Castleford railway station
|Local authority||City of Wakefield|
|Number of platforms||1|
|Live arrivals/departures, station information and onward connections|
from National Rail Enquiries
|Annual rail passenger usage*|
|Passenger Transport Executive|
|PTE||West Yorkshire Metro|
|Key dates||Opened 1871 (current station)|
|Original company||York and North Midland Railway|
|Pre-grouping||North Eastern Railway|
|Post-grouping||London and North Eastern Railway|
|1 July 1840||First station opened as Castleford|
|15 September 1952||Renamed Castleford Central|
|20 February 1969||Renamed Castleford|
|National Rail – UK railway stations|
|* Annual estimated passenger usage based on sales of tickets in stated financial year(s) which end or originate at Castleford from Office of Rail and Road statistics. Methodology may vary year on year.|
Although originally built as a through station, regular passenger services beyond Castleford towards York were discontinued in January 1970. Today, all trains calling at the station reverse here, arriving and departing from the former northbound platform 1. Platform 2 is currently out of use and inaccessible, though it was brought back into use temporarily during the Leeds First project in 2002 when Transpennine services between York and Huddersfield were diverted to avoid engineering work in Leeds, routed via Church Fenton, Castleford and Wakefield Kirkgate. It may also be brought back into use on a more permanent basis to help accommodate extra peak hour services if Network Rail proceed with plans mooted in the recent Yorkshire & Humberside RUS. The route from Church Fenton continues to be used for freight traffic, empty stock transfers, special trains and such engineering and other out-of-course diversions as required (such as in the summer of 2008, when all Sunday services between Leeds and York/Hull were routed this way due to work near Micklefield).
West Yorkshire Metro has been developing plans to relocate Castleford bus station to a new site next to the railway station, and to create a fully integrated and staffed transport interchange. In October 2014, work on the new £6 million bus station was started and it opened to the public in February 2016.
The current station was built by the North Eastern Railway in 1871 to replace an earlier one 440 yards (400 m) to the east built by the York and North Midland Railway on their line from York to Normanton and opened on 1 July 1840. A short time later an east to north curve was constructed between Whitwood and Methley junctions (the latter on the North Midland Railway main line) to create the first through route between York and Leeds – it would remain the primary route between the two cities until 1869 and also carry services between Leeds and Hull for a number of years thanks to the machinations of George Hudson.
The town gained a second station at Cutsyke in 1860, courtesy of the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway whose line from Pontefract Monkhill to Methley Junction (and hence Leeds) had opened in 1849 and passed over the Y&NMR line near Whitwood Junction. Further construction work by both companies saw lines built to Lofthouse (on the main line from Wakefield Westgate to Leeds) via Stanley (the Methley Joint line) in 1865 (1 May 1869 for passenger traffic), to Garforth via Ledston in 1878 (giving passengers the choice of no fewer than three alternative routes to Leeds) and a curve linking the Y&NM and L&Y routes in the town two years later. This latter piece of line was seldom used for much of its life (and was closed on two different occasions) but now forms an important part of the line towards Knottingley.
Thus by the end of the nineteenth century the station (by now known as Castleford Central) had an impressive range of services to choose from, with regular links to Leeds, Wakefield and on towards Manchester Victoria through the Calder Valley as well as to York. Longer distance destinations (including Sheffield, Derby, Birmingham and London) were also available by means of a change at Normanton.
By the early 1950s however the local network began to decline, with the Garforth line the first to lose its passenger trains on 22 January 1951. The Methley Joint line fell victim to the Beeching Axe on 2 November 1964 whilst the L&Y station at Cutsyke suffered a similar fate on 7 October 1968 – trains from Pontefract thereafter using the aforementioned curve to reach Central, where they reversed before continuing to Leeds via Whitwood Junction (although the direct line remained in use for freight until 23 February 1981).
Another significant change was the withdrawal of services on the original Y&NMR line between York and Wakefield on 5 January 1970, leaving the station to be served only by trains on the Pontefract Line (although a handful of summer dated trains from Wakefield to York and Scarborough continued to run until 1988) and creating the current situation where all scheduled trains calling there approach from the west, use a single platform and have to reverse to continue their journeys. One more positive development was the re-routing of trains on the Hallam line via the town in 1988, which reinstated the link with Wakefield and also gave passengers access to direct trains to Barnsley and Sheffield.
The station had substantial buildings on both platforms until the 1970s, but these have mostly been demolished (along with the footbridge); one structure still survives at the northern end of the remaining platform but it is not in passenger use. The old station signal box also remains, though it too is boarded up and disused (the area is now signalled from a panel box located next to the Castleford Gates level crossing).
The station is unstaffed, though the Metro travel centre within the nearby bus station is staffed from 08:30 each day until 16:00 on weekdays and 14:30 on Saturdays (closed Sundays); this sells a full range of rail tickets. A self-service ticket machine is provided for use outside of these times and for collecting pre-paid tickets. A waiting shelter is available on the platform, along with a digital information screen and timetable poster board; automated train announcements also offer running information for passengers. Step-free access is available from the car park to the platform.
Monday to Saturdays, there is a twice an hour service from Castleford to Leeds with an hourly service to Sheffield via Barnsley (Hallam Line) and an hourly service to Knottingley (plus one single afternoon service through to Goole) (Pontefract Line). Additionally, an hourly service operates to Huddersfield, which starts at Castleford, which started in May 2019.
|Preceding station||National Rail||Following station|
On Sundays there is an hourly service to Leeds and a two-hourly service to both Sheffield and Knottingley.
- "Castleford Bus Station now open". WYMetro. February 2016. Retrieved 14 November 2016.
- Body, p. 51
- Body, pp. 51–52
- "Railway Ramblers - Wakefield". Retrieved 11 April 2008.
- Castleford railway station Ward, David Geograph.org; Retrieved 19 January 2017
- Castleford Bus Station WY Metro; Retrieved 19 January 2017
- Castleford station facilities; National Rail Enquiries; Retrieved 19 January 2017
- GB National Rail Timetable 2016-17, Tables 32 & 34
- Departures from Huddersfield to Castleford
- Body, G. (1988), PSL Field Guides - Railways of the Eastern Region Volume 2, Patrick Stephens Ltd, Wellingborough, ISBN 1-85260-072-1
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Castleford railway station.|
- Train times and station information for Castleford railway station from National Rail
- Information from Metro about the new travel interchange