Huddersfield line

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Huddersfield line
First TransPennine Class 185, 185150, Mossley railway station (geograph 4005256).jpg
Overview
Locale West Yorkshire
North West England
Yorkshire and the Humber
Operation
Owner Network Rail
Technical
Track gauge Standard gauge 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in)
Huddersfield Line
Cross Country Route to York /
North TransPennine to Hull
Leeds
Hallam Line / Pontefract Line
Leeds Central
Harrogate Line to Harrogate /
Airedale Line / Wharfedale Line
Caldervale Line
Cross Country Route/
East Coast Main Line
Farnley and Wortley
Leeds New Line
Cottingley
Churwell
Morley
Morley Tunnel
Batley
Staincliffe &
Batley Carr
Dewsbury
to Bradford Exchange
Ravensthorpe
to Wakefield
to Bradford
Mirfield
Leeds New Line
Caldervale Line
Bradley
Kirkburton Branch
Deighton
Newtown Goods Yard
Huddersfield
Penistone Line
Longwood and
Milnsbridge
Golcar
Slaithwaite
Marsden
Standedge Tunnels
Diggle
Micklehurst Line
Saddleworth
Delph Donkey
Moorgate
Greenfield
Delph Donkey to Oldham
Mossley
Scout Tunnel
Micklehurst Line
Stalybridge
Glossop Line /
Hope Valley Line
Ashton under Lyne Manchester Metrolink BSicon BUS.svg
Guide Bridge*
to Oldham
to Stockport
Fairfield*
Fallowfield Loop Line
Droylsden
Gorton*
Clayton Bridge
Hope Valley Line
Park
Ashburys*
Caldervale Line
Miles Platting
Ardwick*
West Coast Main Line
/ Styal Line
Manchester Victoria Manchester Metrolink
Manchester Piccadilly Manchester Metrolink
Ordsall Chord
Liverpool to Manchester lines
Liverpool Lime Street Merseyrail
* Not served by Huddersfield Line services

The Huddersfield line is one of the busiest rail lines on the West Yorkshire MetroTrain network in Northern England. Local services are operated by Northern with longer distance services operated by TransPennine Express. The line connects Leeds and Huddersfield with Manchester (Victoria & Piccadilly), Manchester Airport and Liverpool.

The route travels SSW from Leeds through Dewsbury. After a short westward stretch through Mirfield (where it runs on the ex-L&YR section), it continues SW through Huddersfield, using the River Colne valley to its headwaters. The long Standedge Tunnel just after Marsden crosses under the watershed and the majority of the run down to Manchester is in the Tame valley. After Manchester, the line reaches the Liverpool and Manchester Railway line over Chat Moss to Liverpool.

The Government announced in November 2011 that this route would be electrified,[1] and electrification is currently scheduled to be completed by 2022.[2]

History[edit]

At the time of the 1923 Grouping most of the route followed by the line was over London and North Western Railway (LNWR) metals, the exception being a short stretch around Mirfield which was the property of the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway (L&YR). The first section of the line, between Huddersfield and Stalybridge, was opened by the Manchester, Stockport and Leeds Railway on 1 August 1849. The line became part of the London, Midland and Scottish Railway after 1923.

Route details[edit]

Metro (West Yorkshire) pre-paid tickets and concessionary fares are available between Leeds and Marsden. Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) fares are available for the Greenfield-Manchester section. Several of the intermediate stations listed were closed in the 1960s (as a result of the Beeching Axe, including many of those between Huddersfield & Manchester). All stations that are still open are in bold:

Leeds–Huddersfield[edit]

Huddersfield–Manchester[edit]

Westbound coal train between Ravensthorpe and Mirfield in 1953

Manchester–Liverpool[edit]

Ale trail[edit]

Owing to a large number of easily accessed and nationally acclaimed pubs along the route (including pubs on the station platforms at Dewsbury, Huddersfield and Stalybridge), an "ale trail" along the route has become popular. Of particular interest are:

  • West Riding Licensed Refreshment Rooms (on the platform at Dewsbury Station, 2006 runner up CAMRA National Pub of the Year)
  • The Kings Head, formerly known as The Station Tavern, in the east wing of Huddersfield station
  • The Head of Steam in the west wing of Huddersfield Station
  • The Commercial, The Shoulder of Mutton and The Swan in Slaithwaite
  • Riverhead, Marsden (with the Riverhead Brewery in the basement, in the town a little down from the station and tunnels)
  • Station Buffet at Stalybridge (original Victorian Station Buffet with marble counter, on the platform at Stalybridge station)

The Trail featured on the BBC Oz and James Drink to Britain programme and consequently became very popular for drinkers in Manchester and Leeds. This has prompted some concerns over anti-social behaviour in the villages along the Trail.[3]

References[edit]