Volume 28
Harrogate & District

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For almost one hundred and twenty years Leeds was linked to the northern sections of the East Coast Main Line not only via York, but also by a 41- mile long route that headed north from the industrial capital of the West Riding, passing through Harrogate and Ripon before joining the ECML near Northallerton.

With a particular focus on the section of line north of Harrogate, steam and diesel locomotives are seen at work on a wide variety of freight and passenger workings, including the Royal Train and the 'Queen of Scots' Pullman service.

The programme starts at Leeds's Central Station and after leaving the city, the first views are at Bramhope and Arthington, where the now-closed line to Otley diverged west at Arthington Junction. Eighteen miles from Leeds is Harrogate, which in 1964 was a busy rail centre, handling both freight and passenger traffic. Diverging from the Ripon line on the northeast outskirts of Harrogate was the route to York via Knaresborough, and on this route Starbeck and the Boroughbridge branch are featured. North of Harrogate, workings were recorded at numerous locations, including all the stations between Ripon and Northallerton, together with the branch from Melmerby Junction to Masham.

Steam traction on the route consisted mainly of ex-LNER classes including A1s, A3s, A4s, B1s and K1s although by the mid-1960s they were being displaced by diesels, ranging from shunters and DMUs to Type 4s and 'Deltics'. This transitional period and the later rundown of the line was captured on film between 1961 and 1969, the programme providing a fascinating visual record of a through route that has now passed into history.

DVD Info

Region: 2
Running Time: 67 minutes

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