I have done a blog about the Wensleydale Railway in the past. You can click here to see what this heritage line was like back in 2006.
Regular readers may realise that we recently had a holiday in Wensleydale, a little to the west of the railway’s present terminus at Redmire and about a mile from the closed station at Aysgarth. We took a walk from the cottage we rented in Carperby to look at the waterfalls at Aysgarth. The walk took us past the station, recognisably an old station, partly because of a clear railway bridge crossing the road.
The station approach heads off left and has a gate which is clearly labelled PRIVATE. We stood by the gate and I could make out what I thought was an old station sign.
At this point a chap in car and trailer arrived and opened the gate. Did he recognise railway nerds? He promptly invited us to take a look round the station. Seemingly he and two others had taken on the task of making the station look presentable whilst awaiting the arrival of tracks – years down the line yet – from Redmire. He gave us a guided tour.
Still from the gate – a general view of the station yard.
On the right we have the coal depot, roughly in the centre there is the main station building and to the left there is the goods shed.
Now we’ll walk forward and see the coal yard and depot.
Something like this would have been standard at every country station. Coal, now a despised fuel, used to be King Coal, of course.
The station building is big enough to form two dwellings at the moment. One is privately owned and the other is owned by the Wensleydale Railway and in use as a holiday let.
This is the goods shed.
Outside they have an 1880s truck given as a project by the National Railway Museum.
A railway museum is being created inside. They have a variety of signs and items.
Billingham is a station. The sign below comes from a signal box.
They have a photo history of the line as well. And lots more signs.
The weighbridge is an original feature of the shed – still in situ.
Outside the trio of men are laying some track. They hope to be able to offer very short rides.
They have acquired a diesel shunter loco which is stored outside, under wraps.
We were taken to see the waiting room and the signal box.
This has been restored from a rather smashed up wreck.
The person arriving at platform one was the 10am from Carperby for Aysgarth Falls. We apologise for the late running which was due to a fascinating bonus trip around Aysgarth Station. Fortunately, a signal had been found in undergrowth and erected at the platform end. Just near it is a quarter mile post similarly located.
Next stop is the waiting room which has been given over to a model railway showing the station in the 1930s.
That’s lovely – with a camping coach parked at the platform end and all the other features we can still see. The waiting room is the small shelter on the right hand platform.
And so to the signal box.
Beautifully restored and with a signal operator in the doorway.
Yes, it did operate that signal on the down platform. Our chaps had station clutter stored in the box but that sign in the background took the eye.
That’s pre 1923 when the North Eastern Railway got absorbed into the LNER.
Fantastic visit. Thanks chaps!
The project to get the line to Aysgarth is worthy of support. The station is perfectly placed for the waterfalls and so a working railway will help to keep cars away from the narrow lanes. BUT there is a nearby carpark for present day visitors to the falls. If you happen to go there, maybe you, too, could visit the station and enjoy the almost unlimited enthusiasm of the men who volunteered to make it a station in waiting.