On the reindeer’s day off, Santa takes the train

A train full of passengers made a festive trip to Manchester on Sunday and were joined by a very special guest, Father Christmas. Santa joined the train to say hello to boys and girls young and old and to hand out Christmas gifts. The festive mood aboard was provided by live music and carols from Thurlstone Training Band and locally sourced food and drinks. Read more (4 Jan 2013)

Stalybridge engineering work - major changes to train times.

Major Changes to train times on the Huddersfield to Manchester line between Saturday 27th October 2012 and Sunday 4th November 2012

Click here for more details

Penistone Show

The market town of Penistone owes its very existence to its transport links. Centuries ago it was at the centre of a network of droving trails, taking livestock back and forth across the Pennines. Penistone was a staging post between the high hills and the lowlands and was famous for its great cattle market.

Today transport is still very important. The road to the Woodhead Pass and Manchester slips past the town and the Penistone Line rail link connects Barnsley, Huddersfield and beyond. All this is great news for anyone wanting to visit Penistone Show. On 8th September this year, the station in Penistone is just five minutes' walk from the Show. Instead of sitting in traffic at the end of a long day, visitors can hop on a train and be whisked away. The drovers of the past would be amazed.

Download the summer issue of the Penistone Line Express 59



Franchise Continuation for Northern Rail

Northern RailNorthern Rail has welcomed news that the Department for Transport (DfT) has granted a continuation of its Northern Franchise. This means Northern will continue to operate local and regional rail services across the north of England until 1 April 2014.

Ian Bevan, Managing Director, Northern Rail said: "We are delighted that the Department for Transport has chosen to confirm this continuation. Since we began operating in 2004 we have worked hard to improve the service we offer our customers. Confirming the continuation now means we can continue this work, focusing on the areas we know matter to our customers.

Since its franchise began Northern has:

  • delivered a more punctual and reliable railway; increasing the number of trains arriving on time from 83.7% to 91.9%
  • attracted 40% growth in passenger demand and worked with industry partners to introduce more carriages to ease overcrowding
  • against a specification of a 'no growth, no investment' franchise, Northern's stakeholders and shareholders, Serco and Abellio, have invested over £130million to make things better. This includes, additional carriages, new stations, improvements to existing station facilities and employee accommodation.

Over the coming months Northern will be improving the cleanliness of trains by upgrading the washing plants at depots. This will support significant changes to the cleaning regime on its trains.

Ian Bevan continued: "We'll be improving the ticket office, waiting rooms and toilet facilities at a number of stations. We're also working with partners to install more customer information screens (CIS) at stations, making sure passengers get accurate information about how their train is running."

Northern's franchise was originally due to end on 15 September 2013, after it had already secured a two-year extension in 2010 for improving the punctuality and reliability of its services. The Franchise Agreement contained a clause for the DfT to grant a franchise continuation of up to seven reporting periods, which it has chosen to do.





Sew you caught the train then

Sew you caught the train then?’

University of Huddersfield textile students have been working with Year 9 pupils from Honley High School, to produce some outstanding textile work which is being displayed at Honley Railway Station. The Students undertook the work as part of their ‘Professional Practice for the Craft Practitioner’ module, which forms part of their degree in Textile Crafts.

The Students worked with pupils that were selected specifically for their gift and talent within art. The pupils were taught a number of textile craft techniques, which they then used to create pieces of art, influenced by their own journeys on the train.

This is the second year running that the Penistone Line Partnership have worked together with the University to engage with people along the Penistone Line.

‘The art work brightens the station up, and we hope to be doing more work with the school in the future’ said Neil Bentley, Chair of the Penistone Line Partnership.

The project will be entered into the National Community Rail Awards, which will be held at STEAM railway museum in Swindon on September 28th 2012.

The Penistone Line Partnership works to engage with communities along the Penistone Line, and promote the Huddersfield to Sheffield Railway line. If you are interested in getting involved at your local station, or in becoming a member of the Penistone Line Partnership, contact Rowena on 07912 753817 or


Penistone Line Music Trains for 2012 announced

The Penistone Line Partnership have now published their list of dates for this year’s Music Trains. The first Music Train of 2012 down the Penistone Line will leave on Monday 30th April.

The featured musicians on board will be Jazz band The Train Gang. The Penistone Line Music Trains have proved a consistent success since their introduction, which sometimes means there can be limited seating capacity in the carriage with the band. Please don't expect a formal concert - just enjoy the Music Train for the fantastic experience it is …..! 

The Penistone Line Music Trains use normal timetabled service trains along the Penistone line. It pulls out from platform 2 at Huddersfield Station at 19.18pm and calls at all stations on its way to Sheffield (with the exception of Elsecar). It returns at 20.41 arriving back in Huddersfield at 21.56pm.

There is a bar on board all music trains with real ale supplied by local micro brewery, Mallinsons and a range of canned beer and lager along with wine and soft drinks.

The music, bar and stewards are organised by the Penistone Line Partnership. The trains are operated by Northern Rail.

Music trains will run every month throughout the summer period. For a full list of music trains for the year, visit the Penistone Line Partnership’s website

If boarding at Huddersfield Station you must buy a ticket before you board the train. Passengers from other stations can buy a ticket from the conductor on the train.

The return fare (Huddersfield - Sheffield) is currently £8.50
Would you like to bring a group of friends/family/work colleagues along for your own celebratory music train? For parties of 30 the Penistone Line Partnership can organise Music Trains on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday evenings throughout the year (subject to volunteer availability). If you are interested in booking a private music please contact

Contact the Penistone Line Partnership, telephone: 07912 753817 or email

Download the winter issue of the Penistone Line Express 58