Hellifield railway station

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Hellifield National Rail
Hellifield railway station DI2.jpg
Hellifield railway station
Local authorityCraven
Coordinates54°00′40″N 2°13′41″W / 54.011000°N 2.228000°W / 54.011000; -2.228000Coordinates: 54°00′40″N 2°13′41″W / 54.011000°N 2.228000°W / 54.011000; -2.228000
Grid referenceSD851572
Station codeHLD
Managed byNorthern
Number of platforms2
DfT categoryF2
Live arrivals/departures, station information and onward connections
from National Rail Enquiries
Annual rail passenger usage*
2013/14Increase 26,054
2014/15Increase 29,490
2015/16Decrease 26,896
2016/17Increase 26,916
2017/18Decrease 26,244
1849first station opened
1 June 1880resited
Listed status
Listed featureHellifield Station Main Passenger Building
Listing gradeGrade II listed
Entry number1131702[1]
Added to list7 April 1977
National RailUK railway stations
* Annual estimated passenger usage based on sales of tickets in stated financial year(s) which end or originate at Hellifield from Office of Rail and Road statistics. Methodology may vary year on year.
170433 at Edinburgh Waverley.JPG UK Railways portal
Hellifield as it was in 1959

Hellifield railway station serves the village of Hellifield in North Yorkshire, England.

The station is 36 14 miles (58 km) north-west of Leeds on the Leeds to Morecambe Line towards Carlisle and Morecambe. The Ribble Valley Line from Blackburn also joins the Leeds to Morecambe Line at Hellifield which is managed by Northern, who provide all passenger train services. It is unstaffed, although the buildings are in private use and open to the public at certain times.


The first Hellifield railway station was opened by the "Little" North Western Railway in 1849. It was a modest structure, similar to those at Gargrave and Long Preston and sited 14 mile (0.4 km) to the south of the present one.[2] A much larger replacement (the current station) was built by the Midland Railway to the designs of architect Charles Trubshaw[3] and opened on 1 June 1880,[4] immediately to the north of the junction of the line from Leeds and the newly completed Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway route from Blackburn via Clitheroe. It soon became a busy junction (as it was now located on the Midland Railway's main line from London to Scotland), with trains going to:

It was also the location of a busy locomotive depot and a large goods yard.

The line from Blackburn had its local passenger service withdrawn on 10 September 1962,[5] but it remains open for goods traffic and periodic diversions when the West Coast main line is closed north of Preston for engineering work. The adjacent locomotive shed closed the following year and local trains from the station to Carlisle ended in May 1970, although it continued to be served by expresses to and from Glasgow until 1975. Thereafter it was downgraded to unstaffed halt status and served only by stopping trains between Leeds and Morecambe.

In April 1977 the main station building was designated as a Grade II listed building.[1]

By the late 1980s the main buildings and canopies were in very poor condition and under threat of demolition, but following a £500,000 cash injection from British Rail in conjunction with English Heritage and the Railway Heritage Trust,[6] they were refurbished and returned to private commercial use. Trains to and from Carlisle also started calling again in May 1995 to further encourage use of the station and its newly restored amenities.

Between 2005 and 2008, the station was used as the operating base for Kingfisher Railtours' Dalesman steam-hauled charter trains over the Settle-Carlisle Line.[7] Facilities on offer to the travelling public at the station include the Long Drag cafe & gift shop and a heritage room used to exhibit items and photographs connected to the Settle-Carlisle route. The station is also still used by special trains and steam-hauled railway tours as a water stop and traction changeover point. It has also undergone further structural refurbishment in the summer of 2013, with Network Rail carrying out £500,000 of work on the Grade II listed buildings to repair/replace the glazing and repaint the canopies.[8][9] The station has full step-free access, via a subway with inclined ramp from the main entrance.[10] Train running information can be obtained from timetable posters or by telephone.

The last remaining signal box at the station (there were three until 1966) is one of only two manual boxes left in operation between Leeds and Carnforth (the other being at Settle Junction). It acts as the 'fringe' box to the Leeds workstation of York IECC in the Skipton direction, as well as controlling the junction and a pair of goods loops that are used to help regulate the increasingly heavy levels of freight traffic on the Carlisle, Leeds and Blackburn lines.

Station Masters[edit]

  • R.L. Tudor 1880 - 1899[11]
  • George Margrave 1900 - 1905[12]
  • Edwin Hooper Russell 1905 - 1917[13] (afterwards station master at Chesterfield)
  • William Henry Huff 1917[14] - ????
  • J.H. Duckworth 1927 - 1935[15]
  • Charles Hopkins 1935[16] - ???? (formerly station master at Alfreton)

Accidents and incidents[edit]

  • On 22 December 1955, an express passenger train overran signals and was in a rear-end collision with another. Irregular operation of signals was a major contributory factor and the signalman at Hellifield South Junction was blamed for the accident.[17]


There is a regular service each day from Hellifield to Leeds and to Carlisle and Lancaster. There are fourteen services southbound on weekdays and fifteen on Saturdays (of which one runs only to Skipton). Northbound there are seven trains to Lancaster and eight to Carlisle plus one evening service to Ribblehead – these run about every two hours. Three of the Lancaster trains run through to Morecambe. One train ran through to Heysham to connect with the daily ferry service to the Isle of Man, but from May 2018 it is necessary to change at Lancaster for Heysham.

On Sundays there are six trains to Carlisle, five to Lancaster and eleven to Leeds, one of which continues to Nottingham and a second to Sheffield.[18]

Also on Sundays in the summer, a train operates from Blackpool North, Preston and Blackburn and along the Ribble Valley Line via Clitheroe to Hellifield and onwards towards Carlisle. This service, 'Dalesrail', is operated by Northern. There are plans for more services from Clitheroe. The Ribble Valley Rail group is campaigning for this route to be re-opened.

Preceding station National Rail National Rail Following station
Gargrave   Northern
Leeds to Morecambe Line
  Long Preston
Gargrave   Northern
Settle-Carlisle Line
  Long Preston
Clitheroe   Northern
Ribble Valley Line
Sunday Only
  Historical railways  
Bell Busk   Midland Railway
"Little" North Western Railway
  Long Preston
Newsholme   L&YR
Ribble Valley Line


  1. ^ a b Historic England. "Hellifield Station Main Passenger Building (1131702)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 2 August 2014.
  2. ^ Binns 1982, p. 33.
  3. ^ Pevsner, Nikolaus; Leach, Peter (2009). The Buildings of England. Yorkshire West Riding Leeds Bradford and the North. Yale University Press. p. 331. ISBN 9780300126655.
  4. ^ Binns 1981, p. 3.
  5. ^ Daniels, Gerald David; Dench, Leslie Alan (February 1963) [1962]. Passengers No More 1952–1962. Closures of stations and branch lines (PDF) (2nd ed.). Brighton: GLO. p. 8. OCLC 504319235.
  6. ^ "New Efforts To Bring Station back To Life". Telegraph & Argus. 11 March 2005. Retrieved 17 October 2008.
  7. ^ "Kingfisher Railtours – The Dalesman". Archived from the original on 12 September 2008. Retrieved 17 October 2008.
  8. ^ "Makeover for historic Hellifield station" (press release). Network Rail Media Centre. Retrieved 14 October 2013.
  9. ^ "Hellifield Station to Get 500,000 Facelift". Craven Herald & Pioneer. 17 July 2013. Retrieved 14 October 2013.
  10. ^ Hellifield Station Details National Rail Enquiries; Retrieved 25 November 2016
  11. ^ "Mr. R.L. Tudor". Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser. England. 15 April 1908. Retrieved 3 September 2017 – via British Newspaper Archive. (Subscription required (help)). Cite uses deprecated parameter |subscription= (help)
  12. ^ "Yesterday the death was announced..." Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser. England. 23 March 1905. Retrieved 3 September 2017 – via British Newspaper Archive. (Subscription required (help)). Cite uses deprecated parameter |subscription= (help)
  13. ^ "New Stationmasters". Sheffield Daily Telegraph. England. 26 June 1917. Retrieved 3 September 2017 – via British Newspaper Archive. (Subscription required (help)). Cite uses deprecated parameter |subscription= (help)
  14. ^ "New Stationmasters". Sheffield Daily Telegraph. England. 26 June 1917. Retrieved 3 September 2017 – via British Newspaper Archive. (Subscription required (help)). Cite uses deprecated parameter |subscription= (help)
  15. ^ "Hellifield Stationmaster for Barnsley". Leeds Mercury. England. 29 November 1935. Retrieved 3 September 2017 – via British Newspaper Archive. (Subscription required (help)). Cite uses deprecated parameter |subscription= (help)
  16. ^ "Mr. C. Hopkins. Removal from Alfreton to Hellifield". Derby Daily Telegraph. England. 27 November 1935. Retrieved 3 September 2017 – via British Newspaper Archive. (Subscription required (help)). Cite uses deprecated parameter |subscription= (help)
  17. ^ Vaughan 1989, pp. 100–04.
  18. ^ Table 42 National Rail timetable, December 2018


External links[edit]