Fact­file: The Grass­ing­ton Branch

Model Rail (UK) - - Workbench -

In­spi­ra­tion for this York­shire Dales scene came from two rail­ways that snake into the Na­tional Park, just a stone’s throw from the ‘Set­tle & Carlisle’ but in whose shadow they seem to live. Snaking away east from Skip­ton is a for­mer Mid­land Rail­way branch that once swiftly di­verged again. One line headed north, to the small Dales town of Grass­ing­ton, with the other bound for Ilk­ley and an end-on con­nec­tion with the Ot­ley & Ilk­ley Joint Rail­way. The line to Ilk­ley was closed in 1965 but a por­tion still sur­vives as the Emb­say & Bolton Abbey Steam Rail­way. The branch to Grass­ing­ton closed in 1969 but was cut back as far as what to­day is La­farge/tar­mac’s quarry at Ryl­stone. It was the Grass­ing­ton branch that sprang to mind when in con­ver­sa­tion with Paul about this lay­out con­cept. It was a cut-back line, but whereas my rail­way doesn’t get much traf­fic, there is daily freight along the for­mer Grass­ing­ton branch.

The Grass­ing­ton branch be­came a mecca for en­thu­si­asts in BR steam’s fi­nal year, as ‘4MT’ 4-6-0s worked loaded and empty hop­pers to Spencer’s lime­works at Ryl­stone. This was a reg­u­lar duty for No. 75019, pho­tographed on May 29 1968 work­ing a load of emp­ties to the quarry. JOHN WHITE­LEY

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