-Whitby branch as well as the Pickering-Grosmont-(Whitby) NYMR route, complete with BR(NE) tangerine totem
Grosmont Station on the Middlesbrough-Whitby branch as well as the Pickering-Grosmont-(Whitby) NYMR route, complete with BR(NE) tangerine totem | Source
At Goathland, at the next stop on the NYMR we see a grand-looking Gresley teak LNER Observation Car at the back of a train departing for Grosmont
At Goathland, at the next stop on the NYMR we see a grand-looking Gresley teak LNER Observation Car at the back of a train departing for Grosmont | Source

Don't be inhibited, exhibit! A few locomotives for starters

From 1948 this was the totem of British Railways' North Eastern Region - corresponded with the former pre-Grouping North Eastern Railway
From 1948 this was the totem of British Railways' North Eastern Region - corresponded with the former pre-Grouping North Eastern Railway | Source
Modified (Hornby) D49/1 Shire Class 62721  'Warwickshire' in early British Railways livery with the 'cycling lion' logo. A visitor from outside the area, she appears with short semi-fast trains of Gresley side-corridor stock
Modified (Hornby) D49/1 Shire Class 62721 'Warwickshire' in early British Railways livery with the 'cycling lion' logo. A visitor from outside the area, she appears with short semi-fast trains of Gresley side-corridor stock | Source
Modified (Hornby again) D49/2 'Hunt' utilised Comet detailing kit, 2764 'The Garth' in late LNER livery. since re-liveried with the 'cycling lion', and like 62721 above fitted with brass vacuum pipes and screw couplings
Modified (Hornby again) D49/2 'Hunt' utilised Comet detailing kit, 2764 'The Garth' in late LNER livery. since re-liveried with the 'cycling lion', and like 62721 above fitted with brass vacuum pipes and screw couplings | Source
 W D 2-8-0 90446 was allocated in 1950 to 51B Newport (near Middlesbrough) until 1958, when she was transferred to the new shed at nearby Thornaby (51L). Thornaby closed to steam in 1964 (modified Bachmann model)
W D 2-8-0 90446 was allocated in 1950 to 51B Newport (near Middlesbrough) until 1958, when she was transferred to the new shed at nearby Thornaby (51L). Thornaby closed to steam in 1964 (modified Bachmann model) | Source
Every motive power depot needs one - Sentinenel Y3 0-4-0 shunter 65189 was a Northallerton engine, out-stationed until closure of the line to Leyburn in Wensleydale (Nu-cast kit assembled by fellow DOGA member Stephen Siddle
Every motive power depot needs one - Sentinenel Y3 0-4-0 shunter 65189 was a Northallerton engine, out-stationed until closure of the line to Leyburn in Wensleydale (Nu-cast kit assembled by fellow DOGA member Stephen Siddle | Source
A Blaydon engine (52C),J94 0-6-0ST 68010 on shunting duties at Ayton Lane mpd (Thoraldby layout - modified Hornby product)
A Blaydon engine (52C),J94 0-6-0ST 68010 on shunting duties at Ayton Lane mpd (Thoraldby layout - modified Hornby product) | Source

It's all change for a life in scale - but before you commit to practical matters:

We're entering the realms of imagination, observation, periodic consternation... and a bit of swearing when things turn awkward. There are all sorts of reasons why problems arise, usually they begin with your truly in this house. Lack of time for one thing, and a desire to produce scale replicas. Still, it all ends in smiles.

Let's take a look at what we've got. What about this selection I've made,of models entered into competitions in different categories from modified ready-to-run to completely scratch-built scenic items (see right) I'll explain each in turn:

[Competition can be fierce at the annual general meeting of the Double-O Gauge Association (DOGA) at Keen House - the HQ of The Model Railway Club off the Pentonville Road in London N1. We have a number of people who regularly contribute to periodicals such as Hornby Magazine, others who exhibit at shows. Some of my own models have been shown in local shows on the DOGA stand, and I've contributed articles for the association's magazine].

Each of these locomotives is 'fitted' with wire-wound vacuum pipes, 'Jackson' screw couplings, and furnished with a hand-painted white metal crew. Real coal was added to the tenders using white PVA glue that dries clear. The nameplates for 'The Garth' are blackened etched brass from the Eames range (shows how long ago this conversion was made).

Great care is needed for handling 'The Garth', as the nameplates are attached with superglue and that tends to get brittle over the years. If not touched they stay in position, but I wouldn't fancy having to look for one small nameplate on that cellar floor!

There is a fair number of locomotives in the Thoraldbv 'fleet' that represents sheds in the various Teesside, Darlington and York sheds. There are some from outside the area, such as 62721 'Warwickshire', as well as a small number of ex-LMS and War Department engines that were out-shedded* or allocated to this area.

The layout itself features one small town station, THORALDBY, and a halt, AYTON ROW. THORALDBY has a coal depot, level crossing, cattle dock/tank dock* as well as a goods depot. Behind the station is an army camp with Nissen huts behind a mesh wire fence. There are military and civil defence Land Rovers, and a milk float parked outside one of the huts. (Anybody who saw the film 'Carry on Spying' may remember the 'Milchmann' secret agent the spy team led by Kenneth Williams followed to Vienna and then Marrakesh , I have no Kenneth Williams, Jim Dale, Barbara Windsor, Bernard Cribbins or Charles Hawtrey figures on the layout yet, but I might be working on it... watch this space). Further along the line is a defunct mineral line junction. A tunnel mouth to the left of the junction shows the reason for the line closure: a tunnel cave-in. Next, to the right a stone loader siding 'still in use', with working stone loaders (one of which has been abandoned due to the length of trains needed for traffic and a new one installed). The period modelled is post-Nationalisation up to Coronation Year (1953) when there were still locomotives and passenger and revenue-earning freight vehicles running in pre-Nationalisation livery.

There are several goods, mineral, passenger and mixed traffic locomotives that I take out of their boxes from time to time to give them a run. Passenger tender locomotives are ex-LNER early British Railways liveried 6700 'Yorkshire' and 62721 'Watrwickshire' of D49/1 'Shire' class and 62764 'The Garth' of D49/2 'Hunt' class. 'The Garth' was a Scarborough-(50E) allocated engine during the early 50's, whilst 'Yorkshire' was allocated to Hull Botanic Gardens (53B) and neither saw re-allocation by the late 50's, possibly left on the scrap sidings either at Drapers of Hull or near North Road, Darlington . 'Warwickshire' was out of area, so I can't tell what happened to her. Then there is a solitary Class J21 0-6-0 65033 of Darlington, a veteran of NER vintage that also didn't see out the 50's There are several passenger tank locos, going through the alphabet in the classes: Class A8 4-6-2T 69885 of Scarborough still bears LNER on its tanks in pre-war yellow-shaded lettering (there were a number of engines running with dual identities that seemed to escape the paint shed in order to fill a busy summer timetable). Class V3 2-6-2T 67686 of 51D Middlesbrough in BR livery and can be seen at odd times subbing for a shed-mate, but the usual destination is around Teesside (Darlington-Saltburn) or via Stockton-on-Tees and Sunderland to Newcastle on Tyne. Thompson L1 2-6-4T 67742 of Darlington (51A) is a relative newcomer and is pressed into service when 69885, 67261, 65033, 62700 or 62764 are either elsewhere or at Darlington for servicing. Mixed traffic locomotives can be either pressed into service for freight or passenger duties. B1 4-6-0 Class 61069 and 61339 of Leeds Neville Hill (50B) can be seen plodding through with fully fitted or mixed goods, or even the odd passenger working from Leeds for the North East. A trio of J39 0-6-0's in early BR livery hail from different sheds, 64710 of Darlington and 64857 of Starbeck (50D) are still in late LNER livery. 64821 of Middlesbrough has been in for overhaul and has been outshopped in BR livery, but looks a bit careworn already.There are several loco's ear-marked for heavy duties such as Q6 0-8-0 3409 of Middlesbrough, another still in her late-LNE guise, somehow dodging overhaul and paintshop at Darlington, as is WD 2-8-0 still numbered 3029 as she would have been bought from the Ministry of Supply by the LNER in 1946/47. Bought with 3029 are the two J94 0-6-0 Saddle tank engines 68010 of Blaydon (52C) and 68052. 68010 is sent alternatively with 68052 to bring the stone wagons from the Derwent stone loader at Thoraldby. There are a couple of shed wallflowers that hang around at the local sub-shed, Ayton Banks, J72 0-6-0T 68689, also oddly with part of its pre-war identity, the 'NE' in yellow-shaded letters, and the seemingly forgotten Sentinel 'coffee pot', Y3 0-4-0 with pre-war lettering but post-war number 8159. Northallerton's 8159 should be hard at work in a yard somehere but that seems to have dried up for the moment. Then there are the 'foreigners': 43054 is Leeds Neville Hill's ex-LMS Ivatt Class 4 2-6-0, on loan from one of the West Riding MR sheds; Ivatt Class 2 2-6-0, a 'Mickey Mouse' of the LNER Kirkby Stephen shed (there was also an MR shed). York's V2 2-6-2 864 has still not been in the paint shop, constantly in service. Her forte is also heavy freight, and fully fitted parcels workings between Teesside goods depots and the growing mail order hubs of Bradford and Liverpool. K3 2-6-0 61867 of Mexborough Shed (ex-GC) was recently outshopped from the paint depot at Gorton, although you wouldn't know it. She's in demand bringing industrial or household coal from the South Yorkshire districts in fast wearing-out wood-built former private owner wagons and the new BR 16-tonners. Midland Region Horwich Mogul 2-6-0 'Crab' 42942 is earmarked for whatever her shedmaster can dream up for her, not least of which is the transport of Teesside steel products for the West Riding to replace its bombed-out civil engineering infrastructure.

A book I bought titled A HISTORY OF BRITISH RAILWAYS' NORTH EASTERN REGION, published by the North Eastern Railway Association (NERA) includes contributions from members of the NERA, edited by John Teasdale, ISBN 978-0-9561867-0-6: lots of atmosphere, b/w period photos, colour photos, maps, advertisements and thorough-going, exhaustive research by the contributors with references to other works. A history of the establishment and shortcomings of British Railways' early days. Many would say the notion of nationalising Britain's railways was half-baked and Attlee's Labour government of the day didn't give the railway companies time to catch their breath after WWII. Austerity ruled for a long time, cash was in short supply and we had to spend a lot of extra cash re-arming for Korea. So no more for the railways after the war effort had bled them almost dry and rebuilding costs money! I obtained this first-rate publication through Amazon Marketpace from The Minstergate Bookshop, 8 Minster Gates, York, Y01 7HL (01904 621812), e-mail: rarebooks@minstergatenooks.co.uk . York being the home of the National Railway Museum (NRM), you might fit in a visit to the bookshop with a look around the NRM, 0844 815 3139, www.nrm.org.uk/ Go on, it's worth the trip!

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*'Out-shedded' is one of many expressions understood by railwaymen that you'll come across in the pages of this series. 'Out-shedded' describes locomotives listed as being allocated to one shed but actually works from another. These were usually 'paper transactions' that kept the books straight whilst local traffic needs were met..


For anyone interested, the NERA has an extensive book list available to members. Non-members might contact the NERA through the web site, www.ner.org.uk

Mementoes

D49/2 4-4-0 62750 'The Pytchley', allocated to 53D Bridlington mpd in 1950. First engines in the class were named after shires, the first being 62700 'Yorkshire'. Some rebuilt to D49/2, named after fox hunts around the country (Head of Steam)
D49/2 4-4-0 62750 'The Pytchley', allocated to 53D Bridlington mpd in 1950. First engines in the class were named after shires, the first being 62700 'Yorkshire'. Some rebuilt to D49/2, named after fox hunts around the country (Head of Steam) | Source
D49/2 62747 'The Percy' was a Blaydon (52C) engine, shedded on the western side of Newcastle-upon-Tyne. Neither saw out the 1950s, their duties taken over by diesel multiple units before the end of the decade. (Head of Steam)
D49/2 62747 'The Percy' was a Blaydon (52C) engine, shedded on the western side of Newcastle-upon-Tyne. Neither saw out the 1950s, their duties taken over by diesel multiple units before the end of the decade. (Head of Steam) | Source
 Darlington works plate for a V2 2-6-2 , shedded elsewhere on the 'system', still with LNER.identifier until the loco was scrapped
Darlington works plate for a V2 2-6-2 , shedded elsewhere on the 'system', still with LNER.identifier until the loco was scrapped

The North Yorkshire Moors Railway From The Footplate

Take a footplate ride north from Pickering on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway with driver John Middleditch and fireman Ian Pearson (a volunteer member of NELPG as well as volunteer crew on the NYMR). The engine they work on is British Railways Standard Class 4MT 2-6-4 tank locomotive no. 80135 (recently joined on the railway by sister loco 80136, which had been steam-tested when I was last there on May, 2016).

John and Ian show you their tasks as they take the 18 mile journey. They give you a brief history of the line and how they came to work on the NYMR as well as sight signals and other lineside warnings. Rich in observaton, almost a driving lesson in its own right!

Keep up with developments at Thoraldby on its own page here in the 'RITES OF PASSAGE -' series

Close-up shows station building 'in situ', a mall staircase in the entrance leads up to the platform past a booking hall window (worth a close-up in its own right... watch this space). Traffic halted by crossing gates, train ready for 'the off'
Close-up shows station building 'in situ', a mall staircase in the entrance leads up to the platform past a booking hall window (worth a close-up in its own right... watch this space). Traffic halted by crossing gates, train ready for 'the off' | Source
Vincent Raven's NER-built Class T2 (LNER/BR Class Q6) 0-8-0 63443 passes the Derwent stone loader with mineral empties for the Durham coalfield. 63443 was allocated to Haverton Hill (51G) until 1959, then West Auckland (51F)
Vincent Raven's NER-built Class T2 (LNER/BR Class Q6) 0-8-0 63443 passes the Derwent stone loader with mineral empties for the Durham coalfield. 63443 was allocated to Haverton Hill (51G) until 1959, then West Auckland (51F) | Source

What's behind THORALDBY? Deciding on a name for your project

Before deciding on a name for my own layout I began fishing around for a name and likely area with a variety of through traffic as well as stopping trains or branch pick-up goods workings. I didn't want a made-up name firstly because it had to really fit in the area 'organically' (some made-up names don't make sense). Secondly each location's name is 'tailor-made', probably goes back a thousand years. There is a lot of choice. Whichever region your model is meant to represent, you can button-hole a location, make it come alive in a new dimension like a parallel world.

There is a place called Thoraldby in Yorkshire, but it's not in a location that would qualify it to come under the auspices of the North Eastern Railway. There is also a village called Thoralby, different spelling, different area.

There were five rival railway companies across the three ridings (originally 'thrijungar' or 'thirdings' in the 9th-10th Century Danish Kingdom of York). Let's have a quick 'glance' through them: the Great Central ran from Manchester into Yorkshire around Sheffield, across to Lincolnshire by way of Retford in Nottinghamshire and south from Sheffield to Nottingham. They took a large slice of passenger traffic, including the Hook Continental, the boat train from Manchester Victoria via Sheffield Victoria to Doncaster and down to Harwich in Essex. There was also coal traffic from around the coalfields over Woodhead to Manchester. The Great Northern ran south from Doncaster to London, and north-west from Doncaster to Leeds with a big slice of the coal, passenger and goods market. In the east we had the Hull, Barnsley & West Riding Junction Railway which later became just the Hull & Barnsley Railway, which didn't even reach Barnsley. It stopped at Cudworth, some miles north-east of Barnsley. From Cudworth the line ran to the north bank of the Humber around Goole and east outwards to Kingston upon Hull, widely known simply as Hull. Their claim to fame was the shipment of coal from the southernmost West Riding pits to the docks at Hull. Additionally, goods and passenger traffic augmented their earnings around the Yorkshire Wolds. The H&B was built to break the monopoly of the North Eastern, but was absorbed by the North Eastern before 'Grouping' in 1922. There was also the Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway, which as the name suggests came across the Pennines, into Leeds. Their function was mainly in the commuter market between the big cities of the West Riding to the big cities of East Lancashire, skirting Liverpool to the seaside town of Blackpool. Last but not least the Midland Railway ran from Derby to Chesterfield, Sheffield, Leeds, Bradford, Skipton and on to Settle and beyond Yorkshire to Carlisle. So in Yorkshire the Northeastern's biggest rival was effectively the Midland. After 1923 the Midland and Lancashire & Yorkshire became part of the London, Midland & Scottish Railway. The Great Central and Great Northern joined the North Eastern as part of the London & North Eastern Railway.

Coming back to the naming business, there are several duplicated place names in Yorkshire. Even within the North Riding area there are two Melmerbys, four Aytons, two Aislabys (and another just across the Tees between Yarm and Darlington), three Normanbys, two Martons and two Marskes. There is a Burton Constable and a Constable Burton. There are several pointers, such as the additions of 'Great', 'Little', 'West', East' and 'High' before some of the duplications, so why not another Thoraldby?

The Thoraldby I have 'dreamed up' is located on a single track branch that joins two important routes on the outer western edge of industrial Teesside, near the East Coast Main Line and not far from the Leeds Northern with traffic beginning on Teesside bound for places south and west in other regions beyond the north. Traffic taking the short-cut is in steel plate, girders, pipe- or duct-units. In the pre-fabricated market there were companies who produced welded and machined finished goods from the basic steel stock supplied by the Cargo Fleet, Dorman Long, Lackenby and Skinningrove steel plants that ranged along the Tees and down the coast between the east of Middlesbrough and East Cleveland. There are also industrial or household bricks. Inward comes ironstone and limestone (some from the loader just beyond the station) from mines and quarries within the area, coal from the North and West Ridings and County Durham. Concrete piping also comes under inward traffic for the post-WWII rebuilding programme . Some cattle and farm supplies are imported from outside the region in wagons bearing 'foreign' identities (Midland, Western and Southern Region). There was then a plethora of goods and freight that British Railways as the 'common carrier' was obligated to carry for customers who had less than half a wagon-load on a regular basis to whole train-loads of specialist loads such as cement and plate steel for post-war re-construction, bridge- or ship-building.

And then there are the passengers. Close by the station is an army camp, witnessed by military personnel on the platform. There is also the odd 'red-cap' (Military Policeman) to check on men going AWOL (absent without leave), and an army nurse can be seen striding along the platform back towards the exit with an escort of soldiers. Troop trains (Korea was the bugbear in the early 1950s, then along came Suez in 1956 and so on) come and go in the form of 1930s built Gresley side corridor stock or non-corridor stock (imagine having to wait until reaching York before going to the WC on your way south for embarkation to fight in Korea! I was told some opened the windows to pee). Local passenger or semi-fast workings take the form of non-corridor stock dating back to late North Eastern or as recent as Thompson suburban stock.

Northallerton is not far off, and on market days (Wednesdays and Saturdays) produce is taken in wagons or in the brake compartment of local passenger trains. Cattle or sheep are ferried about to agricultural shows during the summer season, and there is evidence in the fields to either side of the line of the type of livestock, some Swaledale sheep, Black Angus beef cattle or regional varieties of dairy stock (the influx of Frisians came after the outbreak of foot & mouth in the earlier 1960s). Other markets in the area were (still are) Thirsk, Northallerton, Stokesley, Yarm and Guisborough in either direction and mostly weekdays.

On a regular basis a pick-up goods train brings coal wagons for Thoraldby's depot and collects empties. There might also be wagons for the cattle dock/drive-off ramp, or for the goods depot, so a fair bit of shunting is called for. The short 'calling-on' signals are 'pulled off', crossing gates closed and opened, and this has all to be done before the next passenger or through freight/mineral working rolls in to stop for token exchange. Sometimes the signals are pulled off throughout the section for through traffic. The driver still has to slow down for the token before picking up speed.

Because the Army base was introduced pre-WWI one of Thoraldby's platforms was sacrificed to make way - hush-hush and all that - so up passenger workings have to run 'wrong road' and the line is cleared to the next loop for down freight.

The real thing: going back in time from 1948

K1 62005 formerly of Darlington (51A) was outshedded at Haverton Hill as a stationary boiler for ICI Chemical works before being bought for spares by Viscount Garnock for his K4 'Great Marquess', passed on intact to NELPG. Seen at Grosmont, NYMR
K1 62005 formerly of Darlington (51A) was outshedded at Haverton Hill as a stationary boiler for ICI Chemical works before being bought for spares by Viscount Garnock for his K4 'Great Marquess', passed on intact to NELPG. Seen at Grosmont, NYMR
B1 61030 of Stockton Shed (51E) takes a goods working southward through Northallerton's high-level station
B1 61030 of Stockton Shed (51E) takes a goods working southward through Northallerton's high-level station
D49/2 '62764 'The Garth' of Scarborough mpd passes tender first along the through lines to York North (50A) for replenishment (coal & water). The whole class was built at Darlington Works to Gresley's designs in the 1920s
D49/2 '62764 'The Garth' of Scarborough mpd passes tender first along the through lines to York North (50A) for replenishment (coal & water). The whole class was built at Darlington Works to Gresley's designs in the 1920s
Class J27 (NER Class P3) 0-6-0 on shed at the turntable in the 1950s - 54A Sunderland South Dock). These loco's were built around WWI, mainly used on mineral workings in the region, but also served on mixed or pick-up goods runs
Class J27 (NER Class P3) 0-6-0 on shed at the turntable in the 1950s - 54A Sunderland South Dock). These loco's were built around WWI, mainly used on mineral workings in the region, but also served on mixed or pick-up goods runs
Designed by Wilson Worsdell for the North Eastern Railway in the 1890s, Class P (LNER/BR[NE J24]) passes Blowath on the Rosedale Railway with short mixed goods and 'Birdcage' brake in the 1920s before final closure in 1929. None preserved .
Designed by Wilson Worsdell for the North Eastern Railway in the 1890s, Class P (LNER/BR[NE J24]) passes Blowath on the Rosedale Railway with short mixed goods and 'Birdcage' brake in the 1920s before final closure in 1929. None preserved .
An interesting formation, further back in time, at Hinderwell on the coast north of Whitby here's a Fletcher Bogie Tank Passenger locomotive between two 'porthole' ended brake clerestory carriages - driver and fireman only met at termini or shift end
An interesting formation, further back in time, at Hinderwell on the coast north of Whitby here's a Fletcher Bogie Tank Passenger locomotive between two 'porthole' ended brake clerestory carriages - driver and fireman only met at termini or shift end

North Yorkshire Moors Railway

You've seen the dvd (above), now read the history and the background to the line back to the coming together of George Hudson and George Stephenson at Whitby and opening of the line in 1835 to Pickering. Extension of the line south from Pickering to the York & North Midland Railway at Rillington Junction followed (later also one of George Hudson's pet schemes)...

See for yourself, with ample illustration, diagrams, maps. A worthwhile addition to your library.

Atmosphere...

Close to Deviation Junction - Grosmont - on what is now the North Yorkshire Moors Railway we have a reminder of earlier days. A milepost measured from Rillington Junction on the York-Scarborough line (George Hudson's York & North Midland Railway)
Close to Deviation Junction - Grosmont - on what is now the North Yorkshire Moors Railway we have a reminder of earlier days. A milepost measured from Rillington Junction on the York-Scarborough line (George Hudson's York & North Midland Railway) | Source
Further in to Grosmont Junction is this late LNER steel bracket signal post that controls Deviation Junction mpd, access to Grosmont Station through the tunnel and the route uphill on the 1/49 to Goathland
Further in to Grosmont Junction is this late LNER steel bracket signal post that controls Deviation Junction mpd, access to Grosmont Station through the tunnel and the route uphill on the 1/49 to Goathland | Source
Class J27 0-6-0 heads a pick-up goods through Trenholme Bar (now cut through by a widened A19 from Thirsk to Teesside), a small country station near Picton on the Whitby branch, closed in the early 1950s along with Picton following mine closures.
Class J27 0-6-0 heads a pick-up goods through Trenholme Bar (now cut through by a widened A19 from Thirsk to Teesside), a small country station near Picton on the Whitby branch, closed in the early 1950s along with Picton following mine closures.

Beginnings - S&DR and onwards

The inaugural run of Locomotion No1 on September 27th, 1825 at North Road Station - she began her run several miles north-west at Shildon and ran on to the newly built station at Stockton on Tees
The inaugural run of Locomotion No1 on September 27th, 1825 at North Road Station - she began her run several miles north-west at Shildon and ran on to the newly built station at Stockton on Tees
A model of Locomotion No1, built by Robert Stephenson & Co was built in 1825 for the opening of the S&DR - she ran until 'retired' in 1857, six years before the North Eastern Railway absorbed the S&DR
A model of Locomotion No1, built by Robert Stephenson & Co was built in 1825 for the opening of the S&DR - she ran until 'retired' in 1857, six years before the North Eastern Railway absorbed the S&DR

What came before the North Eastern in the area?

Ideas to toy with - a pedigree for your model, provenance for your branch line:

The earliest railway built in the region was the Stockton & Darlington Railway (S&DR) in 1825 by George Stephenson to link the Pease family-owned coal pits near Shildon in County Durham to coal staiths at Stockton on Tees. Because of upriver silting (see the hub 'Follow the Tees Upriver'), an extension was laid in from near Eaglescliffe via Thornaby to Port Darlington (later renamed Newport because of objections from Stockton dignitaries). Burgeoning iron works at Middlesbrough brought a new influx of railway building in the form of the Cleveland Railway (owned by the West Hartlepool Dock & Railway - WHD&R) on the south bank of the Tees east of Middlesbrough. The Cleveland Railway was to bring ironstone to the river to forward on to mills in County Durham. Due to opposition from the S&DR a small war broke out following which the Cleveland Railway Bill was passed to the chagrin of the S&DR. However, the Cleveland Railway was not long lived, its existence by-passed by transport of the ironstone in-by through Eston mines and down to the Bolckow Vaughan works at Grangetown. (See the hub TRAVEL NORTH - 4: "WALKING THE MOOR"). The North Yorkshire & Cleveland Railway (NY&CR) was built at the western edge of Cleveland from Picton to Ingleby to take ironstone from Ingleby to Teesside via Stockton. A new line from Nunthorpe Junction via Ayton threatened this line's existence by taking the ironstone from Rosedale Mines via Great Ayton direct into Middlesbrough. Things were hotting up around the river Tees, and Middlesbrough became a sort of Klondike district with iron works sprouting up along the Tees. The S&DR had been extended east towards Redcar, the original station was by-passed by a new line to Saltburn and converted to a goods depot. The Leeds & Thirsk Railway meanwhile upgraded, renamed the Leeds Northern they took their line to Northallerton via Melmerby from Ripon, then under the York, Newcastle & Berwick Railway (YN&BR) to Eaglescliffe and on via Sunderland to Newcastle. The part we're interested in is what happens between Northallerton and Yarm. As already mentioned the NY&CR had built a line from Picton - originally to Whorlton and Swainby - to Ingleby, linked with the Leeds Northern for the downhill run into Teesside. In 1854 the Leeds Northern joined with the YN&BR and York & North Midland Railway (Y&NMR) to become the North Eastern Railway (NER). In charge of this new railway company was a gentleman after whom the road past the York North shed was named, George Leeman, a stern rival and detractor of George Hudson - the former MP for Whitby and Sunderland and Chairman of the Y&NMR, who was brought down by 'unconventional accounting methods' and fled to the continent, returning to a short prison sentence and ruin. He was buried in the church yard at Scrayingham (north-east of Stamford Bridge, between the A64 and A166) in North Yorkshire. There were few friends at his funeral.

The 'grandaddy' of them all, the Stockton & Darlington Railway. Not the first railway by any means, nor even the first steam operated railway (Richard Trevithick's Cornish railways have that honour - passenger services in the early days of the S&DR were horse-drawn - but the first public railway. Run originally to carry coal, goods and passengers were an afterthought yet the nature of the company dictated the nature of future railways as public carriers. That was the revolution. S&DR shareholders were offered - and accepted - a preferential share offer in the NER before the company was absorbed in 1863.



Read more about the world's first steam operated public railway

Think of the possibilities of modelling the S&DR or one of its contemporaries:

The first committee report was presented at the King's Head, Darlington on 17th January, 1812. Oringinally a canal had been thought of for the movement of coal from central County Durham to the Tees at Stockton. George Stephenson had persuaded the coal owners, chiefly the Pease family, to invest in a railway instead. The S&DR would not be the first railway, but the first steam operated public railway. Other railways had opened centuries earlier using horsedrawn wagons or static steam engines for inclined planes. Richard Trevithick had already put a steam locomotive on rails in Cornwall for the tin mines - having first experimented with a steam road engine - and George Stephenson had subsequently ventured into steam-hauled coal traffic in his native Northumberland. There were other private ventures such as the horse-operated Surrey Iron Railway that terminated at the riverside in Wandsworth, (now south-west London) and coal mines had introduced horse-drawn operations in the Midlands. Wagonways had even been in existence since Roman times in Britain at mining centres up and down the land, obviously horse-drawn.

However, on the S&DR although coal workings were steam loco operated, passenger carriages were still horse-drawn, as well as 'client' coal workings. A weird system operated for the first few years on this system and malpractice had been forced on many driver/operators by virtue of the owners obliging drivers to pay for their own coal supplies. Coal wagons were plundered by drivers, leading to short loads arriving at Stockton Quayside. Brakes were worn, leading to accidents and sometimes signalling was ignored, leading to head-on collisions and deaths. Horses were often casualties, too, often dying on their feet with excessive loading and wagons running into them from behind when descending inclines.

All this was curtailed when with the Pease's reluctant consent Timothy Hackworth - as locomotive superintendent - introduced signalling and motive power restrictions, private hauliers being barred and some standardisation of running practice imposed. This was the railway 'growing up'.

John Wall's book, FIRST IN THE WORLD was first published by Sutton Publishing in 2001, ISBN 0-7509-2729-1 @ £19.99, and contains many first class images, including contemporary portraits of George and Robert Stephenson, Richard Trevithick and George Hudson, 'the Railway King' whose company the York & North Midland Railway later merged with the York, Newcastle & Berwick Railway and Leeds Northern Railway in 1854 . There are diagrams of the S&DR's route from Shildon to Stockton as well as railway vehicles and photographs of locations no longer accessible or in existence. A diagram of the future Middlesbrough development can be seen on page 118, originally Port Darlington and then Newport, the Middlesbrough estate expanded in the second half of the 19th Century, southward from the ironmasters district...

See also the hub FOLLOW THE TEES UPRIVER

Next: Making up your mind and getting started

Take a look at some classic preserved British steam motive power in these calendar views.

In 1968 steam ended on British Railways in the North West with Stanier Class 5, 'Black Fives' hauling virtually everything from freight to football trains. The previous year saw the end of steam in the North East, and North Eastern veterans such as J27 0-6-0 and Q6 0-8-0 tender classes on mostly mineral workings around County Durham, Northumberland and North Yorkshire.

British Railways Steam Calendar

Reading List:-

There are many books available on the regions of Britain's railways, covering the different development stages of local lines since closed and lifted. You have a vast choice of branch lines, and amongst my own sources are:

FIRST IN THE WORLD, The Stockton & Darlington, John Wall, Sutton Publishing, ISBN 0-7509-2729-1: Not the first ever, but the first public railway.From its inception by agreement between Edward Pease and George Stephenson - as a viable and faster alternative to the canal first put forward - for moving coal from above Shildon to the Tees at Stockton, the S&DR would change the direction of the Industrial Revolution. Steam power would take over from horse-power but not immediately. See how the railway developed until its absorption by the North Eastern Railway in 1863;

ON NORTH EASTERN LINES by Derek Huntriss, publ. Ian Allen 1998, ISBN 0-7110-2543-6, detailed colour photographs featuring locomotives and locations between York and north Northumberland;

RAILWAY MEMORIES No.18, Cleveland & Whitby, Stephen Chapman, Bellcode Books, ISBN 9-781871-233186: A thorough search through the past around North Yorkshire in black & white images, diagrams and maps from industrial Middlesbrough through the countryside around the market towns of Guisborough, Stokesley and Yarm to the coastal hub of Whitby with its sea-borne commerce. Atmosphere by the bucket-load!;

THE WENSLEYDALE RAILWAY by Christine Hallas, publ. Great Northern Books 2002, ISBN 0-9539740-7-3 - there is a sister volume by the same author, published 2004 also by Great Northern ISBN 0-9544002-8-3, black & white period and modern images with maps and facsimiles, personal accounts and architecture. Covers are different, content in these third and fourth editions is updated;

BRITISH RAILWAYS PAST AND PRESENT - 25 East Yorkshire by Roger Hill and Carey Vessey, publ. Past & Present Publishing Ltd 1995, ISBN 1 85895-079-1 - maps, images in colour and black & white comparing sites now and in different eras (other areas covered in the series: Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire, Buckinghamshire, Bedfordshire and West Hertfordshire, London, Paignton & Dartmouth Railway);

LOST LINES - NORTH EASTERN by Nigel Welbourn, publ. Ian Allen 1997, ISBN 0-7110-2522-3 - again maps and black & white images from different eras (the series includes Eastern, Southern and LMR areas);

RAILWAYS AROUND WHITBY Vol 1 by Martin Bairstow, publ. Martin Bairstow 1998, printed by Amadeus Press ISBN 1-871944-17-1, a general map of the Scarborough-Pickering-Whitby area on page 16 with sections covering different branches, black & white images, track diagrams of some stations, views of signalling, stations, junctions at different times. There's a grand colour view of WD 2-10-0 90775 storming the bank into Goathland Station - Heartbeat location! - past the catch points at the Grosmont end on the front cover, on the back are two further colour images (top is a long shot of Larpool Viaduct from the bend east of Ruswarp, bottom is K4 2-6-0 3442 The Great Marquess heading a train for Pickering out of Goathland just south of the watershed;

STEAM MEMORIES No.35, 1950s-1960s Scarborough, Ron Hodge, Book Law Publicatons, ISBN 9-781907-094569: A look in black & white through the post-WWII austerity years to the Swinging 60s with freight and passenger workings in and around the station behind a myriad of motive power. A comprehensive list of Scarborough allocations reveals a surprising variety from the humble J72 0-6-0T pilot engines to B16 4-6-0 tender locomotives between Grouping in 1923 to closure in 1965. There are a couple of pages that record afternoon and evening departures in the 1950s with the locomotive numbers rostered. Atmosphere abounds again!

The North Eastern Railway Association (www.ner.org) has a range of books and publications, lists can be obtained from the Sales Officer Mrs Janet Coulthard at 15 Woodside Drive, Darlington, Co. Durham, DL3 8ES. Here are a couple of general historical titles you might like to look at:

A PORTRAIT OF THE NORTH EASTERN RAILWAY, David and Claire Williamson and Michael Grocock,, publ NERA ISBN 978 1 873513 59 3, a general introduction to the North Eastern Railway from its inception in 1854 after the merger of the York & North Midland Railway, the Leeds Northern Railway and York, Newcastle & Berwick Railway, later to include the Stockton & Darlington Railway from 1863 and several smaller companies. Last to be absorbed was the Hull & Barnsley Railway in 1922, a year before Grouping. Rich in photographic and documentary images, colour and b&w, diagrams and a large network map (inside cover).

A HISTORY OF BRITISH RAILWAYS' NORTH EASTERN REGION, Edited John G Teasdale and published by the NERA, ISBN 9 780956 186706, Takes you from Nationalisation and the introduction of the various regional divisions, executive committees and the British Transport Commission etc, organisation of freight, passenger services, locomotive shedding, shipping and hotels. A complex structure that nevertheless - largely - ran smoothly until the late 1960s with the introduction of British Rail and extensive dieselisation.at the expense of electric traction in South-west Yorkshire on the Woodhead route. Again well illustrated with reproductions of documentation, tables, maps, diagrams and drawings. An ideal companion to the previous publication for continuous history.

Further titles are listed at the foot of ROPFAMR - 25: Locomotive Sheds

I hope you enjoyed looking through this page and the rest of the series, bearing in mind they reflect my own particular interest in the hobby..Feel free to leave comments in the box below

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Comments 4 comments

molometer profile image

molometer 4 years ago

What a fascinating and detailed hub on all things on tracks. The photos are excellent and the history of the development of the railway system in the north east was intriguing.

Imagine the wealth of the Pease family to have the very first railway built. Great hub.


alancaster149 profile image

alancaster149 4 years ago from Forest Gate, London E7, U K (ex-pat Yorkshire) Author

Thanks Molometer. It wasn't the first railway, however. Several industrial railways up and down England and Cornwall have that distinction. Richard Trevithick was responsible for the movement of tin and other minerals in Cornwall and he built the first steam locomotive, not George Stephenson. The S&DR was the first public railway, financed by public subscription, that's the difference. Public railways were 'common carriers', i.e., they were obliged to carry goods from A to B according to the label on the freight. This proved an expensive proposition in the long run because the railway companies (and in the end British Railways) weren't able to set their own tariffs. These were set by government through the Department of Transport, whereas road transport hauliers could set their own. This unfair competition drove many branchlines out of business. Without mineral or commercial traffic lack of business led to lines closing even before Dr Richard Beeching's time.


Anjili profile image

Anjili 4 years ago from planet earth, a humanoid

You have a wonderful in-depth knowledge of your subject. And my God, you got detail to the minutest aspects of your descriptions. What puzzles me is your sense of humor with everything you do.

There are times when I wonder how you ended up a historian and not a show businessman. Very exhaustively well done and intellectually enriching. Awesome and Voted up.


alancaster149 profile image

alancaster149 4 years ago from Forest Gate, London E7, U K (ex-pat Yorkshire) Author

If you don't apply a bit of humour here and there - unless you're writing an application for a job or a letter of bereavement - your writing can get a bit dry.

Nice to know you like the material and appreciate the detail.

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