13th March 2020 · The Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway

Presenter: Noel Coates

Noel Coates presented “The Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway” to a Newcastle audience of 22 on Thursday 12th March. Starting with the large, tiled map of the system that adorned Liverpool Exchange, and covering the period 1910-1925 when the company was at its zenith, we were taken on a splendid tour of all things L&Y from Freshfield to Goole and Liverpool to Hellifield. Only 24 of its 601 route miles were on level track with 134 miles steeper than the Midland’s 1 in 100 ruling gradient on the S&CR, requiring powerful locomotives to handle the coal traffic along with the freight generated by the cotton and woollen industries. Powerful 0-8-2T bankers were shown, as were Aspinall’s rugged 5’1” A Class 0-6-0s, though four other classes accounted for 85% of the 1650 strong fleet. Just 60 were pure express passenger locos, the Highflyer atlantics taking pride of place on the Blackpool to Manchester club trains for the captains of industry. Electrification was pioneered on the Liverpool-Southport line, while 1200v DC EMUs operated from Bury to Holcombe Brook during the Great War. Rolling stock, stations, goods depots, engine sheds, publicity and the company’s sea-going fleet all featured in an extremely enjoyable, diverse and interesting evening. We look forward to Noel’s return!