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Knottingley and Ferrybridge Local History

THE FIRST COAL TRAIN FROM
KELLINGLEY COLLIERY TO DRAX POWER STATION


WEDNESDAY 16th AUGUST 1972

By Retired Knottingley Train Driver
VIC LAWTON

During my early years working at Knottingley railway depot, a most memorable event took place which happened  quite unexpectedly. My diagrammed turn of duty was 07.35am to work 6K86, with Stan Henson as my second man and Derek Rowley as the trains Guard. On the day in question we were also to be accompanied by locomotive inspector Harry Jamieson. We were informed on the Monday that on Wednesday 16th August 1972 the first train of coal to Drax Power Station from Kellingley Colliery was to be delivered and to mark this special occasion we were to be accompanied by the Yorkshire Coal Queen, Margaret Dominiak, along with reporters and photographers from various interested parties, i.e. Railway, Coal Board, Electricity and Local Press. Everything went perfectly. We attached the train of thirty merry-go-round wagons at Kellingley Colliery and proceeded to Sudforth Lane Signal Box, where we picked up all the relevant parties.

Coal Queen Coal Queen
Coal Queen Coal Queen

After a few photographs had been taken awe then proceeded to Drax Power Station. When we arrived the Coal Queen and party were taken to the hopper house, where from an elevated platform they could watch the coal being discharged automatically whilst the train was in motion.

Coal Queen Coal Queen

After we had discharged the coal, the Coal Queen and party rejoined the train and we departed. We arrived back at Sudforth Lane Signal Box where they all detrained, with handshakes and thanks all round for a very interesting and enjoyable day.

Coal Queen

We would like to thank Mr. Vic Lawton for allowing us to publish this
account and the accompanying photographs



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