In Martin Bairstow's book "Railways around Harrogate - Volume 3" there is a chapter by Richard Pulleyn recounting how the Harrogate - Northallerton line, closed in March 1967 north of Ripon, was hurriedly returned to service on the 31st of July that year following a serious accident on the East Coast Mainline near Thirsk, when a passenger train on the Down Fast hit derailed cement wagons on the adjacent line Down Slow line. A test engineers' train was sent from the Northallerton end towards Harrogate, carrying batteries and other items to restore the block signalling. Less than four hours after the crash, the line was reopened as a diversionary route, albeit with a 30mph speed limit north of Melmerby. Initially 9 boxes were reopened for the control of traffic on the Down line - up trains continued to use the one open line on the East Coast main line. This temporary working continued until the 3rd August when 'One Engine in Steam' working resumed to Melmerby for the daily freight train following the reopening of the East Coast main line.
The line was eventually demolished in 1970, the last freight having run in October 1969.
(Member, St Albans Signalbox Trust)