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Railway Ramblers     Leeds     Bradford     Calderdale     Kirklees     Wakefield



Location/maps used: OS 1:50000 104 Leeds & Bradford, OS Street Atlas West Yorkshire



Opened (Pass) 1.8.1854

Closed (Pass) 1.2.1895, (Gds) 4.5.1964

Stations Bowling

Loco shed Bradford Hammerton Street 37C (56G from 1956 closed 1958) ten-track shed (closed to steam 1958, DMUs 1984).

This spur connected the L&Ys Bradford Exchange - Low Moor line to the GNs’ lines at Laisterdyke.

Route - when open
From Bowling Junction (GR167310) on the Low Moor line the branch curved NE over Hall Lane and Wakefield Road to Bowling station where there was a branch to Bowling Ironworks. Further viaducts took the line over Bowling Back Lane with Hamerton Street loco shed on the left and connections to Birksall gasworks and Planetrees goods depot on the right to Laisterdyke station.

Route - today
In 1995 it was reported that the railway’s right of way between Bowling and Laisterdyke is being retained indefinitely despite the collapse and subsequent demolition of West Bowling viaduct.

Stations - Bowling no trace
Bridges - West Bowling viaduct demolished
Loco shed Bradford Hammerton Street (SE174324) on south side of line at Hamerton Street Junction, demolished 1991.





Opened (Gds) Laisterdyke - Idle 9.3.1874; Idle - Shipley 4.5.1874

(Pass) 15.4.1875

Closed (Pass) 2.2.1931

(Gds) Cutlers Jn - Idle 2.11.1964; Laisterdyke - Quarry Gap 31.10.1966

Idle - Shipley 7.10.1968

Stations Laisterdyke (closed 1966), Eccleshill, Idle, Thackley (opened 1878), Shipley, r/n Shipley & Windhill

Finance for both the Bradford, Eccleshill & Idle Railway (authorised in 1866) and the Idle & Shipley Railway (a continuation authorised in 1867) had to be found by the Great Northern. The GNR commenced running passenger trains from Bradford to Shipley in 1875 but a comparison of the mileages of the two lines between Bradford and Shipley (GNR 8
3 miles and MR 23 miles) reveals that the GNR was not very competitive and by 1931 the passenger service had been withdrawn. Limestone mined at Idle Moor quarry kept the line open until 1968 but for the last two years access only possible from the Shipley end.

Route - when open
Leaving Laisterdyke station (SE188329) the single line branch took the Cutlers Junction line, turned north to cross over the main line and entered a long cutting to pass under Bradford Road (A647). It continued to climb passing the stations at Eccleshill (in Harrogate Road) and Idle to reach the summit of the line near Thackley. It then swung SW through 180° and descended at 1 in 61 to the Aire Valley and to its own station at Shipley (SE152377), where there was a connection to the Midland.

Route - today
The site of the old goods yard west of Dick Lane and inside the Quarry Gap triangle has been infilled.
The Yorkshire Group found the line to offer easy access apart from a housing estate at Idle. At the top of the long incline is Thackley station, now a private house but with station signboards in the yard.

Stations - at Laisterdyke the former yelow-brick station house survives as a residence perched above the deep cutting but there is no trace of the station at track-level; no trace of Eccleshill or Idle; Thackley residence; Shipley (GN) still survives almost intact and is owned by Midgley & Palmer Engineering with the yard area full of damaged cars and caravans.
Bridges - details of bridges intact/demolished required.


(2 miles)

Opened (Pass) 1.12.1893, (Gds) 1.12.1864;

Closed (Pass) 31.8.1914, (Gds) 1.10.1917;

Stations Dudley Hill (2nd closed 1952), Low Moor (closed 1965)

The Great Northern built this line to connect their Bradford - Ardsley line to the L&Y lines at Low Moor and their own goods depot there. The passenger service only lasted 20 years with the branch closing completely as a wartime measure in 1917.

Route - when open
From Dudley Hill the line ran to the east of the earlier line to Ardsley and the two crossed after
1 mile (it is thought that on the level). From there it turned SW to join the line from Bradford before entering Low Moor station. A H mile long south curve was laid at Dudley Hill but it is doubtful whether it was brought into use.

Route - today
Walkable in parts but cut by the M602 east of Low Moor.
Full details of the walkable sections required

Stations - any trace of Dudley Hill or Low Moor?
Bridges - details of bridges remaining intact required.





Opened (Gds) opened in stages 4.12.1876 to 1.4.1884; (Pass) 14.10.1878 St Dunstan’s - Thornton; 1.11.1884.Thornton - Keighley.

(Pass) 23.5.1955: (Gds) 28.6.1965; City Road Goods Branch 28.8.1972 Stations St Dunstan’s (opened 1875, closed 1952); Manchester Road (closed 1915); Horton Park (opened 1880 closed 1952); Great Horton; Clayton; Queensbury; Thornton; Denholme; Wilsden; Cullingworth; Ingrow (East); Keighley.

Loco shed
Ingrow two-track shed (closed 1936).

The Great Northern, who were concerned about the Midland encroaching into its territory, absorbed the Bradford & Thornton Railway in 1872 and the first passenger trains ran to Thornton in 1878. Sponsored by the GNR, the Halifax,Thornton & Keighley Railway’s extension west was delayed by landslips, bad weather and hard rock so a further six years elapsed before trains reached Keighley. The double track freight only City Road branch was opened in 1876. Competition from trams closed Manchester Road in 1915 and to arrest the passenger fall-off the LNER experimented with various diesel railcars, none of which could cope with the gradients. When nationalised 24 trains a day left Bradford for Keighley and Halifax but within seven years both lines had lost their passenger service although goods traffic continued on the Keighley line for another ten years.

Route - when open
From St Dunstan’s station (GR167321) the line parted company with the (still open) line to Leeds, curved west, passed under the L&Y line to Low Moor and through three short tunnels, to reach Horton Park station where the City Goods Branch diverged NW. Continuing west it passed through Great Horton station and over a massive 950ft long and 60ft high embankment near Pasture Lane. The 1,057 yd tunnel beyond Clayton station was the next obstacle encountered before reaching Queensbury. When the line was first opened a normal two platform station was provided but after the line from Halifax reached Queensbury it was re-sited further west and replaced with a six-platform triangular station with a signalbox at each point of the triangle. From Queensbury the line turned north with first a 300yd long embankment over a narrow valley and then an S-shaped viaduct taking it over Pinch Beck and Alderscholes Lane to Thornton station. For a short distance it headed west before entering Wellheads tunnel reaching highest point of the line (887ft above sea level) and then quickly entered the shorter Hammer’s Hill tunnel to reach Denholme station where the signal box was on the island platform. Next, in quick succession, came three more short tunnels before crossing Hewenden viaduct and in Cullingworth another viaduct carried it across town centre roads from where it curved west to enter Lees Moor, the longest tunnel on the line. This tunnel was a continuous curve so that when the line emerged into the Worth Valley it was heading NE and soon made a trailing connection with the Midland's Worth Valley line. Sharing the final one mile of track it reached Keighley where collaboration with the MR had resulted in a convenient interchange between passengers on the Queensbury route, the Midland main line and the Keighley & Worth Valley Railway. The GN did, however, have its own goods depot and this was reached just north of Ingrow by means of a tunnel under Park Wood Street and the Worth Valley line.

Route - today
Most of the route between St Dunstan's and Queensbury has been redeveloped. The Queensbury - Cullingworth section is gradually being coverted into a cycleway. It will start from the west end of Clayton tunnel and continue through the site of Queensbury station. From there it will follow the trackbed north over Thornton Viaduct and through Well Heads Tunnel. At Denholme Beck, north of the tunnel, the trail will leave the trackbed and follows an easterly course around Doe Park Reservoir rejoining the line north of Denholme station site and Doe Park Tunnels. A second deviation to the east avoids Wilsden station site and picks up the trackbed again at the south end of Hewenden Viaduct and follows it to the end of the trail at the north end of Cullingworth Viaduct. Only short lengths of the trackbed are accessible north of Leesmoor tunnel.

St Dunstan's demolished, early in 2005 boards announced that the site is to be redeveloped as the Bradford Food Technology Park; no trace of Manchester Road, Great Horton or Clayton. Queensbury demolished - site filled with inert waste; Thornton demolished - site now Royal Mount Juinor School; Denholme demolished - site now an extensive timber yard; Wilsden demolished site occupied by R.Bunton Plant Hire but goods shed survives; Cullingworth station demolished - site occupied by Bronte Foods Ltd and Pet Choice Ltd; Ingrow East demolished - site built over; Keighley GN goods warehouse survives is/was? occupied by Yorkshire Electricity; Keighley still open (K&WVR and Leeds - Skipton line).

Only a few bridge parapets survive between St Dunstans and Clayton. Thornton Viaduct over Pinch Beck (GR096326) S-shaped 900ft long 120ft high 20 arches grade ll listed; Hewenden Viaduct (GR075358) built on a curve 1,029ft long 123ft high 17 brick and stone arches 50ft spans grade ll listed; Cullingworth viaduct 432ft long 45ft high 9 arches 44ft span. Most other bridges between Queensbury and Cullingworth survive but some have been removed (Cockin Lane) or filled in (Headley Lane and Thornton Road).

1. St Dunstan’s 43 yds infilled
2. Ripley Street 85 yds infilled;
3. Manchester Road 312 yds infilled
4. Clayton 1057 yds, walled inside with door & landscaped above at the eastern portal (1993). The approach to the western portal has been in filled with enormous quantities of inert waste, filling the approach to a height of about 35-ft above trackbed level. The portal of the tunnel is now engulfed in an abyss around 35-ft deep to within 50 yards of its portal. If further landfill material is dumped here the tunnels western mouth will be entirely obliterated (2004). 5. Well Heads aka Denholme 662 yds will eventually form part of the trail. In March 1999 it was opened up so that repairs could be carried out internally. It has stone-lined walls and a brick arched roof. It is quite wet the drainage not being helped by the filling in of Thornton Road bridge and the partial filling of the cutting immediately outside he northern portal;
6. Hammer’s Hill 153yds, both portals bricked up with open doors (1993);
7. Doe Park No 1 145yds, both portals bricked up with open doors (1993);
8. Doe Park No 2 33yds south portal bricked up with locked door north portal bricked up no door;
9. Doe Park No 3 112yds bricked up with open door at south end;
10.Leesmoor 1533yds in 1993 open at the Eastern portal, the northern end having a workshop built onto it with substantial benches on either side & power points. The roof is plastic sheeted for approx 100 yards back from the portal. At the Nortern end of this construction was an unlocked metal roller shutter big enough to permit vehicular access, indeed there were tyre tracks all the way through. The tunnel was lit all the way through with dim lighting at approx 200 yard intervals. When visited in October 2001 it was full of stored caravans.
11.Ingrow 73yds, present condition unknown;
12.Keighley 118yds (cut and cover to GN goods) south portal sealed (can still be seen from Worth Valley trains), no trace of north portal. Loco shed Ingrow (SE060401) on west side of line north of Ingrow station, after closure was converted into a wholesale greengrocer’s warehouse but was demolished in 1889.





Opened (Gds) 14.10.1878, (Pass) 1.12.1879

Closed (Pass) 23.5.1955, (Gds) 28.5.1956

Stations Queensbury, Holmfield

The Great Northern constructed this line to link the Halifax & Ovenden line (GNR&LYR) to the Bradford - Keighley line at Queensbury.

Route - when open
Before entering Queensbury tunnel trains travelling north had to climb at 1 in 100 through the 1000yds long 59ft deep Strines cutting which was cut through solid rock.

Route - today
Details of walkable sections and obstructions required

Stations - any trace of Queensbury or Holmfield ?
Bridges - details of bridges intact/demolished required.
Tunnels - Queensbury tunnel 1 mile 741yds long, both portals sealed, SW portal obscurred by factory waste; there were five shafts the deepest being 379ft.


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