Thursday, January 03, 2013

Memories of the Woodhead Route

Back in 2008 I wrote:
By the time I knew the route it was strictly for freight traffic, which principally consisted of Yorkshire coal being taken across the Pennines to Lancashire factories and power stations. It was possible to go to Penistone and see a constant stream of heavy trains being hauled double-headed by electric locomotives that ran on no other line in the country because later electrification projects used a different voltage from that used on the Woodhead route. 
The route closed in 1981 - only 27 years after the electrification - a victim of the decline of heavy industry in Britain. Passenger trains between Manchester and Sheffield were diverted along it on some Sundays shortly before that closure, so if you were in the know you could travel over it. And it was well worth doing. The climb from Manchester up to Woodhead beside the reservoirs was a memorable piece of railway.
It seems this footage was shot at Penistone in the late 1970s, but I have not seen myself in it yet.

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