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Darton to Wakefield

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yorkie

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My route started just east of the site of Darton station, on an old line to North Gawber colliery. The colliery itself closed in 1987, but I am unsure when the line closed. The next photo shows it looking quite dry, however parts were very muddy. I was fine on my mountain bike, but I wouldn't want to try to walk through it or use a road bike. It had rained a lot in the preceding days, but was glorious weather when I did it.

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It was actually hard to find, but surprisingly I wasn't the only one looking for it! Hopefully the people I met will find this post, if so, it was good to meet you! :)

I then took a rather convoluted route to try to get onto the Barnsley Coal Railway Extension, which I attempted at Smithies Lane, but without success. The photo below shows the bridge still in existence but not looking in a very good state of repair. Just beyond the bridge is a "Public footpath" sign, but it's not easy to actually use it, as it's very overgrown, and not shown in OpenStreetMap.

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I was finally successful in getting onto the trackbed where the line crossed under the junction of Wakefield Road/Bar Lane:

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From the image above, you can see the trees along the trackbed and cutting. Below is the view from the trackbed, looking north towards the road junction:


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The next photo was taken near the site of the junction of the line towards the Wharncliffe Woodmoor Colliery branch. I continued straight on (which is not shown as a footpath in OpenStreetMap, but it is definitely there!)

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Just after crossing Lee Lane, on the edge of Royston, I took this photo showing the alignment clearly:

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Then followed a pleasant wooded section, being on an embankment this was dryer than previous parts:

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There is a missing bridge where the line crosses Station Road, the road named after the long gone Notton and Royston station.
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Unfortunately after this, it was only possible to ride alongside the alignment, not on it.

I did briefly - very briefly as it was only about 10 metres - ride along the Trans Pennine Trail, at the site of Royston Junction, but I chose to take the right fork towards Newmillerdam and from there to Wakefield.

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Beyond this point I didn't take photos on this occasion, but I did take some on a previous walk I did with yorksrob, Starmill and JakeF, which I really should get round to posting one day soon! When I do, I will try to remember to put a link here...
 

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FQ

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Old railway line? Looks like a good one too!
 

yorkie

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Here's an old map of the former Royston junction. I was previously here with yorksrob, Starmill and JakeF a few weeks ago.

Once the site of a major junction of various lines, including a 4-track main line, it's now reduced to a single line. Not sure how much freight uses this line these days, but there's no fence between the path and the running line.

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Kite159

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Shows how old lines return to nature once closed, and places once served by multiple lines like Royston Junction is reduced to a single (freight only?) line.
 

yorksrob

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Quite sad really to think how a four track main line can decline to almost nothing.
 

J-2739

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Nice pictures you've got there! I actually recognise some of those bridges! When I was younger, I used to wonder to myself 'Why no trains on them?'. :D I like the way vegetation is growing on the disused areas, thus adding more life to them!
 
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