Todays journey starts from the new station building at Clayton West, built at the same time as the Shelley extension to provide a much needed larger cafe area. (Click here to see details of Clayton West Station)
On leaving Clayton West the line passes the old goods shed which now acts as the railways workshops. Soon after leaving the station area the line crosses the main Huddersfield to Wakefield Road over a substantial girder bridge. From here the train hits the gradient proper. The line is on a 1 in 70 gradient all the way from Clayton West to Shelley, with slightly steeper climbs in and out of Cuckoos Nest. The line runs through the countryside with views of the village of Scisset to the left and good views of Emley Moor transmitter mast to the right. After a mile the train stops at Cuckoos Nest which has access to a number of local footpaths. (click here to see details of Cuckoos Nest station)
On leaving Cuckoos Nest the line runs through Blacker Woods which are mentioned in the Doomsday book. The railway severed the corner of the wood and as a result the section on the left became railway property and today is used during many of our special events. (Click here to see views of Blacker Wood)
Shortly after leaving the woods the train will whistle before passing over Dawsons Crossing and then entering a deep cutting. Just under the high road bridge is Skelmanthorpe station. This was the terminus of the line for four years and today acts as a passing point on busy days. (Click here to see details of Skelmanthorpe Station)
From Skelmanthorpe the line climbs again into a deep cutting. The track bends to the left to realign itself for the run into the Fenay Beck Valley. The loco's work particularly hard at this point before coming off the bend. From here the cutting turns into vertical walls of rock before the train disapears into the 511 yard Shelley Woodhouse Tunnel. (Click here to see views of Shelley Woodhouse Tunnel)
On leaving the tunnel the line soon comes out of the cutting and onto a high embankment. The views here are of open countyside on both sides. The line passes over a very high road bridge over Copley Lane and then passes a farm before rounding the right hand bend into Shelley Station. (Click here to see details of Shelley Station)
The loco's are turned at Shelley on the turntable in order to return to Clayton West smokebox first. On the return journey the locomotives will do very little work as it is downhill all the way. The train is slowed with the use of air brakes and all of the carriages are fitted with lighting which is used in the tunnel.
The line runs through varying countryside from the village of Clayton West through deep cuttings and steep embankments with wonderful views of the countryside. From the edge of Scisset to Skelmanthorpe the railway is the only means of transport in the valley, with only footpaths and and a bridleway sharing the area which is populated with many different species of bird and animals. The ride changes from season to season from the height of summer when we run using our open carriages to winter when massive icicles and ice walls can be seen in the cutting leading to the tunnel from the comfort of your seat in one of our heated carriages.
So why not pay us a visit?