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RAILWAY RAMBLERS GAZETTEER OF DISUSED LINES IN WEST YORKSHIRE
Railway Ramblers     Leeds     Bradford     Calderdale     Kirklees     Wakefield

 


KIRKLEES

Location/maps used: OS 1:50000 104 Leeds & Bradford; 114 Sheffield & Huddersfield
OS Street Atlas West Yorkshire


Part 1 London & North Western Railway


LNWR SPEN VALLEY JN - LEEDS (FARNLEY BRANCH JN)
(13¼ miles)

(Leeds New Line)

Opened (Gds) 18.9.1899 Spen Valley Jn - Northorpe; Northorpe - Farnley Jn 9.7.1900

(Pass) 1.10.1900

Closed (Pass) 2.8.1965. (Gds) 11.1.1966 Spen Valley Jn - Farnley; 22.5.1991 Farnley - Farnley Jn stub; 00.10.1997 complete closure.

Stations Heaton Lodge (closed 1864); Battyeford (closed 1953); Northorpe 1st (burnt down 1921), Northorpe 2nd (opened 1923) r/n 1924 Northorpe Higher (closed 1953); Heckmondwike (Spen); Liversedge (Spen); Cleckheaton (Spen); Gomersal; Upper Birstall r/n 1935 Birstall Town (closed 1951); Gildersome East (closed 1921).

Loco shed Farnley Junction 25G 12-track shed (closed 1966).

History
Part of the L&NW's original route between Manchester and Leeds utilised a three mile section of the L&Y's Calder Valley line. In order to eliminate this bottlemeck and at the same time provide a better service for Spen Valley towns they opened a second route north of Huddersfield in 1900. Known as the Leeds New Line it closed to passengers in 1965 and all through traffic in 1966. The section of line from Spen Valley Junction to Heaton Lodge, however, was reopened in 1970, as part of the major track remodelling, to form an underpass beneath the Calder Valley main line.

Miniature Railway
The Eddercliffe Light Railway a circuit of mixed 5 ins and 7¼ ins gauges about 170yds in length has been built on the trackbed at Royds Park in Cleckheaton (SE200248).
www.spenborough.me.uk


Route when open
It diverged from the earlier Huddersfield - Dewsbury line at Spen Valley Junction (SE180205), passed under the L&YR Calder Valley line and headed east over Battyeford viaduct to Battyeford station. Turning north it passed from the valley of the Calder to that of the Spen and in quick succession crossed the L&Y line from Mirfield, the Spen Beck and the L&Y line from Thornhill to reach Heckmondwike. Now heading NW it passed through Liversedge and beyond Cleckheaton made a 90° turn to enter Gomersal tunnel. Emerging from the tunnel it made a long S-bend, passed under the GNR Batley - Adwalton Jn line and dropped down at 1 in 100 through Gildersome tunnel to join the earlier LNW line from Huddersfield at Farnley Junction (SE270437).


Route today
The first ¾ mile is still operational, it forms part of the present down Huddersfield - Leeds line. Housing occupies much of the alignment from the remains of Battyeford viaduct through Mirfield but some parts to Northorpe station site are footpaths or access roads. Initially the embankment north of Still Bank Lane is dense vegetation but soon tracks and roads follow the alignment as far as Smithies Lane, Heckmondwike from where public footpaths/streets give access to Walkley Lane and Market Street. The cutting and site of Heckmondwike Spen station between Market St (A638) and Cemetery Rd is now occupied by housing but Sustrans have converted the next section on towards Eddercliffe Crescent at Cleckheaton into a cyclepath. From there the trackbed is on private land but public footpaths keep close to the alignment almost to the west portal of Gomersal tunnel. A path giving access to Oakwell Hall runs along the embankment east of Dewsbury Rd (A652) beyond which other paths can be followed almost to the site of Gomersal station. The cavernous Gildersome tunnel is now no longer accessible but the final section can be followed either along the trackbed or adjacent rights of way from Rooms Lane (north of the north portal) to Farnley Junction.


Relics
Stations Heaton Lodge (on original route) demolished - no trace; Battyeford demolished - part of viaduct support remains; Northorpe Higher (on south side of Still Bank Lane) demolished - site occupied by housing; Northorpe 1st
(on north side of Still Bank Lane) no trace; Heckmondwike (Spen) in September 2006 platform remains bulldozed away for housing; Liversedge (Spen) demolished no trace; Cleckheaton (Spen) demolished; Gomersal demolished;
Birstall (Town) demolished - site now a factory compound; Gildersome (East) demolished site returned to agriculture.

Tunnels Heckmondwike station 50yds; Heckmondwike Bridge Street 50yds; Gomersal 819 yds was walkable but in October 2007 the west portal had 10ft high fencing and the east portal was re-enforced with rotating razor sharp spikes on the top and anti-climbing paint throughout; Gildersome 1 mile 571yds, SW portal blocked by M62 spoil, NE portal bricked up with opening door, three shafts the deepest 190ft..

Bridges Battyeford plate girder bridge 267ft long over River Calder buttresses and three arches on east bank survive; Battyeford Viaduct incorporating Battyeford station 18/20 blue brick arches 579ft long over A644 eleven arches survive; Mirfield Viaduct comprising plate girder span over Nettleton Road, five arches, plate girder span over Doctor lane and four arches demolished; plate girder span over Knowle road missing; Plate girder bridge over Still Bank Lane (site of Northorpe station) buttresses only; Heckmondwike lattice girder bridge 150 ft long over L&Y Mirfield branch - some brickwork survives; Heckmondwike Viaduct 240ft long girder bridge over Spen Beck demolished some brickwork survives; hogback girder span over L&Y Ravensthorpe branch no trace; Twin span plate girder bridge carrying Walkley Lane in place; most overbridges in place through Heckmondwike and Liversedge; Cleckheaton viaduct 450ft long (station approach road) 60ft high over Mann Dam and Cleckheaton Bottoms 11 spans supported on cylindrical iron columns in groups of three on blue brick plinths now closed to road traffic but still used as a footpath; Gomersal bridge over Dewsbury Rd (A652) one buttress survives.

Loco shed Farnley Junction 25G (SE271312) on west side of line south of Farnley & Wortley station, demolished 1968.





LNWR BATLEY - BIRSTALL (Single line 2 miles)

(Birstall Branch)

Opened 30.9.1852

Closed (Pass) 1.1.1917; (Gds) 17.6.1962

Stations Carlinghow (opened 1872), Birstall Lower

History

The Leeds Dewsbury & Manchester Railway opened this short branch to Birstall in 1852 with an intermediate stop at Carlinghow added twenty years later. Wartime economy measures were used as an excuse to withdraw passenger trains in 1917 but was more down to the affect of the closely parallel Yorkshire Woolen District trams along Bradford Road; goods traffic continued until 1962.

Route - when open

A double track junction left the LNW main Dewsbury - Leeds line at Batley Junction one mile north of Batley station (GR249244) but became single track almost immediately. It turned NW to follow close to Bradford Road (A652) with the terminus station at Birstall (GR225260) located where this road crossed Huddersfield Road (A62).

Route - today

Much of the branch has been built over but a footpath follows the course of the line between Carlinghow Hill (the site of Carlinghow station) and Witton Park.

Relics

Stations - No trace of Carlinghow; Birstall site cleared and grassed over

Bridges - northern abutment of bridge over Carlinghow Hill still in situ






LNWR DEIGHTON (KIRKBURTON JN) - KIRKBURTON (Single line 4¼ miles)

(Kirkburton Branch)

Opened (Pass) 1.10.1867, (Gds 1.1.1968

Closed (Pass) 28.7.1930;

(Gds) 5.4.1965 Deighton ICI - Kirkburton; 1.2.1971 Kirkburton Jn - Deighton ICI.

Stations Deighton (opened 1871, reopened 1982), Kirkheaton, Fenay Bridge r/n 1897 Fenay Bridge & Lepton, Kirkburton.

History

When the LNWR built this line they designed the earthworks capable of taking double track as it was always the intention to link up with the Midland’s planned line from Barnsley. In the event the Midland withdrew its Barnsley & Kirkburton proposals and the LNW were left with a single line branch with the terminus nearer Highburton than Kirkburton. In the mid-1920s there were as many as twelve trains a day but the distance from Huddersfield was 6½ miles by rail compared to 4¼ miles by road so that when buses were introduced the railway couldn’t compete and passenger services (always known locally as Burton Dick) were withdrawn in 1930. Branches served two collieries, with sidings for Elliots' Brickworks. The line remained open for freight until 1965 when it was cut back to the ICI's Dalton chemical works; this huge 250 acre site had its own self-contained railway system with 20 miles of track, eight locos and 450 internal rail wagons all served from eight reception sidings on the branch. When the ICI closed it’s railway there was no further need for the branch and it closed completely in 1971.

Route - when open

Diverging from the Huddersfield - Leeds line near Deighton (GR166191) the branch curved across the A62, Sir John Ramsden's Canal (Huddersfield Broad) and the River Colne before retracing its steps in a giant loop down the east side of the ? Valley. Beyond the viaduct it turned south hugging the side of the valley, necessitating a number of substantial embankments, cuttings and bridges between Nab Hill and Kirkheaton. After bridging the Huddersfield - Wakefield road (A642) a colliery line branched off to the east and from Fennay Bridge it followed Penistone Road (A629) to the Kirkburton terminus (GR191132), located at the junction of the A629 and North Road.

Route - today

Although not part of the branch the first two miles of the former Midland Newtown Goods Branch have been converted into a tarmac cycleway and makes convenient start if commencing the walk in Huddersfield. It is not possible to walk over Colne Viaduct but footbridges cross both the canal and river. The route from Colne Viaduct is at first obliterated by land reclamation. The trackbed emerges and a good quality footpath continues up to the first road bridge at Nab Hill. Immediately following the road bridge the cuttings have been filled, this includes the next road bridge at GR172179. Here it is advised to take the right of way following the route to the east, as the embankment is substantially overgrown with the following two road bridges removed. It is easy to rejoin the emerging trackbed from the site of the south bridge abutment at Hillside. A ‘dog walk’ continues south but comes to an abrupt end where industrial units are built on the trackbed. It is best to leave here as the bridge has been removed over the A642. The footpath continues on the south side of the main road on a high embankment above Morrison's Supermarket following which a further bridge has been removed forcing a return the adjacent footpath. New housing has been built on the trackbed but it is possible to return to the cutting that follows. A footbridge survives, it is best to leave by it as gardens suddenly appear across the old route within a few yards. A detour onto the A629 Penistone Road is necessary, but a driveway soon leads back up to a surviving bridge where access can be gained into a lovely wooded cutting. Sadly this footpath is short-lived and progress is hindered by yet more house construction across the trackbed. Following the obstruction, a side road leads from the Penistone Road back to a missing bridge where access is easy right through to Rowley Hill and the missing bridge over the main road that links the A629 and the A642. A path up a grass embankment where the bridge abutment has been cut back is taken and one of the most continuous and scenic stretches follows. This includes access to the six arched Rowley Viaduct, which is substantially overgrown but walkable. The missing bridge and horse stables force progress off onto the A629 at Highburton. Here there is no trace of the road bridge that the railway crossed into Kirkburton Station. The station site is now occupied by houses.

Relics

Stations Deighton still open (Huddersfield – Leeds line); no trace of Kirkheaton or Fenay Bridge & Lepton; Kirkburton demolished - site occupied by housing but a massive stone wall survives.

Bridges - Colne viaduct at Deighton seven brick arches over the A62, Sir John Ramsden Canal (Huddersfield Broad) and the River Colne constructed on a curve with a radius of 484yds still stands but substantially fenced on the western approach;

Rowley viaduct six brick arches over Beldon Brook at Dogley Lane in place.

the only road overbridge bridge that survives is the first one at Nab Hill; a further bridge carrying a track is at GR184153. several under bridges carrying over streams and tracks survive.

Misc. Rails of the branch into the ICI chemical works at Dalton, can still be seen; several fine examples of original boundary stones, inscribed with the legend "L&NWR" at Beldon Brook.


 

Part 2 Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway

 

L&YR MIRFIELD No 3 - LOW MOOR (6½ miles)

(Spen Valley Line)

THORNHILL No. 1 - HECKMONDWIKE (2miles 331yds)

LOW MOOR No 5 - LOW MOOR No 1 (508yds)

(Low Moor Fork)

Opened Mirfield - Low Moor 18.7.1848

Thornhill - Heckmondwike (Gds) 10.5.1869, (Pass) 1.6.1869

Low Moor Fork 22.4.1886

Closed (Pass) 14.6.1965

(Gds) Mirfield - Heckmondwike 14.6.1965; Heckmondwike - Low Moor 1981

Thornhill Jn - Liversedge Spen (LNW) (Via a 1966 spur L&Y to LNW) OOU Sept. 1990

South Curve (Pass) 1.1.1962, (Gds) 19.1.1970

Stations Northorpe North Road (Opened 1891), Heckmondwike (Central), Liversedge (Central), Cleckheaton (Central), Low Moor; Ravensthorpe Lower (opened 1869 closed 1952).

Signal boxes Mirfield No 3, Mirfield No 4, Heckmondwike Junction, Liversedge, Cleckheaton North, Ellisons Siding, Low Moor No 5, Low Moor No 5, 2 and 1.

Loco shed Low Moor 25F twelve-track shed (closed 1967)

History

The branch was closed between 1970 -74 for construction of the M62 and permanently between Mirfield and Low Moor in 1981 with the southern end remaining in use to Liversedge oil terminal until 1990 The northern end of the route was intended to become part of the new Transperience Centre at Low Moor until it ran into serious financial difficulties. Reopeing proposal

In 1998 a group called Missing Link announced that they were developing a case for a light rail link from Dewsbury to Bradford that would utilise the route between Thornhill and Low Moor with street running in the town centres. In November 2001 an area rail user group was set up to press for reopening of the line to serve Cleckheaton.

Route - when open

The junction at Thornhill No 3 (GR235201) was alongside the Calder Navigation and it was here that this branch diverged NE from the L&Ys’ Wakefield - Sowerby Bridge line. In quick succession it passed under the line to Dewsbury, over the River Calder by a 12 arch viaduct and Huddersfield Road (A644) to reach Ravensthorpe Lower. It then continued north alongside the River Spen to join the leg from Mirfield at Heckmondwike. The western leg diverged NE from the Wakefield - Sowerby Bridge line at Mirfield No 3 (GR207194), crossed the Calder and passed under Huddersfield Road to reach Northorpe North Road station. Now heading north it passed under the LNWs’ Spen Valley line and joined the other leg at Heckmondwike Junction. For the final 4½ miles it followed the Spen Valley and Bradford Road (A638) NW with the stations at Heckmondwike, Liversedge and Cleckheaton coming within the first two miles. At Oakenshaw it turned west and a short tunnel took it under Wyke Lane from where it reached the triangular junction at Low Moor and Low Moor station (GR165283) on Cleckheaton Road (A650).

Route - today

Sustrans have converted the full route into a cycleway the Spen Valley Greenway. It was officially opened on 4 May 2001 by Sir John Harman, Chairman of the Environment Agency. The M62 is crossed by means of a footbridge and the trail ends at Oakenshaw. The Spen Valley Greenway will eventually run from Thornhill Lees to Bradford, Shipley and Saltaire

Relics

Stations - any trace of Northorpe North Road? Heckmondwike (Central) long platform survives; Liversedge (Central) no trace; Cleckheaton (Central) demolished site occupied by a supermarket; Low Moor demolished.

Bridges - most bridges intact including twelve arch stone viaduct over River Calder; new footbridge over M62 north of Cleckheaton

Tunnels - Littletown 79yds part of trail; Oakenshaw tunnel 67yds part of trail.

Loco shed Low Moor (SE166284) on west side of Low Moor station, demolished 1976.







L&YR DEWSBURY EAST JN - DEWSBURY MARKET PLACE (1¼ miles)

CURVE FROM HEADFIELD JN - DEWSBURY WEST JN (¼ mile)

Opened (Gds) 27.1866, (Pass) 1.4.1867

Closed (Pass) 1.12.1930,

(Gds) 6.2.1961 (re-opened East Jn - Headfield Jn 1.12.1965); 00.7.95 Blue Circle - Railway Street Yard

Stations Dewsbury (Market Place)

Signal boxes Dewsbury West Junction, Dewsbury East Junction, Headfield Junction, Mill Street Crossing

History

In 1861 the LNW would not agree to the L&Y running into Dewsbury Wellington Road station so plans for a separate branch to the town went ahead and this short double track branch opened in 1866. It closed in 1961 only to re-open four years later to Headfield Junction and thence to Dewsbury Junction and Railway Street goods depot when the ex-GN route to Dewsbury closed completely in 1965. In 1969 Blue Circle Cement opened a depot on the site of the ex L&Y Dewsbury Junction Carriage & Wagon Works and this too was served from Headfield Junction.

 

4

Route - when open

It commenced from a triangular junction with the L&Ys Mirfield - Normanton line. From Dewsbury East Junction (GR251198) it curved north to cross the Long Cut of the Calder & Hebble Navigation. At North Junction a spur came in from West Junction completing the triangle and at Headfield Junction the spur to the GNR diverged NE and bridged the River Calder. After crossing a single span bridge over the River Calder the branch ended at Market Place which had a covered island platform with an extensive goods yard.

Route - today

Part of the branch is still in use and soon after leaving Dewsbury East Junction it becomes double track. Just before the stone three-arched Bretton Street bridge the third side of the one-time triangular junction trails in, now realigned as sidings for the Blue Circle cement works which sees daily trains from Earles Cement works in the Hope Valley. The works yard access road crosses the sidings adjacent to the junction protected by hand-worked lifting barriers. At this point Tilcon have a stacking area with stone unloaded from one of the running lines. The double track ends just before a disused overbridge, and the line ends with a single track headshunt. As far as this point the line has been part of the L&Y branch but the headshunt is actually on the ex-GN formation curving NE through the right-hand girder decked span of the bridge. The Market Street line continued straight on through the left-hand stone arch which is now minus any parapets. This branch now ends at buffers stops a few yards beyond the former Headfield Junction. Ballast continues across Mill Street East underbridge No 4, the curving two-span, skew girder bridge across the River Calder and the lengthy stone viaduct beyond which curves round almost to site of the trailing connection at Dewsbury Junction with the line from Earlsheaton tunnel.

Relics

Stations - Market Place terminal passenger station (closed in 1930) is now occupied by a raised flower bed area whilst the extensive goods yard with four warehouses (closed in 1961) is now a sports centre and car park

Bridges - single span bow shaped wrought iron bridge 135ft long 12ft high over Calder into Market Place demolished. The double span skew bowstring girder bridge over the Calder and lengthy stone viaduct on the ex-GNR Headfield Jn - Dewsbury Jn line is still intact but fenced off at both ends.







L&YR MELTHAM JN (LOCKWOOD) - MELTHAM (single line 3½ miles)

(Meltham Branch)

Opened 5.7.1869

Closed (Pass) 23.5.1949, (Gds) 5.4.1965

Stations Woodfield (opened/closed June 1874), Netherton, Healey House,

Meltham Mills (workers), Meltham

Loco shed Meltham one-track shed (closed late 1889)

History

Although line was authorised in 1861 work did not start until 1865 and because of major landslips it was August 1868 before the line opened for goods traffic. This only lasted three weeks as further slips occurred requiring massive earthworks to be constructed at the two most troublesome locations. The line finally opened for both passenger and goods trains in July 1969. Woodfield station was only open one month in June 1874; its name was to have been Dungeon Wood (such a name-board was actually erected) but the name was changed to Woodfield before opening.

Route - when opened

The branch left the Huddersfield Penistone line just before the north end of Lockwood viaduct (GR133149) and headed south west up the opposite side of the Holme Valley. After passing through two tunnels it followed the valley of Hall Dyke through a deep cutting at Hall Heys and crossed the B6108 to reach the terminus at Meltham (GR100108). The single platform station located in Station Road (B6107) was at a much higher level than the large goods yard.

Route - today

The trackbed can be walked from Meltham Junction (under Hanson Lane bridge), passing Woodfield station and crossing a bridge over a wide path leading to the arched entrance of Beaumont Park. Some of the party managed to get into Butternab tunnel but, not only is the south portal blocked, it is in the private garden of a number of houses built on the trackbed, the embankment having been partially removed north of Butternab Ridge underbridge. The next section, including the stone arch over Nethermoor Road, is intact but inaccessible. Both portals of Netherton tunnel have been bricked up but having gained permission from a farmer the party were able pass through his farmyard (the site of Netherton station) to walk through the stalactite hung Netherton tunnel. For those not able to walk the tunnel its approximate line is followed above ground by the appropriately named Tunnel Street and the trackbed can be regained at a tall occupation underbridge at GR117124 and followed southwards through the site of Healey House station and the 30yd tunnel. The next stretch, including the site of Netherfield station, is inaccessible although its south end can be reached by walking back from Huddersfield Road, north of Meltham Mills. The skew bridge across this road was completely demolished soon after the line closed and the embankment cut back on both sides but from here to Meltham the line can be walked without difficulty. Two underbridges of different styles precede the wooden footbridge on the north side of which was the private Meltham Mills Halt; this unadvertised station served the Union Thread Mills of J & P Coates, later taken over by David Brown for tractor construction. In March 1999 it was reported that this site is to be used for Safeway supermarket and as a result two footbridges will be removed and the footpath diverted.

Relics

Stations - Woodfield platform edge; Netherton station site now a farm; Healey House no trace, Meltham Mills no trace; the site of Meltham is an empty wasteland but the station house in Station Street is a residence.

Tunnels - Butternab north portal bricked up, south portal bricked up with door; Netherton 333yds north portal bricked up, south portal bricked up with door; Healey House 30yds walkable.

Bridges - most bridges intact; abutments only of bridge at Healey House; bridge over Huddersfield Road (B6108) demolished 1966

Loco shed Meltham (SE101108) on north side of line at east end of Meltham station.







L&YR BROCKHOLES JN - HOLMFIRTH (1¾ mile)

(Holmfirth Branch)

Opened 1.7.1850, closed 3.12.1865, reopened 11.3.1867

Closed (Pass) 2.11.1959; (Gds) 3.5.1965

Stations Thongsbridge, Holmfirth

Signal boxes Brockholes Junction, Thongs Bridge, Holmfirth

History

This branch was opened by the Huddersfield & Sheffield Junction Railway on the same day as it opened its main line. It was built double track throughout as the L&Y planned to extend the line Holmbridge further up the Holme Valley.

Route - when open

From a junction near Brockholes station (GR155104) on the Huddersfield - Penistone line, the line headed south in a gentle curve and on a falling gradient of 1 in 100 crossing Mytholmbridge viaduct before reaching the intermediate station at Thongsbridge. The line then climbed at 1 in 120 for one mile to reach the terminus station at Homfirth (GR144098) located in Station Road (A635).

Route - today

Detail of exactly which sections are walkable required

Relics

Stations - Thongsbridge demolished site occupied by housing; Holmfirth station site now occupied by Kingdom Hall, Station Master’s house 'To Let' March 2002.

Bridges - Mytholmbridge Viaduct 13 curved arches, demolished 1976, abutments survive.







L&YR CLAYTON WEST JN - CLAYTON WEST (single line 3¼ miles)

(Clayton West Branch)

Opened 1.9.1879

Closed 24.1.1983

Stations Skelmanthorpe, Clayton West

Signal boxes Clayton West Junction, Skelmanthorpe, Clayton West

History

When the L&Y opened this single line branch they built it to double width as they planned to extend the line to Darton on their Wakefield - Barnsley line.

Narrow Gauge Railway

After closure the line was purchased privately and a 15ins-gauge steam railway built on the trackbed. The Kirklees Light Railway opened in 1991 and comprises four steam locos, a diesel shunter, a petrol engined tram engine, ten coaches, four stations, a cafe and shop, engine shed, workshop and two turntables. All the engines have been hand-built by the proprietor Brian Taylor.

Route - when open

At Clayton West Junction (GR208101) the line diverged NE from the Huddersfield - Penistone line, crossed a minor road and entered Shelley Woodhouse tunnel. Emerging from the tunnel it turned east, passed Skelmanthorpe station and after a further two miles bridged Wakefield Road (A636) to reach the terminus station at Clayton West (GR259113).

Route - today

The Kirklees Light Railway has been built on the trackbed for the full length of the branch.

Relics

Stations on the closed line ?Skelmanthorpe; Clayton West the station buildings were considered uneconomic to restore and were demolished in 2000; a new loco and rolling stock shed now occupies the site. Railway Court, a housing development has been built across the station's former entrance.

New stations on the n.g. line - Shelley, Skelmanthorpe, Cuckoo's Nest Halt, Clayton West

Tunnels - Shelley Woodhouse tunnel 511yds in use.

Signalling Clayton West Junction signal box was damaged by fire but parts were retained and incorporated into a five bedroom house nearby, in August 2004 it was on the market for £325,000.



 

Part 3 Great Northern Railway

 

GNR WRENTHORPE SOUTH JN (WAKEFIELD) - BATLEY - ADWALTON JN (7¼ miles)

WRENTHORPE NORTH JN - WRENTHORPE WEST JN (West Curve) (748yds)
 

Opened 7.4.1862 Wrenthorpe South Jn - Flushdyke; 15.12.1864 Flushdyke - Batley; 1.8.1864 Batley - Adwalton Jn; Wrenthorpe West Curve (Gds) 7.9.1864, (Pass) 15.2.1865.


Closed
7.9.1964 (Pass), 1.5.1972 (Gds). Wrenthorpe West Curve (Pass) Oct 1938, (Gds) 1.11.1965


Stations
Alverthorpe (opened 1872 closed 1954), Ossett r/n 1864 Flushdyke (closed 1941), Ossett, Chickenley Heath (opened 1877 closed 1909), Batley (1st), Upper Batley (closed 1952), Howden Clough (closed 1952).


History

The Bradford, Wakefield & Leeds Railway (BW&LR) opened this line in stages between 1862 and 1864. Before it was fully opened the BW&LR changed its name to the West Yorkshire Railway which was in turn was absorbed in 1865 (along with the direct Wakefield - Leeds line) by the expanding GNR. An early casualty brought about by the more convenient electric trams was the passenger service to Chickenley Heath, known locally as the Chickenley Coddy; it closed in 1909.


Route - when open

The line diverged west from the Doncaster - Leeds line at Balne Lane signal box three quarters of a mile north of Wakefield Westgate station (SE323217), making a 90° turn, with Wrenthorpe yard to the north, before heading SW to the first station at Alverthorpe. The next station, was originally named Ossett but changed to Flushdyke when the line was extended and a new Ossett station opened in the town centre. At Runtlings Lane Junction it became a single line which left the Dewsbury line and curved north, entered Ossett tunnel and passed under Wakefield Road (A638) to reach Chickenley Heath station. After a further mile Shaw Cross tunnel took it under Leeds Road (A653) from where it curved west to pass through Batley GN station where a complex series of junctions gave access to its own lines to Leeds, Bradford and Dewsbury and the LNW lines. North of Batley the GN line to Leeds diverged on the right whilst this line bridged the LNW line and continued north to Upper Batley. At Howden Clough it bridged the LNW ‘New Line’ and after passing under the A62 swung west to join the main Wakefield - Bradford line at Adwalton Junction (SE228279).


Route - today

Although the embankment has been removed paths follow the alignment west from Wrenthorpe South and North Junctions to the site of Alverthorpe station (SE313214). From Flanshaw Lane the course can still be traced to Roundwood Junction where the line is cut by the M1 but west of the motorway all trace has disappeared under development. A short section on the approach to Runtlings Lane remains (although infilled) and it is possible to walk the whole length from Runtlings Lane Junction to Wakefield Road A638 at Chickenley Heath. Ram stadium has been built over the alignment at Shaw Cross whilst north of Leeds Road a short section has been used for Challenge Way an extension of the B6128. Parts of the alignment are still in place between the A653 at Shaw Cross and Batley and between Batley and Adwalton Junction but little remains walkable.


Relics

Stations Alverthorpe demolished - site landscaped; Flushdyke demolished - no trace; Ossett demolished - site occupied by housing in Southdale Gardens but station house survives; Chickenley Heath demolished; Batley still open on ex LNW line; Upper Batley modern station house residence; Howden Clough demolished - site built over.

Bridges Wrenthorpe - Batley  plate girder bridge over Wakefield Road in Flushdyke removed 1966; in Ossett viaduct over Towngate missing; Station Road overbridge infilled; plate girder bridge over Queen Street abutment only; bridge carrying minor road approaching Batley survives.

Bridges Batley - Adwalton Jn  girder bridge over LNW line at Lady Ann Crossing abutments only; bridge carrying the footpath extension of Sunnbank Rd survives; bridge over Timothy Lane missing; at Howden Clough bridge over Scotchman Lane missing; bridge carrying A62 Gelderd Rd parapet

Tunnels  Chickenley Heath 47yds filled in and landscaped; Shaw Cross 209yds under Leeds Road both portals earthed over.






GNR OSSETT (runtlIngs lane jn) - BATLEY (3½ miles)

GNR OSSETT (RUNTLINGS LANE JN) - BATLEY (3½ miles) (Dewsbury Loop)


GNR DEWSBURY SOUTH JN - HEADFIELD JN (¾ mile)

Opened

Runtlings Lane - Dewsbury Jn (Gds) 1.5.1874, (Pass) 9.9.1874. Dewsbury Jn - Batley 12.4.1880. 1877 Headfield Jn - Dewsbury South Jn.

Closed
(Pass) 7.9.1964, (Gds) 15.2.1965. re-opened East Jn - Headfield Jn 1.12.1965; finally closed ?date. (Gds) 3.5.1960 Headfield Jn - Dewsbury South Jn.

Stations
Earlsheaton (opened 1875 closed 1953), Dewsbury (renamed Dewsbury Central 1951), Batley Carr (closed 1950), Batley GNR..


History
The GNR had opened a direct line from Wakefield to Batley in 1864 and this line, opened ten years later, formed a loop that took in Dewsbury. The direct route was then downgraded and the Dewsbury line became one of three routes by which portions of Kings Cross expresses travelled to and from Bradford. In 1933 the LNER closed the short branch from Dewsbury Junction to the GN goods depot in Railway Street and lifted the track. In 1965 the track was reinstated by BR to provide access to the Railway Street goods depot from the ex-L&Y line when the GN route to Dewsbury closed. The GN goods depot subsequently closed and in 1995 the track was again lifted this time back to the canal bridge.

Route - when open
From Runtlings Lane Junction (SE273201) the line curved NW then west and after one mile reached Earlsheaton station. Earlsheaton tunnel then carried it under Headland Lane and Middle Road. Leaving the tunnel it turned north and at Dewsbury Junction (SE251211) there were two branches; one branch went NW into the GN Railway Street goods yard whilst the other, making a trailing connection from the south, was a spur from Headfield Junction. North of Dewsbury Junction a short tunnel took it under Wakefield Road and Leeds Road to Dewsbury Central station and from there, on a gradient of 1 in 53, Crackenedge tunnel took it under the LNWR line to reach Batley Carr station located in a brick cutting. The line was then carried on a ledge (parallel to but at a lower level than the LNW route), towards Batley. Just before Batley station it passed below the LNW once more and over a viaduct (adjacent to the LNW viaduct) into its own island platform at Batley GNR station (SE250250).

Route - today
A path leads away from Runtlings Lane Junction and picks up the trackbed after half a mile. On both sides of Earlsheaton station site one mile has been utilised for the Kirklees Way with a short detour around Earlsheaton tunnel. Kirklees Way continues along the track bed north to Ridings Road and Wakefield Road A638. North of Batley a long high brick retaining wall survives at Jack Lane but little else remains between Batley Carr and Batley. The whole of the spur from Dewsbury Jn - Headfield Jn, including the bridges, is walkable.

Relics
Stations Earlsheaton demolished - site unused; Railway Street goods yard now occupied by Sainsbury’s and other retail units; Dewsbury Central the elevated site overbuilt by the northern inner ring road but the street level facade of the station entrance has been preserved. Batley Carr site is occupied by an auto salvage depot; Batley GNR?

Tunnels Earlsheaton 179yds intact but sealed at both ends; Leeds Road 213yds opened out during ring road construction but top of south portal survives; Batley Carr aka Crackenedge 171yds south portal earthed over, north portal open but in scrap yard, red brick ventilation shaft survives.

Bridges on the main line in Dewsbury bridge over Crackenedge Lane removed but abutments used for Ring Road; Batley Carr a long straight plate girder bridge takes Wood Lane over the line but further north Jack Lane overbridge has been demolished; approaching Batley the bridge under the LNW has been infilled; Batley Viaduct comprising plate girder span, five masonry arches, steel span and one arch, dismantled - no trace.

Bridges on the spur Dewsbury Jn - Headfield Junction Headfield Viaduct over River Calder comprising, 13 masonry arches over the flood plain, a plate girder span over Sands Lane and two bowstring spans of 110ft and 126ft over the river in place; single 88ft span bowstring bridge over Dewsbury cut of the Calder & Hebble Navigation in place; plate girder bridge over Mill Street East in place; two-arch masonry and single span girder bridge carrying Thornhill Street at Headfield Junction in place.

 

 

Part 4 Midland Railway

 

MR MIDDLESTOWN JN - DEWSBURY (SAVILLE TOWN) (2½ miles)

(Saville Town Goods Branch)

Opened 1.3.1906

Closed 18.12.1950

Stations Saville Town Goods

Signal boxes Middlestown Junction
 

History
This branch was originally going to be part of the companies alternative main line to Bradford and Scotland but ended up as a dead-end goods branch to Dewsbury. The Midland reached Middlestown Junction from Royston Jn in November 1905 and four months later completed this short goods only branch into Dewsbury. It was closed by BR at the end of 1950.
 

Route - when open
From Middlestown Junction (SE267186) the line headed NW to cross the L&Y at Headfield Road on a long through girder bridge and beyond there the ‘main line’ became a siding which terminated on an embankment just short of Saville Road. The goods branch dropped down at 1 in 40 into a cutting which passed beneath Saville Road in a tunnel to the Saville Town Yard (SE242213) which was quite extensive.
 

Route - today
The first half mile is walkable but a detour is then required via Kirklees Way to Combs and the B6117 to Headfield Road. The site of three sidings to the south of Dewsbury Goods Junction is now a playing field and that leads to an aptly named road 'The Sidings.' Crossing Saville Road then gives access to the north portal of Saville Road tunnel but further progress is barred by industrial buildings.
 

Relics
Stations
Saville Town goods yard site now sees light industrial use, brick built goods warehouse converted.



Bridges
supporting walls of dive under survive; three-arch viaduct over Calder Hebble Navigation in place; long girder bridge spanning Headfield Road and L&Y line (at Dewsbury West Jn) buttresses only.

Tunnels Saville Road tunnel 187yds long- cutting and tunnel infilled 1998 but north end of tunnel can still be seen.





MR MIRFIELD JN - HUDDERSFIELD (NEWTOWN GOODS) (4½ miles)

Opened 1.11.1910 Mirfield Jn - Newton Goods; 1.10.1923 connection from the LNW line at Red Doles Jn

Closed 12.8.1937 Mirfield Jn - Spur from Red Doles Jn; 5.8.1968 Red Doles Jn - Huddersfield (Newtown)

Stations Newtown Goods

History

To gain a presence in Huddersfield the Midland opened a goods only branch in 1910 from the Calder Valley line at Mirfield. Most of the branch closed in 1937 but access to Newtown Goods was maintained by a connecting spur from the ex-LNWR Leeds - Huddersfield line at a new Red Doles Junction. This section of the branch finally closed in 1968.

Route - when open

It diverged from the Leeds - Huddersfield line at Mirfield Junction (GR199197) approx.600yds west of Mirfield station and headed NW. At first it kept close to the LNWR line but after one mile it turned SW passing under Bog Green Lane (B6118) and Bank Road before crossing the 15-arch Bradley Viaduct which carried it over Sir John Ramsden's Canal and the River Colne. Other bridges carried it over the A62 road and the LNW line which it then followed SW for about a mile. At Fartown Green it parted company with the LNW line and, after passing under several roads including Bradford Road (A641), finally bridged Willow Lane to enter the Midland’s extensive Newtown Goods Yard (GR145175). The 1923 spur diverged from the LNWR line at Red Doles Junction (GR154186) and headed west for half a mile to join the original line just east of the bridge carrying Bradford Road.

Route - today

The first 2½ miles, including Bradley Viaduct, are earmarked for the new Calder Valley Greenway with one mile between Woodend Lane (Mirfield) and Hurst Lane (west of Batteyford) already accessible as a claimed bridleway. The final two miles between Deighton and Halifax Old Road in Huddersfield have been converted into a tarmac cycleway. In February 2005 Sustrans reported that they have been granted a licence by Network Rail to use Colliery Bridge over the main line and they hope to have the route between Mirfield and the Huddersfield Road open by July 2005 although actual work on the bridge was only reported in November of that year.

Stations - Newtown Goods demolished - site redeveloped.

Bridges - bridges over Leeds Road (A62) and the Huddersfield - Leeds line at Bradley missing; most other bridges in place including Bradley Viaduct, approx 1300 ft long, 90ft high, 15 brick arches over Colne Valley.
 


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