Burley Park is alongside the North Eastern Railway Route between Leeds and Harrogate and, when I was a nipper in the 50s, practically all the motive power was NER or LNER in origin. At the North East end of the park was a road over bridge and lower down a foot bridge, linking the park with Cardigan Road, both popular vantage points. There was a small goods yard, Cardigan Road Goods, with a coal merchants, which brought a pick up goods once a week or so but, the main attractions were the Harrogate Pullaman, the Queen of Scots, and the occasional troop train. The A3s, No.60036 Columbo, No. 60072 Harvester, No. 60081 Shotover, and No. 60084 Trigo were all regular performers.
My most abiding memory however, is of, No.60077 The White Knight, a Heaton engine at the time, and a troop train of prodigious length, I swear I counted 17. No matter the number, we could hear her coming from before she hit Kirkstall viaduct and after she’d passed Headingley – an awesome racket. Whilst A3s took the ‘namers’ the local passenger traffic and Harrogate portions of London services were in the hands of the D49s, ‘Hunts’ as we called them. Neville Hill (Leeds) had 4 and Starbeck (Harrogate) had no fewer than 17 on the allocation in 1955.
The 4 o’clocker – well that was the first action we got to see after being let out of school at 3:30 and usually one of the A3s!
The photo is the D49, No.62712 Morayshire, pulling away from Kinneil Halt, on the Bo’ness & Kinneil Railway.
If you have enjoyed my blogs – I have written a book about my 60 years involvement with railways, from trainspotter, via steam age footplateman, to railway author and photographer, this is a link to it: