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No Trains Again

26 Dec

We always go for a short walk down Snuff Mill Lane towards sunset on Christmas Day  just to play on the rails and take silly pictures like this. Here‘s some we did earlier.

Sitting in the railway station

27 Oct

I had a few minutes to sit and ponder on the 169 year old Driffield station and what’s left of its glory. Above is the old stationmaster’s house and the brick stand for a water tank, those white vans are parked in the old coal yards, while behind me the former goods yard is now modern houses. Just up the track to the right there were cattle loading facilities to take beasts to west Yorkshire from the cattle market in town. Below is the passenger station which once had a fine roof like Beverley station but now just awnings keep out the rain. Nowadays just four small trains an hour pass through whereas in the 1940’s there were up to 125 train movement in one morning!
Well good riddance to all that I say. Coal is a foul stinking fuel, steam engines are inefficient mucky things and the great British railway system was a complete and utter unco-ordinated shambles with hundreds of uneconomic lines running hither and yon. There’s a progress of sorts in all this, canals put out the wagoners, train put out the bargemen and diesel lorries put out the trains. No doubt the lorries and vans will be put out by something as yet unknown (though I don’t see drones taking off, if you pardon the pun).
In the UK, unlike just about every other country,  the state played no part at all in planning or building the rail infrastructure. The early 19th century saw a mad rail glut as it were, completely bonkers and bound to fail which it duly did along with much criminality and fraud. After the last war rail was nationalised and rationalised and was working pretty well until monetarist ideology sold it off. Nowadays our rail system is officially much better organised with a mere 28 companies receiving between them a meagre £4 billion in state subsidies though it is said that this may rise (or skyrocket as one opposition MP put it). But surely it is only right and proper for the latter-day successors of George Hudson that the costs inherent in owning a licence to print money from a natural monopoly should be placed firmly on the broad shoulders of the long suffering taxpayer.
I’d better go now, I’m beginning to ramble incoherently …

If you really want to know just about everything there is to know about Driffield station then follow this link.

Lines that never cross

5 Mar
The track to Hull at Snuff Mill Lane

There’s nothing quite like the old conundrum of parallel lines never meeting or only meeting at infinity for getting the mathematicians gassing on and on about Euclid’s 5th postulate, spherical geometry or hyperbolic geometry or whatever they feel like calling it. Me, I just take comfort in these lines staying 4 foot eight inches apart all the way to Hull station. After that they can do  whatever they like.

The weekend in black and white is here.

Old Tracks

28 Jun

There are still bits of the old narrow gauge rail that used to run around the old Humber dock that is now the Marina. (I’ve been told it’s standard gauge, clearly I know nothing of rail tracks)

The weekend in black and white is here.

Wellington Street Rail Track

4 Feb

Wellington Street runs from Queen Street parallel to the Humber all the way down to the Albert Dock. It would at one time have had many warehouses and been busy with the trade from the Humber Dock A dockside railway ran along this street and around the docks. Now the line and the street are blocked at this point and you have to cross via the marina’s lock gates. On the left in the distance is Number Two Humber Quays.

Below is a dated view eastwards from the same spot showing the rail tracks. The building on the left has since been demolished and was mentioned in a previous post.

Below more tracks this time from the western side of Wellington Street. The brick wall is clearly a recent thing.

The past is a foreign country

23 Jan

The junction of Spring Bank and Princes Avenue is a fairly busy place at the best of time.The traffic flow is now improved by a new lights but even so tailbacks are a regular feature. Imagine how much worse they would be if the railway that used to run across this junction was still operating and all traffic had to stop to let a train go by. Well that’s how it was until 1964 when the trains to Hornsea and Withernsea used to trundle through here stopping at the Botanic Station which was close to the pub on the left. Below an old photo of how it used to be taken from more or less the same place; note the solitary policeman to control affairs. 
There’s more information on the old station here which is also the site I borrowed the above picture from.

From Park Street bridge

30 Nov

The park that Park Street once led to is long gone or possibly never existed; it’s just a dreary cut-through from Anlaby Road to Spring Bank but it does have a bridge that rises up and over the rail tracks giving this view of Paragon station.