The Penistone Line is the name given to one of the rail services, operated by Northern Rail, in the West Yorkshire Metro/ Travel South Yorkshire area of northern England. The service connects Huddersfield and Sheffield via Penistone and Barnsley, serving many rural communities. Metrocards (Zone 5) are available at stations between Huddersfield and Denby Dale.
Hudderfield - Penistone
The first section of line between Huddersfield and Penistone was opened on 1 July 1850 by the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway (L&YR). From the joint L&YR/London and North Western Railway Huddersfield station trains ran south to Springwood Junction (south of Huddersfield) on the London and North Western Railway Leeds - Manchester main line, where the L&YR line began; from there the route was as follows:
- here is Springwood Tunnel
- Meltham Branch Junction was the junction for the now disused Meltham branch line
- Berry Brow
- here is Robin Hood Tunnel
- here is Honley Tunnel
- Brockholes this was the junction for the now closed Holmfirth branch line.
- here is Thurstonland Tunnel
- Shepley also serves Shelley
- here is Clayton West Junction for the now closed Clayton West branch Clayton West signal box
- here is Cumberworth Tunnel
- Denby Dale also serves Cumberworth
- here is Wellhouse Tunnel
- here is Penistone Viaduct
- Penistone The station was opened with the line; in 1874 a joint L&YR/Manchester, Sheffield and Lincolnshire Railway (GCR from 1899) station was built to replace the original M.S.& L.R. Penistone station which served only the line to Manchester. This line was closed to passenger traffic on 5 January 1970 and totally 11 years later.
The southern part of that section follows the upper reaches of the River Don.
Penistone - Barnsley - Sheffield
At Penistone, the route joins the former Great Central Railway line from Manchester via the Woodhead Tunnel, travelling eastwards. It deviates from the former main line towards Sheffield Victoria at a point once known as Barnsley Junction, and heads towards that town beyond which it takes a circuitous route via Wombwell before going south to Sheffield. The route is as follows:
- Penistone : the junction here was originally known as Huddersfield Junction.
- here is the junction, originally known as Barnsley Junction for the direct line to that town and from West Silkstone Junction, a few miles further, via Worsborough to Wombwell and the coal marshalling yard at Wath (freight-only) (closed)
- Silkstone Common (was Silkstone: the station was re-opened when the direct line to Sheffield was closed and trains diverted via Barnsley on 14 May 1983)
- Dodworth (as for Silkstone - a re-opened station)
- Summer Lane (closed)
- hardly visible nowadays the junction which brough the M.S.& L. R. trains from Barnsley Court House to the Penistone line.
- here the line joins the Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway's line from Wakefield and enters the former Barnsley Exchange, now rebuilt and retitled Barnsley Interchange.
- Barnsley Interchange. Barnsley was served by three railway companies: L&Y, GCR, and Midland; and by two stations: Exchange and Court House. The latter is now closed. The Penistone Line continues to Sheffield, leaving the station by Jumble Lane crossing on what were the tracks of the former South Yorkshire Railway (later Great Central) but only for a short distance. A connection made in the early 1960's by British Rail gave access to the Midland route towards Sheffield (and also enabled the closure of Court House station):
- here was the junction for the Birdwell and Pilley freight-only branch
- the line passes over Swaithe Viaduct which carries it high over the Worsborough line
- Wombwell (was named Wombwell West)
- Elsecar (was named Elsecar & Hoyland) (not all trains stop here - check WY Metro)
- Wentworth & Hoyland Common railway station (closed)
- here is Tankersley Tunnel
- Chapeltown (was named Chapletown South). This station being the first to be rebuilt under the guidance of the South Yorkshire Pasenger Transport Executive was moved some 500 yards further south and new approaches made from the town centre.
- Meadowhall Interchange (the previous station on the site was named Wincobank and Meadowhall)
- Brightside, closed in the 1990's
- Attercliffe, closed in the 1990's.
- Sheffield Midland
Penistone Line today
The Penistone Line Partnership, representing local interests, is a long-time supporter of services on the route and has provided music and real-ale trains.
In November 2005 the line was named as a pilot project within the Department for Transport's Community Rail Stratergy. It was designated a community railway in May 2006. This lead to line speed improvements at Cumberworth Tunnel and improved reliability. Passenger numbers have continued to grow to an all time record total of 1,030,000 in 2005.
The current rail service on the Penistone Line has inconsistent fares between the stations of Denby Dale and Penistone. An unofficial society, known as the "Void Society" campaigns about the inconsistent fares.
- Penistone Line Partnership
- The Void Society - represents fare inequalities that exist
- Current timetable information