Penistone's Railway

The Station
The left picture (not 'clickable') is a view from the church tower showing the original three-storey station building, which was used for the Woodhead line before the new station, right, was built near to the viaduct. For a time in 1916, after a viaduct arch collapsed, a temporary 'station' was provided at the far end of the viaduct for Huddersfield trains.

The old station building - not clickableModern Station Buildings

In the next block of pictures, the top row of black and white pictures are from the 1970s. My guess is that the third and fourth are oldest, from around 1974. Those pre-war coaches were still being used but only for railway maintenance purposes. I think they were a mobile workshop and stores.

The first on the second row is one of my 1977 transparencies. You can clearly see the catenary wires and supports. The Woodhead line was a leader in electrification using 1.5kV DC power and the locomotives employed regenerative braking. With the advances in electronic control systems, AC power was a better choice and more efficient but it was deemed too expensive to change the old system and locomotives over to AC.

Station before Beeching's axeHuddersfield Line1970sStation
1977 view
2003 view of Manchester side2003 view of Hudds line

Looking at the last two 2003 pictures in this group, the old Manchester platform has reverted to nature but on the 'Penistone Line' each platform now has a heated waiting room and a very quiet tannoy. A lattice tower supports a group of four CCTV cameras which watch over the station and ignore destructive, teenaged lads who use the waiting rooms as their play dens.

My old Journeys
As a small child, I would dismay my mum by running over the iron bridge from the station to Church View Road (Barnsley platform), to deliberately try to be engulfed in steam and smoke from passing locomotives. I loved all that sulphuric pollution. There were a couple of semaphore signals nearby. Near to the bridge was a water tank for the steam engines with its droopy rubber hose. Our station was always known as one of the coldest and windiest in the country but it had a good cafe and a warm waiting room. Many a through-traveller would attest to that.

Until a few years before the Woodhead line closure, the main platform had good facilities: a popular cafe bar, waiting room with a roaring coal fire, ladies waiting room, Ladies & Gents toilets and the ticket office. There was also a parcel room for the postal service and I suspect that mail was sorted there. There were separate platforms for Barnsley, Manchester, Sheffield and Huddersfield but those last two are all that remain. The ticket office was in an entrance hall which had subway stairs to below the tracks, to emerge on the Manchester platform. Many's the time I had to run under there to catch the Manchester train.

Wet day at the stationPenistone StationPenistone junction
Old station picOld station picRailway crossing

The top-left rainy picture was after the line was closed to passenger traffic but still open for freight. Until a new entrance was built on the Sheffield platform, access to the Huddersfield line was via the old main entrance, along the platform and around the corner at the end. The top-middle and top-right pictures from Richard White are not dated. The puthering smoke was Cammel Laird's contribution to global warming before it became fashionable to cut down pollution.

Lower-left and lower-middle pictures came from Peter Lawford in Canada (Many thanks, Peter). The lower-right picture, "Rompticle Crossing", is where Roper House Lane (the lane which goes south and west from the top of Thurgoland Bank) crosses the old railway line. (Thanks to Alan Reed for that info).


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