Hello and welcome to my home page on the internet.

About myself: My name is Ken Bolton and I live in the county of Cheshire. I am an electrician by trade and I have served in the capacity of a ships Senior Electrical Officer for 15 years whilst working for Ocean Fleets Ltd, a Liverpool based shipping company. I have served extensively on their Blue Funnel Line ships, travelling mainly to Far East Asia including Thailand, where I met my wife Krisna.


 

Hobbies and Interests
WEST YORKSHIRE RAILWAYS:
My main interests are travel by any form and in particular by rail or sea. I am currently exploring the West Yorkshire railway system which, being quite extensive consists of a splendid array of early railway architecture dating back as far as 1812. In particular a fine ambassador for this architecture would undoubtedly be the frontage to Huddersfield station which, no doubt is the finest in the country. The entire facade is 416' feet long. The main portico has Corinthian style columns, and the L&YR and LNWR buildings on either side have four-column porticoes, the design apparently being similar to that of the Order of the Temple of Vesta at Tivoli. The foundation stone for this joint station was laid on October 9th 1846 and was completed in 1847. It was designed by a York based architect named James Piggot Pritchet* who, incidentally was also an architect to Earl Fitzwilliam.It no doubt reflected the prosperity of the rapidly expanding town! [*suggested reading: RAILWAY BUILDINGS of WEST YORKSHIRE 1812-1920 by George Sheeran. ISBN I-85331-100-6. ]

 


THE BEGINNINGS:


The first railway across the Pennines was the Manchester and Leeds, which went via Littleborough and Hebden Bridge. The railway opened in 1840 and was soon absorbed into the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway (L&YR). Travellers from Huddersfield were taken by horse carriage to a station at Cooper Bridge, on the line between Brighouse and Wakefield, where they joined the Manchester and Leeds trains. The town's business community had aspirations for something better, and petitioned the L&YR to build a direct line into Huddersfield which would continue up the Colne Valley to Saddleworth and Manchester. The L&Y's idea was more modest - a humble branch line which terminated in the town. A meeting was held with the railway company which has gone down in history as "very stormy" with the much-quoted comments by an harassed railway official saying that "Huddersfield was not worth stopping a train for". The inhabitants of the town thought differently. A company was formed at the end of 1844 to progress a railway scheme. The following year, the Huddersfield and Manchester Railway and Canal Act was passed and a board of directors was appointed. The legislation specified charges for particular goods, ranging from dung at 1p per ton per mile to 6p per mile for private carriage. The passing of the act, on April 26th 1845, was, in William Stocks' words, "an occasion of great public rejoicing".



THE STATION IN EARLY DAYS:
The first train to arrive in Huddersfield's single platform was from Cooper Bridge on August 3rd 1847.This was hauled by a locomotive named 'ALDAM' after the chairman of the company. However, others suggest that July 24th or August 2nd was the first day of regular operation. At this time the station was not complete; the work was not finished until 1850 when the station clock was put in place on the station frontage, product of a local clock maker, Mr. Hislop. At this time the George Hotel nearby was also built The station forecourt had two Russian cannons which were retrieved from Sebastopol. In 1873, they were replaced by a statue of Robert Peel, despite lobbying from the 'Examiner' newspaper for John Bright, the Liberal free trade advocate.The extension of the line up the Colne Valley was proceeding apace; the line to Stalybridge opened in 1849, through the Standedge Tunnel. The branch from Lockwood Junction to Meltham(L&YR) opened in 1867, followed by the somewhat circuitous line to Kirkburton(LNWR) the following year. Huddersfield got a direct service to London in 1884. After much pressure from the Huddersfield Chamber of Commerce, a service commenced from Bradford via Huddersfield, Sheffield and Retford to London. However, it was re-routed in 1899 to use the newly-opened Great Central route via Nottingham. It was only in the early years of British Railways that the train was named "The South Yorkshireman". Through services between Newcastle and Liverpool via Stalybridge and Manchester began in 1883. For the first few years, passengers using L&YR services booked their tickets in the building to the left of the main entrance and the LNWR passengers used the facility to the right. Each building had its own company crest located above the entrances and of which are well worth an inspection(The Manchester and Leeds Railway Crest is on the LNWR side). Up until 1922 when the companies merged, the station was operated as a joint facility between the L&YR and LNWR, with the LNWR supplying the water for locomotives. L&YR enginemen had to deposit a ticket in a box located by the water columns each time they took water at the station. Both companies had their own goods warehouse. Whilst initial relations the two companies were not cordial, an agreement on joint use of the station was reached as early as 1849. In 1862 a more detailed treaty was signed which created the Huddersfield Junction Joint Committee between Springwood Junction and a point some 50 yard, east of the station. Up until 1922, when the two railways merged and soon became part of the London Midland and Scottish Railway (LMSR), the station staff wore cap badges with the initials H.J.S.- Huddersfield Joint Station. They were employed but by the committee itself. The station crockery in the two refreshment rooms were similarly adorned. Before long it was clear that the existing single platform was totally inadequate for the amount of traffic using the station. After a spate of minor accidents the Board of Trade condemned the arrangements and the prospect of the Midland Railway also running into the station made it imperative that additional capacity was provided. The LNWR sought parliamentary powers to extend the station and work was completed in 1886. New facilities included an island platform with bays (now platforms 4/8 and 5 and 6 bay platforms) together with a subway and an overall roof across Platform 1 to 4. The work was done by local builder, Radcliffe and Sons, with ironwork by Butler's of Stanningley and joinery by James Christie of Huddersfield. Sadly during construction, theroof collapsed, killing four workmen.

 

 

THE TWENTIETH CENTURY:
The booking office was rebuilt in 1938, and is not without architectural merit. The station area was re-signalled in 1958; the two LNWR signalboxes were replaced by a new facility on the island platform which is still in use today . Gas lighting, using gas supplied by the Corporation, was in use on the station up until 1955. For the Silver Jubilee celebrations in 1935 the station frontage was illuminated by gas floodlights.The station frontage was bought by Huddersfield Corporationin 1968, to celebrate the borough's centenary. The building was threatened with demolition in 1965 when consultants recommended the wholesale destruction of the station and its replacement by a rail, bus, heliport and shopping precinct. Wiser counsel prevailed and the Corporation paid 52,400 for the building, and undertook extensive renovation works in the succeeding years. In 1961 the Manchester to Leeds route saw the introduction of Trans-Pennine diesel trains, operating between Liverpool, Manchester, Huddersfield, Leeds and Hull. The Newcastle to Liverpool trains went over to diesel haulage at the same time, initially using English Electric Type 4 locomotives (class40), which later gave way to Peak class 45/6 and then class 47's. The last locomotive hauled trains finished in 1991, when class 158 units took over most Trans-Pennine services. Hillhouse locomotive shed closed in 1967, and the goods warehouse closed later. There is no longer any freight facility in Huddersfield, though through Freight traffic, including Freightliner, oil and chemical services, is showing a steady increase. In the last twenty years the station has seen further changes. A major remodelling of the station'strack layout took place in April 1990. The Penistone Line at platform 2 was created and the through lines between platform 1 and 4 were removed. The arrangement at platform 2 avoids conflicting traffic movements in the station area and gives the Penistone Line its own dedicated platform. The bay platforms,5 and 6, are used for Leeds local services and may well see additional use when the Bradford service starts soon (2000). Platform 4 is mainly used for through trains and some local sevices starting or terminating at Huddersfield.

 

THE FUTURE:
Huddersfield station is more than an architectural gem. It is a living and vital part of the region's economy. In the age of soul-less 'departure lounges' it is good that the station is actually a pleasure, rather than a chore, to arrive and depart from. As the twenty-first century approaches, we hope that the station will see electrification, providing fast and comfortable train services across the Pennines. We look forward to the reinstatement of train services to Halifax and Bradford via Brighouse and Elland. We hope that before too long it will be possible to get a fast service via Penistone to Sheffield and Nottingham and who knows, even to London St. Pancras? With the new dynamism in rail freight, maybe Huddersfield will get some form of modest handling facility which could feed into Europort at Wakefield. In fact as rail freight growth continues, demand is now exceeding line capacity and as a result, Railtrack wants to upgrade the trans-Pennine route to win more business. To do this they propose the reopening of one or both of the two abandoned single bore tunnels at Standedge closed in the late 1960s. The first single-track Standedge Tunnel was opened 150 years ago, whilst the second single bore was added 128 years ago, followed by the double-track bore used by trains today. The aim is to improve the performance of existing services and accomodate new traffic which passenger and freight operators say is waiting to be won from the badly congested M62 motorway. The tunnel is the bigest engineering challenge in an ambitious package of capacity improvements which Railtrack is proposing for the whole trans-Pennine network of lines linking Scarborough, Hull and Cleethorpes in the east with Manchester, Liverpool and Blackpool in the west. Railtrack and operators agree that following strong growth in the last 10 years the trans-Pennine corridor is nearing full capacity and action is vital. The proposals come from the biggest review of cross-Pennine railway capacity for 20 years. The last one, conducted by British Rail, resulted in the closure of the Woodhead line between Manchester and Sheffield. This time expansion is on the agenda. As at November 1999, reopening of this closed track is currently under review by proposals put forward by Central Railways to run a line from Liverpool via Chat Moss, Guide Bridge, Sheffield, London to Lille (France). A study of the existing trans-Pennine network has highlighted several bottlenecks where the rail infrasructure barely accomodates the present level of service let alone any future growth. All three key intermediate centres - Leeds, Manchester and Sheffield - are at or near full capacity. Freight growth is hampered by gauge constraints and work is needed to improve clearances. The trans-Pennine routes are predominantly two-track. The mix of traffic reduces capacity, further reduced by the number of trains operating through busy junctions. New passing loops are proposed for Gorton, Guide Bridge and Batley whilst station imrovements will take place at Stalybridge and Huddersfield. We have gone through a long tunnel of closures and cuts and the light is now getting brighter; though we aren't quite out of the gloom yet. But there is a mood of optimism in railway circles, which hasn't been there for a very long time. The tide is turning in rail's favour as a fast, relatively safe, comfortable and environment-friendly form of transport. Perhaps posterity, once again, will remember this period with proud delight. **

 

 

[**extracts taken from the commemerative booklet by Paul Salveson "OUR BEAUTIFUL STATION.....Huddersfield 1847 - 1997"published by Transport Research & Information Network for the Huddersfield Station 150 years celebration. Published August 1997 ]
**For the benefit of our friends on the World Wide Web.


newsflash

 

THE BUILDING OF 60163 TORNADO.

IT WILL BE THE FIRSTMAINLINE STEAM LOCOMOTIVE TO BE BUILT IN BRITAIN SINCE 1960-BUT TO SUCCEED WE URGENTLY NEED YOUR HELP!

PRESS BUTTON FOR DETAILShttp:a1_steam_locomotive

 


"The Green Express Railtours"
Since its first sell-out Settle-Carlisle trip in 1989, when the line was in danger of closing, the "Green Express" has carried over 25,000 people to many destinations, offering an enjoyable day out by direct train from the convenience of local stations. The Kirklees Green Party of Huddersfield has helped to run special "Green Express Railtours" charter trains to various destinations around the UK. They use a privately owned set of vintage coaches located at Carnforth and offer a wide range of seating combinations, mainly open plan coaches with seats and a table, but there are also compartments more suitable for family or larger groups. On board the tours, the aim is to create a family atmosphere with stewards to help with information and keep the train tidy. All passengers have reserved seats and a travel guide is provided about the journey. Tea, coffee, snacks, soft drinks and sandwiches are available from the buffet car. In the guard's van where the real ale bar is located, live entertainment is provided by a local jazz band for you to enjoy whilst partaking some of the fine ale brewed by the local Colne Valley breweries. To find out more of the forthcoming trips, why not cotact the Charter Train Organizer, Nick Harvey, 49 Byrom Arcade, Huddersfield, W.Yorks. HD1 1ND
Phone: 01484 422920
Green Express Railtours is a member of Charter Train Operators. (ACTO)

 


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I hope that you have found my web pages to be of some interest to you. Feel free to send me your comments and suggestions.

Space below is reserved for my digital camera pictures which will be posted soon!

60163 Tornadohttp:a1_steam_locomotive

 

 

*Reserved future link here to railway photos*

 

If you have comments or suggestions, email me at:

kbolton@libertysurf.co.uk

or alternately

mail to: kennyb@care4free.net

 

17/11/99