Extract from Discovering Old Huddersfield (1993-2002) by Gordon & Enid Minter
Just past St. Thomas's Church, the scene ahead is dominated by the Paddock Viaduct which carries the Penistone line across the canal and the river. On the 19th August 1865 the viaduct was the scene of an episode in a drama that might well have been called, in the language of the times, "The Remarkable Rampage of the Runaway Railway-train and its Regrettable Ruin". The story starts at Lockwood where an engine was shunting carriages from one siding to another. Suddenly, eleven of the carriages broke loose and started down the incline towards Huddersfield. The engine driver set off in close pursuit and as he passed through Lockwood Station a porter there, named Sykes, with great presence of mind jumped aboard to do what he could to help the driver recover his train. They caught up with the carriages on the viaduct here at Paddock Foot and Sykes courageously scrambled to the front of the speeding engine and somehow managed to hook up the runaway carriages. The driver, relieved that the drama was, as he thought, over, applied the brakes. Unfortunately, he braked too hard, the coupling broke and off went the carriages again. Once more the engine followed and in Springwood tunnel Sykes again tried to couple the train but was unable to do so as the shackle was broken. Meanwhile, the pointsman at Springwood had telegraphed a warning to Huddersfield Station and by the time the runaways emerged from the tunnel a sleeper had been laid across the line at the end of the station. This somewhat desperate measure resulted in a spectacular derailment which severely damaged three of the carriages. Unfortunately, we have no further information about the porter or the engine driver.
General 1. 5113 Paddock Railway Viaduct, Gledholt SE 1316 33/103 SE 1315 38/103 II 2. 1845-50. The engineer may have been John Hawkshaw, and the contractors Messrs Miller, 3lackie and Shortridge; as they were employed by the company on Lockwood Viaduct. Rock-faced stone. Ashlar band and parapet coping. 6 round arches on very tall piers at north end. 4 box girder trusses on piers with moulded bases and imposts. 5 round arches (2 blocked) at south end. Flat iron span over Manchester Road. 70 ft high. The line was opened on 1 July 1850.