Derwent Valley Marks Closure Anniversary

30 years since independent railway closed.

An Independent Standard Gauge Railway That Never Became Part of the 'Big Four'

The Derwent Valley Light Railway Society (DVLRS) held a special running day on September 25 to mark the 30th anniversary of the original Derwent Valley Railway closing.

The DVR first opened in 1913 between York (Layerthorpe) and Cliff Common near Selby. It lost its regular passenger services early on in 1926, but continued to run freight services until October 1981 when the final section between York and Dunnington was closed. The line was a rare example of an independent standard gauge railway that never became part of the 'Big Four' grouping in 1923 nor was it nationalised by British Railways in 1948.

A half mile section of the line has been rebuilt by the DVLRS as part of the Yorkshire Museum of Farming at Murton on the outskirts of York. It features a small station at one end of the line with an original Derwent Valley Railway building rescued from Wheldrake, a small yard for stabling the locos and stock, and a run round loop at the other end of the line.

The mark the 30th anniversary of closure, resident Class 03 diesel shunter No. 03079 worked several trips carrying the 'DVR Farewell' headboard used in 1981. One departure was also for invited guests only, including former DVR employees. The 03 also worked a rare demonstration goods service along the full length of the line.

On display in the yard were the line's other diesel shunters - a mixture of Fowler and Ruston & Hornsby-built machines - as well as its sole steam loco Andrew Barclay 0-4-0 No. 8, currently under repair. The recently acquired Class 14 No. D9523 was also present.

Access to the DVLR is via the Farming Museum, which is a short journey by bus or car from the centre of York.

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