powered by FreeFind

Ravensthorpe Branch (Thornhill to Heckmondwike)
1869 - 1986
Lancashire & Yorkshire railway
Contributors:   Reproduction prohibited / Alan S Bagot / K Evans / Greame Walton  / David Taylor / Paul B / Mark Anthony Astley / Bernard Coomber
                         
Malcolm Mallison / Bob Cockcroft / Christopher Franz / Thomas Castle / Bill McKelvie / Cedric Rowland / Carbootnut / Roman Soroka / David Webdale

The Route
From Thornhill junction on the L & Y Calder valley line,
to Heckmondwike Central on the L & Y Mirfield to Low Moor line.

Length
2 miles 331yds

Original Company
Lancashire & Yorkshire railway.

Openings 
1st June 1869

Closures
Passengers - Thornhill station closed 1962.
                       
Heckmondwike Central station closed 14 th June 1965
Freight -  Line Complete closure 1986 (Charrington Hargreaves Spur)

2   Ravensthorpe
4   Heckmondwike Central

Thornhill Junction
Thornhill Junction os Map 1985
Single track Thornhill to Liversedge (oil terminal) section still in use in 85.
Ravensthorpe station map (1890) : Malcolm Mallison
Ravensthorpe Branch : David Webdale
Seen here running along side the L&Y Mirfield to Low Moor route & the Leeds New Line.
Ravensthorpe : Bernard Coomber  See also Calder Valley line
8F at Ravensthorpe heading west with fitted snow plough hurries past Ravensthorpe. Ravensthorpe station is situated a short distance from Dewsbury junction on the L&NWR line to Dewsbury. (formerly the  Leeds, Dewsbury & Manchester Railway).
Ravensthorpe : Bernard Coomber
A 9F passing Ravensthorpe with empty coal wagons for Healey Mills.
Ravensthorpe : Bernard Coomber
Classes B1 & Black 5 westbound at Ravensthorpe with Red Bank parcels.
Thornhill Junction facing East. (31-05-04) : David Webdale
The start of the line at Thornhill junction. Station road crosses in background.
Thornhill Junction  facing East  (31-05-04) : David Webdale
Same place, different angle. I think this photo says it all.
Footpath access facing north (31-05-04) : David Webdale
A couple of hundred yards towards Ravensthorpe, an old reinforced bridge over this footpath through an embankment.
 
L.N.W.R Crossing  (c1980) : David Webdale
Taken from a moving Huddersfield to Leeds train. Oil tankers on their way to Charrington Hargreaves terminal at Liversedge.

Canal loading dock visible on right. (See Leeds New Line)
Same view today (31-05-04) : David Webdale
View from under the bridge, track, loading dock, atmosphere, all gone.
 
L.N.W.R Crossing Facing south (31-05-04) : David Webdale
The L.N.W.R Huddersfield - Leeds line crosses in front. Signal still remains, visible on left.
L.N.W.R Crossing Facing East (31-05-04) : David Webdale
Close up of signals. Still looks as if they might work.
 
Ravensthorpe viaduct facing west (02-07-06) : David Webdale
Section of viaduct over the River Calder
 
Ravensthorpe viaduct facing north (14-07-06) : David Webdale
View from on top facing towards Ravensthorpe station. L.N.W.R crossing behind camera. The iron deck bridge in front crosses Huddersfield road.
The site of Ravensthorpe station just the other side of the bridge.
Ravensthorpe viaduct Huddersfield road facing north (31-05-04) : David Webdale
Taken from Huddersfield road facing towards Ravensthorpe town. The Spen Valley Greenway sign just visible on the bridge.
Ravensthorpe viaduct(01/2005) : David Taylor
Ravensthorpe Viaduct across Huddersfield Road and the River Calder from another angle.

Ravensthorpe L&Y station
Opened 01-06-1869. Closed 01-01-1962.
Ravensthorpe station entrance facing north (14-07-06) : David Webdale
Entrance from Huddersfield road.
Ravensthorpe station entrance facing south (02-07-06) : David Webdale
Looking back the other way from up on top.
Signal box (14-07-06) : David Webdale
Couple of hundred yards further north, just beyond the site of Ravensthorpe station, there was a signal box around here somewhere, this might be the remains, not sure, remnants of a concrete slab & brick debris.
Joseph Cliffe bridge facing south (02-07-06) : David Webdale
Filled in bridge, manufacturers name just visible. The bridge carries a footpath leading from the end of Pilgrim avenue.
Joseph Cliffe bridge facing south (02-07-06) : David Webdale
Same bridge, further back along trackbed.
Signal facing north (02-07-06) : David Webdale
Rusty north facing light signals on the right, amongst the foliage. Footpath leading from Lowfield road crosses the Greenway just in front of the signal.
 
Signal number (02-07-06) : David Webdale
View of the number round the other side.
Bridge facing north (c1980) : Greame Walton
Taken on what is now the Spen Valley Greenway. The signal in the photo is just before where the line branched off  to Charrington Hargreaves.
The bridge in the distance gone, only remnants remain (see bridge remnant photo 02-07-06)
Bridge facing north (02-07-06) : David Webdale
Same view 20 odd years later, the walling along the top has been removed. To the right a path leads up past the chemical works & onto Heckmondwike road. May have originally had something to do with Dewsbury Moor house, I don't know.
Bridge facing south (02-07-06) : David Webdale
View from on top of the bridge, facing back towards Ravensthorpe. Carr lane crosses in the distance.
Bridge remnant (02-07-06) : David Webdale
100 yards further north a surviving bridge remnant on the left hand side. (see Greame Waltons 1980s photo) Incorporated a pipe just visible at the far end.
The bridge originally carried a footpath down to the sewage works.
Heckmondwike Central station & B.R Charrington Hargreaves oil terminal spur (o.s 1985)
see Mirfield - Low Moor
LMS Heckmondwike Spen Goods 1930 : David Webdale
Junction of the Ravensthorpe Branch & the Mirfield to Low moor line.
The Leeds New Line crosses both L&Y lines at this point. (North is to the right on this map).
Charrington Hargreaves Oil Terminal
Heckmondwike Central 1966 B.R spur Facing back towards Ravensthorpe 1987 : K Evans
In 1966 a new connection was made at Heckmondwike Spen Goods yard, see Leeds New Line page 3 between the L & Y Ravensthorpe branch & The Leeds New Line to Liversedge Spen. This was to supply the Charrington Hargreaves oil terminal at the former Liversedge Spen Goods Yard.
This enabled the closure of the Heaton Lodge to Liversedge Spen Goods section of the Leeds New Line.
The yard was sold to Charrington Hargreaves in 1967. The terminal was mothballed in 1986.
Charrington Hargreaves junction 1966 B.R spur (c1980) : Greame Walton
Tracks being re-laid on the Charrington Hargreaves junction. Just behind you can see what remained of the old Heckmondwike Spen goods yard
(now James Wilbys Builders Merchants).
Heckmondwike Central junction 3rd August 1983 : Alan S Bagot     see Mirfield - Low Moor
Heckmondwike L & Y junction & footbridge. Railway pub just visible in the distance beneath the footbridge
Heckmondwike Central footbridge 1986 : K Evans
Heckmondwike Central goods 3rd August 1983 : Alan S Bagot       
Heckmondwike L & Y goods depot. Tacky new houses now built on the whole of this area.

Heckmondwike Central station     See also Mirfield Low Moor
Opened 1848. Closed 14-06-1965. Freight  05-1969.
Totem from Heckmondwike Central (18-11-07) Paul Holroyd
On display at the National Railway Museum, York. Click here to see selection of  railway tickets & handbills.
Heckmondwike Central station (09-1971) : Bob Cockcroft
Heckmondwike old station in 1971 from street level.
The station was rebuilt in 1889 & renamed Heckmondwike Central from 1924 to 1961.
The original LYR station at Heckmondwike had been serving as a goods depot & is quite a grand building.
Heckmondwike Central station (09-1971) : Bob Cockcroft
Heckmondwike old station in 1971 looking towards Mirfield.
Heckmondwike Central station (09-1971) : Bob Cockcroft
Heckmondwike old station in 1971 looking towards Low Moor.
Heckmondwike (c1911) : Christopher Franz
Heckmondwike Central station visible in the distance.
Note : I'm looking for a home for these pictures, as I don't have space for them here. I've actually only scanned 1/3 of each image.
Heckmondwike (c1911) : Christopher Franz
Heckmondwike Central station closer view, cleaned & high res scan.
Heckmondwike (c1911) : Christopher Franz
Heckmondwike Central station, view from Norris Hill - written on the back of the photo.
Heckmondwike (c1911) : Christopher Franz
Heckmondwike general view. (view from top left of the map). To the extreme left of the photo is the Heckmondwike goods yard.
To the right of the photo the tracks nearest to us are the L&Y Mirfield to Low Moor line.
The tracks behind, passing under the iron bridge (Bridge 21), are the L&Y Ravensthorpe branch.
The Tracks on top of the iron bridge are the Leeds New Line.
Spenborough (c1915) : Thomas Castle c/o Christopher Franz
The view from Stanley Colliery seems to be behind Spenborough Baths.
Liversedge Spen station on the Leeds New Line visible in the background on the left hand photo.
Heckmondwike Central station (nd) : Cedric Rowland
Heckmondwike Central station island platform, viewed from Station lane.
Heckmondwike Central station (c1960) : c/o Carbootnut    See Carbootnut photo's on Flickr
Heckmondwike Central, 60007 Sir Nigel Gresley.
Heckmondwike Central station (c1960) : c/o Carbootnut
Heckmondwike Central.60004 William Whitelaw.

Note : Bill McKelvie
It is great to see that at Heckmondwike Central Station mighty A4 pacifics flying through the station I am grateful to the contributor for their submission
however I am delighted to say it is a bit more famous engine than William Whitelaw it is actually 'Silver Link' 60014.
The name plate is too short and the end letter looks like a K although the speed it is going at it is a delight that the contributor got this mighty engine at all with the detail that he has.  The confirmation of above is if you look at the following picture of 60004 At Ferryhill the nameplate complete goes beyond a bulge on its side, where as on 60014 it doesn't.   http://www.time-capsules.co.uk/picture/show/3826/William-Whitelaw-at-Ferryhill
Heckmondwike Central station (c1960) : c/o Carbootnut
Heckmondwike Central, class 40.
Heckmondwike Central station (c1960) : c/o Carbootnut
Heckmondwike Central, 60115 Meg Merrilies.
Heckmondwike Central station (c1960) : c/o Carbootnut
Heckmondwike Central, 60034 Lord Faringdon.
Heckmondwike Central station (c1960) : c/o Carbootnut
Heckmondwike Central.
Heckmondwike Central station (09-1971) : Bob Cockcroft
Heckmondwike Central station in 1971 looking towards Low Moor.
Railway street bridge facing west (02-07-06) : David Webdale
Stood on the site of the goods yard, just beyond Heckmondwike junction. The double bridge crossing Railway street. Heckmondwike central platform was just at the other side of the bridge. The platform over grown with trees now.
The Railway pub was just to the right but has been replaced by some modern residential buildings.
Heckmondwike Central station (c1980) : Bill McKelvie
Looking south 'UP' to Mirfield from where the island platform would be, with the 'DOWN' to Bradford rail still intact.
Passengers would descend down a ramp to the lower street level This photo was taken in the eighties. The nearby Station pub used to have a wooden platform built and had excursions to Blackpool after the station had closed every year.
Heckmondwike Central station (c1980) : Bill McKelvie
Back of the station office parapet.
Railway street bridge (28-07-06) : Paul B
The view from street level facing towards Heckmondwike town centre.
Heckmondwike Central entrance facing west (02-07-06) : David Webdale
The view from under the bridge. Passenger access to the island platform was via a covered stairway leading down to street level,
I assume through this strange bricked up doorway. The steps on the right lead to a cobbled yard.
Heckmondwike Central station facing east (c1960) : Mark Anthony Astley collection   website - www.vintagecarriagestrust.org
Heckmondwike Central in the early 1960s, with a Metropolitan- Cammell diesel multiple unit operating a local service along the Spen Valley
Heckmondwike Central station facing east (02-07-06) : David Webdale
Facing back towards Railway street, platform remnants. Tacky new housing, built on the site of the goods yard, visible in the distance.
Heckmondwike Central station facing east (c1960) : Mark Anthony Astley collection
Heckmondwike Central in the 1960s.
 
Heckmondwike Central station facing east (c1980) : Greame Walton
Taken on the Spen Valley greenway just after the old platform of the old station in  Station Lane.
The photos are from the early eighties, when freight trains used to use the lines. I remember the old Charrington Hargreaves line quite well. Full tankers would come along early in the morning and in the evening they would come to take them away when they were empty.
Heckmondwike Central station (c1980) : Bill McKelvie
Former British Rail gate leading to Goods Yard which has now being built upon.
Heckmondwike Central station (c1980) : Bill McKelvie
Stone Loading stage. Also according to the L.M.S plans for this site at the start of the loading stage was Shell distribution fuel tanks. The yard on this side was predominately Goods Vans and house a four/five bay goods shed. Out of shot and to the left of the mainline where the sidings for the 16ton coal wagons. From the 1960's BR op manual, the majority of the trains on the up side would be for Mirfield, Huddersfield, Clayton West and Penistone, On a Saturday there would be a through train direct to London Kings Cross and a return from the majestic Blackpool Central (why they closed that down and kept North and South open baffles me) through to Wakefield Kirkgate. The DOWN side would be the reverse of above and all going to Bradford Exchange.
Spenborough (1957) : Roman Soroka
I just found the Lost Railways of West Yorkshire web site and saw a photograph of the railway at Stanley Colliery, Liversedge (above). When I was about four I lived at Stanley Pit Cottages which were only a stones throw from the railway. I have attached a photograph taken about  1957 that includes a short section of track somewhere close to the photograph. I have a vague memory of being with some older boys when they put a penny on the track to have it squashed by a passing steam train. Happy days!
Heckmondwike Central 3rd August 1983 / Feb 1984: Alan S Bagot
Site of goods yard & forecourt.
Beck lane facing east (16-07-06) : David Webdale
Under the tracks a few yards west of Heckmondwike station platform.
Wormald street facing east (16-07-06) : David Webdale
200 yards further west, fence post sleepers on the corner of Cornmill lane & Wormald street.
Huddersfield road facing west (16-07-06) : David Webdale
Facing towards Liversedge the A62 Huddersfield road crossing.
Huddersfield road facing east (16-07-06) : David Webdale
View from the other side, the bridge looks to have been widened at some stage.
Strawberry Bank Colliery facing west (16-07-06) : David Webdale
100 yards beyond Huddersfield road the site of Strawberry Bank colliery Sidings, five or so tracks wide.
Tracks leading to the pit head curved off to the left.
Footpath facing south (16-07-06) : David Webdale
Footpath between Headlands road & Ashton Clough road. (just beyond the trees in previous photo)
Shot of the entrance from Ashton Clough road end.
Footpath facing north  (16-07-06) : David Webdale
View from under the tracks looking towards Ashton Clough road.

Home