A map of the L&YR system forms part of the War Memorial at Manchester Victoria
|Locale||Lancashire and Yorkshire|
|Dates of operation||9 July 1847–1 January 1922|
|Predecessor||Manchester and Leeds Railway|
|Successor||London and North Western Railway|
London, Midland and Scottish Railway
|Track gauge||4 ft 8 1⁄2 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge|
|Electrification||600 V DC third rail|
3.5 kV DC overhead
1,200 V DC side contact third rail
The Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway (L&YR) was a major British railway company before the 1923 Grouping. It was incorporated in 1847 from an amalgamation of several existing railways. It was the third-largest railway system based in northern England (after the Midland and North Eastern Railways).
The intensity of its service was reflected in the 1,650 locomotives it owned – it was by far the most densely-trafficked system in the British Isles with more locomotives per mile than any other company – and that one third of its 738 signal boxes controlled junctions averaging one every 3 1⁄2 miles (6 km). No two adjacent stations were more than 5 1⁄2 miles (9 km) apart and its 1,904 passenger services occupied 57 pages in Bradshaw, a number exceeded only by the Great Western Railway, the London and North Western Railway, and the Midland Railway. It was the first mainline railway to introduce electrification of some of its lines, and it also ran steamboat services across the Irish Sea and North Sea, being a bigger shipowner than any other British railway company.
The L&YR was incorporated in 1847, being an amalgamation of several important lines, the chief of which was the Manchester and Leeds Railway (itself having been incorporated in 1836).
The following companies, in order, were amalgamated into the L&YR. The dates shown are, in most cases, the Acts of Parliament authorising the incorporation and amalgamation of each company. In a few instances the effective date is used.
- Manchester and Leeds Railway, 4 July 1836 – 9 July 1847
- Manchester, Bolton and Bury Canal Navigation and Railway, 23 August 1831 – 18 July 1846
- Huddersfield and Sheffield Junction Railway, 30 June 1845 – 27 July 1846, now the Penistone Line.
- Liverpool and Bury Railway, 31 July 1845 – 27 July 1846
- Preston and Wyre Railway, Harbour and Dock Company, 1 July 1839 – 3 August 1846 (joint LNWR from 28 July 1849)
- Preston and Wyre Railway and Harbour Company, 3 July 1835 – 1 July 1839
- West Riding Union Railway, 18 August 1846 – 17 November 1846
- Ashton, Stalybridge and Liverpool Junction Railway, 19 July 1844 – 9 July 1847
- Wakefield, Pontefract and Goole Railway, 31 July 1845 – 9 July 1847
- Manchester and Southport Railway, 22 July 1847 – 3 July 1854 (joint ELR)
- Liverpool, Crosby and Southport Railway, 2 July 1847 – 14 June 1855
- Blackburn Railway, 24 July 1851 – 12 July 1858 (joint ELR)
- Bolton, Blackburn, Clitheroe and West Yorkshire Railway, 9 July 1847 – 24 July 1851
- Blackburn, Darwen and Bolton Railway, 30 June 1845 – 9 July 1847
- Blackburn, Clitheroe and North Western Junction Railway, 27 July 1846 – 9 July 1847
- Bolton, Blackburn, Clitheroe and West Yorkshire Railway, 9 July 1847 – 24 July 1851
- Sheffield, Rotherham, Barnsley, Wakefield, Huddersfield and Goole Railway, 7 August 1846 – 2 August 1858 (acquired northern half of line)
- East Lancashire Railway, 21 July 1845 – 13 May 1859
- Manchester, Bury and Rossendale Railway, 4 July 1844 – 21 July 1845
- Blackburn, Burnley, Accrington and Colne Extension Railway, 30 June 1845 – 21 July 1845
- Blackburn and Preston Railway, 6 June 1844 – 3 August 1846
- Liverpool, Ormskirk and Preston Railway, 18 August 1846 – October 1846
- Fleetwood, Preston and West Riding Junction Railway, 27 July 1846 – 17 June 1866 (joint LNWR)
- Preston and Longridge Railway, 14 July 1836 – 23 June 1856
- Blackpool and Lytham Railway, 17 May 1861 – 29 June 1871 (joint LNWR)
- Lancashire Union Railway, 25 July 1864 – 16 July 1883 (joint LNWR)
- North Union Railway, 22 May 1834 – 26 July 1889 (joint LNWR)
- Bury and Tottington District Railway, 2 August 1877 – 24 July 1888
- West Lancashire Railway, 14 August 1871 – 15 July 1897
- Liverpool, Southport and Preston Junction Railway, 7 August 1884 – 15 July 1897
The system consisted of many branches and alternative routes, so that it is not easy to determine the location of its main line. For working purposes the railway was split into three divisions:
- Western Division:
- East Lancashire or Central Division
- Eastern Division:
Whereas there were various lines split between the Central and Western Divisions there was only one route connecting the Eastern and Central Divisions. This line cut through the Pennines between Lancashire and Yorkshire using a number of long tunnels, the longest of which was Summit Tunnel (2,885 yards (2,638 m) in length) near Rochdale. There were six other tunnels each more than 1,000 yards (900 m) long.
Manchester Victoria railway station
Manchester Victoria railway station was one of the largest railway stations in the country at the time. It occupied 13 1⁄2 acres (55,000 m2) and had 17 platforms with a total length of 9,332 feet (2,844 m). After the grouping, a structural change led platform 11 to run through and join with platform 3 in the LNWR's adjacent Exchange station; at 2,238 feet (682 m) between ramps it became the longest railway platform in Britain. Lately the station capacity has been reduced to two platforms for Metrolink trams, two bay platforms, and four through platforms under the Manchester Evening News Arena, which now replaces a significant area once occupied by the station. The main façade and station building of the original Hunts Bank station still exist and are kept in relatively good condition.
|Lancashire and |
The L&YR was the first in the country to electrify a mainline route. In Liverpool, the fourth rail system pioneered by the tube railways in London was used at 600 V DC, although this was later converted to a third rail system. Suburban lines in the Liverpool area were electrified to reach a total of 37 miles (60 km).
- Liverpool Exchange – Southport and Crossens: 22 March 1904
- Liverpool – Aintree (two routes): July and December 1906
- Southport – Meols Cop: 1909
- Aintree – Ormskirk: 1913
In 1912 Dick, Kerr & Co.'s Preston factory was considering tendering for a Brazilian contract, and approached the L&YR to use the Bury to Holcombe Brook Line for test purposes at Dick, Kerr's expense. The line from Bury Bolton Street to Holcombe Brook was electrified with the overhead 3.5 kV DC system; rolling stock was also supplied at their cost. After prolonged trials the trains entered public use on 29 July 1913. The L&YR purchased the equipment and stock on the successful completion of the trials in 1916.
In 1913 a decision was taken to electrify the Manchester to Bury route at 1.2 kV DC in an attempt to overcome competition from electric trams. Using the third rail system, trains powered by electric motor cars (or carriages) began running on 17 April 1916 but as Horwich was by then involved in war work, deliveries of the new electric stock were delayed and it was not until August 1916 that steam trains were withdrawn from the route. In 1920 the L&YR also considered electrifying the Manchester–Oldham–Shaw and Royton lines, but no work was carried out. During 1917 work began to convert the Bury to Holcombe Brook line to a third rail system, matching the Manchester to Bury system. Third-rail trains started to run on 29 March 1918.
Locomotives of the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway were originally painted dark green with ornate brasswork and copper-capped chimneys. Lining was black and white. In 1876 the dark green was changed to a light green and goods engines were painted plain black. 1878 saw the goods locomotives also appearing in light green. This livery was discontinued from 1883 when all locomotives were painted black. Lining was red and white for passenger locomotives and, if present, red only for goods locomotives.
Passenger coaching stock was originally painted teak, changing in 1875 to an overall light brown. In 1879 a decision was made to use 'a little brighter shade'. Finally in June 1881 it was announced that the lower panels were to be painted 'lake colour'. Between 1896 and 1914 the upper panels became buff with the lower in purple-brown, ends were dark brown. Roofs were normally dark grey but some did appear in red oxide.
Wagons were unpainted until 1902 except for the ironwork which was black. After 1902 it was painted dark grey. The graphical symbol of an inverted solid triangle within a circle was replaced in 1902–03 with the letters LY. Brake vans were black and special traffic wagons were painted in various colours, such as red for gunpowder, white for fish, and pale blue for butter.
The Helmshore rail accident on 4 September 1860 saw 11 people killed and 77 injured when the rear portion of a Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway passenger excursion train became detached and ran back down the line where it collided with an oncoming passenger excursion train.
An excursion train was in collision with a West Lancashire Railway passenger train at Preston Junction, Lancashire on 3 August 1896 due to the driver of the excursion train misreading signals. One person was killed and seven were injured.
A passenger train was derailed on 15 July 1903 at Waterloo station, then in Lancashire (now Merseyside) caused by a broken spring and spring bridle on the locomotive, while negotiating a 23-chain-radius (460 m) curve at speed. Seven people were killed and 116 were injured.
An express passenger train collided with a light engine at Sowerby Bridge, Yorkshire on 22 October 1903 due to a signalman's error. A third train collided with the wreckage at low speed. One person was killed.
A collision between a London and North Western Railway (LNWR) empty stock train and a passenger train at Huddersfield, Yorkshire on 21 April 1905 killed two people. The driver of the LNWR train had overrun signals, but fatigue was a contributory factor.
The Hall Road rail accident at Blundellsands in what is now Merseyside on 27 July 1905 saw 20 killed and 48 injured when two Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway electric passenger trains collided due to human error on the part of a signalman and a train driver.
Two locomotives were shunted into a siding at Hindley & Blackrod Junction, Lancashire on 22 January 1909, but one of them remained foul of the main line. A passenger train collided with it, killing one person and injuring 33.
A passenger train was derailed on the Charlestown Curve when the track spread under it on 21 June 1912. Four people were killed and twelve were injured.
A freight train became divided at Pendlebury, Lancashire. The rear portion was too heavy for the banking locomotive to hold, and it was pushed back downhill and derailed by catch points, as were the wagons.
The Lostock Junction train collision near Bolton on 17 July 1920 saw four fatalities and 148 injured as the result of a near head-on collision between two Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway passenger trains due to a signal having been passed at danger
On 25 March 1921, the L&YR and LNWR agreed terms under which the two railways would amalgamate. Before this could occur, the Railways Act 1921 became law on 19 August 1921, under which the L&YR and LNWR would be forced to amalgamate on 1 January 1923 with each other and with other railways, such as the Midland Railway and the Caledonian Railway. The Act included provisions for two or more railways to amalgamate voluntarily before 1923; and the L&YR and LNWR took the opportunity to implement their March 1921 agreement, and on 1 January 1922 both railways were dissolved and a new company was formed, which was also named the London and North Western Railway; its board of twenty directors included six from the former L&YR. The 1923 Grouping duly occurred one years later, which involved the expanded LNWR forming part of the new London Midland and Scottish Railway (LMS). The general manager, secretary and chief mechanical engineer positions of the expanded company were taken by L&YR employees. Ex-L&YR lines formed the core of the LMS's Central Division.
The LMS did little to develop the former L&YR routes, which in many places ran parallel to ex-LNWR or ex-Midland routes now forming part of the same network. Nationalisation followed in 1948 followed by a period of rationalisation and modernisation. The L&YR system has survived largely intact, although the following routes have been closed, many within the L&YR's old East Lancashire division:
- Bury to Manchester (converted to Manchester Metrolink operation in 1992)
- Bury to Clifton Junction, closed 1966
- Bury/Radcliffe to Bolton, closed 1970
- Bury to Rochdale, closed to regular passenger traffic 1970, but now partly preserved as the East Lancashire Railway heritage railway line
- Bury to Accrington/Bacup, closed to regular passenger traffic in 1966, but now partly preserved as the East Lancashire Railway heritage railway line
- Bury to Holcombe Brook, fully closed 1963
- Rochdale to Bacup, fully closed 1967
- Rochdale to Manchester via Oldham – The Oldham Loop, now converted to Manchester Metrolink operation
- Blackburn to Burnley via Padiham – The North Lancs or Great Harwood Loop, closed 1964
- Blackburn to Chorley, closed 1960
- Preston to Southport, closed 1964
- Preston to Longridge, closed 1930
- Southport to Altcar, closed 1952
The routes today
Most ex-L&YR routes are now operated by Northern. Manchester Victoria station has been rebuilt in a more modest form and retains the former terminal building. The Caldervale Line, as named by West Yorkshire Metro, is also operated by Northern and uses a large part of the former L&YR.
To see surviving L&YR steam locomotives, go to Locomotives of the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway
Surviving coaching stock of L&YR origin go as far as 1878, with Directors Saloon No. 1 being privately preserved at the Keighley & Worth Valley Railway. Multiple coaches are preserved by Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway Trust, at the Keighley & Worth Valley Railway, 6-wheel 5-comp third No. 1507, Blackpool Club Car No. 47, 6-wheel 4-comp First No. 279 and Brake third No. 1474.
Mostly covered goods vans survive in the form of L&YR goods stock, some of these vans also passed into Cadbury ownership for use at Bournville. A brake van also survives at the Kent & East Sussex Railway and the body of a CCT van at the Cambrian Heritage Railways in Oswestry.
The L&YR had the largest ship fleet of all the pre-grouping railway companies. In 1902 the assets of the Drogheda Steam Packet Company were acquired for the sum of £80,000 (equivalent to £8,750,000 in 2019). In 1905 they took over the Goole Steam Shipping Company.
By 1913 they owned 26 vessels, with another two under construction, plus a further five under joint ownership with the London and North Western Railway. The L&YR ran steamers between Liverpool and Drogheda, Hull and Zeebrugge, and between Goole and many continental ports including Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Hamburg, and Rotterdam. The jointly-owned vessels provided services between Fleetwood, Belfast and Derry.
- Awdry 1990
- Paget-Tomlinson 2006, pp. 148–149
- Rennison 1996, p. 258
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- Rosbottom, Ernest (1987) Burscough – The Story of an Agricultural Village. pp.179, 182. Carnegie Press, Preston.
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- Reed 1996, p. 223.
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- "LYR 1 Director's Saloon built 1878". www.cs.vintagecarriagestrust.org.
- "LYR 1507 Six-wheel 5 compartment Third built 1882". www.cs.vintagecarriagestrust.org.
- "LYR 47 Blackpool Club Car (body only) built 1912". www.cs.vintagecarriagestrust.org.
- "LYR 279 Six-wheel 4 compartment First (body only) built 1894". www.cs.vintagecarriagestrust.org.
- "LYR 1474 Hughes taper-end Brake Third built 1910". www.cs.vintagecarriagestrust.org.
- "LYR 571 Birdcage 6 wheel Brake Third (body only) built 1882". www.cs.vintagecarriagestrust.org.
- "LYR 293 50′ elliptical roof Dynamometer Car built 1912". www.cs.vintagecarriagestrust.org.
- New Zealand Tablet, 9 January 1902.
- UK Retail Price Index inflation figures are based on data from Clark, Gregory (2017). "The Annual RPI and Average Earnings for Britain, 1209 to Present (New Series)". MeasuringWorth. Retrieved 2 February 2020.
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- Coates, Noel (1997) 150 Years of the Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway, Hawkshill Publishing, ISBN 1-900349-11-6
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- Mason, Eric (1975) . The Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway in the Twentieth Century (2nd ed.). Shepperton: Ian Allan. ISBN 978-0-7110-0656-0.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
- Nock, O.S. (1969) The Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway – A Concise History, Ian Allan, ISBN 0-7110-0130-8
- Paget-Tomlinson, E.W. (2006). The Illustrated History of Canal & River Navigations. Landmark countryside collection. Ashbourne: Landmark. ISBN 978-1-84306-207-3.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
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