Crossgates Wetherby railway line

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paulm
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Crossgates Wetherby railway line

Post by paulm » Sun Feb 18, 2007 8:50 pm

Can any one please help I need information regarding the Crossgates Wetherby railway opened 1872 closed 1964 it was the first line to be axed under the beeching plan ( leeds super tram we had it then closed it down for short term gain)

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Post by richard » Sun Feb 18, 2007 11:53 pm

I intend to eventually write an article on the "lines to Wetherby" for this site.
Some background history can be found when reading histories of the Aberford Railway, Leeds&Selby Railway, and George Hudson - there were proposal(s) to pass through the area in the early days of Hudson's empire. These did not come to pass.

A good start for reading material on the actual lines can be found in:

"The Railways of Harrogate and District" by James Rogers; NERA.
and
"Railways Around Harrogate" by Martin Bairstow (all 3 volumes).

I think the Rogers book and Vol. 3 of Bairstows are still in print. The other two volumes aren't too hard to find.

The NER was committed to build it by law and had tried to back out of it. Traffic must have been good enough and it was eventually double-tracked (for WW2 traffic iirc). It was probably at its busiest during WW2 when it carried workers trains to/from Thorp Arch ROF.


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(grew up on Wellington Hill, and have walked some of the track bed through Hetchell Woods)
Last edited by richard on Mon Feb 19, 2007 6:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by Bryan » Mon Feb 19, 2007 6:38 pm

There was a proposal put forward by Leeds Metro for reopening the branch and stations from Cross Gates at least as far as the A64 for a Park and ride site.
I Believe capacity constraints over Marsh Lane viaduct put paid to this.
Especially when coupled with close development to the viaduct which stopped potential 4 tracking of this section.

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Post by richard » Mon Feb 19, 2007 6:57 pm

I think I heard somewhere that a limit would be Barwick where the trackbed has been built on. The trackbed has definitely been built on in Bardsey, Collingham, and Wetherby.

I think it might have been built on in Thorner as well? I never really found out where the track went - even though I've walked dogs through the village!
I think it might have passed below the crags?

Somewhere (probably in a Ken Hoole book), I have seen a picture of the Royal Train at Collingham. I'll see if I can find it. It would have been KEVII or there-abouts.

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Post by Sir Nigel Gresley » Sat Nov 24, 2007 11:15 pm

richard wrote:I think I heard somewhere that a limit would be Barwick where the trackbed has been built on. The trackbed has definitely been built on in Bardsey, Collingham, and Wetherby.

I think it might have been built on in Thorner as well? I never really found out where the track went - even though I've walked dogs through the village!
I think it might have passed below the crags?

Somewhere (probably in a Ken Hoole book), I have seen a picture of the Royal Train at Collingham. I'll see if I can find it. It would have been KEVII or there-abouts.

Richard
The line did not go through Barwick (-in-Elmet), the nearest station being Scholes.

There was a pictorial article on the line in a Trains Illustrated of late 1959/early 1960-ish. Unfortunately mine are all packed-up ready for a house move next week - as soon as I am re-setablished I will endeavour to scan it in. It includes a photo of a train hauled by 60022! The specials for the Wetherby Races were always interesting, usually in the hands of Neville Hill J39's and B16's or Ivatt 4MT's (Holbeck?).


The old trackbed alignment can easily be followed on the Ordnance Survey 1:50k map (www.ordnancesurvey.co.uk - "get-a-map" online) or on www.multimap.com or Google aerial photos.

I remember the line being used daily by Liverpool - Newcastle expresses, via Harrogate & Ripon, avoiding York, hauled by EE Type 4's (Class 40) to avoid reversal in Leeds City.

I travelled on a Tadcaster Grammar School special to Birmingham New Street, on a Saturday in 1960, boarding the train at Scholes. The spotters amongst us were hoping for a Neville Hill A3, but we had 61016 Inyala, piloted as far as Tadcaster, by 61125. I remember Inyala driving the lineside spotters wild, all the way down the Midland line to Birmingham! The cheering was akin to JimStorrie scoring at Elland Road.

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Post by richard » Sun Nov 25, 2007 3:03 am

Sorry, yes it would have been Scholes.

At least one of the Bairstow books has a picture of an A3 at Wetherby on one of the race specials. I've also seen a picture of one of the Class 40s in the Scholes area but can't remember where. I think it was freight with a brake tender.

When I think back to places like Thorner and Hetchell, it is hard to imagine that A3s and Class 40s thundered through there on a regular basis...


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Wetherby Lines

Post by North Briton » Tue Jan 22, 2008 7:45 pm

Only just become a member of this site so apologies for the late contribution. Modern Railways had a photofeature in the April 1964 edition, just after closure, which has a number of locations and types including 8F, Q6, WD 2-8-0, Class 45 and 46, as well as the ubiquitous B1's, B16's and J39's. I can try and scan the photos if anyone is interested. My grandfather used to commute from Penda's Way to Holbeck and he always wondered why nobody had attempted a model of Bardsey or Collingham or, if a larger space was available Crossgates or Wetherby. I have accumulated some research material with a view to attempting a model of Crossgates in the near future but any suggestions for other sources gratefully accepted. (Thanks for the tip on the Trains Illustrated article - I have been looking for a copy for years!)

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Post by Bryan » Wed Jan 23, 2008 5:55 pm

If you have any difficulty tracking down a copy of the relevant "Trains Illustrated" or any other rail orientated mag contact the Vintage Carriages Trust at Ingrow Station on the KWVR they have a large range of titles and dates available. They are normally open every day.

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Crossgates - Wetherby Line

Post by North Briton » Wed Jan 23, 2008 11:29 pm

Thanks very much for the tip. As a devotee of Timothy Taylor ales I never need an excuse to visit the Keighley area!

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Re: Crossgates Wetherby railway line

Post by chrism » Wed Dec 03, 2008 1:43 pm

I have only just discovered this excellent website and informative forum, so sorry for my late submission on this subject.

Between 1948 and 1958 I lived at South View, Collingham, next to this line. It was a good place from which to observe traffic as the line climbed before levelling out on its way to Bardsey. Particularly during the early 50s there was much freight and goods traffic. The daily highlights were the Leeds (Neville Hill) to Gateshead express freight and the express freight in the other direction. These thundered through at 8.30 and 9.15 pm respectively. The freight to Gateshead was normally headed by an A3: 'Colombo', 'Shotover' and 'Harvester' regularly appeared on this working. A variety of locomotive types were used on the other freight, but V2s predominated. It was not, however, unusual to see an A1 or A2, and on at least one occasion, an A4.

Other vivid memoreis include double headed goods trains - often a WD 2-8-0 piloted by a B16 or J39. My memory may be playing tricks, but I seem to recall observing steel trains double headed by two 2-8-0s.

For three years I travelled on the 'school train' to Tadcaster, normally headed by a D49. The return working was headed by a Normanton locomotive - sometimes a 4F. I believe that the train terminated at Bardsey before heading back to the ordnance factory at Thorp Arch. From there I think it was used on a workers' train back to the Wakefield area.

When I returned to South View earlier this year, for the first time since 1958, it just seemed so strange to see so little trace of the line which was such a permanent feature of my youth. I would be interested to read the recollections of anyone who knew this line in the 50s.

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Re: Crossgates Wetherby railway line

Post by richard » Wed Dec 03, 2008 2:49 pm

Some big stuff - I hadn't heard of A1s and A4s being used.

You're right - there's very little left in the villages. Even in my lifetime (I was born after the end of steam), I've seen things disappear. For example the bridge location over the A58 used to be very obvious but is now very overgrown and hard to see unless you know where it is. The Bardsey station location is easy enough to find as a street has been built along it. I haven't been able to locate the stations in Collingham and Wetherby. Last time I was over, I took the bus to Wetherby (the one that takes the back route through East Keswick) - that must have gone by the old station location at Wetherby but I couldn't see where it was!

Landscape features are easier to find - for example the embankments between Collingham and Wetherby across the flod plain and the golf course. Embankments are also walkable through Hetchell Woods, and there's still a road bridge over the cutting in the area of Scholes (I forget where, we were off to Aberford to walk the Fly Line).

There is even an extant stone bridge in Bardsey but I'm not sure if I could find it again! As primary school kids we actually a trip down to it whilst doing a project on Bardsey 100 years ago. It is over a stream (probably Bardsey Beck) and on the Collingham side of Bardsey Station. The top is at ground level so it is hard to see from a distance.

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Re: Crossgates Wetherby railway line

Post by North Briton » Wed Dec 03, 2008 3:43 pm

The station at Wetherby was located to the left of the Spofforth/Harrogate road just beyond the junction of the road to Linton. The road crossed the railway by a plate girder bridge which, I believe, is still there. As is always the case I usually drive past without really checking! The station was in a narrow rock cutting. There are a number of views in Martin Bairstow's Railways around Harrogate books.

I think that it is the station at Collingham that has a road and houses built on it (directly opposite the cricket club). I am not 100% sure about the location of Bardsey station but I always understood it to be on the right hand side of the A58 looking towards Wetherby and before the road overbridge piers.

I have not found any photos of A1's on the Wetherby lines(plenty on Leeds to York through Crossgates) but A4 60032 was photographed by M Mitchell on 3rd August 1963 at Wetherby - I think this shot is in one of the Bairstow books. As other posters have suggested the range of locomotives using the Wetherby lines is quite interesting, particularly the double headed freight trains.

I am sure this must have been mentioned elsewhere but if you find yourself in South Devon at any time try and visit the railway collection in Newton Abbot library. Really good, compact and accessible. Open, last time I went, on Wednesday all day and Thursday morning with professional support and access to the stack and manned by volunteers on Saturday.

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Re: Crossgates Wetherby railway line

Post by richard » Wed Dec 03, 2008 5:27 pm

Bardsey station was on the left (west) of the A58 looking towards Wetherby, just north of the bridge over the A58. The street that has been built on it is a "double ended cul-de-sac", runs from an embankment at the south end to below A58 level at the north end. (The A58 is going uphill at this point and then curves to the right.)

I have the Bairstow books, so I must be forgetting the A4 photo! In a different book (a Ken Hoole one I think), there's a photo of the Royal Train at Collingham - early 20th Century ~KEVII if my memory serves me correctly.

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Re: Crossgates Wetherby railway line

Post by chrism » Wed Dec 03, 2008 5:55 pm

Collingham station was situated between the A659 and Linton Road, directly opposite the cricket ground. Dewar Close (named after the station master who was there in the 50s) was built over part of the station area. The locomotive types mentioned in my earlier post will have been observed between 1955 and 1957 because I left Collingham early in 1958. Unfortunately I do not have any photos of that era. What a boon such a line would be now for commuters into Leeds.

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Re: Crossgates Wetherby railway line

Post by North Briton » Wed Dec 03, 2008 5:57 pm

Richard

You are of course absolutely correct re the location of Bardsey station - thank you for correcting me. I cannot remember seeing the line in action although I lived around Crossgates in my formative years just as the line was closing. I lived in Scarcroft in the late 70's (although my mother thought I lived in the Bingley Arms!) and we often went for walks along the line towards Bardsey but invariably stopped at the overbridge because, as you have stated, the further trackbed had had houses built on it. It is easy to visualize that a station had been placed in that location. I have a friend whose father is now almost 90 and he still lives just along the road - I shall ask him for some memories next time I see him.

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