|. Rothby .|
- Paul Windle
Rothby is situated in a high Pennine valley around the Lancashire/Yorkshire/Cumberland borders. The local sandstone was found to be ideal for paving stones and roof tiles, a large quarry being developed above the village. To serve this, the Roth Valley Tramway, a 2'6" gauge roadside tramway style railway from Moorton to Rothby was opened in 1890.
Money was always tight, the planned line further down the valley to Rothampton had to wait until 1894, when an extension company completed it. Further extensions were built northwards from Moorton and for a while the railway more or less broke even.
Decline set in between World Wars as demand for sandstone slabs dwindled away, leaving the railway to exist on local traffic. Various internal combustion "contraptions" were introduced to reduce running costs. The line struggled on as traffic, especially on the roadside sections, fell away. The Second World War only delayed the inevitable, the system finally closing down, in stages, between 1947 and 1949.
The model operates through the period from 1923 to 1935, following the slow decline of the system.
In the early years Rothby acts as the interchange between the roadside tramway and normal railway sections with much exchanging of the locomotives as appropriate. Later tramway locomotives work right through. Finally, a much reduced service, operated mainly by the "contraption", runs. The clock is then rewound and it is 1923 once more.
Published by Chris MacKenzie for the
Virtual Narrow Gauge Model Railway Exhibition
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