Photographs, Negatives, Slides and Plates of Railways


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Yorkshire : Railway Crash near Hawes Junction [1910]

The scene of the railway crash near Hawes Junction which occured on Christmas Eve in 1910, to the north of the Lunds viaduct between Hawes Junction and Aisgill on the Settle and Carlisle main line. Twelve people died in the accident which was later attributed to an error by the signalman Alfred Sutton. He had been on duty for almost ten hours during which time he had been very busy dealing with 58 trains. Sadly, he forgot about a pair of light engines on the down main line on which the fast-travelling express train was rapidly approaching. Pulled by the Kirtley locomotive, the Glasgow-bound express train ran into the rear of the light engines and two of the coaches were badly telescoped. It was in these coaches that the twelves passengers died. These days such tragic events are broadcast to the nation via television or online media. However, here in 1910 one can see that many people came to the scene of the crash in order to gawp at the wreckage.

Lancashire : Platform and Kiosk at Clitheroe Railway Station [1905]

An Edwardian photograph showing a railway platform and kiosk at Clitheroe. Station staff and news vendor stop and pose for the photograph in 1905. The date is ascertained by the news headlines of the day on display. Replacing the original station at Clitheroe, this station was built in 1893-4. In September of the following year [1905] a burglary was committed in which the office was ransacked. The cash drawer and other drawers were broken open, but the burglars found to their dismay that the money had been removed to a safe. Apparently, the burglars had climbed onto the news stand seen here and broken through the large window above. In this photograph the large board behind the station staff is advertising sailing to and from Goole by the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway. This advert was next to the entrance to the waiting room.

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Yorkshire : Gargrave Railway Station [c.1948]

I am not certain about the date of this photograph but I suspect it was taken shortly after World War 2. A steam locomotive is just pulling into Gargrave Railway Station, the train being observed from the opposite platform by a railway official and a young boy. Originally serving a single track line of the North Western Railway from Skipton to Ingleton, the station was opened in July 1849. The original promoter of the undertaking was Edmund Sharpe, who was elected Mayor of Lancaster. The line was an important link for those living in the Gargrave area who would be able to travel to Bradford and Leeds. No buildings had been constructed when the original 25-mile section was opened in 1849. Carrying directors of the company, the first train to travel along the line was 45 minute late arriving in Skipton!

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Yorkshire : Withernsea Railway Station with Goods Yard and Coal Depot [c.1908]

A busy scene at Withernsea railway station with passengers on one side and the goods yard and coal depot on the other. Coal freight was an integral part of the Hull and Holderness Railway connecting the coastal town with Kingston upon Hull. The line opened in June 1854 and Withernsea developed into a tourist resort for those living in Hull. The line also created an early commuter belt along Holderness. In the foreground of this photograph one can see the turntable used to rotate the locomotives in preparation for the return journey to Hull. The engine would be uncoupled and the table turned by several men. Following the Beeching Report, the last passenger train to roll along the line was on October 19th, 1964. Goods traffic continued for a little longer but this too ceased in the 1960s. The building seen on the left is the only fragment left of the old station. A supermarket and car park occupies much of what can be seen in this Edwardian image.

Yorkshire : The Railway Station at York [c.1905]

Later moving to a new post at Newcastle, William Thompson was the station master at York Railway Station when this photograph was taken in the early Edwardian period. This station, the third to be built in York, was designed by the North Eastern Railway architects Thomas Prosser and William Peachey. When the building opened in June 1877 it was thought to be the largest railway station in the world. This photograph shows Platform 4 with members of staff awaiting the next train. The arched roof is particularly impressive.

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London : Women Ticket Collectors at Victoria Railway Station [c.1915]

Five women are posing for a photograph with a male member of staff, possibly the station supervisor or master. This is an important social history item as the women had just been appointed as ticket collectors due to a shortage of men in the First World War. This presented women with a foothold into the transport sector. A short article in the Daily News, published in June 1915, remarked that "The London, Brighton, and South Coast Railway station at Victoria is the latest to adopt the woman ticket collector, 13 having been put on duty at the barriers during the last two days. They had completed a month's training at the company's main station at London Bridge. One of the girls, daughter of a railwayman, said: "I like the work very much because I am out in the open air all day. It is much better than working in a stuffy office." The women at Victoria Railway Station were on duty 10 hours a day, including two for meals and leisure. It was reported that "the company is treating them generously in the way of pay."

Yorkshire : Construction of Conisbrough Viaduct in the Don Valley [c.1906]

Work on the impressive Conisbrough Viaduct is well under way in this Edwardian photograph of this construction project that commenced in March 1905. The completed viaduct would have 21 arches and a 150-foot lattice iron girder to span the River Don. Measuring some 1,527 feet in length, the viaduct was completed in the summer of 1907, though the line was not fully operational until 1909. More than 11 million bricks and 2,000 tons of cement were used in the construction of this railway landmark. The single line was constructed to cater for the mineral traffic of the district. It was part of the Dearne Valley Railway, connecting the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway from Crofton, near Wakefield, with the Great Northern and Great Eastern Railways at Black Carr, just below Balby. Over 500 men were employed during the construction and only one fatality was reported during the project. The contractors were Messrs. Henry Lovatt and Co. of Wolverhampton. The pylon or mast and aerial ropeway can be seen in the photograph. This was used to carry men and building materials to parts of the viaduct. Known as a Blondin, this would be operated by a man with no fear of heights!

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