Rail Freight: Yorkshire and North East England (Paperback)
Forty years ago, large areas of Yorkshire and the North East were criss-crossed by freight-only lines, many of them serving the heavy industries that had brought prosperity to the railways decades earlier. Classes 25 and 40 were enjoying their last few years of service in the early 1980s, while the unique Class 76s on the Woodhead route and Class 13 'master and slave' shunters at Tinsley lasted until 1981 and 1985 respectively. The Class 37s still had plenty of life left in them, especially in the North East where they worked most coal trains and a share of other traffic, too. Often overlooked were the humble Class 08 shunters, busying themselves not just in marshalling yards but also sometimes on short main-line trips. Today's rail freight scene may be less varied, but it still thrives where there are large tonnages to be moved regularly from A to B. As in most parts of Britain, rail freight haulage these days is dominated by the Class 66, but the uniformity is relieved by numerous livery styles, reflecting not only the different freight operators but also some of the customers that they serve. Also, the Class 60s have made a comeback in some surprising areas, notably the GB Railfreight biomass trains out of Tyne Dock. Classes 70, 56 and, very occasionally, 68 all bring added interest. The wagon fleet, likewise, is more standardised, but arguably more colourful than it ever has been. Illustrated with over 160 photographs, this book looks at Yorkshire and the North East’s varied freight scene over the last 40 years.