The Penistone Line Partnership has teamed up with The Mallinson Brewery of Lindley Huddersfield to produce a series of Real Ales named after the viaducts along the Huddersfield-Barnsley-Sheffield route. The beers will be available onboard the renowned Penistone Line Music Trains the Partnership is so well known for running.

The first beer is called ‘Up & Over’ Lockwood Viaduct, the beer takes its name from the local folklore claims of Cricketers throwing or ‘Twanging’ a cricket ball over the 129 feet high, 30 foot wide structure.

The beer will be launched in the presidents Bar of Lockwood Rugby Ground which situated along the majestic Lockwood Viaduct. The beer will also appear on the bar onboard the first Music Train of the Summer Season on Monday 26th April.

Chairman Neil Bentley said, “It is great to be supporting the Micro-Breweries of Huddersfield as well as creating a variety of different beers that promotes the Penistone Line and the Partnerships activities. The beers will be available in many local pubs which themselves are the heart of local communities”.

The Mallinson Brewery produces several other regular beers all of which take their names from local landmarks such as The Emily Moor Mast & Castle Hill.

The Penistone Line Music Trains run on the following Mondays through the Summer – 26th April, 17th May, 7th June, 5th July & 2nd August.

No Tram Trains for the Penistone Line

In a announcement today by the Rail Minister Chris Mole, the trial operation of new Tram - Trains on the Penistone line was shelved. The full announcement is below.

While the Penistone Line Partnership is relieved that Penistone Line passengers will not now be used as test rats for new technology, it does leave us wondering just what is in store rolling stock wise for the future.

The Department for Transport has announced that they intend to electrify a good deal of the Great Western Mainline and a short section between Manchester and Liverpool in the north of England. That will release more trains, the sad fact is that this will not happen for years and the said trains will be getting on for 30 years old by that stage! Is it really beyond the wit of man to deliver a modern train that can be converted to run on diesel and electricity? - sadly this appears to be the case!

City running proposed for tram-train in South Yorkshire

15 September 2009 14:00

Passengers in South Yorkshire could be the first in the UK to take a continental-style tram-train under plans announced today by the Department for Transport, Northern Rail, Network Rail and South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive.

Tram-trains are greener than conventional trains as they use less fuel, have faster acceleration and deceleration rates; which offer passengers better journey times. They are also are lighter which may reduce wear and tear on tracks cutting the need for disruptive maintenance works.

Passengers could see tram-trains running between Sheffield and Rotherham on the current freight route from Rotherham and then joining the Sheffield Supertram network at the Meadowhall Interchange.

The trial will assess the environmental benefits, operating costs and technical suitability of the tram-trains as well as testing how popular the vehicles are with passengers. These are the first steps in a process which could lead to more tram-trains operating throughout the UK.

Rail Minister Chris Mole MP announced the plans on a visit to Meadowhall – where tram-trains will connect to the Supertram network. He said:

"Tram-train is a new concept for Britain, but it has already proved a valuable addition to rail fleets on the continent. It provides seamless travel from rural and suburban areas direct into city centres, potentially cutting congestion and offering an alternative to short and medium distance car commuting.

"Adapting tram-train to the UK requires some testing, but while that is underway, people in South Yorkshire will have the chance to experience this new type of vehicle for themselves – and I hope they will tell us what they think of it.”

Northern Rail Managing Director Heidi Mottram said:

“We have learned a lot from the work we have done so far on the tram-trains project and it is now the right course of action to move to the Rotherham – Sheffield option.  We believe that tram-trains have the potential to play a significant role in providing passengers with new journey opportunities directly into city centre streets.”

Richard Lungmuss, route director for Network Rail, added: 

"We still firmly believe that the introduction of tram-train technology could bring real benefits to passengers. It is clear that an area where these benefits could be greatest is in easing congestion around our cities and we look forward to exploring the options to bring the best possible benefit to passengers in the South Yorkshire area."

South Yorkshire PTE Director General David Brown said:

“If we can overcome the technical challenges then tram-trains would bring huge benefits to the traveling public in South Yorkshire. They would widen the options available to those people traveling between

Rotherham and Sheffield and the technology could eventually be used elsewhere in the UK too.”

Northern Rail will procure the new vehicles for the Rotherham-Sheffield operation, while Network Rail is investigating what works would be necessary to safely accommodate the vehicles on the UK heavy rail network. 

The project partners are still planning to test tram-trains on the Penistone Line between Sheffield and Huddersfield via Barnsley at a later date after work concluded that, electrically-powered tram-trains are more economically viable for use in the UK than the diesel equivalent which was being proposed for trial on the Penistone line. 

Notes to Editors

1. A tram-train is designed to run on both urban light rail networks such as the Sheffield Supertram and conventional ‘heavy’ rail tracks. The partners are confident that tram-trains can operate safely on mainline rail and offer the significant advantage of being able to continue onto a tram network, providing passengers with a single mode of transport into city centres.

2. Tram-trains already run successfully around the world, and particularly in continental Europe. The concept was first introduced in recent times by the city of Karlsruhe in Germany, which was the first to link its street tramway and the main-line railway by running urban trams on both networks, creating the Stadtbahn Karlsruhe.

3.  The tram-train trial in Sheffield will operate from the city centre to Meadowhall South on the Supertram network and then on to Rotherham on Network Rail infrastructure. The trial will consider technical aspects of the interface with existing rail and Supertram services.

4.  The trial will be conducted by the Department for Transport in conjunction with Northern Rail, Network Rail and South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive and Stagecoach plc – operators of the current Supertram network.

5.  Re-phasing this project allows testing of the core tram-train concept – travel from heavy to light rail networks. It makes use of knowledge gained so far in the examination of the potential for diesel tram-trains on the Penistone Line. It allows time for developments in diesel engine technology to align with EU emission regulations and the wider market for diesel-electric tram-trains. And it avoids the presently unaffordable cost (in the view of the Department) of existing diesel-electric tram-trains.

6.  Learning from work completed so far includes:

·     track, signaling and station alteration costs to facilitate tram-train are slightly lower than anticipated;

·     identification of the standards that will need to be changed to enable operation of tram-train vehicles on the heavy rail network; and

·     progress on resolving issues around the wheel rail interface.

7. Chris Mole was at Meadowhall on the first day of his three day rail tour of the North of England. He will be focusing particularly on congestion and will travel on peak hour services, as well as meeting key local and regional stakeholders. Over the three days of his tour, Chris Mole will visit Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Sheffield and York.


Pacer Train 144 001 Penistone Line Partnership

The train named after the partnership back in 2003 has been painted in the attractive Northern Rail Livery and very good it looks too. The train has even kept its Penistone Line Partnership name and now also sports the logos of both West & South Yorkshire PTEs.

Penistone Line Beer

The PLP are teaming up with The Summer Wine Micro-Brewery from Honley to produce a Special Beer named after the Penistone Line – Chairman Neil Bentley will be assisting making the new beer in April ready for a launch in early May. The beer will be available on some of our Music Trains and in local pubs both along the line and also further a field. The pump clip for the beer on the bar will feature a Northern Rail Train on the Penistone Line and the plan is to produce some small posters to put on display at the pubs selling the beer explaining a little about The Summer Wine Brewery, the Beer and of course The Penistone Line Partnership – thus expanding coverage of the line and the Music Trains far and wide…

And the very first batch of beer will be making the short journey from the Summer Wine Brewery at Honley by Penistone line train, yes that’s right we plan to deliver the beer right to The Head of Steam’s door, (well ok platform two at Huddersfield) were the barrels will be rolled down the platform to the pubs cellars – a very appropriate and environmentally friendly way of delivering our Special Beer… Watch local press for more details.

The Summer Wine Brewery supplied the beer for the Christmas Music Train and very popular it was too, so it is great to have them onboard to produce us our very own Special Beer –  Chairman Neil Bentley explained that over the past year we have been increasingly selling beer made locally within a few miles of The Penistone Line on the Music Trains and its great to support the micro-breweries in the area.

The first Music Train with the Penistone Line Rail Ale beer is expected to be the Jazz Train  with the ever popular Train Gang on Monday 18th May.


Neil Bentley Scoops Top award

Penistone Line Partnership Chairman Neil Bentley won the Outstanding Personal contribution for rail workforce at the National Rail Awards in London on Thursday 18th Sept.

Neil has been chair of the Partnership for the last four years and has been involved with the PLP for the last 15 year, writing the popular Penistone Line Pub guide, organizing the Music Trains and coordinating the Penistone Lines contribution to Community Rail Week. Neil is also the PLP's member of the Tram Train Stakeholder group, helping to guide the line to its next major investment.

Neil Bentley


Innovative 'tram-trains' to be trailed in Yorkshire
The following was announced by the Department for Transport on the 18th March 2008

An innovative form of public transport called a 'tram-train' is to be trailed for the first time in the UK on a growing railway route in Yorkshire.

Five new tram-trains, which can run on both railway tracks and tram lines, will replace conventional trains currently used on the 37-mile Penistone Line between Huddersfield, Barnsley and Sheffield. Tram-trains are lighter and greener than conventional trains. They use less fuel and weigh less which reduces wear and tear on tracks therefore decreasing the need for disruptive maintenance works. Tram-trains have faster acceleration and deceleration rates so they can also offer passengers better journey times.

The trial, which starts in 2010 and will take two years, will look at the environmental benefits, operating costs and technical suitability of the tram-trains as well as testing how popular the vehicles are with passengers on the route. There is also an option for a second phase which would test the vehicles on the Sheffield Supertram system to see what additional benefits the vehicles can deliver when extended onto city centre tram lines.

The project is a partnership between the Department for Transport, the train operator Northern Rail and rail infrastructure owner Network Rail and seeks to establish whether tram-trains similar to those operating successfully in Europe are suitable for Britain's railway network.
Northern Rail, which is owned by Serco-Ned Railways, will run a competition for manufacturers to build the tram-trains, which Northern will lease, and Network Rail will spend £15m in track improvements and alterations to stations as part of the trial, significant funding in the route. DfT will contribute £9m to fund the operation of the trial and Northern will bring experience from Europe through Ned Railways who operate tram-trains in The Netherlands.

Transport Secretary, Ruth Kelly, said:

"Tram-trains will bring quicker journeys and offer a greener travel option for passengers in Yorkshire.

"This trial, the first in Britain, could herald the start of a new era in public transport. Passenger feedback is a vital ingredient in determining the success of the trial and I look forward to hearing what the people of Yorkshire think about the comfort and reliability of tram-trains."
Heidi Mottram, Managing Director, Northern Rail, said:

"We are very excited to be involved in testing this new form of public transport, which will mean higher levels of comfort and a faster journey for our customers on the Penistone Line.

"This is a great opportunity for us to develop our network and attract more people to use public transport in this part of Yorkshire."
Iain Coucher, Chief Executive, Network Rail, said:

"This trial gives us a fantastic opportunity to see whether the types of technologies used in Europe can be adapted for use on our systems. We expect the lighter vehicles will result in less wear on the infrastructure - extending its lifespan, improve journey times and give the option of running future commuter services closer into city centres.

"We want to use the trial to get evidence about the practicalities of the tram-trains and assess how beneficial they will be to the UK.

"The partnership between Network Rail, the DfT and Northern Rail ensures that the needs of passengers, operators, the infrastructure operator and the local and wider community are all represented."

The Penistone Line, one of the most successful Community Rail Partnerships, has been chosen for the trial because it offers the chance to test the tram-trains on a route that in part is for passenger trains only and in part for passenger and freight trains. A possible phase two of the trial will offer the potential for testing the tram-trains on the Sheffield Supertram.

Notes to Editors

1. The Penistone Line is 37 miles long, has 17 stations and is used by 1.2 million passengers every year

2. Northern operates one service per hour in each direction on the route

3. Passenger Focus will lead on undertaking research into passenger perception of tram train.

Public Enquiries: 020 7944 8300
Department for Transport Website: http://www.dft.gov.uk



Creative Train Artwork unveiled

Artwork developed last summer by young people traveling in the Penistone Line's Creative Train was unveiled at Shepley and Penistone Stations on Friday 15th Feb 2008.

At Shepley, South Pennines Rail Partnership officer Rowena Chantler told guests from Northern Rail, the press and communities along the line about the project. This came from a suggestion from Northern Rail conductor Jonathan Carter after an event that took place at Huddersfield Station Gala in May 2007.

The project involved accompanying young people on Penistone line trains during the summer holidays and encouraging them to draw images inspired by their journey.

The project wes coordinated by Rowena Chantler and undertaken by local photographer Nicki Taylor.

At Shepley the artwork was unveiled by Northern Rail Stakeholder manager Drew Haley and at Penistone by Barnsley East MP Michael Clapham and Penistone Mayor Joe Unsworth, who also presented copies of the work to the young artists.

Creative Trian preentation Installing the artwork

Left:- Michael Clapham MP and Penistone Mayor Joe Unworth present copies of the artwork to the young artists

Right:- Rowena Chantler and Nicki Taylor 'help' with the instillation



Northern Rail Launch South Pennines Day Ranger

Northern Rail have launch on the 2nd January 2008 a new rover type ticket that covers all of the Penistone Line for the first time.
The new South Pennines Day Ranger is available after 08.45 Monday to Friday and all day Saturdays, Sundays and Bank Holidays. It is valid on Northern Rail, Transpennine Express and East Midlands Trains in the area indicated in the map below.

South Pennines Day Ranger Map

The new ticket costs £13.00 and there are further discounts for railcard holders.
The ticket can be purchased at staffed stations and on board trains from the conductor.

Please remember that if you join a train at a station with an open ticket office you must buy this our indeed any other ticket before you travel.

Please note:- Still available are Metro's West Yorkshire Day Rover ticket and South Yorkshire PTE's Day Travelmaster ticket which in their various types cover travel on all public transport in their respective county's. Details can be found on the respective websites via our links page