Could Leeds - Wetherby ever reopen?

Discussion in 'Infrastructure & Stations' started by alexl92, 15 Apr 2015.

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  1. alexl92

    alexl92 Established Member

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    I have heard suggestions that there's a train of thought suggesting it's about time that Wetherby regained a rail link to Leeds (and was it Harrogate at the other end? I can't remember off the top of my head). I was just wondering whether this is feasible or likely to happen at any point?

    Cheers
     
  2. Altfish

    Altfish Member

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    The A1(M) severs the route near Wetherby and IIRC it has been built on in the same area.
     
  3. yorksrob

    yorksrob Veteran Member

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    I believe that the Southern part of the route was protected for future transport use, however the remainder wasn't.
     
  4. ECJS189

    ECJS189 Member

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    The A1 crosses the formation of the Wetherby - Tadcaster - Church Fenton section not between Wetherby and Leeds.
    The population of Wetherby has increased about 30% since that line was the first Beeching closure in 1964 having endured a wretched and unattractive timetable. Should never have closed, all the villages on route are prime commuter belt for Leeds. It would be a busy route had it survived although if the link to Harrogate had remained that might have spelt the end of the heavily engineered Leeds - Harrogate route via Bramhope tunnel.
     
  5. ianhr

    ianhr Member

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    Yes, if one of the Leeds-Harrogate lines had to be closed in the 1960's I have never understood why the Bramhope route was retained and the Wetherby route closed.

    The Wetherby route would have served a greater number of intermediate population centres, whereas the Bramhope route is/was sparsely populated north of Horsforth. Expensive maintenance of Bramhope tunnel and Arthington viaduct would have been saved. The severe PSR on the curve at Crimple would be avoided. London-Harrogate trains would not have to reverse at Leeds.
     
  6. yorksrob

    yorksrob Veteran Member

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    I think Horsforth and the suburbs leading up to it answer the question as to why one survived and not the other. Given how much of a disaster it would have been for Leeds not to have a rail route to the north west in terms of traffic, I'm relieved it did survive.
     
  7. muddythefish

    muddythefish Established Member

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    So build a tunnel under the A1 and go round the obstructions. Anything is possible with the political will .... look at East-West rail and the reopenings in Scotland.
     
  8. ECJS189

    ECJS189 Member

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    Yes but It is likely that Headingly and Horsforth would have still retained a rail service even if the Horsforth to Crimple Junction section shut.
     
    Last edited: 15 Apr 2015
  9. yorksrob

    yorksrob Veteran Member

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    Hmm, I think that's optimistic, given that even the Ilkley line was proposed for closure in the 80's.

    I think that if circumstances had allowed the Wetherby route to survive, the Horsforth one would have survived also.
     
  10. L+Y

    L+Y Member

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    I work in the area. The idea is attractive, but the trackbed is breached in numerous places by new housing, in Thorner, Bardsey and Collingham, just off the top of my head.

    If the trackbed were clear, the route would be an absolute no-brainer being sited, as others have said, in prime commuter territory and without brilliant bus links. Unfortunately, that's not the case!
     
  11. snowball

    snowball Established Member

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    Have you looked at a map? How would you "go round the obstructions" to get into Wetherby?
     
  12. Paul Sidorczuk

    Paul Sidorczuk Veteran Member

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    I would like to have sight of budgeted construction costs for such a project which surely would then have had to take its place with other projects that would also require infrastructural funding in this same regional area.

    Scotland is not a good example to cite, as it has its own methodology for fund allocations for projects in that country.
     
  13. NorthernSpirit

    NorthernSpirit Member

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    The Leeds - Wetherby via Scholes and the Prospect Tunnel to Wetherby sections could easily be reopened. All it would require would be two new 'parkway' stations built somewhere to the west and south of the town centre. Yes, it would mean having to walk from one station to the other but it would give Wetherby a choice of destinations.
     
  14. yorksrob

    yorksrob Veteran Member

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    If they could reopen it, it would be functional to run it as an extension of one of the electrified suburban routes to the West.
     
  15. glbotu

    glbotu Member

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    Looking in more detail, I don't think "easily" is quite as easy as it looks at first glance. Even if you don't attempt to build into Wetherby (although that actually seems easier than some of the other changes - CPO 1 car park and 1 garden, level crossing over A661 and Linton Lane), you have Linton Road in Collingham which are built right on the track-bed, with significant housing. Further down in Collingham is Highcroft, which also has significant housing. In East Rigton, all the housing along Grange Close is also on the original track bed, followed by a non-trivial chunk of the A58 near Bardsley. There are also new housing developments near Thorner. Finally, some houses in Scholes have also been built over. With this, Collingham and East Rigton/Bardsley are easily the most difficult problems to overcome for re-opening.

    The other way seems easier, with only some housing in Sporforth needing to go.

    Both routes do have significant obstacles to development though.
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    That would make sense, would hopefully increase capacity at Leeds and would only require more EMUs (as opposed to more DMUs which don't really exist)
     
  16. DarloRich

    DarloRich Veteran Member

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    Could it reopen? Yes

    Will it reopen? No
     
  17. quantinghome

    quantinghome Member

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    Having initially dismissed this as a non-starter, actually it could be worth comparing to the Borders project in terms of length, population served and difficulty overcoming localised alignment severance.

    The other issue so far unstated is whether it would be necessary to four-track the line from Leeds to Cross Gates. It might be possible for the service to fit with the current timetabled services, but the line is getting busier.
     
  18. Ploughman

    Ploughman Established Member

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    There was at one time a reserved corridor alongside the Viaduct from the Station towards Neville Hill.
    However BR Property board decided in their wisdom to sell the space and so the new office blocks appeared.
    There was some talk of having the tracks cantilevered out from the main structure.
     
  19. Bevan Price

    Bevan Price Established Member

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    As some people found out when the Croydon tramway was opened, houses on old trackbeds are not an insurmountable problem. Compulsory purchase, and a willingness to pay the cost are all that is required. However, I doubt that the line will ever reopen on its original alignment.
     
  20. alexl92

    alexl92 Established Member

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    Harrogate - Wetherby is almost entirely clear. Possibly a few amendents needed in Spofforth but other than that it's mostly cycle track. Wetherby itself is more of a problem though.
     
  21. backontrack

    backontrack Established Member

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    What if the Ilkley line was rerouted from Leeds to Menston via Horsforth and Otley? Guiseley would still be served by trains from Bradford, and its Leeds link would be retained by running some trains direct from Leeds. Just a thought.
     
  22. BantamMenace

    BantamMenace Member

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    About 20 houses on the old alignment in Pool-in-Wharfedale and the Otley bypass (A660) built on the alignment where it comes closest to Otley.

    May not be insurmountable to buy a couple of properties and have it run side by side with the A660 and certainly looks possible to run around to the south of the houses in Pool.

    Not sure if a small diversion of the current route to serve Otley and Pool would be viable though.

    Given the stations for each of them would be on the south side of each of the towns/villages (not in the centres) there is a large potential for house building south of the stations on the greenfield land.

    Give me £1bn and i'll come back in 20 years with a railway, two stations, 600+ homes in desirable locations with an easy commute to Leeds and a thriving market town.
     
  23. Bayum

    Bayum Established Member

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    As previously stated, much of the old trackbed following the A58 into Bardsey, Collingham and out to Wetherby has been built on unfortunately.

    There is also much development around Scholes and Thorner which would hinder any further ideas.

    The actual route would be profitable (I believe Metro did a study which pointed out that should the route have stayed open, it would be one of the more profitable lines) but very costly to re-open.

    Saying that, the bus services between Leeds and Wetherby both serve either via Thorner or Collingham and Bardsey so the business case may not be all that great.
     
  24. alexl92

    alexl92 Established Member

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    Someone stated earlier that the busses are not a particularly great service. I'd certainly imagine that they take probably 1.5 - 2x as long as a train hypothetically might.
     
  25. quantinghome

    quantinghome Member

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    Not a good idea. The old Otley line joins between menston and burley, so you'd miss out menston as well as Guiseley. Both these have very high demand to Leeds, so you couldn't just have a residual service from these to Leeds.

    I'm not sure what problem your proposal is trying to solve. The easiest way to serve Otley by train would to reinstate a branch from Menston and run services via Guiseley.
     
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