Grace's Guide To British Industrial History

Registered UK Charity (No. 115342)

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 163,173 pages of information and 245,641 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 147,919 pages of information and 233,587 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway

From Graces Guide
1878-86. No. 642.
1891. Standard goods engine. No. 1026.
1901. No. 500.
1904. By H. A. Hoy. No. 404.
1905. Railmotor No. 2 built by Kerr, Stuart and Co.
1963. Railmotor No. 1 built by Kerr, Stuart and Co.
1906. No. 8 built at Horwich Works.
1907. No. 1471.
1911. Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway Power Station.
August 1911.
January 1918. Exchange Station Hotel, Liverpool.
1920. Diomed.
1921. No. 1522.


Mar 1957.

Article about The Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway from One Hundred Years of British Railways in The Engineer here: [1]

of Hunts Bank, Manchester.

1847 The Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway (L&YR) was incorporated in 1847, being an amalgamation of several important lines, the chief of which was the Manchester and Leeds Railway

For working purposes it was divided into three divisions:

Western Division:

  • Manchester to Blackpool and Fleetwood;
  • Manchester to Bolton, Wigan, Southport and Liverpool; and the direct line to Liverpool;

East Lancashire or Central Division

  • Manchester to Oldham, Bury, Rochdale, Todmorden, Accrington, Barnsley and Colne. It also included the connection to the LNWR at Stockport for through traffic to London.

Eastern Division:

  • Todmorden to Halifax, Bradford, Leeds, Huddersfield, Wakefield, Normanton, Goole, and Doncaster.

There were various lines between the Central and Western Divisions but only one route between the Eastern and Central Divisions. This route cut through the Pennines between Lancashire and Yorkshire via a number of long tunnels with the longest being Summit Tunnel, 2,885 yd in length, near Rochdale. There were six others over 1,000 yd long.

1853 Brassey and Co had the contract for maintenance of the lines in 2 of the divisions when there was a serious accident on the Manchester-Bolton line[2]

L&Y Locomotives were originally painted dark green with ornate brass work and copper capped chimneys. Lining was black and white.

1868 Engineer is Sturges Meek.[3]

In 1876 the dark green was changed to a light green and goods engines were painted plain black.

1878 The start of the goods locomotives also appearing in light green.

1883 All locomotives were painted black. Lining was red and white for passenger locomotives and red only, or none, for goods locomotives

1875 Coaching stock was originally painted teak changing in 1875 to an overall light brown. In 1879 it was decided to use ‘a little brighter shade’.

1881 June. It was announced that the lower panels of carriages were to be painted ‘lake colour’.

1875 See 1875 Number of Locomotives where they are listed 4th with 670 locomotives.

1879 On June 2nd the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway extended its Blackburn-Chatburn line to Hellifield, where it joined the Midland and allowed for a through service later by Midland trains between Scotland and Manchester and Liverpool.[4]

1888 See Locomotive Stock June 1888 where they are listed 5th with 948 locomotives.

1889 Engineer is William Hunt.[5]

1894 Antwerp Exhibition. Awarded Diploma of Honour for Railway Plant. [6]

1896 Between 1896 and 1914 the upper panels became buff with the lower in purple-brown, ends were dark brown. Roofs were normally dark grey but some did appear in red oxide.

1902 Wagons were unpainted until 1902 except for the ironwork which was black. After 1902 it was painted dark grey. The illiterate symbol of an inverted solid triangle within a circle was replaced from 1902-3 with the letters LY. Break/Brake vans were black and special traffic wagons were painted in various colours e.g. Gunpowder- red, Fish – white, Butter – pale blue etc.

1904 The Liverpool and Blackpool section of the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway was the first part of this railway to be electrified

1908 The line owned is 526.5 miles in length. [7]

1912 Dick, Kerr and Co‘s Preston factory were considering tendering for a Brazilian contract and approached the L&Y to use the Holcombe Brook branch for test purposes at Dick, Kerr’s expense. The line from Bury (Bolton Street Station_ to Holcombe Brook was electrified with the overhead 3.5 kV DC system; rolling stock was also supplied at Dick Kerr's cost. After prolonged trials the trains entered public use on 29 July 1913. The L&Y purchased the equipment and stock on the successful completion of the trials in 1916.

1913 A decision was taken to electrify the Manchester to Bury route at 1.2 kV DC using the 3rd Rail system in an attempt to overcome competition from trams. Electric trains began running on 17th April 1916 but, as Horwich was by then involved in war work, deliveries of the new electric stock was delayed - steam trains were only withdrawn from the route in August 1916.

1917 Work started on the Holcombe Brook branch to convert it to 3rd rail distribution to match the Manchester-Bury system. 3rd rail trains started to run on 29th March 1918.

1920 the L&Y was considering electrifying the Manchester-Oldham-Shaw and Royton lines but no work was carried out.

1921 Mr George Hughes was Chief Mechanical Engineer.[8]

The L&YR had the largest shipping fleet of all the pre-grouping railway companies. In 1913 the L&Y owned 26 vessels with 2 more being built plus a further 5 that were in joint ownership with the London and North Western Railway. The L&YR ran steamers between Liverpool and Drogheda in Ireland; between Hull and Zeebrugge; and between Goole and many Continental ports, including Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Hamburg, and Rotterdam. The jointly owned vessels were between Fleetwood, Belfast and Londonderry.

1922 January 1st. The LYR amalgamated with the London and North Western Railway.

The L&YR also built two electric locomotives:

  • No.1 was built on the frames of an Aspinall 2-4-2 tank enginer. It had a jack shaft drive from its 600 volt motors and could collect current from either overhead wires or top contact third rail. Sections of the line around the Aintree area were equipped with overhead wires and it used these or third rail as appropriate. It was withdrawn around 1919.
  • No.2 was a 4-wheel battery powered steeple cab design for shunting wagons at Clifton Junction power station. It survived until 1947.

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. The Engineer 1924/11/07
  2. The Times, Mar 16, 1853
  3. 1868 Bradshaw's Railway Manual
  4. The Engineer 1924/12/05
  5. 1889 Bradshaw's Railway Manual
  6. The Engineer of 2nd November 1894 p387
  7. The Stock Exchange Year Book 1908
  8. The Engineer 1921/04/15