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Leeds to Harrogate
1848 - Present
North Eastern Railway
Contributors:  © Reproduction prohibited / David Hey / Nigel Callaghan / John Ferguson / James Lovell / Malcolm Mallison / Stuart Roche / Layla Smith
                        L.H.E.S / David Taylor / Keith Rose / Adrian Smith / Roy Lambeth / Philip Hardaker / Andy Snowdon / John Melbourne / David Webdale
The Route
From Leeds Central station to Harrogate via Leeds Wortley junction,
Headingley, Horsforth, Arthington, Weeton & Pannal.


Original Company
Opened originally by the Leeds Northern Railway & the East and West Yorkshire Junction Railway.
Both of which later became the North Eastern Railway.
Leeds Central station was jointly owned by the NER and the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway.

The line terminated in Harrogate at the Brunswick Station opened in 1848.
Brunswick Station closed in 1862 when the new station was opened in Harrogate.

Burley Park Station
Opened 1988
Burley Park Station: John Melbourne
Royal Gardens station existed on the site of the current Burley Park station & closed in 1858.
The new Burley Park station was opened by British Rail on 25 November 1988.
There was once a Zoo in Leeds centred on Cardigan Road in Headingley. I think it was bounded by Chapel Road on the west and at the southern end where Chapel Road bends back toward Cardigan Road, which is adjacent to Burley Park Station. It opened in 1840 and closed in 1858. There are several remains including the Bear Pit on Cardigan Road itself and Walls in places where the perimeter lay. I was told on a walking tour that the walls at the south Chapel Road end dated from the zoo. Now this presents an intriguing possibility. We know Burley had a Goods yard a few hundred yards from Burley Park Station closer to Leeds and also that the Zoo's existence overlapped the early years of the line. The following link suggests that there was indeed a station at the current site of Burley Park Station: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leeds_Zoological_and_Botanical_Gardens

Headingley station
Opened 1849.
Headingley station map (1850) : Malcolm Mallison
Plans of station taken from 1850 6 inch to the mile map.
Headingley station facing north (02-05-05) : David Webdale
Built around 1849 for the Leeds & Thirsk railway, the station was originally called Headingley and Kirkstall.
The station buildings are still intact & well kept in 2005. Don't know when they stopped being used as station buildings.
Headingley station facing south (02-05-05) : David Webdale
Trackside showing original low level platform & some serious fencing.
Headingley station memories : Mike Scargill
We went to live in Headingley Mount in 1950. It was a station then, because I can remember getting tickets at the ticket office. It probably closed around 1955 or so. There was a working goods yard & shed. Wagons to be unloaded were delivered & pushed up an inclined siding, which backed onto the tunnel under Kirkstall Lane. There was a stone goods shed & hand crane. The yard used the 3 wheel mechanical horse for deliveries.
The station was sold & used as offices for a firm for many years & they looked after it well, which will account for its condition now.
The goods yard was let out & a glass firm was in the shed for many years. I used to buy glass there. They were one of the few places that
understood & sold flashed opal glass. The rest of the land was slowly sold & built on, until it is as seen now. There was also the inevitable
coal merchant, in the days when you could leave coal out, & it would still be there in the morning. (probably with an Alsatian dog as well)
You crossed under the line to get to the Leeds platform. There was an unmanned level crossing towards the Harrogate side, now an underpass, which was built because someone tried to cross in a car when a train was coming & got hit.
There was still a club in the fields to cross the line for, Queenswood club today. When DMUs were introduced, to replace steam services, the drivers found they could play tunes with the horns. I know they were told to stop doing so, after complaints. One used to play Come to the cookhouse door.
We came from Cardigan road, where my grandfather ran the Hargreaves coal yard there. (Its a builders yard now) He was Hargreaves first employee, when the firm was started. Probably about 1900. He had worked at the Midland goods yard, now crown point in Hunslet until then.
We used to check our mantel clock by the Harrogate Pullman 1545? It was normally drawn by an A4, so the chime whistle was obvious.
I vividly remember at night, listening to overloaded goods, slipping all the way up the banking, at the end of the war period, before they could get a footing. Hope this hasn't rambled too much.
Headingley station memories : Stuart Roche
With reference to mike Scargills article, I lived in park mount which had the level crossing at the top, it remained manned up to the installation of the underpass at around 1966. I remember staying up all night watching the work, into fact I slipped out into the wee small hours for a closer look, I was about 13, the station was still manned at that time as it was my main source of transport into Leeds, it was along walk round to our house so I used to run up the side of the track as a short cut. My sisters and I used to shelter into the box of mum wasn't at home after school, real railway children.
Headingley station memories : Andy Snowdon
Regarding Mike Scargill’s article, I lived near to Headingley station from mid sixties. My best mate and myself were train mad, and we spent a lot of time on the station when it was manned, and we often used the train for local trips. It was a different experience then. You bought a ticket from the booking office window, which was validated by a double clunk from the machine. In winter there was a coal fire going, the place had a distinct smell. One of the station staff let us light the gas lights at dusk, it allowed him to push off a bit early! In its heyday it must have been busy, with several sidings, including coal drops and a siding where the circus train offloaded animals for the procession to Woodhouse Moor. You can still see the gate at end of siding through which they came, on the allotment side of tracks next to underpass.
I remember several steam trains coming through, one which we called the 12 o’clock steamer. The London trains were by then mainly Deltic hauled, and they were a fine sight and sound coming out of tunnel droning up the grade. Prior to moving to Becketts Park we lived in Burley, and I remember many trains were steam. The DMU’s on locals of course. I remember the first class 40’s infiltrating, and the prototype Deltic appeared sometimes. I used to watch shunting operations from the footbridge at the Cardigan Road yard.
When they built the underpass to replace the level crossing at Headingley we followed progress closely, and even managed to blag our way into the cab of the 37 on the works train.
There was only one job for both of us, and we both started on the footplate in 1971, moving to Old Oak Common depot in London to do so. We both returned to Holbeck, then moved on again. My mate is retired, but I am in my 50th year, working for GWR in Devon.
I remember those carefree days with fondness, and still use a much changed station on trips to visit family.

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

Bramhope tunnel

Bramhope tunnel south portal (22-03-06) Nigel Callaghan
The south portal of Bramhope Tunnel. The one your rarely see, and much harder to find and reach.
The tunnel, constructed between 1845-1849, two miles in length. The labour force consisted of  2300 men.
Bramhope tunnel south portal (24-11-12) Malcolm Mallison
Bramhope tunnel south portal. Despite Sunday timetable, two trains within 10 minutes of arrival at footbridge over line.
Bramhope tunnel south portal (c1980) : Philip Hardaker
Horsforth entrance to the tunnel, we had a job where the London HST started in Harrogate in the 1980s.
Bramhope tunnel air shaft (24-11-12) Malcolm Mallison
“Air shaft” according to OS map- originally construction shafts. I’m always amazed by the accuracy of surveying that allowed this- in my world four shafts would have resulted in anything up to ten tunnels. A check on that fount of all wisdom, Wikipedia, tells that there were originally 20 shafts- hopefully backfilled after completion. There are large sections of ground above the line of the tunnel are covered in what appears to be spoil from tunnelling. Grid ref 242418.
Bramhope tunnel air shaft (24-11-12) Malcolm Mallison
Grid ref 245423
Bramhope tunnel sighting tower (24-11-12) Malcolm Mallison
Grade 2 listed sighting tower, at junction of Moor Rd & Moorland Rd. Surprising no-one nicked all that lovely cut stone once the navvies had gone.
Bramhope tunnel air shaft (24-11-12) Malcolm Mallison
Back to air shafts. 249427.
Bramhope tunnel air shaft (24-11-12) Malcolm Mallison
And finally next to A660.
Bramhope tunnel north portal 31-05-06 : John Ferguson & Layla Smith
The northernmost ventilation shaft, in the grounds of the scout hut just off the A660 in Bramhope,
and Layla, providing us with a sense of scale.
Bramhope tunnel north portal (01-05-05) : David Webdale
The railway ran through the estates of some local gent called William Rhodes.
Apparently this portal was made to look like a garden building to keep the old guy quiet.
Bramhope tunnel south portal (c1980) : Philip Hardaker
Bramhope entrance to the tunnel, we had a job where the London HST started in Harrogate in the 1980s.
Bramhope tunnel north portal (31-05-06) : John Ferguson & Layla Smith    Website -  www.flickr.com/photos/32763322@N00
First glimpse! We took a treacherous route down the short steep embankment to the level of the top of the portal,
and Layla slid down on her bum. We later found a shallower and less muddy route five yards to the left.
Bramhope tunnel north portal (31-05-06) : John Ferguson & Layla Smith
I arrived down the embankment behind this shed, which seemed to contain some plastic bags and a few rolls of plastic piping. There is a good wide and fairly stable area of ballast to the side of the track, to keep a safe distance, but it's covered in nettles.
Bramhope tunnel north portal (31-05-06) : John Ferguson & Layla Smith
The larger eastern tower from the top of the portal. The inside of this tower has a number of stories of rooms which once provided accomodation for some workers during the original construction. We suspect this meant a handful of designers, foremen and artisans, rather than the 2500 navvies on site. The interior of the tower is accessible since vandals have broken down the breezeblocks that previously blocked the entrance. We didn't dare go in as there were only two of us and some of the stonework looked a little dilapidated, but a week later a group of us went down and found that the inside seems reasonably sound, although the steps are steep and dark and covered in junk.
Bramhope tunnel north portal (31-05-06) : John Ferguson & Layla Smith
Woo! waited about 15 minutes to get this shot of a DMU leaving the tunnel for York.
Bramhope tunnel north portal (31-05-06) : John Ferguson & Layla Smith
View of the top of the crenelations. A Leeds coat of arms is situated above the tunnel,
Bramhope tunnel north portal (31-05-06) : John Ferguson & Layla Smith
and a slightly weird head peers off the keystone.
Otley church yard Bramhope tunnel monument (01-05-05) : David Webdale
Monument to the 23 people killed during the construction of the nearby Bramhope tunnel.
Made to look like the north portal, the monument was rebuilt using local stone back in 1913.

Arthington station

Opened 1849. Closed 20-03-1965.    See also Arthington to Otley section

Arthington sign (23-07-08) : Paul Holroyd  
website - www.vintagecarriagestrust.org
Until Arthington closed on 20th March 1965, it was the junction for Pool in Wharfedale and Otley, as well as the surviving line to Harrogate, Knaresborough and York.
This running in board from Arthington is displayed in the cafeteria of Bolton Abbey station, on the preserved Embsay & Bolton Abbey Railway.
Arthington Station (01-1972) : Keith Rose
Arthington Station, Up Leeds Platform, NER pattern Water Column (arm altered for high sided tenders) and tank, January 1972.
The water supply was from Bramhope Tunnel, which also served some cottages.
Arthington gas works building (01-01-12) : Adrian Smith
Arthington gas works building, 1st January 2012, near Creskeld Hall. Situated within the triangular junction for Pool in Wharfedale & Otley. Arthington Gas Works opened in 1876 to supply Arthington and Pool stations.
Arthington Viaduct
Arthington Viaduct (17-10-09) : David Taylor
Not lost or closed but can't have a piece on this line without a photo of the 21 arch Arthington Viaduct over the Wharfe.
Crimple Viaduct       See also Church Fenton - Harrogate
Crimple Viaduct (c1980) : Philip Hardaker
These shots are taken from the HST cab going empty early morning to Harrogate approaching Crimple Viaduct. First photo showing the viaduct which you can see from the cab as you pass spacey houses on the approach to Harrogate.
The line to Crimple Low Viaduct (21-07-14) : Malcolm Mallison
In glorious monochrome (it was a Tri-X in OM-1 sort of day).
The line to Crimple Low Viaduct, looking eastward from the High Viaduct. Photos taken from a moving train.

Harrogate & Starbeck
The route from Starbeck to Rippon & Northallerton, including the Dragon junction section,
were closed in 1967.
The original 1848 Leeds & thirsk line between Pannal Junction & Starbeck was closed on
7 October 1951.
The later 1862 section between Pannal Junction & Starbeck taking in Harrogate & including
the tight curve over Crimple viaduct is the one still in use today.

Pannal Junction to Starbeck (Disused)
Pannal Junction to Starbeck : David Taylor
In 1859 a spur was built from the L&TR at Pannal Junction up to the Y&NMR at Crimple Junction, between Prospect Tunnel and Crimple Viaduct, giving Leeds trains a direct line in to Harrogate centre. A spur was built northwards from Harrogate Station to re-join the L&TR at Bilton Junction. The original L&TR line from Pannal Junction to Starbeck was closed in 1951. (As kids in the days before Health & Safety madness we used to play on the viaduct, although it was surrounded by farmland not then a golf course.)

Pannal Junction to Starbeck : John Melbourne
The disused viaduct is at the bottom of the showground (or more accurately the field next to the showground used as a carpark during the Great Yorkshire Show); most of it is surrounded by trees. The field has been used as a car park for 40+ years and was never a Golf course,
nor to my memory farmland. 

In contrast, there is a Golf course in Pannal next to the existing line, which runs adjacent to it in a cutting as it climbs the hill, before turning sharp left onto the viaduct crossing the disused original route (some way short of the disused viaduct), followed by the stream and then over a field (Fulwith Mill Farm AFAIK).
This is some distance north-east from the golf course. Of the two viaducts this is much closer - the Golf course is visible from here which it certainly isn't from the disused viaduct. I wonder if this is the viaduct the writer (David Taylor) played/trespassed on?