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Leeds to Bradford
1846 - Present
Midland Railway
Contributors:  © Reproduction prohibited / David Taylor / Paul Holroyd  / Phill Davison / Bill Harland /Malcolm Mallison / Philip Hardaker
                          Mark Neale /
Andrew Wilson / Keith Rose / Michael Kaye / Paul Corrie / Paul Holroyd / Michael Kaye / Simon Edgerton / David Webdale
The Route
From Leeds Wellington station to Bradford Forster Square,
via Armley Canal Road, Kirkstall, Kirkstall Forge, Newlay & Horsforth, Calverley & Rodley, Apperley Bridge & Rawdon, Shipley, Frizinghall & Manningham.

Length
?

Original Company
Opened by the Leeds and Bradford Railway.
later became part of the Midland Railway.

Opening
Throughout 30-06-1846
1 Kirkstall Forge
2 Kirkstall
3 Armley Canal Road
4 Apperley Bridge & Rawdon

Trains Illustrated 1957 (A Selection of pages from Trains Illustrated)
See also Leeds Bradford GNR

Trains Illustrated 1957 : Simon Edgerton
The History of Railways between Leeds & Bradford
Rail tour of the West Ridin
g 1 to 4
Trains Illustrated 1957 : Simon Edgerton
The History of Railways between Leeds & Bradford
Rail tour of the West Riding 5 to 8
Trains Illustrated 1957 : Simon Edgerton
The History of Railways between Leeds & Bradford
Rail tour of the West Riding 9 to 13

Leeds west map
Leeds west map : David Webdale       See also Leeds west
GNR Leeds Central station, Holbeck & Wortley.

Leeds Wellington Station
Wellington station facing South (02-04-05) : David Webdale
Wellington Station, was on the site of the present station car park and it was dismantled in the late 60s.
The old stone viaduct leading into the station still visible.

Wellington Station : David Taylor

I remember Leeds stations well from the 50s and 60s as I lived in Harrogate but was at school in Leeds and then started work in Leeds so travelled there daily by train for ten or more years. 'City Station' was still not considered a single entity but often referred to by the names of its two former stations - Wellington Station and New Station, although they had organisationally amalgamated in the 1930s. This wasn't surprising as the ticket barriers to the platforms of the two former station were still totally separate from one another with no access between their respective platforms once through the barriers.
Wellington Station Concourse : David Taylor
The platforms were accessed through ticket barriers from the Art Decor concourse, which was built 1937ish to connect the two stations, and the platform entrances are now occupied by the retail and fast food outlets seen on the left hand side of the photo.

The 'three' stations retained a degree of pre-nationalisation flavour: 'Central' was served almost exclusively by former LNER locos, 'Wellington' (or City North) by LMS and New (or City South) by a mixture of both and BR standard locos.  We used to get the Liverpool - Newcastle (via Leeds/Harrogate/Thirsk) express home which came into 'New' hauled by two LMS locos which were there changed for an LNER loco.

Nostalgia
 : David Taylor
 As I mentioned before I was at school in Leeds during the 1950s but lived in Harrogate so for many years travelled back and forth by train. The morning train went into Central Station and with school finishing at 3.50 we could either leg it down to Holbeck Low Level and there get the stopping 4.13 from City South (New) Station. More leisurely a walk down to City Station and get the 4.35 Liverpool – Newcastle  Express (frequently packed out with slightly the worse for wear National Servicemen) which came into Leeds double-headed by two former LMS locos, having come over the Pennines and then down the Calder Valley Line. In Leeds these were un-coupled and replaced at the other end by an LNER loco, frequently an A3 Pacific, and back out of the station the way it had come in but then taking the Harrogate line. The line north of Harrogate to Northallerton closed to passengers in 1967 and to goods in 1969. If for some special occasion we were let out of school before the last class then we could get down to City Station and for a real treat get the 4.50 to Harrogate via Wetherby but that route closed in 1964.
Plaque : Paul Holroyd   website - www.vintagecarriagestrust.org
1999 Ian Allan National Railway Heritage Awards. Plaque commemorating the restoration of the 1930s north concourse.
Foundation Stone : Paul Holroyd
October 1936 foundation stone of Queens Hotel, Leeds.
Armley Road Leeds : (11-06) Philip Hardaker
66709 awaiting the green light to head North at Armley Road Leeds in November 2006.
Armley canal crossing (10-05-13) : Malcolm Mallison
These 4 photos show the canal crossing at Armley. Leeds to Shipley line was reduced from 4 to 2 lines under the Beeching cuts, there are all sorts of redundant viaducts running parallel with the remaining tracks.
Armley canal crossing (10-05-13) : Malcolm Mallison
It proved impossible to get a clear view looking down from the top of the embankment because of the trees (a recurring theme). Double bridge supported on chunky girders, some cantilevered, some reaching across the canal.
Kirkstall (10-05-13) : Malcolm Mallison
Bricked up bridge at Kirkstall.

Kirkstall Forge station
Kirkstall Forge (nd) : Malcolm Mallison
Not exactly a lost railway. New Kirkstall Forge station under construction. Taken on an old Leica from the canal side entrance, balancing on a tree stump. August Bank Holiday Monday, hence dull, misty weather. This and Apperley Bridge are apparently costing £19 million. Brunel managed to build the entire GWR for £6 million. I know there’s been some inflation since 1837, but still...
Kirkstall Forge station : (18-02-16) Philip Hardaker
This monument erected in 1829 marks the exact half way distance between London and Edinburgh or (Edinburg) as it states, this monument is also symmetrical to the 200 mile post situated on the LMS railway line some distance away. The monument is situated on the A65 at what was the original entrance to Kirkstall Forge.
Kirkstall Forge station : (18-02-16) Philip Hardaker
The new Kirkstall Forge railway station & the over line footbridge.
 
Kirkstall Forge station : (18-02-16) Philip Hardaker
Drivers eye view on the approach to automatic signal L3909 heading west towards Kirkstall Forge railway station.
The signal (L3909) is positioned between the two bridges that supports the railway lines over the river Aire.
Kirkstall Forge station : (18-02-16) Philip Hardaker
Drivers eye view of the new Kirkstall Forge railway station. Kirkstall Forge railway station due to open early 2016,the station is situated by milepost 199, on what was the old London Midland & Scottish (LMS) railway line heading west out of Leeds.
Kirkstall Forge (19-6-16) : Malcolm Mallison For the first time in eleventy-one years, a passenger train stops at Kirkstall Forge.
Kirkstall Forge (10-05-13) : Malcolm Mallison
Double river crossing at Kirkstall Forge (deceased). Tried, and failed to show width of bridges from towpath, but got clear views from river bank.
Forge locks at fall woods : (18-02-16) Philip Hardaker
333002 & 321901 respectively, passing forge locks at fall woods (Bramley Leeds) heading towards the new Kirkstall Forge railway station. Both units are in different livery.

 
Newlay Bridge (10-05-13) : Malcolm Mallison
Newlay Bridge. Northern bridge still in use.
Newlay Bridge (10-05-13) : Malcolm Mallison
Looking down from footbridge (235367) showing superfluous width of cutting.

Newlay station (Newlay & Horsforth)
Station map (1850) : Malcolm Mallison
Plans of station taken from 1850 6 inch to the mile map.

Calverley station (Calverley & Rodley)
Station map (1850) : Malcolm Mallison
Plans of station taken from 1850 6 inch to the mile map.
Calverley & Rodley station map (1890) : Malcolm Mallison
6 inch maps from the 1890 survey.
Calverley & Rodley station : David Webdale
Taken from Calverley lane bridge facing towards Bradford. The site of the old station.
Consisted of two sets of double tracks with an island & two outer platforms.
Calverley : (2015) Philip Hardaker
Calverley Bridge, Network Rail Test Train.
Calverley : (2015) Philip Hardaker
Calverley Bridge. The Network Rail A Team..
Calverley : (2015) Philip Hardaker
Calverley Bridge. The A Team One working One watching and the other three trying to look busy.
Calverley (nd) : Philip Hardaker
Calverley Bridge in the Snow.
Calverley : (nd) Philip Hardaker
Calverley Bridge. Snowing at Calverley Bridge.
Calverley : (nd) Philip Hardaker
Calverley Bridge. Northbound at Calverley Bridge.
Calverley & Rodley station : David Webdale
Taken from Calverley lane bridge facing towards Leeds. The site of the old goods yard & sidings. The bridge carrying the A6120 visible in the distance.
Calverley & Rodley station : David Webdale
Close up of the old goods shed still in use. Track entrance doorway clearly visible.
Calverley & Rodley station : David Webdale
Sign on Calverley lane bridge.
Calverley Bridge (10-05-13) : Malcolm Mallison
Calverley Bridge
Woodhouse Bridge (10-05-13) : Malcolm Mallison
Woodhouse Bridge.
Actually, as can be seen looking up under arches, four separate structures butted up against each other.

Apperley Junction
Apperley Junction (nd) : Michael Kaye

Apperley Junction, drivers eye view.
Apperley Junction (1980) : Philip Hardaker
Apperley Junction, drivers eye view.

Apperley Bridge & Rawdon station
Station map (1850) : Malcolm Mallison
Plans of station taken from 1850 6 inch to the mile map.
Westwood books in Sedbergh have several large scale maps and profiles relating to he proposed railway from Apperley Bridge to Menston.
Showing such as the owners of the land on which the line would encroach. They were only £5-£7 each.
Apperley Bridge station (13-08-15) : Philip Hardaker
Some pictures from this morning of the new Apperley Bridge station under construction.
Taken from various angles, showing the changes to the view on milepost 203 facing east.
Apperley Bridge station (13-08-15) : Philip Hardaker
Facing west.
Apperley Bridge station (13-08-15) : Philip Hardaker
Facing west.
Apperley Bridge station (13-08-15) : Philip Hardaker
Works entrance & bridge
New Apperley Bridge station (18-01-16) : Philip Hardaker
66746 passing through the new Apperley Bridge Station with a east bound coal train 18th January 2016.
New Apperley Bridge station (18-01-16) : Philip Hardaker
Electric unit 333001 departs from the new Apperley Bridge Station platform 1 bound for Leeds 18th January 2016.
New Apperley Bridge station (18-01-16) : Philip Hardaker
Looking east towards Leeds from platform 2.
New Apperley Bridge station (18-01-16) : Philip Hardaker
Looking west towards Bradford from platform 2.
Apperley Bridge station (13-12-15) : Malcolm Mallison
Sunday 13/12/15. A foggy, icy morning. The first train at Apperley Bridge for over 50 years arrives.
(it would delight Matthew Engel to know) exactly Eleven Minutes Late.
Apperley Lane (10-05-13) : Malcolm Mallison
A658 Apperley Lane bridge.
Apperley Bridge (2015) : Philip Hardaker
Apperley Bridge. Heading Northbound To Carlisle Site of the new Apperley Bridge Station.
Apperley Bridge (2015) : Philip Hardaker
Apperley Bridge. Skipton to Leeds Site of the new station.
Apperley Bridge (2015) : Philip Hardaker
Apperley Bridge.
Apperley Bridge (2015) : Philip Hardaker
Apperley Bridge. Passing Milepost 203.
Apperley Bridge (2015) : Philip Hardaker
Apperley Bridge. 66197 On The Coal Heading South.
Apperley Viaduct (10-05-13) : Malcolm Mallison
Apperley Viaduct.
Farm access (10-05-13) : Malcolm Mallison
Farm access through embankment 189386.
Thackley Bridge (10-05-13) : Malcolm Mallison
Thackley Bridge canal crossing.

 

Thackley Old Tunnel
East Portal : Phill Davison       See the full set on Flickr - www.flickr.com/photos/phill_dvsn/sets/72157620012526176/
Thackley old tunnel was built in 1848 on the Airedale line between Leeds, Bradford and Kieghley & is 1496 yds long.
 
East Portal (10-05-13) : Malcolm Mallison
Thackley Tunnel, eastern portal.

 
The Long Walk : Phill Davison
This is the view looking down the tunnel from the Leeds end.
A bright day outside let plenty of sunlight into the tunnel. Long shadows of two explorers stretch far into the tunnel.
Starlight Express : Phill Davison
There are four open air shafts in Thackley, this shot was taken under the first shaft in the Leeds end of the tunnel.
There are two shafts in each 'split section'.
Air Shaft : Phill Davison
Water pours down the air shafts continually.
The Other Side : Phill Davison
This is the other side of the dreaded 'Berlin wall' in the Shipley end.. The retaining wall is roughly under Ainsbury Avenue.
It was built by B.R in the 1970's/80's  There are two large pipes through the blockwork to allow a good flow of air through the tunnel.
Thackley Tunnel : Phill Davison
The tunnel next door is still live, you can hear the eerie rumble of trains as they pass by.
The Airedale line is very busy with trains running through every 10 minutes.
Air shafts (10-05-13) : Malcolm Mallison
Not that easy to track down, buried in woodland and so on- I think I got all of them. Photo shows Pair at 182387. Closer is disused.
Air shaft (10-05-13) : Malcolm Mallison
Behind allotments off Park Road. Second photo disused shaft.
Air shaft (10-05-13) : Malcolm Mallison
In park on eastern side of Ainsbury Avenue.
Air shaft (10-05-13) : Malcolm Mallison
In woodland on western side of Ainsbury Avenue.
Air shaft (10-05-13) : Malcolm Mallison
In field on western side of Ainsbury Avenue. Disused.

 
Air shaft (10-05-13) : Malcolm Mallison
In woodland behind Thackley Rd. This one quite hard to find.
Air shaft (10-05-13) : Malcolm Mallison
In field above Thackley Rd. Disused.

 
Air shaft (10-05-13) : Malcolm Mallison
Next to Buck Mill Lane.
West Portal : Phill Davison
The last train to run through here was 41 years ago. The silence is shattered occasionally when a train emerges from the next door tunnel.
The tunnel is out of sight but still only feet away. 
See the full set on Flickr - www.flickr.com/photos/phill_dvsn/sets/72157620012526176/
Western portal (10-05-13) : Malcolm Mallison
Thackley Tunnel western portal.
Bridge (10-05-13) : Malcolm Mallison
Bridge 168387. Won’t get my FRPS for this shot. With hindsight, should have walked along old trackbed from tunnel.
Dock Lane (10-05-13) : Malcolm Mallison
Crossing Dock Lane, showing bricked up parapet where old bridge removed.
Canal crossing(10-05-13) : Malcolm Mallison
Behind that tree in the middle looks to be a remnant of the stonework of the bridge that once carried the railway over the canal. Point of interest- according to a man who accosted me at this point, the Yorkshire Ripper worked to the left of this shot. Citation needed, as they say on Wikipedia.

Shipley station

Shipley stations map : Lost Railways
Both GN & Midland stations shown.    See also Shipley & Windhill GNR     See also Shipley to Skipton
Shipley totem : Paul Holroyd
Totem from the disused platform 1 at Shipley, now on display at the Ingrow Museum of Rail Travel. Website - www.vintagecarriagestrust.org
Shipley. Crossleys scrap yard (c1980) : Bill Harland
The Class 040 shunter at Crossleys scrapyard.    
Shipley. Crossleys scrap yard (c1980) : Bill Harland
The Class 31 arrives at Crossleys scrapyard.
Shipley (c1960) : Mark Neale
From one of our regular trainspotting locations (behind the Beehive, now Shipley Pride) a Northbound passenger creates atmosphere.
 
Shipley (c1960) : Mark Neale
Unknown `Jubilee` heads North rounding Shipley North curve.
Shipley (c1960) : Mark Neale
Fairburn tank 42093 heading towards Shipley, the location being mid way between Guiseley junction and Thackley junction signal boxes.
The building in the background is Valley Scouring.
Shipley (12-06-1949) : Mark Neale
50621 on a Bradford local standing in Platform 4 at Shipley 12/6/49.
Shipley Memories : Mark Neale
Mark Neale was born in Shipley in 1953 and very soon found that Shipley railway station was an extremely interesting place to be, situated as it is on a triangular junction. Mark considers the period from when he became interested to the end of steam in 1968 to be a very interesting period.
He cut his teeth at various places around the triangle at Shipley, but soon found the delights of Manningham, Holbeck, Copley Hill, Neville Hill and Skipton sheds. In fact most of the school holidays were spent in Leeds, alternating between City and Central (for the White Rose) stations and the outlying engine sheds.
Holidays spent within sight of the railway at Arnside, Deganwy and along the Settle & Carlisle reinforced his early interest.
In addition excursions from Bradford (Exchange) to Belle Vue zoo, and one to Whitley Bay taking in Darlington, Gateshead, and Newcastle enabled Mark to underline new sections of his Ian Allan Combined Volume. Towards the end of steam a couple of trips were made to York (via The North Briton) were memorable for the long lines of locomotives awaiting scrap. In the last few months of steam, Mark was attending Saltaire County Secondary School which had several classrooms and a playground bordering onto the line between Shipley and Saltaire. This resulted in Mark seeing lots of Scottish locomotives as they made their way South on their last journey.
The French classroom offered the best view of the line and Mark recalls recieving 500 lines from Mrs Matthews for leaping up and running to the window as an A4 made a rare appearance on a Southbound Thames-Clyde Express`. As steam ended , Mark started to frequent the embryonic Worth Valley Railway and worked on several steam locomotives such as the Crab 42700 and Royal Scot 46115 `Scots Gurdsman` as ther arrived from service with BR.
Along Familiar Lines : Book by Mark Neale
Mark
Neale's latest book looks at the human story of railways in the Bradford area. It includes stories from the days of construction, operation, and the more modern era. Included are features on the Aire Valley, Queensbury, Idle, and Yeadon lines. The book can be obtained from Saltaire Bookshop, Haworth Station, Embsay Station, at £3.50. Or direct from the publishers, City Gent, PO 56. Bradford BD13 3XR for £4 which includes postage.

Bradford Forster Square Station
Opened 01-07-1846.
Forster Square station concourse, newspaper cutting (1962) : Andrew Wilson
Bradfords Forster Square station concourse in1962. The terminal also housed a busy parcels depot.  See also Bradford
Forster Square station entrance & Midland hotel (29-08-11) : David Webdale
The station entrance consisted of this wall with gates & archways.
The wall was at some point reconstructed to turn left around the corner. Originally it continued in a straight line with a clock in the middle.
Forster Square station entrance & Midland hotel (29-08-11) : David Webdale
Close up of the entrance to the hotel.
Forster Square station entrance & Midland hotel (29-08-11) : David Webdale
The other side of the wall around the corner. A clock was fitted into the round bit of stone work on top.
The very impressive Midland hotel in the background. Had a look inside the reception area. The building is even more impressive inside.
Forster Square station entrance & Midland hotel (29-08-11) : David Webdale
A view down the side facing back to the street. A good rebuilding job on this section. Close up of the archway in next photo.
Forster Square station entrance & Midland hotel (29-08-11) : David Webdale
Nicely carved Midland Railway emblem with those dragonny lizardy wyverns.
Forster Square station entrance & Midland hotel (29-08-11) : David Webdale
View of the hotel from the station side.
Forster Square station entrance & Midland hotel (29-08-11) : David Webdale
Inland revenue building now stands on the site of the original station. The new station stands further behind.
Bradford Forster Square (01-1972) : Keith Rose
Here is the water column at Forster Square, January 1972.

 
Bradford Forster Square (01-1972) : Keith Rose
Here is the Turntable Road at Forster Square, January 1972.
 
Forster Square (c1990/1991) : Paul Holroyd
Bradford Market Street opened in 1897 and was renamed Forster Square in 1924.
Its 6 platforms were replaced in 1990 by a more modest 3-platform station further towards Shipley.
Forster Square (c1990/1991) : Paul Holroyd
Forster Square (06-05-90) : Michael Kaye
Taken from Platform 2 at Bradford Forster Square, 6th may 1990.
Forster Square (06-05-90) : Michael Kaye
On the right you can see the 'New' Bradford F. Sq station being erected with the three platforms numbered left to right 1-3. In the 'old' station
you can see the original platforms numbered 1-6 from right to left, with only number 1 and 2 now in existence. I had a hours break in the diagram,
(Three trips Leeds - Bradford F.Sq) I believe the photograph was taken from the now defunct overbridge on Inkersley Road.
Forster Square (c1980) : Bill Harland
DMU leaving for Ilkley.
Forster Square (c1980) : Bill Harland
Valley Goods. Class 31 with arriving goods train.
Forster Square (c1980) : Bill Harland
Valley Goods. Class 08, shunting the yard.
Forster Square (c1980) : C/O Michael Kaye with permission from Paul Corrie
31293 at Bradford Forster Square.
Forster Square (c1980) : C/O Michael Kaye with permission from Paul Corrie
47418 at Bradford Forster Square.
Forster Square May 1966 : Harry Naylor Holroyd
LMS design 4P no 42189 at Bradford Forster Square May 1966.
Forster Square May 1967 : Harry Naylor Holroyd
E 70685 E, built in 1950 at York photographed at Bradford Forster Square May 1967. A Southern Railway parcels van is adjacent,
and next to that is one of London, Midland & Scottish Railway design. The diesel at the extreme right appears to be a class 03 built by Drewry.

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