The Penistone Line is the name given to one of the rail services, operated by Northern Rail, in the West Yorkshire Metro/ Travel South Yorkshire area of northern England. The service connects Huddersfield and Sheffield via Penistone and Barnsley, serving many rural communities. Metrocards (Zone 5) are available at stations between Huddersfield and Denby Dale.
Huddersfield - Penistone
The first section of line between Huddersfield
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 Leeds
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.
Penistone - Barnsley - Sheffield
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.
- here is the junction, originally known as Barnsley Junction for the direct line to that town and from 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 was closed and trains diverted via Barnsley on 16 May 1983)
- Dodworth (as for Silkstone - a re-opened station)
- Summer Lane (closed)
- hardly visible nowadays the junction which brought the M.S.& L. R. trains from Barnsley Court House to the Penistone line.
- here the line joins the Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway's line from Wakefield and enters the former Barnsley Exchange, now rebuilt and retitled 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 by Jumble Lane crossing on what were the 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):
- here was the junction for the Birdwell and Pilley freight-only branch
- the line passes over Swaithe Viaduct which carries it high over the Worsborough line
- Wombwell (was named Wombwell West)
- Elsecar (was named Elsecar & Hoyland) (not all trains stop here - check WY Metro)
- Wentworth & Hoyland Common railway station (closed)
- here is Tankersley Tunnel
- Chapeltown (was named Chapletown South). 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
The 32.6-km section of line from Springwood Junction (between Huddersfield
) to Barnsley Station Junction (between Dodworth
) today constitutes Network Rail route LNE 15A.
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 an all time record total of 1,030,000 in 2005.
On March 18
the Department for Transport released details of a plan to trial tram-trains
on the Penistone Line for two years starting in 2010. Northern Rail
, the current operator of passenger services on the line, will invite manufactures to bid to build the five vehicles which Northern will then lease. Network Rail
will invest £15m in track improvements and alterations to stations to as part of the trial.