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Report - Healey Mills Depot & Marshalling Yard, Wakefield - January 2015

Discussion in 'Other Sites' started by jST, Jan 10, 2015.

  1. jST

    jST LLS.
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    At a loose end and in the area whilst searching for GeoVW's 'in renovation' camper that has been shifted from industrial unit to industrial unit we found ourselves with a spare hour and being but 2 mins away from here we had a blustery walk around.

    Healey Mills opened in 1963 in attempt to modernise wagon-load traffic. It replaced a dozen smaller yards in the area and its purpose was to improve the efficiency of sorting and marshalling wagons into trains before sending them off to their destination. The yards featured hump-shunting, in which wagons were pushed over a ‘hump’, freewheeled into the required siding, and braked using special retarders next to the rails - all controlled from a centralised operations tower.

    A purpose-built diesel depot opened alongside the yards at the end of 1966 and the two facilities saw round the clock activity with a claimed capacity of 4,000 wagons per day. Situated to the west of Wakefield, Healey Mills was ideally located for sending and receiving trains to all parts of the country, as well as handling the large number of local coal trains at the time.

    But wagon-load railfreight came under increasing threat in the 1970s and 1980s due to competition from road transport. Then a double blow came with the decline of the Yorkshire coal industry and resultant reduction in coal trains, which had once formed up to 50 percent of traffic at Healey Mills.

    As a result, the depot lost its own allocation of locomotives in 1984 and the marshalling yards closed in 1987 - although both were still used for stabling locomotives and trains until the early 2000s.

    The redundant sidings were then used to store long lines of withdrawn Class 37, 47, 56 and 58 locomotives until 2010, after which the only operations at Healey Mills were for crew changes of passing freight trains. Of course all of these engines have now been scrapped and only a number of old bits of rolling stock are sided up.

    The site is fairly sparse yet photogenic and there's also an old maintenance building that was accessible yet stripped. Photos:

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  2. Harry Warburton

    Harry Warburton 28DL Member
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    absolutely amazing photography!
     
  3. Mr Beady

    Mr Beady Over 8
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    Choooo choooo
     
  4. BoroLad

    BoroLad 28DL Regular User
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    Nice report...

    Never knew they was this much left!

    Think a visit may be in order.
     
  5. dave

    dave 28DL Regular User
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    Nice work JST always an enjoyable wander around there. I take it the admin office block has gone also is the old signal box at the other end of the yard still there if it is not sure if its derelict or still in use as something else. Its difficult believe just how busy and big this place was once.
     
  6. jST

    jST LLS.
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    Yep the admin building was demolished this time last year, the signalling tower is in use again.
     
  7. k_cb

    k_cb 28DL Full Member
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    Looks like a good explore, Top marks for the photos - Loving the use of film!
     
  8. norfolkexplorer

    norfolkexplorer av u seen my marbels
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    Nicely done.. Bang on photos :)
     
  9. Mr Sam

    Mr Sam 28DL Regular User
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    plenty of 37, 47, and 56 in preservation and actually still earning a keep on the mainline, recently quite a few 56's were dragged from the scrap line at Kingsbury, All but a few 58's ended up in Spain of which i think a few are still used theres one being restored at Barrow Hill and 1 or 2 sat on blocks at Toton which of course is home to a massive line up of 60's awaiting their fate!

    great shots but be careful around the live tracks ;)
     
  10. dave

    dave 28DL Regular User
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    You have confirmed what i had suspected about the admin cheers for the info.
     
  11. Leeds(Ex)plorer

    Leeds(Ex)plorer 28DL Regular User
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    nice set that mate, always find the way you lay your reports out very refreshing :thumb
     
  12. Misfit

    Misfit "barry"
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    Top stuff.
     
  13. ThisIsMore

    ThisIsMore 28DL Full Member
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    Real nice set of photos.
     
  14. Caldervale

    Caldervale 28DL Full Member
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    Knew this depot from the first day open, also knew the previous LMS depot. Pity use could not be made after the reorganisation under B.R. All that valuable equipment wasted
    Excellent photography though. "Caldervale"
     
  15. #35

    #35 28DL Full Member
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    Incredible set of pictures right there! :thumb
     
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