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Clitheroe to Hellifield
Clitheroe » Horrocksford Jn » Gisburn » Nappa » Hellifield » Haw Lane

Traveller's tale . . .
RIGHT AWAY: Our journey commences on the former Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway at Clitheroe in bright warm sunshine - but you can guarantee the sunshine won't last! The station was closed when the photograph opposite was taken back in 1989
Mouthwatering trivia. . .
Regular passenger services ceased between Blackburn and Clitheroe in 1962, the only trains that ran were summer weekend "Dalesrail" trains but in 1994 a regular service was reintroduced thanks in no small way to Ribble Valley Rail. Passenger trains now terminate here.
47608 at Clitheroe
Local tittle-tattle ...
The market town of Clitheroe has had a market charter since 1283 and lies in the centre of the Ribble Valley. It is dominated by it's ancient castle, built after the invasion of the Normans in 1066.
I've got a great idea! Not many people know that:
Nearby Dunsop Bridge is the official centre of the British Isles!
Traveller's tale . . .
A mile into our journey and we pass our first signal box at Horrocksford Jn. A branch diverges here into the cement works of Castle Cement. Passenger trains travel empty from Clitheroe and reverse here back to Clitheroe and Blackburn.
47544 at Horrocksford Jn  
Traveller's tale . . .
In the shadow of Pendle Hill, famed for it's connection with witchcraft we pass through the closed stations of Chatburn (closed 1962) and Rimington (closed 1958) and then Gisburn Tunnel.
Local tittle-tattle ...
The Pendle Witch The connection with witches and Pendle goes back to the beginning of the 17th century during the reign of James I.
In 1612 nine local people were put on trial at Lancaster Castle and found guilty of witchcraft. They were all hanged in front of huge crowds . . more here
47512 at Gisburn Tunnel
Mouthwatering trivia. . .
When the line was constructed in 1850, the Lister family, whose seat was nearby Gisburne Hall (with an 'e'), had a precondition that their estate would not be affected by the railway, hence the short, shallow 156 yard tunnel with it's ornamental portals.
Traveller's tale . . .
Over the viaduct above Stock Beck and after the closed station of Newsholme (closed 1957) we cross from Lancashire into North Yorkshire past the village of Nappa.
Mouthwatering trivia. . .
At the time the photograph of 31463 (above) was taken, the Whitehaven-Manchester vans was the only locomotive-hauled train booked to traverse the Carnforth-Settle Jn line.
47426 at Nappa 31463 at Nappa
Traveller's tale . . .
Following the River Ribble closely we climb towards Hellifield and past Hellifield Peel Castle and join the line from Leeds and enter Hellifield station.
47456 at Hellifield D9000 [Royal Scots Grey] at Hellifield 221101 at Hellifield 37521 [English China Clay] at Hellifield
Local tittle-tattle ...
Hellifield was just a small hamlet before the railway arrived in the mid 1840's and then grew even more when the line through Settle to Carlisle was built in the early 1870's to such an extent that the railway had become Hellifield's "raison d'etre". It's complex of engine sheds and yards and being the junction of the Lancashire and Yorkshire and Midland Railways meant that a large number of employees were required and they had to be housed nearby. Ironically, now that the importance of the railway has greatly diminished Hellifield is expanding once again as commuters seek a healthier non-urban lifestyle.
66234 at Hellifield 156497 at Hellifield 150272 at Hellifield 66159 approaching Hellifield Mouthwatering trivia. . .
Hellifield is a wonderful relic of the Victorian age - and, rather sadly, it is also an example of Elizabethan progress! The term "former glory" has often been used regarding the railway and its rundown locations, but here at Hellifield there is no more apt an expression - this was a very important place just 50 years ago, it is now a graveyard of memories for those that were fortunate to experience its delights. Built by the Midland Railway and recently renovated, Hellifield was once a busy junction. Today it has returned to relative tranquility as the busy transfer yards between the Midland and the "Lanky" (Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway) have long since gone and the express passenger trains are now mere two-car Sprinters and Pacers.
Traveller's tale . . .
Before heading west from Hellifield towards Settle we've gone half a mile to the east to Haw Lane if for no other reason than it's a nice spot for a photograph!
60062 [Samuel Johnson] at Haw Lane 37408 [Loch Rannoch] at Haw Lane  
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