West Riding train services in 1964 - a map

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YorksLad12

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Hi everybody!

I was randomly looking on eBay and came across someone selling a laminated-style station poster headed British Rail West Riding, showing lines and (most) stations open at the time. Given that it showed Baildon (reopened in 1973) and said "West Riding" (abolished in law (but not in our hearts) in 1974) it must have had limited currency.

The thought inevitably occurred; what would that look like drawn as a MetroTrain-style map? Not much different to now, to be honest. So I wound the clock back to 1 January 1964, a week before the first Beeching cuts happened. Draft version attached.

I could do with some help though before I finish it (final version being shared here, of course), as my usual sources have let me down. Most obviously: were there regular services between Penistone and Sheffield Midland via Barnsley in 1964, or did services terminate there (the section to Wath having closed)? Were there regular services from Low Moor to Wakefield Kirkgate (Lord, I hope not!)? Was Horbury and Ossett called Horbury in those days? Is Malmerby actually in the North Riding rather than West?

And: have I missed anything? I think I've got every open West Riding station on there, but corrections warmly welcomed.
 

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Dr Hoo

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Fascinating project!

To start off fairly gently, shouldn't Leeds have distinct 'main' stations (like Bradford and Sheffield)?

Some directional inconsistency at Bradford Exchange and Skipton.

(Too late to get my old timetables and maps out just now.)
 

D6130

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Is Malmerby actually in the North Riding rather than West?
According to the detailed atlas in my 1965 AA Illustrated Road Book of England and Wales, Melmerby station - once a three-way junction - was definitely in the North Riding.

According to the detailed atlas in my 1965 AA Illustrated Road Book of England and Wales, Melmerby station - once a three-way junction - was definitely in the North Riding.
Greenfield station - between Saddleworth and Mossley - is not shown, or did it originally have another name? Also was Berry Brow - between Lockwood and Honley - not a new station opened by West Yorkshire PTE in the 1980s?
 
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Very good. Wasn't there still an occasional Kings X - Huddersfield via Westgate express still floating around in 1964? Or as an 'intercity' is it assumed out of scope?
 

DB

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According to the detailed atlas in my 1965 AA Illustrated Road Book of England and Wales, Melmerby station - once a three-way junction - was definitely in the North Riding.


Greenfield station - between Saddleworth and Mossley - is not shown, or did it originally have another name? Also was Berry Brow - between Lockwood and Honley - not a new station opened by West Yorkshire PTE in the 1980s?

There was an earlier Berry Brow station - not quite in the same place as the current one.
 

YorksLad12

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Fascinating project!

To start off fairly gently, shouldn't Leeds have distinct 'main' stations (like Bradford and Sheffield)?

Some directional inconsistency at Bradford Exchange and Skipton.

(Too late to get my old timetables and maps out just now.)
I should have added that, for design reasons, I left Leeds City and Leeds Central as one(and removed the Leeds-Bradford line). Splitting those stations and their routes out was never going to be easy, especially given that the Hallam and Pontefract lines come out of Leeds on the west, not the east as shown! It's based on the existing (well, mid-2016) MetroTrain diagram, which also explains Bradford Exchange. Skipton... well, that was because I ran up against the left edge. :)


According to the detailed atlas in my 1965 AA Illustrated Road Book of England and Wales, Melmerby station - once a three-way junction - was definitely in the North Riding.
Thanks - I'll move the county boundary or delete it in the next iteration.
 

YorksLad12

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Greenfield station - between Saddleworth and Mossley - is not shown, or did it originally have another name? Also was Berry Brow - between Lockwood and Honley - not a new station opened by West Yorkshire PTE in the 1980s?
My bad - I dropped Diggle and Saddleworth after Greenfield, they should be before. This is why I asked for extra eyes :lol:


Very good. Wasn't there still an occasional Kings X - Huddersfield via Westgate express still floating around in 1964? Or as an 'intercity' is it assumed out of scope?
Good question. How would it get to Huddersfield from Westgate? If it reversed to Kirkgate and reversed again that route is sort-of shown. InterCity services are included after a fashion; the MetroTrain diagram shows local stations not services, which is why the GC service from Bradford Interchange runs via the Calder Valley, Huddersfield and Pontefract lines to Doncaster.

Looks brilliant so far :D

Were Holmfirth and Clayton West branches closed before Beeching?
Holmfirth was, Clayton West closed in the 1980s.
 

Hardcastle

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Without taking to much space up that map diagram is excellent just needs nurturing a bit but i will let more local folk help you with that.
 
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My bad - I dropped Diggle and Saddleworth after Greenfield, they should be before. This is why I asked for extra eyes :lol:



Good question. How would it get to Huddersfield from Westgate? If it reversed to Kirkgate and reversed again that route is sort-of shown. InterCity services are included after a fashion; the MetroTrain diagram shows local stations not services, which is why the GC service from Bradford Interchange runs via the Calder Valley, Huddersfield and Pontefract lines to Doncaster.


Holmfirth was, Clayton West closed in the 1980s.


Sorry, my mistake: I meant Kirkgate (via Pontefract) ie. the same route as GC today but heading West at Thornhill Jnc. rather Calder-wards.
 

david_g

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From my memory of using it a couple of times, the Halifax/Huddersfield - Kings Cross attached & detached at Doncaster and ran via Hare Park & Kirkgate. It was 50 years ago so someone might come along with a timetable in a minute.
 

YorksLad12

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Without taking to much space up that map diagram is excellent just needs nurturing a bit but i will let more local folk help you with that.
Very kind of you, thanks. I enjoyed the research, but I'm not afraid to admit I don't everything... especially as I wasn't born until 1967, so this is a bit before my time.

Looks very polished. What software did you use to produce it?
Inkscape. It's a free (I'll make a donation when I'm working next) package similar to Adobe Illustrator.

Sorry, my mistake: I meant Kirkgate (via Pontefract) ie. the same route as GC today but heading West at Thornhill Jnc. rather Calder-wards.
Ah - so the same run GC does when it omits Pontefract. If there were definitely services running over that stretch I could add a short spur off the Wakefield (yellow) Line into Kirkgate.


Thanks for all your help so far everyone. Next version will follow later this week; I'll have to give in and make the thing slightly larger. Then again, it's exported as a .pdf so it doesn't matter if I'm working on A4 or B0, it's more a case of point sizes. I might even bring the separate Leeds-Bradford Line back...

On the Leeds City/Central split: I dug out a January 1958 Goodall's ABC. It has some services from both stations going to the same destination, so splitting them out is even harder than I thought, given that the breakdown is by current 'Metro' line plus my additions. For example: Leeds Central-Horsforth-Harrogate but Leeds City-Horsforth-Harrogate-Knaresborough/Ripon. The Spen Valley line services seem to have run through to Huddersfield from Mirfield, so I'll make that amendment as well.
 

Bigman

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Hi everybody!

I was randomly looking on eBay and came across someone selling a laminated-style station poster headed British Rail West Riding, showing lines and (most) stations open at the time. Given that it showed Baildon (reopened in 1973) and said "West Riding" (abolished in law (but not in our hearts) in 1974) it must have had limited currency.

The thought inevitably occurred; what would that look like drawn as a MetroTrain-style map? Not much different to now, to be honest. So I wound the clock back to 1 January 1964, a week before the first Beeching cuts happened. Draft version attached.

I could do with some help though before I finish it (final version being shared here, of course), as my usual sources have let me down. Most obviously: were there regular services between Penistone and Sheffield Midland via Barnsley in 1964, or did services terminate there (the section to Wath having closed)? Were there regular services from Low Moor to Wakefield Kirkgate (Lord, I hope not!)? Was Horbury and Ossett called Horbury in those days? Is Malmerby actually in the North Riding rather than West?

And: have I missed anything? I think I've got every open West Riding station on there, but corrections warmly welcomed.
Outstanding map. It is so sad when you see lines ans stations on there that should never have closed, such a Otley and Cleckheaton.
 

61653 HTAFC

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Outstanding map. It is so sad when you see lines ans stations on there that should never have closed, such a Otley and Cleckheaton.
I'm told by relatives who were around at the time that loadings were poor on the Cleckheaton "Leeds New Line" and that closure was an understandable decision at the time. The same probably applies to many Beeching-era closures but with hindsight many of those routes should have been mothballed rather than ripped up and sold off. The Holmfirth branch had already closed to passengers but if the trackbed was still intact there would be a strong case for reopening now.

@YorksLad12 I'll echo the sentiments of others here, that's an excellent map. A couple of pointers, Shepley station was known at one point as "Shepley and Shelly" (sic) though I'm not sure if it still had that name at the time you're depicting. I'm also told that the Meltham branch, although closed to regular passenger services, had occasional Wakes Weeks specials run on behalf of the workers at David Brown's right up until closure... however a quick google isn't showing anything so somebody might be telling me porkies!
 

Doctor Fegg

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If you'd told me that was an FWT/Pindar map I'd have believed you. Very good. You could do the whole network like that...

(Personally I'd tighten up the line spacing slightly where the labels extend over two lines, and maybe make the outlined "line continues" arrows grey rather than black. But otherwise that's really impressive.)
 

Capybara

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It's good that. What about the other side of the triangle at Arthington? Was it freight- and/or special-only or closed at that time?
 

Riponstation

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I should have added that, for design reasons, I left Leeds City and Leeds Central as one(and removed the Leeds-Bradford line). Splitting those stations and their routes out was never going to be easy, especially given that the Hallam and Pontefract lines come out of Leeds on the west, not the east as shown! It's based on the existing (well, mid-2016) MetroTrain diagram, which also explains Bradford Exchange. Skipton... well, that was because I ran up against the left edge. :)



Thanks - I'll move the county boundary or delete it in the next iteration.
Yes the historical county boundary between the West & North Ridings of Yorkshire was (and still is!) between Ripon (WR) and Melmerby (NR).
 

Ianigsy

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It's good that. What about the other side of the triangle at Arthington? Was it freight- and/or special-only or closed at that time?
It was used by Bradford FS - Otley - Harrogate services until 1957 and for an Ilkley-Arthington shuttle for a few years after that. Excursions used it right until closure in 1965 - day trippers from the north-east to Ilkley and from Lancashire to York and the east coast - as a handy cut-off avoiding the big cities in the West Riding.
 

YorksLad12

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Outstanding map. It is so sad when you see lines ans stations on there that should never have closed, such a Otley and Cleckheaton.

I'm told by relatives who were around at the time that loadings were poor on the Cleckheaton "Leeds New Line" and that closure was an understandable decision at the time. The same probably applies to many Beeching-era closures but with hindsight many of those routes should have been mothballed rather than ripped up and sold off. The Holmfirth branch had already closed to passengers but if the trackbed was still intact there would be a strong case for reopening now.

@YorksLad12 I'll echo the sentiments of others here, that's an excellent map. A couple of pointers, Shepley station was known at one point as "Shepley and Shelly" (sic) though I'm not sure if it still had that name at the time you're depicting. I'm also told that the Meltham branch, although closed to regular passenger services, had occasional Wakes Weeks specials run on behalf of the workers at David Brown's right up until closure... however a quick google isn't showing anything so somebody might be telling me porkies!
Ta. I can see why the lesser-used New Line stations were closed, but the Spen Valley ("Central") ones were... central to their locations. Short-sighted closure for me.

On Shepley & Shelly: I used sites such as Disused Stations, Lost Railways West Yorkshire and Wikipedia to check for oddities like that (which is why I belatedly had to squeeze in "and Whitwood" next to Altofts) but they aren't always complete.

If you'd told me that was an FWT/Pindar map I'd have believed you. Very good. You could do the whole network like that...

(Personally I'd tighten up the line spacing slightly where the labels extend over two lines, and maybe make the outlined "line continues" arrows grey rather than black. But otherwise that's really impressive.)
Thanks. And... no! Someone else did a wondrous map with the service levels across the GB network. I haven't that much patience.

The MetroTrain map was designed by FWT in 1988, I took the 2010 version and updated it for 2020 last year, partly as an exercise to learn the software; so I am standing on the shoulders of giants a bit! The design philosophy is theirs; I've adapted where necessary - no (M) station marks as we didn't have Metro in 1964 - but I've tried to do 'a version' rather than my own thing.

It was used by Bradford FS - Otley - Harrogate services until 1957 and for an Ilkley-Arthington shuttle for a few years after that. Excursions used it right until closure in 1965 - day trippers from the north-east to Ilkley and from Lancashire to York and the east coast - as a handy cut-off avoiding the big cities in the West Riding.
I wasn't sure about direct Otley-Harrogate via Arthington services but if they weren't in the published timetable I'll leave that connection off. I've a similar problem with Wetherby. The 1958 Goodall's timetable has services running from Leeds to Wetherby and on to Church Fenton, with a shuttle between Wetherby and Harrogate. If that's correct I need to break the direct route between Harrogate and Church Fenton (not difficult).

I've attached a photo from eBay of the sign that started me thinking. Castervale Line, anyone? o_O
 

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Mcr Warrior

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Like the way the (early - mid 1970's?) version British Rail "West Riding" map suggests that Bradford is a same station interchange. ;)
 
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61653 HTAFC

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When I was a kid one of the many random railway books my brother and myself acquired was a 1980s booklet published by WYPTE in the green era (when they had the much nicer IMO logo which was a stylised white rose made out of 'w's and 'y's, rather than the generic M). This included a previous version of the WY Rail map, quite different from the obviously Harry Beck-inspired one that we're all familiar with. I'll have to see if it is still stashed away somewhere after multiple house moves.

I don't think it was the same as the one two posts up, but it was a long time ago so it might well have been a reproduction of that one.
 

DB

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The 1958 Goodall's timetable has services running from Leeds to Wetherby and on to Church Fenton, with a shuttle between Wetherby and Harrogate. If that's correct I need to break the direct route between Harrogate and Church Fenton (not difficult).

In the final few years of the line being open there were Newcastle to Liverpool services running via Northallerton-Ripon-Harrogate-Wetherby-Cross Gates. There are plenty of pictures of them around - hauled by Class 40s when they went to diesel, switching to Peaks (46s, I think) right near the end.

Not sure whether there were any timetabled services on the western side of the triangle (Church Fenton to Harrogate line - it bypassed the station).
 

30907

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Brilliant map, though the ECML has an interesting route East of Goole :).

There is a 1964 NER timetable on www.timetableworld.com, which I've glanced at and have some queries:
Rotherham Central: were there any services on and off the Midland route?
Sheffield-Moorthorpe-Leeds: was there such a service?
Wakefield-Bradford: local trains still ran via Batley to Laisterdyke (missing on your map)
Penistone-Barnsley: have an idea the only train by then was the Manchester-Cleethorpes passenger and news which ran direct to Doncaster.
 

vlad

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You've put Todmorden station in Yorkshire I see. It's on the Lancashire bank of the River Calder. <D
 

YorksLad12

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Brilliant map, though the ECML has an interesting route East of Goole :).

There is a 1964 NER timetable on www.timetableworld.com, which I've glanced at and have some queries:
Rotherham Central: were there any services on and off the Midland route?
Sheffield-Moorthorpe-Leeds: was there such a service?
Wakefield-Bradford: local trains still ran via Batley to Laisterdyke (missing on your map)
Penistone-Barnsley: have an idea the only train by then was the Manchester-Cleethorpes passenger and news which ran direct to Doncaster.
Yes - always remember it's a diagram, not a map. That's my excuse and I'm sticking to it!

Rotherham (and Sheff-Leeds-Moorthorpe): good questions. They definitely ran via Masboro in 1958; and Leeds, Rotherham C to Victoria.

Wakefield-Bradford: could have sworn those stations closed before 1964; Wikipedia agrees with me (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leeds,_Bradford_and_Halifax_Junction_Railway). EDIT: no, I see it now. Why do I always miss out bits in the crowded sections? :rolleyes:

Penistone-Barnsley: sounds as if the route south to Sheffield Midland didn't exist or wasn't used then.

You've put Todmorden station in Yorkshire I see. It's on the Lancashire bank of the River Calder. <D
It's not the only weird one like that! Finningley Station was in Yorkshire, Finningley in Nottinghamshire. But as the whole of Todmorden was in the West Riding in 1964 I'm going to allow it :lol:
 
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unslet

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Lovely job. I would suggest that the onward destination of Scarborough be attached to the right hand "fork" from York alongside Hull etc.
 
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