Elsecar Heritage Railway

The Elsecar Heritage Railway (EHR) is located on the southern part of the former South Yorkshire Railway freight-only branch which ran from Elsecar Junction on its Mexborough to Barnsley Line.

The Elsecar Heritage Railway operates an out and back tourist train ride on a 1 mile (1.6 km) section of the branch using steam and diesel locomotives, currently running between Rockingham station (at the back of the Elsecar Heritage Centre) and Hemingfield Basin. The railway is operated using a variety of different preserved rolling stock.

The EHR plans eventually to operate the line into Cortonwood, with a new halt at Hemingfield, doubling the length of the line to two miles.

Elsecar Heritage Railway
Peckett and Sons OQ Class 0-6-0ST No. 2150 Mardy Monster at the Elsecar Heritage Railway
Peckett OQ Class no. 2150 "Mardy Monster" at the Elsecar Heritage Railway
TerminusElsecar- Rockingham station
Commercial operations
NameElsecar Heritage Railway
Built bySouth Yorkshire Railway
Original gauge4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
Preserved operations
Owned byEarl Fitzwilliam, Barnsley Council, Elsecar Railway Preservation Group, Elsecar Heritage Railway Ltd
Operated byElsecar Heritage Railway Ltd
StationsOne, at Elsecar (Rockingham station)
Length1 mile (1.6 km)
Preserved gauge4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
Commercial history
Preservation history
HeadquartersElsecar, Rockingham station


The line was built to serve Earl Fitzwilliam's collieries and ironworks, which he leased out to local ironmasters. It opened in 1850 as part of the South Yorkshire Railway, known as the Elsecar Branch. Following assorted mergers the line finally became part of the LNER upon formation of the Big Four.

The whole infrastructure was nationalised after the Second World War, with the mines becoming part of the National Coal Board in 1947 and the railway becoming part of British Railways in 1948.

The Elsecar branch closed in 1984 following closure of the final colliery on the line.

Restoration began in 1994 as a project of Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council, and the line reopened as a heritage railway in 1996, operated by the Council. The Elsecar Heritage Railway became the operator in 2006.[1]

Motive power

Elsecar Heritage Railway Centre (20) (9757286235)
Diesel locomotive No 2895 Earl of Strafford

Steam locomotives

The railway's collection of steam locomotives are used regularly for passenger services.

  • Sentinel 0-4-0VBT No. 6807 Gervase. (Running number 10) (Operational, returned to steam in 2013).
  • Sentinel 0-4-0VBT No. 9376 (unnamed). (Running number 7) (Stored).
  • Sentinel 4wVBT No. 9599 William. (Operational, returned to steam in 2017).
  • Peckett OQ Class 0-6-0ST No. 2150 Mardy Monster. (Undergoing overhaul).
  • Avonside 0-6-0ST No. 1917 Earl Fitzwilliam, formerly Pitsford. (Stored).
  • Robert Stephenson and Hawthorns 0-4-0ST No. 7386 Birkenhead. (Undergoing overhaul).
  • Hunslet 0-6-0ST No. 469 Hastings. (Undergoing overhaul).

Diesel locomotives

The railway's diesel locomotives are used to operate both passenger and engineering trains.

Other motive power

  • Wickham trolley track inspection vehicle. (In storage, awaiting restoration.)

Coaching stock

Coaching stock is painted in British Railways 'lined maroon' livery.

  • BR Mk 1 TSO No. 3958. (In service.)
  • BR Mk 1 TSO No. 4903. (In service.)
  • BR Mk 1 BSK No. 35305. (In service.)
  • BR Mk 1 SK No. 25562. (In service.)


Cortonwood extension

The railway's extension, currently under construction, involves the reinstatement of two level crossings, Tingle Bridge Lane and Smithy Lane. The latter, being a quiet road, will be protected by manually-operated crossing gates of traditional design. Tingle Bridge Lane is a busier road, and the railway is installing a semi-automated crossing barrier system, with barriers manually lowered from a signal box, but automatically raised by track circuitry. On 16 May 2011 the permanent way materials for the level crossing arrived and a donation scheme was set up to raise the remainder of the money needed. Funds raised through this scheme have since been used to purchase barriers and traffic signals for the crossing ready for installation. In August 2012 trial holes were dug to locate services under the road surface ready for the crossing installation to take place.

On 21 June 2012 the ground was cleared and levelled for ballast and track alterations in anticipation of constructing the station at Hemingfield, currently the end of the line.

On 19 April 2013 the EHR installed the level crossing on Tingle Bridge Lane, financed by a Director's loan, and began extending the line into Cortonwood Colliery, as the next step of the Project.

By June 2014 the whole track had been laid up to Cortonwood, with minor levelling and ballasting remaining to become operational. The railway is now engaged in refinements to the permanent way, together with the necessary regulatory processes (with the local authority and the Office of Rail and Road) to see the extension opened for public services.

Cortonwood memorial

In November 2013 the EHR received a lottery grant of £50,000 to finance the provision of a Coal Mining Memorial Park at Cortonwood Colliery,[2] a nationally important site, where the 1984/5 Miners Strike began. The project was completed in November 2014.

See also


  1. ^ Overview details at Yorkshire.com tourist website.
  2. ^ Award reported by biglotteryfund.org.uk

External links

Coordinates: 53°29′37″N 1°25′09″W / 53.49374°N 1.41927°W


Cortonwood Colliery was a colliery in the parish of Brampton Bierlow, near Rotherham in South Yorkshire, England. The colliery was in the ceremonial county of the West Riding of Yorkshire and became part of South Yorkshire on the boundary changes of 1974. The intended closure of Cortonwood was a tipping point in the Miner's strike of 1984 and 1985. Today the site of the colliery is a shopping and leisure centre.

Day out with Thomas

Day Out With Thomas is a trade name, licensed by Mattel (HiT Entertainment formerly) for tourist events that take place on heritage railways and feature one or more engines decorated to look like characters from the classic children's Television Show, Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends.

Earl Fitzwilliam's private railway

Earl Fitzwilliam's private railway near Rotherham, South Yorkshire, was constructed in order to link the Earl's coal interests to the southeast of his Wentworth estate with the Greasbrough Canal, also owned by his estate, which gave an outlet to the River Dun (Don) Navigation.

This was not the first connection between the coal pits, at that time owned by the Marquess of Rockingham, and the canal, for in the middle years of the 18th century, a wagonway had been built to link the Bassingthorpe pits to the newly opened "Rotherham Cut" of the River Dun Navigation. The Greasbrough Canal, connecting to the navigation on the boundaries of Rotherham and Parkgate, was opened in 1780 to serve the Marquess's interests, and the wagonways from his coal pits at Bassingthorpe were diverted to the canal head. Two years later, the Marquess died, and the estate passed to his nephew, Earl Fitzwilliam.

The Earl owned coal pits at High Stubbin and Swallow Wood, and these pits were, from the early 19th century, joined by a wagonway to the Greasbrough Canal. In 1839, the Sheffield and Rotherham Railway opened a branch from its main line at Holmes, which had been opened the previous year, to join with the Earl's railway at Parkgate. This line ran alongside the construction works of the North Midland Railway before joining the canal bank. This connection broke the near monopoly of the Duke of Norfolk's estate in supplying coal to the developing industries of the city and gave the Earl's coal a competitive edge in the marketplace.

In 1840, the estate bought a six-coupled steam locomotive for use on the line, and to accommodate this, the wagonway was rebuilt.

A connection was made from the North Midland Railway to the Earl's line, which rendered the branch from Holmes redundant. This connection was closed in 1977, a year before New Stubbin Colliery itself. The Manchester, Sheffield and Lincolnshire Railway constructed a line from Rotherham Road alongside the canal and below the North Midland line to reach the canal head. The line opened in 1873, and the agreement between the Earl's Colliery Company and the M.S.& L. terminated on 31 December 1978 when the line closed.

In 1915 Viscount Halifax invested heavily into improvement of the rail line.

The line can be divided into two sections, both originally rope-worked. The lower section serving New Stubbin Colliery, sunk between 1913 and 1915, changed to locomotive working.

Its last steam locomotives were two examples built by Hudswell Clarke & Co. of Leeds: No. 34, an outside cylinder, six-coupled side tank locomotive, works No.1523, built in 1925 and delivered new to the Appleby-Frodingham Steel Company in Scunthorpe, which came to the line in the 1950s; and No. 37, an outside cylinder, six-coupled saddle tank. They worked until the mid-1960s, when the line became fully dieselised, Hudswell Clarke again supplying the power.

Earl of Strafford

Earl of Strafford is a title that has been created three times in English and British history.

The first creation was in the Peerage of England in 1640 for Thomas Wentworth, the close advisor of King Charles I. He had already succeeded his father as second Baronet of Wentworth Woodhouse in 1614. The Wentworth Baronetcy, of Wentworth Woodhouse in the County of York, had been created in the Baronetage of England on 20 June 1611 for Thomas's father, William Wentworth. Thomas was created Baron Wentworth, of Wentworth-Woodhouse, Baron of Newmarch and Oversley, in 1628, and Viscount Wentworth in 1629. He was made Baron Raby in 1640, at the same time he was given the earldom.In 1641, he was attainted. His son, William, successfully had the attainder reversed in 1662, becoming the second earl, but died without heirs in 1695 when the barony of Wentworth, viscountcy and earldom became extinct. He was succeeded in the barony of Raby according to a special remainder by his first cousin once removed, Thomas Wentworth, who became the third Baron. He was the grandson of Sir William Wentworth, younger brother of the first Earl of the 1640 creation. While gaining the barony, he did not receive the Woodhouse estate, which was inherited by Thomas Watson, thereafter a source of rivalry between the two men.In 1711, the earldom was recreated when the 3rd Baron Raby was created Viscount Wentworth and Earl of Strafford in the Peerage of Great Britain. He was created Duke of Strafford in the Jacobite Peerage on 5 January 1722. He was succeeded in 1739 by his son, William, the second earl. William had no issue and on his death in 1791 the Jacobite peerages, such as they were, became extinct. He was succeeded in the remaining peerages by his cousin Frederick. As he also had no successors, all titles became extinct on his death in 1799.The title was created for a third time in 1847 in the Peerage of the United Kingdom, when the prominent soldier John Byng, 1st Baron Strafford, was made Viscount Enfield, of Enfield in the County of Middlesex, and Earl of Strafford. He had already been created Baron Strafford, of Harmondsworth in the County of Middlesex, in 1833. John Byng was the second son of George Byng (c.1735-1789), son the Hon. Robert Byng (1703-1740), third son of George Byng, 1st Viscount Torrington (1663-1733).

John Byng's mother was Anne Conolly, whose mother was Lady Anne Wentworth, a daughter of Thomas Wentworth, 1st Earl of Strafford (1672-1739) (of the second creation). John Byng was thus a great-grandson of the 1st Earl of Strafford. John Byng was succeeded by his eldest son, the second Earl. He was a Whig politician and held minor office under Lord Grey, Lord Melbourne and Lord John Russell.His eldest son, the third Earl, was a Liberal politician and served under William Ewart Gladstone as Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs and Under-Secretary of State for India. In 1874, twelve years before he succeeded his father, he was summoned to the House of Lords through a writ of acceleration in his father's junior title of Baron Strafford. On his death the titles passed to his younger brother, the fourth Earl. He was succeeded by his younger brother, the fifth Earl. He was a clergyman. His son, the sixth Earl, was a County Alderman in Middlesex and Hertfordshire. He was succeeded by his nephew, the seventh Earl. He was the second but only surviving son of the Hon. Ivo Francis Byng, fourth son of the fifth Earl. As of 2016 the titles are held by his grandson, the ninth Earl. As a descendant of the first Viscount Torrington, Lord Strafford is also in remainder to this peerage and its subsidiary titles the barony of Byng and baronetcy of Wrotham.Another member of the Byng family was the soldier Field Marshal Julian Byng, 1st Viscount Byng of Vimy. He was the youngest son of the second Earl of Strafford from his second marriage.

Family homes are divided up among its branches but Wrotham Park, historically in Middlesex but now Hertfordshire, and a 17th-century one-storey plus attic cottage in Vernhams Dean, Hampshire have become arguably established seats. Wrotham Park was named as the 17th patriarchs in the family originally had an estate in Wrotham, Kent which they sold.The traditional burial place of the Byng Earls of Strafford is the Byng Mausoleum at Wrotham Park, not to be confused with the Byng Mausoleum in Southill Church, Bedfordshire, built for the burial of the 1st Viscount Torrington, seated at Southill Park.


Elsecar (listen) is a village in the Metropolitan Borough of Barnsley in South Yorkshire, England. Like many villages in the area, it was for many years a colliery village until the widespread pit closures during the 1980s. Elsecar is near the town of Hoyland and the villages of Jump and Wentworth. Elsecar is 1.5 miles (2.4 km) south of Hoyland, 6 miles (9.7 km) south of Barnsley and 8 miles (13 km) north-east of Sheffield. The village falls within the Barnsley MBC Ward of Hoyland Milton.

Elsecar is unique as a name. It is thought to derive from the Old English personal name of Aelfsige (mentioned in Cartulary of Nostell Priory, 1259–66) and the Old Norse word kjarr, used to denote a marsh or brushwood.


Hemingfield is a village in the metropolitan borough of Barnsley, South Yorkshire, England. The village falls within the Hoyland Milton Ward of Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council. The village has two pubs, The Albion and The Elephant & Castle, as well as a post office, a pharmacy and The Ellis CofE Primary School. Notable organisations, past and present, include Hemingfield Action Group (HAG) and Albion AFC.

In the Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales (1870–72) John Marius Wilson described Hemingfield:

HEMINGFIELD, a village in Wombwell township, Darfield parish, W. R. Yorkshire; 4 miles SE of Barnesley. Pop., 346. It has a post office under Barnesley, and a charity school.

List of British heritage and private railways

This is a list of heritage, private and preserved railways throughout the United Kingdom and the Crown dependencies whether operational or closed, that are operated for charitable purposes or shareholder profit. Some also provide economic local transport. For rail museums, see List of British railway museums.

Many of the standard-gauge railways listed, including former branch lines and ex-mainline routes, were closed by British Railways under the Beeching Axe of the 1960s. Most have been restored and operate as heritage lines. A smaller number of lines were formerly industrial or colliery railways.

Many of these preserved railways are mentioned in national and international tour guides, and visits may form part of a school curriculum or feature in other studies, including civil engineering, mechanics, social, economic and political history, visual arts and drama.

List of Peckett and Sons railway locomotives

List of Peckett and Sons railway locomotives, plus those from Fox Walker, both built at the Atlas Engine Works, Bristol.Despite hard work and poor maintenance, the engines were long-lasting, and many Peckett locomotives survive working on today's heritage railways. The oldest surviving Fox Walker locomotive is "Karlskoga", an 0-6-0ST of 1873 and the first locomotive of the Nora Bergslags Railway in Sweden. It was steamed at Nora, Sweden in 1982.

List of Yorkshire railways

This is a list of Yorkshire Railways. Most were absorbed by larger railway companies which ended with two of the constituents of The Big Four (London Midland Scottish & London and North Eastern Railway) operating in the Yorkshire & Humber area. These companies were created under the Railways Act 1921 and the act came into effect on 1 January 1923. The Big Four existed for 25 years before being nationalized on 1 January 1948 under the Transport Act 1947.Some lines escaped being nationalized such as the Derwent Valley Light Railway and the Middleton Railway in Leeds. The latter line's use as a coal railway for the National Coal Board was enough to prevent it being becoming part of the British Rail network.

Privatisation in 1994 onwards has seen the railway ownership pass from British Rail to Railtrack and then onto Network Rail.

Whilst all of these railways are in Yorkshire & the Humber, most of the bigger companies had concerns that stretched far outside of the scope of this list (Midland Railway, Great Central Railway, LNER, etc) into other regions.

List of closed railway lines in the United Kingdom

This list is for railway lines across Britain, which are now long abandoned, closed, dismantled or disused.

Most of these old railway lines have since re-opened, whether preserved as Heritage Railways, or as part of the national network en-route, whilst some have converted to cycle paths, footpaths or lanes.

Some of the closed railway lines, are former ex-cross country mainline routes, some were local branch lines, with a few being ex-working colliery lines that once served towns, villages and local settlements, as well as the UK's Industry.

See also:

List of railway lines in Great Britain for extant lines.

List of closed railway stations in Britain

List of British heritage and private railways

History of rail transport in Great Britain

List of museums in South Yorkshire

This list of museums in South Yorkshire, England contains museums which are defined for this context as institutions (including nonprofit organizations, government entities, and private businesses) that collect and care for objects of cultural, artistic, scientific, or historical interest and make their collections or related exhibits available for public viewing. Also included are non-profit art galleries and university art galleries. Museums that exist only in cyberspace (i.e., virtual museums) are not included.

To use the sortable table, click on the icons at the top of each column to sort that column in alphabetical order; click again for reverse alphabetical order.

List of preserved Avonside locomotives

This page is a list of the preserved Avonside locomotives

Peckett OQ Class

The Peckett OQ Class is a class of 0-6-0ST steam locomotives built in Bristol, England, by Peckett and Sons. Three locomotives were built, no. 2124 for Tower Colliery in 1951 and nos. 2150 and 2151 for Mardy Colliery in 1954. No. 2150 has been preserved and is named "Mardy Monster". According to Heritage Railway magazine it is "Britain’s most powerful industrial locomotive". This claim may be misleading because it is based on tractive effort rather than horsepower.

Sentinel Waggon Works

Sentinel Waggon Works Ltd was a British company based in Shrewsbury, Shropshire that made steam-powered lorries, railway locomotives, and later, diesel engined lorries, buses and locomotives.

South Yorkshire Railway

The South Yorkshire Railway was a railway company with lines in the south of the West Riding of Yorkshire, England.

Initially promoted as the South Yorkshire Coal Railway in 1845, the railway was enabled by an act of 1847 as the South Yorkshire Doncaster and Goole Railway Company which incorporated into it the permitted line of the Sheffield, Rotherham, Barnsley, Wakefield, Huddersfield and Goole Railway south of Barnsley, the River Dun Navigation, and Dearne and Dove Canals; and had permission for a line from Swinton to Doncaster and other branches. On 10 November 1849 the first section of line opened between Swinton and Doncaster, with the remainder opening in the early 1850s.

In 1850 the company formally amalgamated with its canal interests, forming the South Yorkshire Railway and River Dun Company, in context generally referred to as the "South Yorkshire Railway".

As well as extensive colliery traffic, the company's tracks eventually supported a passenger service between Barnsley and Doncaster; a branch line from Wombwell to Sheffield through the Blackburn valley; and services beyond Doncaster to Thorne and Keadby.

The South Yorkshire Railway was absorbed by the Manchester, Sheffield and Lincolnshire Railway in 1864.

Southall Railway Centre

Southall Railway Centre is a railway heritage centre at Southall in west London, near to Southall railway station and the Grand Union Canal. Formerly of the Great Western Railway the site is now run partly by Locomotive Services Limited and West Coast Railways, both of whom lease the site from Network Rail. The location is not open to the public.

The Great Western Railway Preservation Group (GWRPG) lease part of the West Coast Railway section of the site for their own use.

Heritage railways and railway museums in England

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