Cross Gates–Wetherby line

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Cross Gates–Wetherby line
TypeHeavy rail
LocaleWest Yorkshire
TerminiCross Gates North Junction
Wetherby East Junction
Opened1 May 1876
Closed6 January 1964 (Passengers),
4 April 1966 (Goods)
Operator(s)North Eastern Railway to 1923, London and North Eastern Railway 1923-1948, British Railways (N.E region) 1948 to closure
Line length12 mi (19 km)
Number of tracksdouble
Track gauge4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
Highest elevation371 ft (113 m)
Route map

Collingham Bridge
Penda's Way

The Cross Gates–Wetherby line is a former railway line in West Yorkshire, England, between Cross gates, near Leeds, and Wetherby. The line opened 1876 and closed 1964.

History and description[edit]

Construction began in 1871, with the work contracted to Thomas Nelson of Carlisle. Works on the line included over a dozen cuttings, and a similar number of embankments, with the cutting between Thorner and Seacroft being 40 feet (12 m) deep with a volume of 1,370,000 cubic yards (1,050,000 m3); the largest bridge on the line was over the River Wharfe with twin spans of 120 feet (37 m) with a central pier of two cast iron columns.[1]

The line ran from Cross Gates East Junction east of Cross Gates railway station on the Leeds and Selby Railway,[2] to Wetherby (Linton Road) railway station, then connecting at a junction (later East junction) on the Harrogate to Church Fenton Line at west of Wetherby (York Road) railway station.

The 12 miles (19 km) from Cross Gates to Wetherby took four years to construct and it was opened on 1 May 1876.[3] The line was doubled in 1901 and a new south-west curve was built at Wetherby;[4] running from West junction to North junction, forming a wye junction north and west of both the Wetherby stations.[5]

The line closed to passengers on 6 January 1964.


In recent years there have been calls to bring rail services back to Wetherby by Labour and Conservative Wetherby MPs Colin Burgon and Alec Shelbrooke. Ideas have centred on both re-opening the Cross Gates–Wetherby line (which would require re-routing where houses have been built over the line in Collingham and Bardsey). Recently, however, after a high-speed railway to Leeds has been approved, an anticipated further line coming out of Leeds and heading north has been considered as a means to develop a new link to the town. The exact route of this is unknown and the high-speed system has only been approved as far as Leeds.[6]



  1. ^ "The New Line between Leeds and Wetherby" (PDF), Engineering, 14: 206, 20 September 1872
  2. ^ "The Leeds and Selby Railway",, Cross Gates
  3. ^ Bertram, D. (February 1961), "The lines to Wetherby and their traffic", Trains Illustrated: 99–106
  4. ^ Rogers, J (2000), The railways of Harrogate and district, North East Railway Association
  5. ^ Ordnance Survey Sheet 172SW 1907
  6. ^ "It's full steam ahead for new Wetherby railway links", Wetherby News, 12 January 2012

External links[edit]