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Church Fenton railway station

Coordinates: 53°49′35″N 1°13′39″W / 53.8263°N 1.2275°W / 53.8263; -1.2275
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Church Fenton
National Rail
A TransPennine Express Class 185 passing the station in 2017
General information
LocationChurch Fenton, Selby
Coordinates53°49′35″N 1°13′39″W / 53.8263°N 1.2275°W / 53.8263; -1.2275
Grid referenceSE509369
Managed byNorthern
Other information
Station codeCHF
ClassificationDfT category F2
2018/19Increase 93,088
 Interchange Increase 4,027
2019/20Increase 0.119 million
 Interchange Increase 6,020
2020/21Decrease 21,492
 Interchange Decrease 1,219
2021/22Increase 0.106 million
 Interchange Increase 4,374
2022/23Increase 0.117 million
 Interchange Increase 9,705
Passenger statistics from the Office of Rail and Road

Church Fenton railway station serves the village of Church Fenton in North Yorkshire, England. It is situated where the Cross Country Route from Leeds to York meets the Dearne Valley line from Sheffield to York, just under 10.75 miles (17 km) from York.


Church Fenton station in 1970 (before the shelters were demolished)
Express train passing through the station in 1988

The York and North Midland Railway opened the first part of its route through the village (and on as far as Milford) on 29 May 1839,[1] completing it the following year. On completion of a branch from there to Harrogate via Wetherby and Tadcaster by the Y&NM in 1848 a new station on a slightly different site gave it new importance and within two years it had become a calling point on the new East Coast Main Line (ECML) from York to London with the opening of a line from Burton Salmon to Knottingley (trains then continuing via Askern and Doncaster).

Further development of the station occurred in 1869, when a 5-mile (8 km) link was opened by the North Eastern Railway from there to Micklefield on the former Leeds & Selby Railway to create a new main line between Leeds and York. The NER had been looking to shorten the previous, indirect route between the two cities via Castleford for some time prior to this, but plans to build a line via Tadcaster had come to nothing and so this alternative route was chosen. The existing line from here to York was subsequently quadrupled to handle the increased levels of traffic and the station substantially altered, with the addition of extra platforms and connections between the two pairs of lines. The station lost its ECML status in 1871 when the new direct line from York to Doncaster via Selby was opened, but trains from London to Harrogate continued to call and yet another addition to the list of routes serving the station came in 1879 when the Swinton and Knottingley Joint Railway line via Pontefract Baghill and Ferrybridge was opened.[2] In connection with the quadrupling of the lines the present station was opened in 1904 slightly south of the second station.[3]

Today the station remains busy, even though the Harrogate line fell victim to the Beeching cuts in January 1964 and passenger trains towards Castleford ended six years later. The Leeds to York Line carries a frequent passenger service (including CrossCountry and TransPennine Express services) whilst the line towards Sherburn, Milford Junction and thence to Knottingley, Castleford and Pontefract carries large quantities of freight. Northern operates all services that call on the Leeds to York, Dearne Valley and Hull to York routes that run through the four operational platforms (a fifth on the western side, once used for Harrogate trains, is disused). Since the winter 2023 timetable update, scheduled passenger services towards Castleford, Wakefield Kirkgate and Huddersfield now pass through here once again (for the first time in over 50 years), but run through without stopping.

The station is covered by a long-line automatic P.A system to provide real-time train running details. Passenger information screens are also installed and there is a ticket machine available for passengers to buy tickets (card only) or a permit to travel (for cash fares). Access to all four platforms is via footbridge, so there is no step-free access to any of the platforms.[4] The former booking office at street level is now in private commercial use as a restaurant, but the platform level buildings were all demolished by 1990.[3]


The service levels at the station were increased significantly at the summer 2018 timetable change and modified again in December 2018 - trains on the York to Leeds line now call hourly each way throughout the day, whilst many York to Hull and Bridlington trains also stop (previously only a limited peak service was provided on this route). Most Leeds-bound services normally continue through to Blackpool North via Bradford Interchange and run express to Leeds. A limited service (three per day) is also provided to Sheffield via the Dearne Valley line.[5]

Sundays now also see an hourly service to Leeds and either one or two per hour to York, plus seven trains to Hull and one to Selby. Most Leeds services continue to Blackpool North. One rail-replacement bus calls southbound in the early evening (pick-up only) en route to Moorthorpe (there now being no rail service to Sheffield via Pontefract on Sundays).

Upgrade and electrification[edit]

The Transpennine Route Upgrade includes electrification from Manchester to York through Church Fenton. In May 2021 it was confirmed that electrification of the line had been approved along with other improvements.[6] The Integrated Rail Plan for the North and Midlands published in November 2021 further confirmed this upgrade.(IRP)[7][8]

References and notes[edit]

  1. ^ Body, p. 53
  2. ^ Body, p .54
  3. ^ a b Disused Stations - Church Fenton
  4. ^ Church Fenton station facilities National Rail Enquiries; Retrieved 17 December 2019
  5. ^ Table 22, 23 and 30 National Rail timetable, December 2023
  6. ^ "Government announces £317m in Transpennine Route Upgrade investment". Rail Technology Magazine. Archived from the original on 26 May 2021. Retrieved 26 May 2021.
  7. ^ Department for Transport (18 November 2021). "Integrated Rail Plan for the North and Midlands" (PDF). UK Government. ISBN 978-1-5286-2947-8. Archived (PDF) from the original on 18 November 2021. Retrieved 18 November 2021.
  8. ^ Media, Insider. "Trans-Pennine Route Upgrade project moving to next phase". Insider Media Ltd. Archived from the original on 17 May 2022. Retrieved 22 March 2021.
  • Body, G. (1988), PSL Field Guides - Railways of the Eastern Region Volume 2, Patrick Stephens Ltd, Wellingborough, ISBN 1-85260-072-1

External links[edit]

Preceding station   National Rail National Rail   Following station
Hull-York Line
York & Selby Lines
Disused railways
Terminus   North Eastern Railway
Harrogate–Church Fenton line