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Shipley Branch (Laisterdyke to Shipley)
1874 - 1964
Great Northern Railway
Contributors:  © Reproduction prohibited / Bob Cockcroft  / Robert Parker / Malcolm Mallison / Graham Tyson / Steve Wilson / Ryan Tiffany / David Webdale
The Route
From Shipley & Windhill (trerminus) to Quarry Gap junction,
on the triangular junction at Laisterdyke east & Cutlers junction.
Via Thackley, Idle & Eccleshill.

6 1/4 miles

Original Companies
Promoted by two independent companies -
The Bradford Eccles Hill & Idle Railway, authorised in June1866.
The Idle & Shipley, authorised in August 1867.
The two companies were unable to raise the funds, so the GNR took over the whole thing by an act in 1871.

Goods - August 1874.
Passengers - 15th April 1875.
Junction with the Midland railway at Shipley was opened 1st November 1875.

Passengers - 1st January 1931
Freight - Cutlers junction to Idle 31 October 1964
                Laisterdyke to Quarry Gap junction  28 October 1966
                Idle to Shipley 5th October 1968.
6 Laisterdyke
7 Eccleshill

Laisterdyke & Cutlers Junction
A closer view showing Laisterdyke & all the junctions around Tyersal.
Laisterdyke east junction (situated immediately to the east of Laisterdyke)
is not labelled on the map.

The Pudsey loop is also shown  See GNR Pudsey Loop

Railway Ramblers gazetteer
See also the Railway Ramblers gazetteer - Bradford : GNR Bradford Laisterdyke east junction - Shipley

Shipley and Windhill station
Opened 15-04-1875 Closed 31-01-1931
Shipley stations map : David Webdale

Both GN & Midland stations shown.    See also Shipley MR
Shipley (c1909) : Malcolm Mallison
From the 1909 survey- Saltaire, Shipley (Midland & Great Northern stations) Frizinghall.
Shipley and Windhill station (c1980s) : Bob Cockcroft
Shipley and Windhill station 1980's.
Shipley and Windhill station (c1980s) : Bob Cockcroft
Shipley and Windhill station as scooter store 1980's.
Shipley and Windhill station (1980) : Bob Cockcroft
Garage with Shipley canopy on Ilkley Road 1980.
Dock Lane (25-09-12) : Malcolm Mallison
Abutments of bridge crossing Dock Lane, Shipley.
Presumably another bridge crossed the canal (closed, I believe 1922) to the right, but access not easy.
Dock Lane near Shipley. Bridge removed & north east buttress (29-09-11) : Robert Parker
These photos were taken just outside Shipley near a footbridge over the Airedale line just off Dock Lane.
They show the route toward Thackley looking from Shipley and vice versa, and where a bridge once was.
First photo is the removed bridge & the second photo is the north east buttress.
Dock Lane near Shipley. Footbridge (29-09-11) : Robert Parker
The old footbridge which is still in use, but not very safe.
Footbridge (25-09-12) : Malcolm Mallison
Desperately ratty footbridge over track. Note daylight through decking.
Dock Lane near Shipley. Trackbed (29-09-11) : Robert Parker
First photo, facing towards Shipley & second photo facing towards Thackley.
Thackley Old Road (25-09-12) : Malcolm Mallison
Another bridge, over a nameless track off Thackley Old Road. Note period Rover in background.
Trackbed (25-09-12) : Malcolm Mallison
From this point the trackbed is readily walkable, if muddy in places.
Farm crossing (25-09-12) : Malcolm Mallison
Old farm crossing.
Farm crossing (25-09-12) : Malcolm Mallison
More bridge remains, giving access to farm.
Windhill Old Road (25-09-12) : Malcolm Mallison
Fine bridge across Windhill Old Road. This is the end of the walk able section.
Ballantyne Rd (nd) : Malcolm Mallison
Between Windhill Old Rd and Thackley station, bridge at Ballantyne Rd.

Thackley station
Opened 01-03-1878 Closed 31-01-1931
Thackley station map (1890) : Malcolm Mallison
6 inch maps from the 1890 survey. Midland Leeds Bradford via Shipley line visible top left.
Thackley station (1967) : Bob Cockcroft
Thackley station and approach ramp 1967.
Thackley booking office (1967) : Bob Cockcroft
Thackley booking office 1967. Thackley was built after the rest and had waiting rooms on the platforms to a similar style to the short lived building at Chickenly. These were in brick. The building style for the other three stations was used also at Earlsheaton near Dewsbury,
which was I think built in 1874.
Thackley station (nd) : Malcolm Mallison
Thackley station. Edge of platform & remains of access ramp.
Thackley station (13-09-15) : Steve Wilson
Edge of platform & remains of access ramp.
Thackley Station (25-09-12) : Malcolm Mallison
Bridge at Thackley Station. One of the station buildings (whitewashed in top right corner) survives as a private house.
Presumably the platforms were in the cutting.
Thackley Station (25-09-12) : Malcolm Mallison
Same bridge, different view.
Thackley station (13-09-15) : Steve Wilson
Bridge (09-05-13) : Malcolm Mallison
Bridge at Thackley station from cutting.
Bridge (13-09-15) : Steve Wilson
Bridge at Thackley station from cutting.
Hut (09-05-13) : Malcolm Mallison
Lineside hut next to bridge.
Hut (13-09-15) : Steve Wilson
Lineside hut next to bridge.
Thackley Road bridge (25-05-15) : Malcolm Mallison
Bridge (almost a tunnel) under Thackley Road (between Thackley station and A67 Leeds Rd).
www.britainfromabove.org.uk/image/eaw033070 The Thackley Road bridge is hard up against the top border.
The A657 Leeds Road Bridge is just below it. The bridge (Kingston Road, behind the mill) has gone.
Thackley Rd (25-09-12) : Malcolm Mallison
The railway crossed Thackley Rd & A647 Leeds Rd via two bridges and a deep cutting. Horrendously overgrown and ropes & pitons needed for descent. According to elderly lady who accosted me at this point, it “used to be lovely” when the trains were still running.
Leeds Rd. Bridge (25-09-12) : Malcolm Mallison
Line entirely obscured by new building on opposite side of Leeds Rd.
Bridge and section of embankment can be picked up at Idle recreation ground.
A657 Leeds road (14-06-14) : Malcolm Mallison
Bridge carrying A657 Leeds Rd, from the cutting.
Leeds Road Bridge (c1965) : Steve Wilson
I grew up in Harehill Road/ Thackley, with a restricted view of the line from my bedroom, at the back of the house which looked over the allotment to the bridge over Leeds road. The shot of the B1 is across from the bottom of the road with the Leeds road houses in the background. the stretch along the bottom of the road to Kingston road was on its way to Idle, plenty of space, clear views of trains, grass fires in summer and slipping and sliding to a halt in winter even with a banker.

Specials and late night empty stock were memories of the diesel era which kept the line open that wee while longer through the 50s and 60s, but after the station closed. I remember freight being banked up the hill towards Idle etc, then ecs diversions diesel hauled up to closure. Unfortunately the only pic i have is the B1 banking just past the Leeds road bridge in early / mid 60s. They worked hard up from Windhill and often came to a standstill, slipping at the bottom of the road. Its so frustrating to have watched the trains every day and have no pictures of note, same goes with the main line at Thackley tunnel where we spent hours at the signal box or the double peg.

Cutting (14-06-14) : Malcolm Mallison
Cutting, facing towards Thackley Rd. Note tool marks in rock on left of first photo.

Idle station
Opened 15-04-1875 Closed 31-01-1931
Idle station map (1890) : Malcolm Mallison
6 inch maps from the 1890 survey.
Idle station (nd) : Bob Cockcroft
Idle station. View of platforms and main building towards Shipley. The buildings on the Bradford direction of the stations were stone huts of quite primitive design. Eccleshill was basic and plain, Idle had some sort of mock Tudor pretensions - but still a hut.
Idle Goods shed (1967) : Bob Cockcroft
Idle Goods shed and crane 1967.
Railway Road (14-06-14) : Malcolm Mallison
Embankment alongside Railway Rd, Idle (the clue is in the name) now with houses on top.
Parked vans seem to be a permanent feature.
Idle (25-09-12) : Malcolm Mallison
Bridge abutment at bottom of High Street, Idle (next to Railway St- a bit of a giveaway). Following section completely obliterated by recent development, with possible exception of short section tarmacked access road, which might be old track, next to current road. Line of railway can be followed as strip of undeveloped land on far side of Bradford road, but then lost in fields and under new housing estate.
Bridge (25-09-12) : Malcolm Mallison
Bridge over Bank. Far side of road has been landscaped.
Park Rd (25-09-12) : Malcolm Mallison
Bridge over Park Rd. Far side of road under housing.
Rockwell Lane Railway bridge (c1961) : C.H.Wood video c/o Graham Tyson
Railway bridge over Rockwell Lane, Thorpe Edge. It is taken from a C.H.Wood video of Thorpe Edge from around 1961.

Eccleshill Station
Opened 15-04-1875 Closed 31-01-1931

Eccleshill station map (1890) : Malcolm Mallison
6 inch maps from the 1890 survey.
Eccleshill Station (1967) : Bob Cockcroft
Eccleshill Station from south bound platform in 1967. The line was opened in 1875 and operated a service to collect people from the Eastern rim of Bradford. The trams and trolley buses massacred this sort of service in terrain like the Pennines.
Eccleshill (1930) : Bob Cockcroft
Train from under Eccleshill canopy in 1930. I had an Aunt who went on it a few times, but the service stopped early in 1931 I believe.
The goods service was very lucrative because alternatives would be risky given the brakes on lorries at the time.
There was a fair bit of manufacturing in the communities along the line.

Harrogate Rd
(25-09-12) : Malcolm Mallison

Line over Harrogate Rd, and site of Eccleshill Station, completely gone. Embankment can be picked up, and walked, again at Wharncliffe Rd. Photo shows bridge through embankment.
Woodhall Rd (25-09-12) : Malcolm Mallison
Bridge over Woodhall Rd.
Embankment (25-09-12) : Malcolm Mallison
Under those trees is the embankment.
A647 Bradford Rd (25-09-12) : Malcolm Mallison
Parapet still extant on both sides of A647 Bradford Rd, which implies railway was still running when road widened to dual carriageway.
Photo shows south side.

Quarry Gap Junction & GNR Leeds Bradford - Laisterdyke Shipley Crossing
Quarry Gap Junction & GNR Leeds Bradford - Laisterdyke Shipley crossing (13-03-21) : Ryan Tiffany
Quarry Gap was situated towards Laisterdyke on the Idle Branch of the Great Northern. Anyway it is quite close to where I live so took a walk to see what remains, there isn’t still a great deal to see although the track bed seems to be buried under a huge amount of landfill. The remains of the crossing are still there. See also Leeds Bradford (GNR)

Laisterdyke Station
Opened 20.8.1856  Closed 04-07-1966
Laisterdyke station map (1850) : Malcolm Mallison
Plans of station taken from 1850 6 inch to the mile map. See also Ardsley Laisterdyke
Laisterdyke station map (1890) : Malcolm Mallison
6 inch maps from the 1890 survey.
Laisterdyke Station (c1960) : Dennis Sefton
Facing west towards Bradford.
Laisterdyke East Junction (c1960) : Dennis Sefton
The train on the left is taking the line to Cutlers junction.
The tracks on the right lead off to Quarry Gap junction & Leeds, via Pudsey & Stanningley.
Laisterdyke station (nd) : Malcolm Mallison
Site of station from road bridges. Not a solitary remnant of the station can be seen.
Laisterdyke station (nd) : Malcolm Mallison
Station House on New Lane, now rather marooned in post-industrial desert.
Note : Nicholas Kaye  The old station house that overlooked the station has now been demolished and modern houses built on the land.
There is now nothing left of what was a grand and busy station.
Laisterdyke station (nd) : Malcolm Mallison
Presumed entrance on Laisterdyke.