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The Building of The Railway



I'm afraid that forum rules prevent me from scanning and posting more of the Oakwood book, so I will have to continue without that, but I'm sure I can take information from it to add to the photographs that I copied from Tatlock's collection in the Calderdale Archives.


The Calder Vale Mineral Railway was built to connect several mills, collieries, brick & pipe works and quarries in the area around Elland and to the north of Brighouse. A junction was made with the Manchester & Leeds Railway, at Elland, with the first section of the railway opening as far as Brookfoot on the 21st of July 1853. This initial section being built by Messrs. Logan & Hemingway. No details are known of the motive power used to construct this section and it is thought that it may have been horse-worked, although at least one locomotive is said to have been used that may have been hired from the Manchester & Leeds Railway.


With new quarries opening below Hove Edge, the CVMR was keen to tap into this new source of traffic and it was also hoped that the extension of the line would promote growth in trade by laying sidings into the various mills and dye works along the way.


For this extension the Board of the CVMR had initially favoured Thomas Brassey to be the main contractor but a much smaller company, that of Exuperias Gittins, tendered for the contract at several thousand pounds below any of his competitors and so won the contract. Exuperias Gittins was known to be miserly and his navvies frequently rioted due to not being paid. At one time work was stopped due to the majority of the navvies having been arrested by the Constabulary and thrown in Halifax Gaol. Gittins himself was a rather eccentric character who visited the work sites on a velocipede and was later involved in racing Penny Farthing bicycles.


Work on the extension commenced in 1863 and two locomotives were brought in to build the extension, arriving at the siding at Elland where the CVMR met what had by now become the Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway with one under its own power and the other in tow.  A driver, provided by the owner of the locomotives, stayed on for a week to instruct Gittins' men in driving them. Both locomotives were hired from that well-known engineer and locomotive hirer Isaac Watt Boulton of Ashton-Under-Lyne and were Manning Wardle 0-6-0ST Leodis and a rather odd-looking 2-2-2ST, No.11 that had been converted by Boulton from a Sharp Bros. 2-2-2 passenger express locomotive, which had been purchased from the London & North Western Railway.




Leodis, the Manning Wardle, at an unknown location.


Boulton's No.11 on a hiring somewhere in Derbyshire.


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