Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Which, When and What Colour?

As I mentioned in the first post on this blog, there is a railway line at the bottom of our garden. Twice an hour a train rumbles slowly past. Northbound, it first calls at Penistone station before heading onwards to Huddersfield. Southbound it heads for Barnsley before continuing on to Sheffield. Nowadays all the trains are operated by Northern Rail, but for a number of reasons I wanted to know which companies used to run steam trains along the line.

The railway first arrived in Penistone with the opening in 1845 of the Woodhead Line linking Manchester with Sheffield. This line was built by the Sheffield, Ashton-under-Lyne and Manchester Railway. In 1850 the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway built a connection to Penistone from Huddersfield, although it wasn't until 1874 that and a new joint station was built.

Over the years these two railway companies changed their names a number of times as they expanded and merged with other railways, until 1948 when the railways were nationalised forming the single company of British Railways. As far as I can tell this means that at one time or another the following companies all ran steam locomotives along the line at the bottom of our garden.

  • Sheffield, Ashton-under-Lyne, and Manchester Railway (SA&MR)
  • Manchester, Sheffield and Lincoln Railway (MS&LR)
  • Yorkshire and Lancashire Railway (L&YR)
  • Great Central Railway (GCR)
  • London and North Western Railway (LNWR)
  • London, Midland and Scotland (LMS)
  • London and North Eastern Railway (LNER)
  • British Railways (BR)

So that's the which and when of the blog title but what about the colour? There are two reasons I'm interested in the liveries of the locomotives that would have passed the house. Firstly, although I haven't yet come to any firm decisions about the OO gauge layout I want to build, I do know that I'd like it to be accurate with regards to a specific time period. Knowing which companies locomotives were likely to be seen on the same stretch of track during a given time period would therefore be useful. Secondly our house doesn't have it's number displayed by the front door (there is an empty plaque so I assume the previous owner took theirs with them for some reason) and, given the location of the house, I'd like someday to have a number plaque showing a steam locomotive and it would be nice if that was accurate as well.

So I've put together the following timeline which shows how the two railway companies, which originally brought lines to Penistone, changed over the years. The colour represents the livery of the locos. Of course during later years most companies had a number of liveries (nearly all used black with some lining for freight locos), but I've only attempted to show the colour most strongly associated with each company.

I already own one LNER, one LMS, and three BR locomotives so in theory I should probably focus on those time periods. I do quite fancy having a go at modelling the L&YR and GCR period though. Unfortunately there aren't any ready-to-run locomotives available in L&YR livery and only one in GCR (an exclusive model of Butler Henderson produced for the National Railway Museum) so I'd have to do at least some re-painting. I might try and design a layout that would happily suit any period from 1897 onwards, allowing me to change the time period based on which locomotives I wanted to run. I'm not sure how feasible that is, but any suggestions would be welcome.

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