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Queensbury to Keighley
1884 - 1956
Great Northern Railway
Contributors:  © Reproduction prohibited / Des Phillips / Paul Holroyd / Graeme Bickerdike / Andrew Stopford / Bob Cockcroft / Mark Neale
                          
Nigel Callaghan / Dave Walbank / Phill Davison / James Lovell / Charles Boylan / Dave Graham / Malcolm Mallison / Lost Railways
The Routes
The Queensbury lines on this website are split into 4 sections. See links below.
This page covers the Queensbury to Keighley section.

The Queensbury Lines -

Queensbury Station
A triangular Station, one of only two in the entire country, each converging line had a signal box controlling entry into the station, each of the three lines leaving the station entered a lengthy tunnel or a series of tunnels.

Queensbury - Bradford
From a triangular junction on the Hammerton street to Bradford Exchange section at St Dunstans, to Thornton, via Manchester road, Horton Park, Great Horton, Clayton, Queensbury & Thornton.

Queensbury - Halifax

From Queensbury to Halifax via Holmfield Ovenden & North Bridge.

 


 

Queensbury to Keighley

The Route
From Queensbury to Keighley via Thornton, Denholme, Wilsden, Cullingworth & Ingrow.

Lengths
Thornton to Keighley 9 3/4 miles.

Original Companies
The original company was the Great Northern Railway. The Halifax Thornton & Keighley Railway act was passed on 5th August 1873.
September 1st 1882  a single track goods line opened as far as Denholme.
The first passengers were on the 1st January 1884.
The Line opened to Keighley goods depot on 1st April 1884.
A station opened at Wilsden on 1st July 1886.

Opening
s
Passengers - 14th October 1878 Bradford to Thornton.
                        1st September 1882 Thornton to Denholme.
                        7th April 1884 Thornton to Ingrow passenger.
                        1st November 1884 Thornton to Keighley passenger.
Freight - 1st April 1884 Thornton to Keighley Goods.

Closures
Passengers - May 1956 Cullingworth & Ingrow section.
                       1963 Cullingworth
                       1965 Thornton & Ingrow.





 


 

Queensbury Station Map 1908
NIgel Callaghan

Opened  12-07-1879
Closed    21-05-1955

See also
Queensbury Station



















 
Keighley to Bradford Exchange via Queensbury : Dave Graham (c/o Paul Holroyd)
A simulation of the journey from Keighley to Bradford if the line was still in use today.    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=msL3L5t1uAs
Queensbury north junction Keighley side facing north c1950 / 21-08-05
Before & after. (c1950s Nigel Callaghan) & 2005.
The start of the route, the north junction at Queensbury station,
Brow lane bridge facing east 21-08-05
The Keighley side crossing Brow lane (Originally Brook lane)
Nice solid stone bridge in good fettle. see map Queensbury station
Timetables (1950) : Charles Boylan
A summer 1950 Queensbury line timetable. Note that the Queensbury - Keighley section is repeated in the "down" direction on both timetables. A mistake which presumably would have been rectified in a timetable supplement.
Cullingworth (Queensbury-Keighley line)

023 024 Bridge at Station Road. A house is under construction on the track bed, and the bridge is going to be a garden feature. The other side of the bridge is an industrial estate, and covered with fencing.

025 Bridge over bridleway, grid ref 063370

026 Magnificent find. Culvert and retaining wall for embankment, grid ref 063372. Needs revisit with proper lostrailwayscam- 5 cm Summar not wide enough.

 

Thornton Viaduct

Thornton Viaduct (June 1988
Des Phillips)
Thornton railway station was situated at the top of a deep valley and was reached from Queensbury
via this massive 20 arch viaduct, a listed structure soon to be reopened as a public footpath, nice.
Thornton Viaduct (June 1988 Des Phillips)
The listed Buildings descriptive text describes it thus: Thornton Viaduct, Alderscholes Lane - Grade II listed,
"one of a spectacular series c1876-78. A finely proportioned structure of sandstone 'brick' with 20 arches in slender tapering piers supporting the bed of the former railway. "
Thornton Viaduct (June 1988 Des Phillips)
"Very thin ashlar strings; capping piers at spring of arches; flat band below the parapet.
The viaduct makes a most impressive contribution to the landscape of the valley below Thornton."
Thornton Viaduct (June 1988 Des Phillips)
The section of line between Bradford & Keighley is said to be the most engineered stretch of railway
in West Yorkshire. For loads more visit
 The Great Northern Railway Trail
Thornton-1 (29-04-07) : Graeme Bickerdike  website - http://www.forgottenrelics.co.uk/
I can think of few viaducts which are more impressive than Thornton, with its S-shaped curve.
This is the view looking south, showing its east side.
Thornton-2 (29-04-07) : Graeme Bickerdike
At its tallest point, the structure stands 117 feet above the stream. It looks in immaculate condition,
possibly thanks to the money spent on it recently as part of the Great Northern Trail scheme.
Thornton viaduct (02-12-09) : James Lovell

Thornton station
Opened 1878. Closed 1955.

Thornton station (1890) : Malcolm Mallison
6 inch map from the 1890 survey.
Thornton lamp (15-02-06 Paul Holroyd)
A survivor from Thornton on the GNR - preserved at the private Hall Cross Museum.

Well Heads tunnel

Wellheads-1 (29-04-07) : Graeme Bickerdike
Beyond the viaduct, the line turns west before heading north-east again up a deep cutting to Well Heads tunnel.
 
Wellheads-2 (29-04-07) : Graeme Bickerdike
The southern portal is bricked up, with hefty steel access gates. Constructed between 1878-1881, the tunnel boasts a vaulted stone roof but no air shafts. It's possible that the trail will eventually pass through it.
Wellheads-3(29-04-07) : Graeme Bickerdike
For that to happen, Well Heads' northern end will have to be excavated and cleared of an assortment of clutter. When built, the tunnel was 662 yards long but, according to a Jarvis Rail report from 1998, the northern portal has been removed and this accounts for the bore being 40 yards shorter today.
Wellheads-4 (29-04-07) : Graeme Bickerdike
A long, straight approach cutting takes the trackbed towards Denholme tunnel.

Denholme tunnel

Denholme-1 (29-04-07) : Graeme Bickerdike
It crosses a narrow valley on an embankment. The Great Northern Railway thoughtfully provided this elegant bridge for the local farmer.
Running beneath it in a culvert is the stream which babbles down through the fields.
Denholme-2 (29-04-07) : Graeme Bickerdike
A distant view of Denholme tunnel's south end with a solitary railway fence post in the foreground.
Denholme-3 (29-04-07) : Graeme Bickerdike
The south portal's apparently low profile is due to 4 feet of infill (or landslip) which is now a bog.
The tunnel itself is not long - a little over 150 yards.
Denholme-4 (29-04-07) : Graeme Bickerdike
Trains emerged at the northern end into Denholme station, the site of which is now a timber yard. Beyond it, Doe Park tunnel welcomed trains shortly after they'd departed to Keighley.

Denholme station
Denholme  : Bob Cockcroft
Note : The goods shed at Denholme was still there the last time I visited about a year ago. It's hard to see, as it forms part of the timber business working buildings. Likewise there remained the station master's house on the hill above the station. All the other buildings went some years ago when it seems there was a "tidying up" of the remaining buildings associated with passengers on that part of the line. Mostly wooden, presumably this was to prevent them forming a hazard. Denholme stable was demolished some years ago, maybe when the yard was simplified in the 1920's.
Denholme (23-10-12) : Bob Cockcroft
It's a bit late but the timber yard and business associated with it went bust in early 2012 and after standing derelict for some time, caught fire quite spectacularly on the night of the 10/11th October last which completely destroyed most of the goods shed end of the site. I went to see it the following week 23rd October 2012 and, very kindly, they lent me a hard hat and allowed me to photograph anything there.
The walls of the goods shed was being cleaned prior to recycling the stone exterior. The interior walls were brick.
I would imagine that the site has been entirely cleared by now. The goods shed was the only railway building left at Denholme except for the station house.

Wilsden Station opened 01-07-1886 closed 21-05-1955
Wilsden painting (nd) : Painter anonymous c/o Mark Neale
The painting is of Wilsden on the former GN line linking Keighley with Bradford and Halifax via Queensbury. Its a typical N1 on two coaches passenger formation prior to closure to passengers in 1955.
Note : Malcolm Mallison A little light Googling on the locomotive number produced the below...
http://www.railuk.info/steam/getsteam.php?row_id=21010       http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Railway-Photo-LNER-N1-69434-DONCASTER-WORKS
Wilsden (29-07-08) : James Lovell
The bridge which crosses the railway line at Wilsden Station.
Wilsden (27-07-08) : James Lovell
The retaining in the cutting near the Bridge the cutting is now a field and the the bridge is used as some sort of shelter,
possibly for animals, it is banked up as the garden behind it is considerably higher.
Wilsden (27-07-08) : James Lovell
Bar on the station side of the bridge - possibly held a lamp of some sort, I am unsure of its use.

Hewenden Viaduct

Hewenden Viaduct (31-07-14) :  Malcolm Mallison
Lost Railways already has about a zillion of these, but none, I’ll warrant, taken on a 75 year old Leica.
Hewenden Viaduct (June 1988 Des Phillips)
Hewenden Viaduct is a Grade II listed structure.
It crosses Hewenden Beck at about 270 metres above sea level  the stone was quarried locally.
Hewenden Viaduct (June 1988 Des Phillips)
Situated near Cullingworth on the same stretch of line as Thornton vaiduct.
Hewenden viaduct, now open to the public & forms part of the Great Northern Trail.
Hewenden Viaduct (June 1988 Des Phillips)
The first section of the trail runs from Cullingworth to Harecroft.
Eventually the new Great Northern trail will cover a distance of 10 kilometres between Queensbury and Cullingworth.
Hewenden Viaduct (05-10-13) : Lost Railways
On top of the viaduct with grandson Reece.
Hewenden Viaduct (05-10-13) : Lost Railways
The view down the side
Hewenden Viaduct (05-10-13) : Lost Railways
The info board
Heweden Viaduct (29-05-05 Paul Holroyd)   website - www.vintagecarriagestrust.org
GN trail Heweden Viaduct  17 arches 376 yards long 123 feet high 29 may 2005
Heweden Viaduct (29-05-05 Paul Holroyd)
GN trail Hewenden Viaduct 29 may 2005
Heweden Viaduct (29-05-05 Paul Holroyd)
 
Heweden Viaduct (29-05-05 Paul Holroyd)
Heweden Viaduct (29-05-05 Paul Holroyd)
Heweden Viaduct (29-05-05 Paul Holroyd)
 
Heweden Viaduct (09/2004) : David Taylor.
Another of Hewenden Viaduct taken from near the site of Wilsden Station,
which incidentally was about two miles from Wilsden village.
Heweden Viaduct (09-07-09) : Andrew Stopford.
Just had time for a quick passing look at Hewenden Viaduct, now open as the Great Northern Trail.
Heweden Viaduct (27-07-08) : James Lovell
A view across the top of Hewenden Viaduct.

The Great Northern Trail   
website - The Great Northern Railway Trail
Great Northern Trail Wilsden station (29-05-05) Paul Holroyd        website - www.vintagecarriagestrust.org
Taken along the first stretch of the Great Northern Trail, between Cullingworth and the site of Wilsden station  29 May 2005. (following the route backwards heading north Wilsden - Cullingworth) The current end of the trail at the site of Wilsden station
Great Northern Trail (29-05-05) (Paul Holroyd)
Between Cullingworth & Wilsden 29 may 2005
Great Northern Trail (29-05-05) (Paul Holroyd)
Between Cullingworth & Hewenden viaduct 29 may 2005
Great Northern Trail (29-05-05) (Paul Holroyd)
Between Cullingworth & Hewenden viaduct 29 may 2005
Great Northern Trail (27-07-08) : James Lovell
Great Northern Trail (27-07-08) : James Lovell
Great Northern Trail (29-05-05) (Paul Holroyd)
GN trail demolished bridge between Cullingworth and Wilsden 29 may 2005
Iron girder bridge(27-07-08) : James Lovell
The remains of an iron girder bridge on the GN Trail.
Iron girder bridge (27-07-08) : James Lovell
Iron girder bridge (27-07-08) : James Lovell
Great Northern Trail (27-07-08) : James Lovell

Cullingworth viaduct
Cullingworth Viaduct (02/2004) : David Taylor
Section of Cullingworth Viaduct which is largely obscured by houses.
Cullingworth viaduct (29-05-05) (Paul Holroyd)
GN trail Cullingworth viaduct 29 may 2005
Cullingworth viaduct  (29-05-05) (Paul Holroyd)
GN trail Cullingworth viaduct 29 may 2005
Great Northern Trail Cullingworth (29-05-05) (Paul Holroyd)
The start of the trail at Cullingworth.
Bridge  (20-08-14) : Malcolm Mallison
Bridge over bridleway, grid ref 063370. Taken on a 75 year old Leica.
See http://www.britainfromabove.org.uk/image/eaw025222 the bridge is right at the bottom of photo.
Culvert (20-08-14) : Malcolm Mallison
Magnificent find. Culvert and retaining wall for embankment, grid ref 063372. Needs revisit with proper lostrailwayscam- 5 cm Summar not wide enough.
Taken on a 75 year old Leica.

Lees Moor tunnel
Lees Moor tunnel eastern portal (Graeme Bickerdike) website - http://www.forgottenrelics.co.uk/
The eastern approach cutting to Barcroft tunnel (on the Queensbury-Keighley route) has been Landscaped, almost up to the portal.  see also homeless  Known by drivers as ‘the hell hole’. When heading from Keighley, trains entered the tunnel in a southerly direction but exited, 1,533 yards later, traveling east.
Leesmoor -1 (23-11-07) : Graeme Bickerdike
The northern portal is obscured by a stone and corrugated metal porch.
Leesmoor -2 (23-11-07) : Graeme Bickerdike
Around its edge are the characteristic rounded stones which feature on the line's other portals.
Leesmoor -3 (23-11-07) : Graeme Bickerdike
Polythene sheeting has been slung beneath the western side of the tunnel to protect parked caravans from water ingress.
Leesmoor -4 (23-11-07) : Graeme Bickerdike
It's possible to drive to the eastern end and there are caravans parked almost all the way through. As you can tell from this shabby picture, thick mist hangs in the tunnel thanks to the large volume of water which permeates the lining. Despite its length, the tunnel has no ventilation shafts.
Lees Moor tunnel northern portal April 2006 : Paul Holroyd website - www.vintagecarriagestrust.org
The northern entrance to Lees Moor Tunnel, on the GNR line between Ingrow EAST and Cullingworth.
The tunnel is used as a store by the Bronte Caravan Park.
Lees Moor tunnel northern portal April 2006 (Paul Holroyd)
GNR Lees Moor Tunnel Wider view.
Lees Moor tunnel northern portal trackbed April 2006 (Paul Holroyd)
GNR Trackbead approaching Lees Moor tunnel.
Damems Lane underbridge (Paul Holroyd)
Damems Lane underbridge. The trackbed on the left leads to Lees Moor Tunnel, whilst that on the right leads to the cutting near Apple Street.

Damems Lane trackbed (Paul Holroyd)
Trackbed, looking from Damems Lane towards the cutting near Apple Street. Damems Lane climbs on the right hand side of the photo.  The main A 629 Keighley to Halifax Road lies behind the other side of the houses.

Damems Lane underbridge (Paul Holroyd)
Damems Lane underbridge, looking towards Lees Moor Tunnel. Damems Lane runs from the main A629 road to the level crossing at Damems station.

Damems Lane underbridge (Paul Holroyd)
Damems Lane underbridge, looking towards Lees Moor Tunnel.  The main A629 road is behind the houses in the top left of the photo.

Damems Lane underbridge (Paul Holroyd)
Damems Lane underbridge The trackbed towards Ingrow is on the left, with the trackbed towards Lees Moor Tunnel on the right.

Halifax Road (23-11-10) : Paul Holroyd
Looking south from the west side of Halifax Road. After passing in front of Oakvale, and burrowing underneath Halifax Road,
the railway emerged near Apple Street in this cutting, before climbing towards the northern portal of the notorious Lees Moor Tunnel.
Halifax Road (23-11-10) : Paul Holroyd
Halifax Road, looking North towards Keighley. The railway used to be in a cutting in front of the house, Oakvale, and passed under Halifax Road.
Halifax Road (23-11-10) : Paul Holroyd
A closer view
Haincliffe Road (23-11-10) : Paul Holroyd
Looking south from Haincliffe Road, the railway used to be in a cutting at this point.

Ingrow East station
Opened 07-04-1884 closed 21-05-1955

Ingrow stations map (1890) : Malcolm Mallison
6 inch maps from the 1890 survey. Both stations shown. see also Worth valley section
Ingrow East station (23-11-10) : Paul Holroyd
The site of Ingrow East station, looking north towards Keighley. Taken from Haincliffe Road.
Ingrow East station (23-11-10) : Paul Holroyd
The site of Ingrow East station, looking towards Keighley.

Keighley GNR
Opened 16-03-1847
Keighley Station (April 1987) : Michael Kaye
Keighley station yard. See also Queensbury Keighley
Keighley Station (02-06-1975) : Charles Boylan
A refurbished class 108 dmu in a short lived livery at Keighley Station (still with canopies) dated unusually for me 2.06.1975.
Keighley Station (1981) : Andrew Ripley
A view of Keighley, I think from 1981, before they messed about with it.
Keighley sheds (1952) : Dave Walbank
I've found the picture of keighley sheds taken in 1952.
Keighley sheds (n.d) : Dave Walbank
Keighley shed as it was starting to be demolished.

Keighley Goods

Opened 1884. Closed 1956.
Keighley Goods map (1890) : Malcolm Mallison
6 inch maps from the 1890 survey.
Keighley abandoned railway cutting (20-12-08) : Phill Davison
The half filled in cutting of the Queensbury to Keighley Great Northern railway goods yard.
The line used to pass under the Worth Valley line seen in the distance to an extensive goods yard were a timber merchants now stands.
The line was opened in 1884 and closed to traffic in 1956.

Parkwood street tunnel

Parkwood street tunnel South portal (20-12-08)
: Phill Davison
The elusive South portal of Parkwood st tunnel is in a hard to reach location these days.
The easily viewed site of the North portal been filled in many years ago.
Parkwood tunnel has largely been forgotten about and is listed on most tunnel data bases simply as a 'lost tunnel'
Parkwood street tunnel interior (20-12-08) : Phill Davison
Looking towards the South portal, and the only reminder the tunnel still exists from the outside world. You can still see the indents in the track ballast were the sleepers used to be. The remains of the tunnel drainage system can be seen on the left. These can be pretty lethal hazards while exploring disused tunnels.
Parkwood street tunnel north portal (20-12-08) : Phill Davison
Tunnel men added for scale. The north portal been filled in many years ago.
The tunnel is a short 118 yds long with no air shafts or refuges in It's construction. See more of Phills photo's on flickr.

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