Wharfedale Line

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Wharfedale Line
Milnerwood Junction.jpg
Locale West Yorkshire
Yorkshire and the Humber
Owner Network Rail
Operator(s) Northern Rail
Rolling stock British Rail Class 333
Track gauge 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) standard gauge
Wharfedale Line
Kirkstall Forge (To open 2014)
Bradford Forster Square
Esholt Junction
To Yeadon
To High Royds hospital
To Otley
Ben Rhydding
To Addingham

The Wharfedale Line is the name given to one of the rail services in the West Yorkshire Metro area of northern England. The service connects Ilkley with Leeds and Bradford, and is operated by Northern Rail. West Yorkshire Metrocards are available for use on the line, covering Zones 3 - 5. The line is served predominantly by four-coach Class 333 electric multiple units.

The route[edit]

The line was originally owned by the Midland Railway from Leeds to Burley-in-Wharfedale. At this point the line became joint property, with the North Eastern Railway, and was known as the Otley & Ilkley Joint Railway (O&IJt). The two lines from Leeds and Bradford come together at Esholt Junction - the location of an 1892 crash - south of Guiseley.

The route from Leeds leaves the main line near Calverley and continues along the Aire valley until climbing a hill to:

A new station, Kirkstall Forge, is planned on the Aire Valley section of the route between Leeds and Guiseley. Plans also exist to reinstate the O&IJt branch line to Otley from Milner Wood Junction, between Menston and Burley.

The first section of the route from Bradford Forster Square is also used by the Airedale and Leeds-Bradford Line. The service to Ilkley branches north of Shipley railway station to:

  • Baildon railway station a reopened station
  • Esholt: station closed
  • Apperley Junction for the line from Leeds
  • and on to Guiseley, Menston, Burley-in-Wharfedale, Ben Rhydding, and Ilkley

The line was electrified throughout using 25kV AC Overhead between 1994 and 1995.

The now-closed and lifted Midland line continued west of Ilkley via Addingham, Bolton Abbey and Embsay to Skipton. The section from Embsay to Bolton Abbey has been reopened by enthusiasts who operates steam locomotives as the Embsay and Bolton Abbey Steam Railway.

External links[edit]