North Bay Railway
|North Bay Railway|
North Bay Railway (NBR) is a miniature railway in Scarborough, North Yorkshire, England. It was built in 1931, to the gauge of 20 in (508 mm), and runs for approximately 7⁄8 mile (1.4 km) between Peasholm Park and Scalby Mills in the North Bay area of the town.
The grand opening
The opening ceremony took place at 2 p.m. on Saturday 23 May 1931. The locomotive, Neptune, was officially handed over by the Chairman of the North Side Development Committee, Alderman Whitehead, to the Mayor of Scarborough, Alderman J.W. Butler, for the Entertainments Department.
Alderman Whitehead made a short presentation speech:
"On behalf of the National Union of Drivers, Engineers and others, I have to present you, the first driver of the North Bay Railway Engine, with your insignia of office, your oil can and your 'sweat rag'."
The mayor was presented with a peaked cap, an oil can (adorned with a blue ribbon), and a rag, before driving the train from Peasholm Station non-stop to Scalby Mills, at which point the engine was transferred to the other end of the train for the return journey.
During the Second World War, the railway was closed as it was in the Coastal Defence Area. The last train ran on 6 July 1940 and the railway remained closed until the Easter weekend 1945. The station nameboards at Peasholm and Scalby Mills, and the one on Peasholm signalbox were removed as security measures. The tunnel in Northstead Manor Gardens was used to store packing cases for the musical instruments belonging to the Royal Naval School of Music, which at that time was based in the Norbreck Hotel.
The four Diesel-Hydraulic locomotives are of common vintage and were constructed in the same works. The first two belong to Scarborough Borough Council, have operated on the North Bay Railway since construction, and are currently leased to the operating company. The other two locomotives are directly owned by the operating company and were originally built for the railway in Golden Acre Park in Leeds; after that line's closure they were used at Morecambe, Kilverstone and Great Woburn Safari Park. They were moved to the Cleethorpes Coast Light Railway for storage before being relocated to Scarborough in December 2006. In 2016 "Georgina", the railway's first steam locomotive, was completed and entered revenue-earning service over the Easter holiday; she is capable of hauling a loaded, five coach, train up the steep hill, to Scalby Mills Station.
|Builder||Year built||In Traffic?||Notes|
|1931||Neptune||Brunswick Green||Diesel Hydraulic (steam outline)||4-6-2 DH||Hudswell Clarke||1931||Yes|
|1932||Triton||Apple Green||Diesel Hydraulic (steam outline)||4-6-2 DH||Hudswell Clarke||1932||Yes|
|1933||Poseidon||BR Experimental Blue||Diesel Hydraulic (steam outline)||4-6-2 DH||Hudswell Clarke||1933||Yes||Previously named May Thompson.|
|570||Robin Hood||Metropolitan Red||Diesel Hydraulic (steam outline)||4-6-4 DH||Hudswell Clarke||1932||Yes|
|-||Georgina||Apple Green||Steam||0-4-0 DH||North Bay Railway Engineering Services||2016||Yes|
The railway was originally equipped (in 1931) with bogie passenger coaches, with more added to the fleet in 1932, all constructed by Robert Hudson Ltd of Leeds. All ten original coach frames are still in service, although their bodywork has been rebuilt several times over. In 1960 they were rebuilt as "toast-rack" type coaches, common to that era. In 1991 several vehicles were again rebuilt, and in 1998 all ten were rebodied in fibre-glass as "semi-open saloons", having roofs and partial sides, but no doors or windows, leaving the passenger with a mix of protection from inclement weather, and experience of open-air travel. Eight of these ten still operate today (as of 2010), whilst one has been stripped back to its underframe and is used as a service vehicle and another serves as a display at Scalby Mills. In 2007 two further coaches were added to the fleet. Using frames originally built in the early 1930s for the Golden Acre Park railway (Leeds) Rail Restorations North East Limited, of Shildon, constructed two fully enclosed saloon coaches, allowing bad weather transport of passengers in comfort.
There are also freight or service vehicles on the line including a bogie flat (converted from one of the original passenger coaches), a four-wheel hopper wagon, a bogie parcels van as a mobile P-Way store and mess and two four-wheel mine car frames serving as a boiler caddy and small flat wagon for P-Way tools.
There are three stations on the line:
- Peasholm - single platform terminus at the Burniston Road entrance to Northstead Manor Gardens.
- Beach - two staggered platforms with passing loop. Currently disused, was a temporary terminus during the construction of the Yorkshire Water pumping station and Scarborough Sealife Centre.
- Scalby Mills - island platform terminus serving Scarborough Sealife Centre. Engine release by turntable (formerly balloon loop partially in tunnel).
On 10 July 1932, during the second operating season of the line, a head-on collision took place at Beach station, in which the engine driver, Herbert Carr, aged 25, was killed and 31 passengers were injured. A second head-on collision took place on Monday 23 August 1948 and although 9 people were injured, this time there were no fatalities.
On 30 March 2007, operation of the line was formally taken over by the North Bay Railway Company Limited under the leadership of David Humphreys. Previously it had been owned and operated by Scarborough Borough Council.
North Bay Railway Engineering Services
A separate company, North Bay Railway Engineering Services was founded on 21 March 2013 in Burniston, to provide services to the railway. Founder David Humphreys was joined by Mark Aahton in 2014. In 2017 the company moved to Albert Hill in Darlington. The company specialises in new-build steam locomotives, but also provides a wide range of general engineering services for the North Bay Railway and other heritage railways in the UK. By May 2019, the company had completed three 2 ft (610 mm) gauge steam locomotives, and was working on several 7 1⁄4 in (184 mm) gauge miniature locomotives as well as a [3 ft (914 mm) gauge locomotive for the Southwold Railway.
- Jacobs, Gerald, ed. (2006). Railway Track Diagrams Volume 2: Eastern. Quail Track Diagrams. p. 19. ISBN 0-9549866-2-8.
- "Meet Percy - the cat who travels by train to watch the fish at marine life centre". Yorkshire Post. 19 October 2009. Retrieved 17 November 2015.
- "Railway Connections PDF" (PDF). scarboroughcemeteries.co.uk. Retrieved 28 December 2017.
- "Accident at Scarborough 23 August 1948". Railways Archive. RA. Retrieved 17 November 2015.
- "Industrial Notes and News". Bulletin. 1031. -Industrial Railway Society. May 2019. p. 15.
- "Official North Bay Railway Website". Archived from the original on 24 July 2008.
- Gorbert, Michael (1981). Scarborough's North Bay Miniature Railway Golden Jubilee, 50 Years on, 1931-1981. Department Of Tourism & Amenities, Scarborough Borough Council.
- Shorland-Ball, Rob (2010). North Bay Railway Scarborough - Britain's Biggest Miniature Railway. North Bay Railway Company Limited.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Scarborough North Bay Railway.|
- North Bay Railway Company homepage
- BBC recording on the new owner of the railway
- SBC webpage - details of 2007 success
- SBC webpage - details of new carriages