York to Beverley Line

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York to Beverley Line
to Scarborough
Yorkfor East Coast Main Line
River Foss
Sand Hutton Light Railway
River Derwent
Stamford Bridge
Yapham Gate
Londesborough Park
Selby to Driffield Line
Market Weighton
Selby to Driffield Line
Cherry Burton
to Driffield
to Hull

The York to Beverley Line was a railway line between York, Market Weighton and Beverley. The line was sanctioned in 1846 and the section from York to Market Weighton opened in 1847. Construction of the second part to Beverley was delayed for 17 years delayed in part by the downfall of George Hudson, and a less favourable financial environment following the collapse of the 1840's railway bubble.

The line crossed the largely flat terrain of the Vale of York via Stamford Bridge, Pocklington and Market Weighton before making its way through a gap in the Yorkshire Wolds, past Cherry Burton to Beverley.

The line once was a preferred route for trains running directly between the English cities of York and Kingston upon Hull. Before closure the route Hull-Beverley-Market-Weighton-York was often referred to as the Hull York line.

The line was recommended for closure in the 1963 Beeching report and closed in November 1965.



By the mid 1840s lines had been constructed from Leeds to Selby (Leeds & Selby Rly., 1834), Selby to Hull (Hull & Selby Rly., 1840) and from Hull to Beverley and Bridlington (Hull & Selby Rly., Bridlington branch, 1846), all of which were owned or leased by George Hudson's York and North Midland Railway.[1]

In early 1845 the Hull and Selby Railway had authorised surveys for a line from its Bridlington branch via Market Weighton and Pocklington to York connection with a junction on either the Great North of England Railway or the York and North Midland Railway, as well as another branch to Market Weighton from its main line. On 17 May 1845 after being approached by interested parties from Beverley, the York and Midland shareholders agreed to proceed with surveys for the line and its branch.[2] A rival scheme, promoted by the York, Hull and East and West Yorkshire Junction Railway running from a related proposed scheme at York, the Leeds and York Railway spurred the Y&NMR to the promotion of an act in 1845 for the Beverley-Market Weighton-York line, as well as other railways in East Yorkshire.[3][2][4] An act, the York and North Midland Railway (East Riding Branches) [No.1] Act was obtained in 1846.[note 1][6]

George Hudson also acquired the Londesborough Hall for £474,000 the line in an attempt to prevent landowners on the line causing problems for the company in their attempt to make the line.[7][8]

As part of the agreements needed to obtain the passage of the East Riding branches acts through parliament the Y&NMR had to make agreements buy out the proprietors of the Pocklington Canal, Market Weighton Canal, its branch Sir Edward Vavasour's Canal and the Leven Canal.[9] The Y&NMR began proceedings to obtain an act to that effect in 1846,[10] which was passed as the "York and North Midland Railway (Canals Purchase) Act" in 1847.[note 2][11] The Leven canal was to be acquired in case of the Y&NMR constructing a Hornsea branch, the others were necessary for the lines to Market Weighton, and were bought at £18,000; £14,404 5s 10d; and £836 15s (1/15 of the price of its parent) respectively.[9]


York - Market Weighton[edit]

The section of track between York and Market Weighton was built quickly due to the relatively easy terrain and opened on 3 October 1847. Intermediate stations were built at Huntington, Stockton, Gate Helmsley, Stamford Bridge, Fangfoss, Pocklington, Burnby and Londesborough. Hudson also had a private station provided at Londesborough Hall for his own personal use, it closed in 1867.

Market Weigton - Beverley[edit]

The second part of the track from Market Weighton through the Wolds to Beverley was not completed for a further 17 years due to complications arising from Hudson's spectacular downfall amid financial scandal involving one of his other railway companies, the Eastern Counties Railway. After Hudson's resignation in 1849 the Y&NMR suspended all its planned and ongoing projects, opting to consolidate rather than expand any further. The Y&NMR became part of the North Eastern Railway (NER) in 1854. The following year Yapham Gate was opened between Fangfoss and Pocklington but was only open for 10 years.

Before the extension to Beverley could resume the NER had to resolve an ongoing dispute with the local landowner, Lord Hotham who owned much of the land to the east of Market Weighton. He eventually agreed to allow the railway on his land providing he got his own station (at Kiplingcotes) and that no trains ran on Sundays. The line was finally completed by the NER and the first through-train from Hull to York ran on 1 May 1865.

Route and stations[edit]

The completed route left the Y&NMR's York to Scarborough Line at Bootham Junction north of York and at the other end joined its Hull to Bridlington route north of Beverley. Market Weighton subsequently became the location of the junction between the York to Beverley Line and the Selby to Driffield Line which led to the Yorkshire coast. The entire route had been double-tracked by 1889 and the level-crossing on the busy York to Scarborough main road was replaced by an overbridge in the 1930s.

All the stations buildings between Earswick and Market Weighton, apart from the short lived Yapham Gate, were designed by George Townsend Andrews.

Of the 13 intermediate stations between York and Beverley, only six (Earswick, Stamford Bridge, Pocklington, Londesborough, Market Weighton and Kiplingcotes) were still operating by the time the line closed in 1965.

Feature Opened Closed Notes
Bootham junction 1847 53°58′49″N 1°04′54″W / 53.98041°N 1.08167°W / 53.98041; -1.08167 (Bootham junction) Junction with the York to Scarborough Line
Earswick station 4 Oct 1847 27 Nov 1965 53°59′23″N 1°04′01″W / 53.989670°N 1.066870°W / 53.989670; -1.066870 (Earswick station) For the villages of Huntington and New Earswick. Before 1874 named Huntington station.
Warthill station 4 Oct 1847 3 Jan 1959 54°00′19″N 0°59′06″W / 54.0053°N 0.9849°W / 54.0053; -0.9849 (Warthill station) For the villages of Stockton-on-the-Forest and Warthill. Former terminus of the Sand Hutton Light Railway. Before 1872 known as Stockton Forest or Stockton-on-Forest, and before 1867 Stockton.
Holtby station 4 Oct 1847 9 Sep 1939 53°59′46″N 0°56′24″W / 53.9962°N 0.9400°W / 53.9962; -0.9400 (Holtby station) For the villages of Gate Helmsley and Holtby. Before 1872 named Gate Helmsley
River Wharfe bridge 53°59′24″N 0°55′15″W / 53.98987°N 0.92072°W / 53.98987; -0.92072 (River Wharfe bridge)
Stamford Bridge station 4 Oct 1847 27 Nov 1965 53°59′18″N 0°54′54″W / 53.9884°N 0.9149°W / 53.9884; -0.9149 (Stamford Bridge station)
Fangfoss station 4 Oct 1847 3 Jan 1959 53°57′56″N 0°51′44″W / 53.9655°N 0.8621°W / 53.9655; -0.8621 (Fangfoss station)
Yapham Gate railway station 4 Oct 1847 Apr 1865 53°56′54″N 0°49′24″W / 53.94823°N 0.82337°W / 53.94823; -0.82337 (Yapham Gate) Short lived station at gated road crossing
Pocklington station 4 Oct 1847 27 Nov 1965 53°55′45″N 0°46′52″W / 53.9292°N 0.7810°W / 53.9292; -0.7810 (Pocklington station)
Nunburnholme station 4 Oct 1847 31 Mar 1951 53°54′23″N 0°44′01″W / 53.90626°N 0.73360°W / 53.90626; -0.73360 (Nunburnholme station) For the villages of Nunburnholme and Burnby. Before 1873 known as Burnby
Londesborough Park station Jan 1867 53°53′17″N 0°42′49″W / 53.88794°N 0.71348°W / 53.88794; -0.71348 (Londesborough Park station) Station built for George Hudson at Londesborough Hall
Londesborough station 4 Oct 1847 27 Nov 1965 53°52′58″N 0°42′19″W / 53.88284°N 0.70540°W / 53.88284; -0.70540 (Londesborough station) Originally Shipton and Londesborough, after 1864 Shipton, after 1867 Londesborough
West junction 1848 53°52′01″N 0°40′08″W / 53.86694°N 0.66902°W / 53.86694; -0.66902 (West junction) Junction with Selby to Driffield branch
Market Weighton station 4 Oct 1847 27 Nov 1965 53°52′04″N 0°39′54″W / 53.86782°N 0.66498°W / 53.86782; -0.66498 (Market Weighton station) Station for York, Beverley, Driffield and Selby (Barlby) lines. Demolished 1975.
East junction 1890 53°52′06″N 0°39′42″W / 53.86836°N 0.66158°W / 53.86836; -0.66158 (East junction) Junction with the Scarborough, Bridlington and West Riding Junction Railway (Market Weighton to Driffield)
Kiplingcotes station 1 May 1865 27 Nov 1965 53°52′57″N 0°35′26″W / 53.88256°N 0.59049°W / 53.88256; -0.59049 (Kiplingcotes station) Originally built for Lord Hotham as part of the arrangement for his not opposing to the line's construction
Cherry Burton station 1 May 1865 5 Jan 1959 53°52′11″N 0°29′36″W / 53.86983°N 0.49344°W / 53.86983; -0.49344 (Cherry Burton station)
Beverley junction 1865 53°51′04″N 0°25′27″W / 53.85110°N 0.42425°W / 53.85110; -0.42425 (Beverley junction) Junction with the Hull to Scarborough Line
Sources: Individual linked articles except where noted.


Holtby station closed in September 1939, Nunburnholme station in 1951, and Warthill, Fangfoss and Cherry Burton railway stations were closed in 1959, although freight continued to be handled.

Modernisation and closure (1955-65)[edit]

In the around 1955 British Railways started investigating the use of boom barriers as a replacement to traditional gates, and and experimental installation was installed at the level-crossing at Warthill, controlled from a nearby signal box.[12]

At the start of the 1960s nine trains ran in each direction each day with healthy passenger usage and the line generated £5,000 in profit.

In 1960 British Rail began work on converting the line to a Centralised Traffic Control (CTC) system,[note 3] involving singling the line, with passing loops at Pocklington and Market Weighton; modernisation of level crossings; colour light signalling installed; and removal of signal control to a single signal box at Bootham junction, York.[13][14]

The CTC was halted with the publication of the Beeching Report of 1963,[14] which recommended that the passenger service on the line ("York-Hull via Beverley") cease, with all stations to be closed.[15] The line was one of the case studies given in the report; which calculated expenses of £107,500 on an income of £90,400, and estimated that additional savings would be obtained after closure, with over a quarter of the revenue retained by re-routing of through (Hull-York) services.[15]

Goods service ended at Kiplingcoates and Cherry Burton in 1964, and at Londesborough, Earswick, Stamford Bridge and Fangfoss in 1965. Goods services at Pocklington were still actively used and BR North-Eastern proposed schemes to retain the section of the line from Beverley, or from Market Weighton via the Selby to Market Weighton line. The change of government to Labour after the 1964 Election failed to halt the closure, despite some expectations that the closures would be halted.[13][16] and services on the line were withdrawn in November 1965.[17] The last train ran on 27 November 1965.[16]

Post closure[edit]

The former station at Stamford Bridge

As of 2004/6 much of the former trackbed is still extant, with exceptions within the towns of Pocklington, Stamford Bridge and the York urban area where building development has taken place. The heavier engineering works east of Market Weighton are more visible,, whilst west in the Vale of York oarts of the line are no longer evidenced on the ground, more than half of the route is discernible as earthworks or field boundaries.[18][19] The route between Beverley and Market Weighton has been converted into a cycleway, Hudson Way (also known as Wilberforce Way).[20][19]

Many of the line's structures are still extant; exceptions include the station buildings at Market Weighton demolished in 1979, as well as Earswick station, also demolished.

At Stamford Bridge the station house and platforms survive,[21] as does the goods shed;[citation needed] the iron bridge and viaduct over the River Wharfe at Stamford, is also still extant and a listed structure.[22]

At Pocklington the station, station master's house, and station goods shed are all still extant, and listed structures.[23] Several other station buildings survive including Fangfoss,[24] Warthill, Holtby, Nunburnholme, Londesborough, Cherry Burton, and Kiplingcotes.[citation needed]

Two of the former gate keepers cottages are now listed buildings.[25]Barmby Moor,[26]

Re-opening proposals[edit]

A group, the Minsters' Rail Campaign, was establised in 2001 to promote the re-opening of the line.[27]

Possible route of reopened line

In 2004 the East Riding of Yorkshire Council commissioned a report from Carl Bro Group to investigate the feasibility of re-opening the line.[28] Because of redevelopment, alterations to the former route were considered - developments in York (housing in Huntington and New Earswick) required the connection to the York to Scarborough line to be moved north; an alternative route via the former Derwent Valley Light Railway and the Foss Islands branch into the centre of York was also considered.[29] Building development had also taken place on the track bed in Pocklington, Stamford Bridge; with alternative alignments proposed, going around the outskirts of the towns.[18] A new alignment of the track out of Beverley was also proposed to the close proximity of properties, traffic levels at level crossings and other developments.[30]

The study found benefits to opening the line for passenger traffic, both for commuter and leisure traffic, but found no practical uses of the line for freight.[31] The report recommended reinstating a service from Hull via Beverley, Market Weighton, Stamford Bridge and Pocklington connecting to the York-Scarborough line at Haxby, on a double track line with a frequency of 2 trains per hour, with intermediate stations only at Market Weighton, Pocklington and Stamford Bridge. The estimate journey time was under 1 hour.[32] Capital costs of the scheme were estimated at £239 million, with operating costs at £2.9 million pa; additional direct revenue from a bi-hourly service was estimated £0.257 million pa; the scheme was not expected to be profitable and would require a subsidy from government.[33]

In economic terms, the project is estimated at cost of £239 million, and the present value of benefits of the scheme are estimated at greater than the total value of the costs with a Benefit Cost Ratio of between 1.26 and 2.04. Whilst following construction, the fare revenues will not exceed the total running and maintenance costs on the new line, the environmental benefits, benefits to traffic using the A1079 and A166, and the time savings for passengers and other non user benefits make the scheme economic.

Carl Bro Group Ltd (2004, §19.0)

The 2011 East Riding of Yorkshire Council(ERYC) transport plan identified the re-opening of the line as a long term goal, and safeguarded the route from development.[34] In 2013 ERYC published a draft local plan which allowed building on the line, an excluded re-instatement of the rail line from its schemes as it had concluded that the scheme would not be realistically deliverable within the plan's 20 year timeframe.[35][36]

The idea of re-instating the railway line between Beverley and York is very clearly currently unaffordable under any source of funding of which we are aware.

— Symon Fraser, East Riding Councillor, 2013.[36]


  1. ^ York and North Midland Railway (East Riding Branches) [No.1] Act (Victoria 9 & 10, Cap.65 ,1846); An Act for enabling the York and North Midland Railway to make certain branch Railways in the East Riding of the county of York; and for other purposes. [5]
  2. ^ York and North Midland Railway (Canals Purchase) Act (Victoria 10 & 11, Cap. 216, 1847); An Act to authorize the Purchase by the York and North Midland Railway Company of the Interests of the Shareholders in the Market Weighton Canal, and the Purchase of the Canal communicating therewith called Sir Edward Vavasour’s Canal, of the Pocklington Canal, and of the Leven Canal, all in the East Riding of the County of York. [5]
  3. ^ Also known a Centralised Train Control.


  1. ^ See individual articles
  2. ^ a b "Conclusion of the York and North Midland Committee's Third Report", Herapath's Railway Journal 11 (543), 3 November 1849, 6. The Market Weighton Lines, pp.1114 
  3. ^ "York and North Midland Railway. East Riding Branches", The London Gazette (20545), 29 November 1845: 6659 
  4. ^ Tomlinson 1915, pp. 464-466.
  5. ^ a b 4. Railways of Great Britain, "The Companion to the Almanac", The British Almanac of the Society for the diffusion of useful Knowledge, 1847: 92 
  6. ^ The Statutes of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, 1846, p. 761 
  7. ^ Report of the Evidence of George Hudson, Esq., M.P.: On the Trial of the Cause of Richardson Versus Wodson, p. 42, "I had purchased the Londesborough estate. I was solely influenced in making that purchase by a desire to prevent a combination of the landowners on the line against the railway. Such a combination would have been very injurous to the interests of the railway" 
  8. ^ York and North Midland Railway 1849a, pp. 23-25"We had the most fearful fighting up to the time of my purchasing Londesbro'; my purchasing that estate brought down the opposition"
  9. ^ a b York and North Midland Railway 1849, p. 24.
  10. ^ "York and North-Midland Railway. (East Riding Canals Purchase Act.)", London Gazette (20672), 23 November 1846: 5168 
  11. ^ The Statutes of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, 1847, p. 840 
  12. ^ Ministry of Transport and Civil Aviation (1957). "Report on Level Crossing Protection based on a visit to the Netherlands, Belgian and French Railways by officers of the Ministry of Transport and Civil Aviation and of the British Transport Commission" (PDF). Her Majesty's Stationery Office. Appendix I. 
  13. ^ a b Bairstow 1995, "York to Beverley - a post mortem", pp.17-18.
  14. ^ a b Goode 2002, p. 65.
  15. ^ a b The Reshaping of British Railways - Part 1: Report, British Railways Board, 1963, Appendix 2, p.99 
  16. ^ a b Goode 2002, p. 67.
  17. ^ Hoole 1986, p. 55.
  18. ^ a b Carl Bro Group Ltd 2004, §5.2.3-5.2.4, 5.3.4-5.3.5.
  19. ^ a b Ordnance Survey 2006 1:25000
  20. ^ Carl Bro Group Ltd 2004, §2.2.2.
  21. ^ English Heritage. "RAILWAY STATION AND PLATFORMS (1083842)". National Heritage List for England .
  22. ^ Sources:
  23. ^ Sources:
  24. ^ English Heritage. "THE OLD RAILWAY STATION (1346458)". National Heritage List for England .
  25. ^ English Heritage. "RAILWAY COTTAGES, 8 AND 10, LONDESBOROUGH ROAD (1160571)". National Heritage List for England .
  26. ^ English Heritage. "FORMER GATE-KEEPERS' HOUSE AT KELDSPRING CROSSING (1309908)". National Heritage List for England .
  27. ^ Arundel 2006.
  28. ^ Carl Bro Group Ltd 2004.
  29. ^ Carl Bro Group Ltd 2004, §2.2.5, also §5.2.5.
  30. ^ Carl Bro Group Ltd 2004, §5.2.2, 5.3.1-5.3.2.
  31. ^ Carl Bro Group Ltd 2004, §3.
  32. ^ Carl Bro Group Ltd 2004, §4.5, 6.1.
  33. ^ Carl Bro Group Ltd 2004, §13.2.2, 14.6.1, 14.6.2, 18.1.
  34. ^ Third Local Transport Plan Strategy (2011-2026), East Riding of Yorkshire Council, 2011, §8.31, p.67; §18.30, pp.154-155 
  35. ^ "Beverley to York railway line campaign lost as East Riding council rules out support", www.hulldailymail.co.uk, 4 December 2013 
  36. ^ a b "No to York railway link", www.beverleyguardian.co.uk, 17 February 2013 


External links[edit]