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Penistone Line

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Penistone Line
OwnerNetwork Rail
LocaleSouth Yorkshire
West Yorkshire
Holme Valley
Yorkshire and the Humber
TypeHeavy rail
SystemNational Rail
Number of tracksOne to Two
Track gauge4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
Penistone Line
Berry Brow
Clayton West branch line
Denby Dale
Silkstone Common
(limited stop)
Wentworth and
Hoyland Common
Meadowhall Sheffield Supertram
Sheffield Sheffield Supertram

The Penistone Line[1] is operated by Northern in the West Yorkshire Metro and Travel South Yorkshire areas of northern England. It connects Huddersfield and Sheffield via Penistone and Barnsley, serving many rural communities. Metrocards (Zone 5) can be used for travel between Huddersfield and Denby Dale and intermediate stations.

Line details

Thurstonland Tunnel, 1970s
Thurstonland Tunnel, 1970s
Railway lines through Huddersfield in 1911
Railway lines through Huddersfield in 1911
Railway lines through Penistone and Barnsley in 1912
Railway lines through Penistone and Barnsley in 1912
Railway lines in Sheffield in 1912
Railway lines in Sheffield in 1912
Denby Dale Viaduct
Denby Dale Viaduct
Platform 2 at Huddersfield
Platform 2 at Huddersfield


The first section of line between Huddersfield and Penistone was opened on 1 July 1850 by the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway (L&YR). From the joint L&YR/London and North Western Railway Huddersfield station, trains ran south to Springwood Junction (south of Huddersfield) on the London and North Western Railway LeedsManchester main line, where the L&YR line began; from there the route was as follows:

The southern part of that section follows the upper reaches of the River Don.


At Penistone, the route joins the former Great Central Railway line from Manchester via the Woodhead Tunnel, travelling eastwards. It deviates from the former main line towards Sheffield Victoria at a point once known as Barnsley Junction, and heads towards that town beyond which it takes a circuitous route via Wombwell before going south to Sheffield. The route is as follows:

  • Penistone : the junction here was originally known as Huddersfield Junction.
  • junction, originally Barnsley Junction, with the direct line to that town and West Silkstone Junction, a few miles further, via Worsborough to Wombwell and the Wath marshalling yard (freight-only) (closed)
  • Silkstone Common (was Silkstone: the station was re-opened when the direct line to Sheffield closed and trains diverted via Barnsley on 16 May 1983)
  • Dodworth (as for Silkstone – a re-opened station)
  • Summer Lane (closed)
  • the line then descends steeply, latterly at 1 in 50 to the former location of the junction which brought the M.S.& L. R. trains from Barnsley Court House to the Penistone line.
  • the line joins the Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway's line from Wakefield and enters the former Barnsley Exchange, rebuilt and renamed Barnsley Interchange.
  • Barnsley Interchange. Barnsley was served by three railway companies: L&Y, GCR, and Midland; and by two stations: Exchange and Court House. The latter is now closed. The Penistone Line continues to Sheffield, leaving the station over Jumble Lane crossing on tracks of the former South Yorkshire Railway (later Great Central) but only for a short distance. A connection made in April 1960 by British Rail gave access to the Midland route towards Sheffield (and also enabled the closure of Court House station):
  • junction for the Birdwell and Pilley freight-only branch
  • passes over Swaithe Viaduct high over the Worsborough line
  • Wombwell (was Wombwell West)
  • Elsecar (was Elsecar & Hoyland)
  • Wentworth & Hoyland Common (closed)
  • Tankersley Tunnel
  • Chapeltown (was Chapeltown South).(not all trains stop here – check WY Metro) This station being the first to be rebuilt under the guidance of the South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive was moved some 500 yards further south and new approaches made from the town centre and via the ASDA car park.
  • Meadowhall Interchange (the previous station on the site was named Wincobank and Meadowhall)
  • Brightside, closed in the 1990s
  • Attercliffe Road, closed in the 1990s.
  • Sheffield Midland

Network Rail

Route of the Penistone Line

The 32.6-km section of line from Springwood Junction (between Huddersfield and Lockwood) to Barnsley Station Junction (between Dodworth and Barnsley) constitutes Network Rail route LNE 15A.

LNE 15A M-Ch km
Barnsley – 0-11 – 0.20
Barnsley Station Junction 0-00 0.00
Dodworth 2-64 4.50
Silkstone Common 4-22 6.90
Penistone 7-25 11.75
Denby Dale 11-30 18.30
Clayton West Junction 12-73 20.80
Shepley 13-47 21.85
Stocksmoor 14-35 23.25
Brockholes 16-36 26.45
Berry Brow 18-35 29.65
Lockwood 19-43 31.45
Springwood Junction 20-21 32.60
Huddersfield + 0-40 + 0.80

The Penistone Line today

The Penistone Line Partnership, representing local interests, is a long-time supporter of services on the route and has provided music and real-ale trains.

In November 2005 the line was named as a pilot project within the Department for Transport's Community Rail Strategy. The section from Barnsley to Huddersfield was designated a community rail line in May 2006. This led to line speed improvements at Cumberworth Tunnel and improved reliability. Passenger numbers have continued to grow to a record 1,030,000 in 2005 – a stark contrast from the late 1970s and early 1980s when the line was under threat of closure due to falling levels of patronage and the possible loss of revenue support from both PTEs.[2]
Although the entire Barnsley to Huddersfield route was originally double line, it is now single throughout following modernisation works in 1983 & 1989 (aside from a pair of crossing loops at Penistone and between Stocksmoor & Shepley) with control split between Huddersfield and Barnsley signal boxes. The Rail Operating Centre at York will take over the signalling of the entire route by 2018.

Tram-trains trial

On 18 March 2008, the Department for Transport released details of a proposal to trial tram-trains on the Penistone Line, the first use of such vehicles in the UK. The trial was to start in 2010 and last for two years. Northern Rail, the operator of passenger services on the line, asked potential manufacturers to tender for the design and construction of five new vehicles, which Northern Rail would subsequently lease. In addition, Network Rail planned to spend £15m modifying track and stations to make them compatible with the new vehicles.[3]

However, it was announced on 15 September 2009 that a city tram-train trial between Rotherham and Sheffield would replace the Penistone Line scheme.[4]


  1. ^ "Named railway lines". Retrieved 21 April 2017.
  2. ^ Body, pp. 31-32
  3. ^ "Innovative 'tram-trains' to be trialled in Yorkshire". Network Rail Media Centre. 18 March 2008. Retrieved 6 December 2017.
  4. ^ "City tram-trains trial unveiled". BBC News. 15 September 2009. Retrieved 15 September 2009.


  • Body, G. (1988), PSL Field Guides – Railways of the Eastern Region Volume 2, Patrick Stephens Ltd, Wellingborough, ISBN 1-85260-072-1

Further reading

  • Hogarth, Peter (30 November – 13 December 1989). "Penistone Line Investment". RAIL. No. 110. EMAP National Publications. pp. 28–29. ISSN 0953-4563. OCLC 49953699.
  • Hunt, John (8–21 April 1998). "The Yorkshire survivor – The Penistone Line". RAIL. No. 328. EMAP Apex Publications. pp. 22–27. ISSN 0953-4563. OCLC 49953699.

External links

This page was last edited on 22 September 2020, at 22:17
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