Station Name: PENISTONE (Great Central Platforms)

[Source: Nick Catford]
Date opened: 1.2.1874
Location: South of B6462
Company on opening: Great Central Railway
Date closed to passengers: 5.1.1970 (GC Platforms only)
Date closed completely: 5.1.1970
Company on closing: British Rail (Eastern Region)
Present state: The overgrown platforms and main station building are still extant. The adjacent electricity sub-station is in industrial use.
County: Yorkshire
OS Grid Ref: SE252033
Date of visit: August 1983

Notes: The first MS & L (Manchester Sheffield and Lincolnshire Railway) station at Penistone opened 14.7.1845. When the L & Y (Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway) service opened on 1.7.1950 it joined the MS & L at a junction east of the station and trains had to reverse into the MS & L station. This was replaced by a joint GC & L & Y station at the junction in 1874 with separate sets of platforms.

The remaining platforms at Penistone serves the line from Huddersfield with Sheffield, via
Barnsley, with an hourly train in each direction. Train services are provided by Northern Rail.
There are proposals by Alliance Rail to run a 4 trains-per-day service between Huddersfield and
London Kings Cross, via Worksop, Sheffield and .
Penistone, giving Penistone a direct train to
London 4 times a day

Penistone station is the site of the one of the two remaining passing loops on the Barnsley to
Huddersfield line, allowing trains coming from Sheffield and Huddersfield to pass each other.
However the sections either side of it are both single track - that northwards to Clayton West
junction and Shepley having been singled in 1969, whilst that to Barnsley has been so since
reopening in 1983. The loop was formerly controlled from the distinctive elevated ex-GCR
Huddersfield Junction signal box south of the station until 1998, when control was transferred to
the new Barnsley PSB and the box closed - it has since been demolished.

BRIEF HISTORY OF THE WOODHEAD LINE
The line opened in 1845. It was built by the Sheffield, Ashton-Under-Lyne and Manchester Railway with Joseph Locke as its engineer. In 1847 the railway merged with the Sheffield and Lincolnshire Junction Railway, the Great Grimsby and Sheffield Junction Railway, and the Grimsby Docks Company to form the Manchester, Sheffield and Lincolnshire Railway, which changed its name to the Great Central Railway (GCR) in 1897. Ownership passed to the LNER in 1923, and finally to British Railways Eastern Region in 1948.

The original eastern terminus of the line was at Bridgehouses station. By the time of the creation of the Manchester, Sheffield and Lincolnshire Railway in 1847 the station at Bridgehouses had been outgrown. A 1 km extension including the Wicker Arches viaduct, engineered by John Fowler, was constructed to the new Sheffield Victoria Station, which opened in 1851.
Both goods and passenger traffic was very heavy and some sections of the line were therefore quadrupled.

Electrification was first mooted by the Great Central Railway owing to the difficulties of operating heavy steam-hauled coal trains on the Penistone-Wath section (the Worsborough branch), a line with steep gradients and several tunnels. Definitive plans were drawn up by the LNER in 1936; many of the gantries for the catenary were erected before World War II. The war prevented progress on electrification, but the plans were restarted immediately after the war — however this time with plans for a new double-track Woodhead tunnel. This (third) Woodhead tunnel was constructed to replace the twin single-bore Victorian tunnels which had been damaged by years of
smoke from steam engines. A second Thurgoland tunnel was also required, as the existing tunnel
had inadequate clearance for twin electrified lines.

The Manchester–Sheffield–Wath electrification project was finally completed in 1955 using overhead wires energised at 1,500 volts direct current. Whilst this was tried and tested technology (and is still standard in the Netherlands), the comparatively low voltage meant that a large number of electricity substations and heavy cabling would be required. (It also made regenerative
braking by transfer of power from descending to ascending trains in the same section of line comparatively straightforward). The main contractor for the electrification work was Bruce Peebles & Co, Edinburgh.

Following technological developments (especially in France) 1.5 kV DC was soon superseded by the later network standard of 25 kV AC. This left the Woodhead Line as the only main line in the UK with 1.5 kV DC electrification New electric locomotives for the line were constructed at Gorton locomotive works, Manchester. These were the EM1/Class 76 for freight trains (and some passenger duties) and EM2/Class 77 locomotives for express passenger trains. Given the steep gradients on the line, the locomotives were able to use regenerative braking on their descent from Woodhead. Rheostatic braking was also later added. Additionally, Class 506 electric multiple units were built for suburban services between Manchester, Glossop and Hadfield. A new depot at Reddish on the Fallowfield Loop line, was built in 1954 to maintain the new rolling stock.

Prior to 1959 Penistone was also the terminus of local trains from Doncaster via Barnsley and the
Dearne Valley. These trains were timed to connect with Sheffield-Manchester trains at Penistone.
Having seen major investment in the 1950s the line was controversially closed to passenger traffic on 5 January 1970 when it was clear that the alternative Hope
Valley Line through Edale would be required to remain open for social and network reasons and could handle all Manchester– Sheffield passenger traffic. The Class 77 locomotives for passenger traffic were sold to the Netherlands Railways, where 1500 V DC electrification was standard. By the late 1970s, a large part of the remaining freight traffic consisted of coal trains from Yorkshire to Fiddlers Ferry Power Station near Widnes—which required a change to diesel haulage for the final part of the journey.
By the 1980s a combination of alternative available routes, an absence of passenger traffic since
1970, a downturn in coal traffic across the Pennines and a need to eventually upgrade or replace
the (non-standard) electrical supply systems and Class 76 locomotives resulted in the line's closure east of Hadfield. The last train operated on 17 July 1981 and
the line was mothballed. The tracks were lifted between 1985 - 1986 ending short-term hopes of reopening. Almost the entire line east of Hadfield has now been lifted (apart from a few short sections shared with other lines, notably at Penistone). Parts of the trackbed were have now been blocked by road construction preventing any future reopening.The trackbed between Hadfield and the Woodhead Tunnel has currently been adapted as the Longdendale Trail for hikers and cyclists, part of the Trans Pennine Trail.

Tickets from Michael Stewart
Some text copied from Wikipedia under creative commons licence .

Click on station name for other stations on the Woodhead line: Sheffield Victoria, Wadsley Bridge, Oughty Bridge, Dunford Bridge & Woodhead



Penistone station looking north-west in the early years of the 20th century. The Woodhead line platforms ared to the left.
Photo from John Mann collection




1893 1:2,500 OS map.


1893 1:2,500 OS map. The building to the north-west of the main station building is a sub-station; it was built during the electrification.


Looking north-west towards Woodhead tunnel five days before the new tunnel was formally opened and full electric operation began. However, electrically hauled freight trains had been running between Wath yard and Dunford Bridge since February 1952 with handover to steam at Dunford Bridge; this train was probably one of those, headed by Bo-Bo EM1 Nos. 26043 + 26042.
P
hoto by Ben Brooksbank


E26053 Perseus with the RCTS Great Central Railtour at Pensitone station on 13 August 1966. The loco is in the process of running round its train which had just arrived via the Worsborough incline and was preparing to head for Sheffield Victoria. The railtour was run to commemorate the loss of through passengber workings over much of the Great Central London extension where service cutbacksa were due to be implemented the following month.
Photo by Kenneth Gray courtesy of Bruce McCartney



Penistone station looking south-east towards Huddersfield Junction in August 1969.
P
hoto by M A King from John Mann collection


'Pennine Explorer' railtour stops at Penistone on 14 October 1978. This leg of the tour was hauled by two BR Class EM1 Electric Locomotive 76016 and 76009 (one at each end). These locomotives were from a series that was modified for multiple working for operating MGR trains over the Woodhead route in the late 60's. Introduced in 1950, these were the prodution batch of the earlier LNER built version.
Photo by Dave Plimmer from Railways of North Wales web site



76049 is seen working the Thompson B1 Locomotive Society Three Way Special (re-run) at Penistone on 14 October 1978 but carrying a North Country Continental headboard. This was the second railtour to call at Penistone on this day.
P
hoto by Clive Barlow


Class 76’s - 76006 and 76014 head the last electric train through Penistone - the late running Harwich to Edge Hill Speedlink - shortly before 5am on Saturday 18 July 1981.
P
hoto by Norman Daley


Penistone Station (GC Platforms) in August 1983
P
hoto by Nick Catford


Although the line closed in 1981 and the overhead power lines were removed the track was mothballed and not lifted for 5 years.
Photo by Michael Kaye


Class 31, 31 113 pauses at the closed section of Penistone station in September 1986.
P
hoto by Wilson Adams reproduced from Geograph under creative commons licence


Penistone Station in May 2001
Photo from defunct Lincolnshire and East Yorkshire Transport Review web site


Penistone Station in May 2001
Photo by Graham Hogg reproduced from Geograph under creative commons licence


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