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Healey Mills Freight yard.


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What energy policy? I have yet to discern one. Just a series of knee-jerks. However, one good trend has been to reduce greenhouse gases and gases more immediately harmful to human life.


To blame energy policy and cost in the UK for uncompetitiveness is bizarre. Germany has had the most expensive energy in Europe for many years now and is 50% reliant on non-carbon energy sources, but remains the most robust economy, albeit with emerging problems, for heavy industry. France, where a substantial amount of ex-UK steel making and processing went, is now suffering from exponential rises in energy costs.


Whilst I may have been over-the-top in citing climate-change deniers, I would still implore people not to intone simplistic green-bashing in support of maintaining an argument to keep some redundant railway yards open! The issues are complex and the economic reactions to it keep changing. In many respects, the green argument is significantly helping the continuing expansion of rail investment in the UK. It would be ironic to jump on the very bus that would argue against this?


That said, of course it is sad to see a place like Healey Mills decline. I felt much the same thing when the very hump-marshalling yard there that I had trained on, shut only a few years later.


I don't think anyone is green-bashing as an argument for keeping redundant yards open. I'm sure that many will agree their demise, as sad as it is, was a result of the collapse of wagon-load freight, the move to trainload operation and the loss of much of our industry. Criticism of energy policy arose from a question about the logic and sustainability of biomass burning vs coal.


It is no surprise then that the EU is stagnating economically, and has been for the past few decades as can be seen from it's diminishing share of global trade. EU energy policy can not be possibly helping this. We are not even reducing carbon dioxide emissions, we are exporting them (and our jobs and industry) to other parts of the world. The cure is far worse than the disease. Should we really unilaterally commit economic suicide so as to prevent an almost insignificant share of global carbon dioxide emissions? If we deliberately and intentionally make energy more expensive through regulation, taxing and punitive measures such as the Climate Change Act 2008 then of course it is going to make our industry less competitive as it adds greatly to their costs. Look at what has happened in the US - fracking has greatly reduced energy costs and boosted industry there as well as reducing carbon dioxide emissions. Doing the same in this country would help us to retain our industry and associated railfreight.

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We will have to agree to disagree rather than prolong this off-topic thread. But see Apollo's post 52, and understand that Fracking has not significantly reduced US energy costs, merely made energy secure, and at, it appears, direct risk to human health due to very poor US regulation. According to the Economist, the Saudis are maintaining output in order to kill the economics of fracking, which is only viable when oil is more than c. $60-70 a barrel. Investment in new fracking wells has slowed right down as a consequence. We now know we were paying artificially high prices, not because of any green agenda but because of petro-oligarchs' greed. China also pays huge extra costs for importing most of its carbon energy (and raw materials) but that hasn't affected its competitiveness. That's why I am afraid we must disagree but I will not comment further.

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  • 2 months later...

I was in the signal box a while back and couldn't believe the state of the tracks/yard.

I know it doesn't take long for plants to reclaim the area, but they must have been there for years in some cases. :(

I would be good to see it all clear and back in use.

i was back there yesterday and apart from what looked like some VGAs there was nothing but jungle

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  • 4 years later...
  • RMweb Gold

Resurrecting an old topic, I stopped at Horbury yesterday to take a picture of the last class 37 hauled Scarborough Spa Express this season that will use the Calder Valley.  Photo here for anyone interested - https://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/72757-class-37-photos/&do=findComment&comment=3655322 


Whilst there I thought it would be interesting to get a few photos to show the current state of the former yard at Healey Mills.


Looking roughly north west towards the yard entrance from the A642 road bridge (Bridge Road) at Horbury.  For those with access to a track map it's identified as ''D' Junction.  


This Google map link might also help for those not familiar with the area - Horbury


The road bridge in the distance is Storrs Hill Road.  Looking left to right the tracks are; Access to Up Sidings Storrs Hill, Horbury Up Goods Loop, Up L&Y, Down L&Y.



From the Storrs Hill Road bridge looking back towards the A642 road bridge where the previous photo was taken...



From the Storrs Hill Road bridge looking north west towards the yard.  The Down L&Y is on the right...



Those familiar with how Healey Mills yard used to look will recognise the absence now of the lighting towers.  They've gone over the past 12-24 months, together with the severed footbridge which gave access to the motive power depot.  The depot buildings used to occupy the wooded area in the centre of the photo and were demolished probably about 3 years ago now.  All the wooded area to the left is where the sorting sidings still are, beneath that forest.






This is a view to the left of the above photos and shows left to right, Up L&Y and Up Slow.



I'd wager that the whole site is probably the largest area of redundant railway land with tracks still largely in place that currently exists in the UK. 

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13 hours ago, Simon Bendall said:

It's been used as a venue for emergency exercises recently, at least one each in 2017 and 2018



There's still two CTA tanks and three Super GUV/BG in there



Yes I recall I was there previously for the inward bound working on 3rd July 2018.


DB Cargo 67015 and 67028 with a motley assortment of Marks 2s on 5Z67, 10.51 Belmont Down Yard to Healey Mills Sorting Sidings.










Those CTA tanks and three Super GUV/BG that are still in there might take some finding now.

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  • 1 year later...

Just watching this, cab view going through the yard on P track in April 2020, the derailed tank cars and coaches can be glimpsed at around 3hr 21 mins. Very sad.




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Welcome to HealeyMills.com
On this website you will find all kinds of information about Healey Mills Goods yard in Ossett. Once the largest Marshalling yard in Europe it is now a staging post for EWS Railways.

We have an extensive picture gallery of locomotives at the yard dating back to the late 1970's and are always on the look out for more. If you have any pictures of locomotives at Healey Mills then please email us. We also would love to hear your memories/stories about the yard. Our email address is [email protected]






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