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Heaton Lodge - Farnley Junction (Leeds New Line)  Page: 6 of  6    [ <<Prev  1  2  3  4  5  6 ]
1900 - 1965
London & North Western Railway
Contributors:  © Reproduction prohibited /  Paul Corrie / Andrew Stopford / Graeme Bickerdike / David Hey
Dave Walbank / Phill Davison / Rikj / Malcolm Mallison / David Webdale

The Leeds New Line route maps
See page 1 for explanation

Map 2 Northorpe Map 3 Heckmondwike Map 4 Cleckheaton Map 5 Gildersome Map 1 Mirfield


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Map 6 Wortley
Gildersome Spur industrial estate - Farnley junction

Map 6 Wortley
Gildersome spur industrial estate - Farnley flying junction

L.N.W.R Leeds New Line shown in red

See bottom of page for Farnley branch.

Gildersome tunnel vent  SE252287 (26-02-05) : Rikj  website - http://www.darkplaces.co.uk/   http://www.flickr.com/photos/rikj/
After some searching we found a well capped airshaft.
Gildersome tunnel north portal  SE257292 (26-02-05) : Rikj
Disused railway tunnel portal, entrance flooded, extends 1.5 miles to blockage!
Gildersome tunnel  north portal (04-06) : Andrew Stopford
Leeds end of Gildersome Tunnel as it was in April 2006
Gildersome tunnel  north portal (22-04-07) : Graeme Bickerdike  website -  http://www.forgottenrelics.co.uk/
Unfortunately photographs don't give any real sense of scale here. The portal is huge, clearly built to accommodate a larger
loading gauge. It's hidden in woodland at the end of a stone-lined cutting, most of which has been infilled. Apparently, planning permission for many infills prohibits tipping within 50 feet of a tunnel mouth - that's certainly the case at Strines (Queensbury South), Clayton and looks that way here. The first section appears to be cut-and-cover - beyond the portal, the ground is artificially level for about 50 yards. I assume the high portal effectively acts as a retaining wall for this landscaping.
Gildersome tunnel  north portal (22-04-07) : Graeme Bickerdike
It goes without saying that there are drainage problems. A sizeable stream runs down the valley above the tunnel and has then been diverted via a channel to flow away from the bore itself. I suspect this is the reason for the cut-and-cover.
Gildersome tunnel  north portal (22-04-07) : Graeme Bickerdike
On the south side, a pipe takes water down to track level where a drain must then have carried it away.
It's well worth a visit here - there's plenty to see but come prepared for the stench from the putrid water!

THE CONQUEST OF GILDERSOME TUNNEL by the Leeds Historical Expedition Society  © phill.d urbEX photography

website - http://flickr.com/photos/phill_dvsn/sets/72157594397421428/
See the video on YouTube - The L.H.E.S go to hell & back (if you go down to the woods today)
This May 2007 shot shows just how deep the water level was guarding the entrance to the forbidden portal of the underworld. Gildersome tunnel is a bit of a monster at 1 mile 571yds (2.13km) it has remained unexplored for many years. The gate was added sometime in the early 90's and this seems to have been the last time anyone has been in. There are no pictures or reports of this tunnel to be found anywhere on the net so what lies beyond is anyone's guess. This is the only entrance as the Western portal has been infilled when the M621 motorway was built near to the Showcase cinema at Birstall. When i took this picture i never thought i'd reach the other end 5 months later. The tunnel has been badly affected by water ingress over the insuing years keeping it a well & truely out of bounds place.
One evening we decided to try a spot of light painting at the portal which didn't really work out, However i was suprised to see the colour of the water had changed from the blue/grey skank it's always been to a bright toxic orange, The water level had dropped a good foot, still deep but it did reveal thick mud in places. My co explorer Sam convinced himself he could get across to the portal on the other side. Sam set off with tripod for a walking pole and camera around his neck i couldn't believe it when he got to the other side wet but non the less in one piece. Well done Sam.. try a long exposure shot through the bars if you can mate i shouted over. This he did & made his way carefully back. We set off home to view the pictures full size. They weren't very good but we could see the tunnel was flooded to a depth of 12-18'' for the first 150yds with what appeared to be a raised drier spot further in, we could also see the tunnel had a curve near to the entrance. Armed with this knowledge we put it to the other members of the Leeds Historical Expedition Society as a possible explore for the coming weekend. Never ones to shirk a challenge we all agreed to have a dam good crack at it. Here we see Sam, Dave & Ackers negotiating the treacherous bog not really knowing what lay ahead for us.
Once inside we were able to switch the big lamps and peer into the impending gloom. It was wall to wall standing water as far as the eye could see and deep it was too. Things weren't looking good but we decided to try navigate the first 100 yards to survey the situation further in. We were very wary of the hidden danger of drains and rubble underfoot so we took it in turns to lead the way with tripod prodding the ground testing every inch of the way. You could feel solid ground under foot then without warning you'd be up to your knees in the mud. As we rounded the curve the little glow of daylight from the entrance disappeared we were now in the tunnel good & proper. Here we found the flowing water had created a narrow channel 18'' wide in which we could traverse along out of the thick orange mud. It was at this point we realised the tunnel had a gradient falling to the Leeds end with all the water flowing the way we had come. The way forward couldn't possibly get any deeper. This lifted our spirits a bit and slowly forward we went.
The tunnel had sprung a leak with a fair amount of water pouring in. We had hoped this was the cause for all the flooding but it wasn't to be. You can see the channel the flowing water had created although this kept giving way and you were back wading knee deep in water again.
Sam & Dave view one of the colourful refuges in the tunnel
We totally missed this side refuge on the way up the tunnel as we were too busy making sure we were safe to move forward. We didn't take any pictures untill we were on our way back. This side refuge 129 chains into the tunnel appears to have been used as a plate layers hut for storage and dinner time snap bothay for the track gangs.. Luxury indeed.
You can see the narrow channel we used to navigate the tunnel. The water was a foot deep in this section. Gildersome was extremely difficult to photograph with the vivid orange mud burning bright red on long exposure shots so we used a quick burst of halogen 5 mill candles and tried to tone the colour down with a L.E.D lamp.
There's a total of four air shafts in Gildersome causing problems for us as the pile of debris from the demolished shafts were acting like a dam with the water backing up behind to some considerable depth. It wasn't until we got passed the second shaft that we came across our first solid footing. At last we had the luxury of a few feet of raised ballast higher than the water level. Some where at last to put our gear down & sort ourselves out for the way forward.
Beam me up Scotty!
Feeling pleased with ourselves getting this far we carried on untill suddenly we could see something in the distant gloom. It was difficuilt to see exactly what it was at first. Then the penny dropped we were approaching the 3rd open air shaft situated 3 quarters of the way into the tunnel. things were really looking good now as we thought for the first time that we had a good chance of getting to the far end.
We were glad this shaft was open as there was a good flow of fresh air coming down the tunnel reducing the risk of any nasty gas accumalation. An open air shaft in a disused tunnel is a rarity indeed and it was certainly the first time i had seen one.
This is what the shaft looks like from above, The good news for us was we only had one more to go.
The shaft looks rather out of place these days situated in a trading estate in Gildersome spur.
Every so often we'd switch the big lamp on to see what lay ahead. There it was at last. The faint but unmistakable red brick retaining wall we had heard about but never thought we'd see when we first got in the tunnel. We were at the highest part in the tunnel now with the last 200yds providing us with a much welcome piece of dry land. The mud was still deep with the water flowing down the tunnel at a fair rate. Apart from the leak we found near the entrance we couldn't see any visible sign of where it was all coming from. To say the tunnel was in such a mess from all the flooding the actual structure was in tip top shape with no visible sign of roof collapse or major fault. It was just coated everywhere in the dreaded orange Tango stuff. You needed to wear the right gear for this one.
The red hot looking lava water most suitable for a hellish place. The retaining wall was built 24 chains into the tunnel meaning the first 600 yards had been buried by landfill as there were serious doubts the tunnel could carry the weight of the M621 to be built above.
The last air/construction shaft situated just before the retaining wall
I tried a few shots of the retaining wall but at the end of the day it's just a boring wall so i opted for these long exposure shots of the boys doing there thing. I like the strange effects you can get with these long open shutter captures.

See Phills Blog - http://blog.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.view&friendID=265602590&blogID=326762127
© phill.d urbEX photography

Gildersome station
Opened 01-10-1900. Closed 11-07-1921.

Gildersome station map 1908 : David Webdale
Situated West side of Rooms lane off Gelderd road. Buildings of timber construction, platforms were timber deck supported
on brick base. Goods yard consisted of three sidings, warehouse & stables. The stations middle of nowhere location lead to its early closure,
it was mainly used by workers from nearby St Bernards.
Gildersome LNWR Goods shed 1970ís : Bob Cockcroft
Photos of the goods shed taken in the 1970ís.
They show the building inside and out even though quite a bit of it is missing!
Gildersome LNWR Goods shed 1970ís : Bob Cockcroft
Itís an attractive building, simple like a Superquick model; then basically still there, but only just.
Itís like many LNWR structures built at the turn of the last century.
GildersomeGildersome station entrance (13-08-06) : Andrew Stopford
Shot of the Leeds New line from a 'filled in' overbridge looking at what was Gildersome Station. I have compared my shot with a picture in 'Railway Memories No. 13 - Huddersfield Dewsbury & Batley' taken from the same spot in 1962 (page 47 & highly recommended if you don't have it), and the change is staggering. I find it hard to believe that in only 40 years so much of this line has disappeared without trace.
Gildersome station bridge facing East (30-05-03) : David Webdale
Nothing much here either, the whole area is turned into farmland. The station & goods yard were down to the right, with entrances to each platform from this bridge. The sign in front says no through road, can they do that? Anyway better go someone's pointing a shot gun at us.
Gelderd road footpath facing South (30-05-03) : David Webdale
Back to the safety of 90 mph traffic on Gelderd road. This bridge provides a footpath access under the line. It looks like some of the bridges I've seen around Heckmondwike, stone with a brick arch. This & the embankment visible from the M621.
Gradient marker (04-06) : Andrew Stopford
gradient marker on the Leeds New between the Jewish cemetry and the M621(April 06)
Gelderd Road embankment West (30-05-03) : David Webdale
Taken from the brow of the hill next to Gelderd road (on the right of photo). Looking back towards Gildersome, the railway embankment is clearly visible, cutting across the middle of the photo. Down in the bottom there is the Jewish cemetery. The bridge in the previous photo is just visible, behind the cemetery.

Farnley Flying Junction
Farnley junction map 1908 : David Webdale
Here the line split in two. The single track line from Huddersfield to Leeds, (the down line), dropped down underneath Gelderd road Before joining the existing Leeds - Huddersfield  line.
The single track line from Leeds to Huddersfield, (the up line), was carried on an embankment, where it crossed over the existing Leeds-Huddersfield line & over Gelderd road (see photos below) before joining the existing Leeds - Huddersfield line.
The total length of the Leeds New Line was approximately 13  7/16 miles.
The down line from Huddersfield to Leeds is about 3/4 of a mile shorter than the up line to Huddersfield.
From Gildersome the line descends at 1 in 70, with about 200 yards at 1in 52.
The line from Leeds to Huddersfield had a gradient of  1 in 80, due to its extra length.
Looks like a busy place in its day. Seven tracks crossing Royds lane on the approach to Leeds. Routes going off in four directions & a loco shed.
Farnley branch & loco sheds map (1890) : Malcolm Mallison
6 inch maps from the 1890 survey.
Gelderd Road flyover facing South (31-05-03) : David Webdale
This is all that's left of the bridge which carried the single up line to Huddersfield over Gelderd road.
The Pack Horse Inn is behind us. (see main map & Farnley junction map).
Gelderd road bridge facing South (31-05-03) : David Webdale
Taken from the track bed on the down line to Leeds, facing in Huddersfield direction.
The line from Leeds to Huddersfield via Dewsbury is on the left.
Part of a grey steel girder bridge where the line came under Gelderd road is just visible behind the trees.
Farnley sidings. access road bridge facing North (31-05-03) : David Webdale
This bridge carried an access road over a long curved siding on the top side of the loco shed (see Farnley flying junction map).
The loco shed was to the right of this bridge.
Leeds New Line 9The Leeds New Line part 9: Darren Hosker c/o Paul Holroyd
Youtube from Darren Hosker  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gts6-AVhCRE
Farnley sidings. access road bridge facing North (1979) : Dave Walbank
Same bridge in 1979, I remember standing on that as a kid.
Farnley Junction Entrance (1979) : Dave Walbank
This gate led onto the path over the bridge in previous photo. Path provided access to the sheds.
Farnley junction facing South  SE272314  (31-05-03) : David Webdale
Taken from above Royds lane, facing back towards Huddersfield, next to the existing Leeds Huddersfield line via Dewsbury.
The Farnley branch track bed is clearly visible on the right.
The junction of the single track up line to Huddersfield was across the other side I could find no evidence.

Farnley Loco sheds
Farnley Loco sheds (n.d) : Dave Walbank
Farnley Loco sheds (n.d) : Dave Walbank
47589 at Farnley.
Farnley Loco sheds (n.d) : Dave Walbank
Engines in storage at Farnley.
Farnley Loco sheds (n.d) : Dave Walbank
Engines in storage at Farnley.
Farnley Loco sheds Facing East : Dave Walbank
Taken from behind the shed in 1979. The track beds leading into the shed are clearly visible.
The existing Leeds to Huddersfield via Dewsbury line is on the right. The Farnley branch curves around to the left of photo.
Farnley Loco sheds Facing west : Dave Walbank
Taken from a moving train on the Leeds Huddersfield via Dewsbury line, shortly before the sheds were demolished.
Tracks are gone & the building on the right is the railway house where engine crews used to stay over night.
I used to see it full of steam engines you could see it a good half mile away from the road as we walked up from Leeds.
Royds lane West side (31-05-03) : David Webdale
Although this bridge over Royds lane is still in use, I thought I'd take a picture anyway.
Up on top there were the Leeds new line & the Farnley branch junctions, with the existing Leeds-Huddersfield line.
Although this bridge is still in use it looks more knackered than the disused ones.
Royds lane East side (31-05-03) : David Webdale
Out of the other side of the bridge, this road takes us behind the Pack Horse Inn & towards Gelderd road.
I could not find any evidence of the up line flyover. All this area has been re-developed into industrial estates.

L.N.W.R  Farnley Branch
Farnley branch facing South (31-05-03) : David Webdale
Following the access road down past the loco shed towards where it joins Royds lane, we came across the remnants of a bridge which once carried the Farnley branch line. A turn table was just to the left, on the other side of the bridge. See Farnley junction map
Farnley Branch embankment (29-06-05) : Rikj  website - http://www.darkplaces.co.uk/   http://www.flickr.com/photos/rikj/
The branch line runs from SE272314 (Farnley Junction) to the D&R steel stockholding works on Whitehall Road.
Farnley Branch  Dunlop & Ranken sidings (17-06-83) : Paul Corrie
31162 on the trip from Stourton Goods backing RSJ"s into the unloading bay at Dunlop"s.