Kirkstall Forge railway station

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Kirkstall Forge National Rail
Kirkstall Forge 2018.jpg
Platform 1 in June 2018
Local authorityCity of Leeds
Coordinates53°49′38″N 1°38′13″W / 53.8271°N 1.6369°W / 53.8271; -1.6369Coordinates: 53°49′38″N 1°38′13″W / 53.8271°N 1.6369°W / 53.8271; -1.6369
Grid referenceSE249364
Station codeKLF
Managed byNorthern
Number of platforms2
DfT categoryF2
Live arrivals/departures, station information and onward connections
from National Rail Enquiries
Annual rail passenger usage*
2016/17Steady 94,356
2017/18Increase 150,208
Passenger Transport Executive
PTEWest Yorkshire (Metro)
Original companyMidland Railway
1 July 1860 (1860-07-01)Opened
31 July 1905Closed
19 June 2016Reopened
National RailUK railway stations
* Annual estimated passenger usage based on sales of tickets in stated financial year(s) which end or originate at Kirkstall Forge from Office of Rail and Road statistics. Methodology may vary year on year.
170433 at Edinburgh Waverley.JPG UK Railways portal

Kirkstall Forge railway station is a suburban station serving the Kirkstall area of Leeds, West Yorkshire, England. It is on the Leeds to Bradford Line between Leeds City and Shipley and was opened in 19 June 2016, near the site of an earlier station with the same name.


The original station opened on 1 July 1860 and closed on 31 July 1905. During 1905, the line between Leeds and Shipley was quadrupled, which involved slewing the line and building new bridges in several places.[1] It was not considered worthwhile rebuilding it when the line was diverted onto a new bridge over the canal.[2] A new station could provide opportunities for travel when space became available with the Kirkstall Forge Engineering closing in stages during the 1980s, 1990s and the early 2000s.[3][4]

The new station, near the site of the original, opened on 19 June 2016. Metro, the Passenger Transport Executive for West Yorkshire, opened the station having already overseen the opening of nearby Apperley Bridge in December 2015.

Go-ahead for construction at Kirkstall Forge and Apperley Bridge was given in the National Infrastructure Plan released on 29 November 2011.[5][6]


The station's footbridge
The new footpath providing access from the West.

The station has two platforms, with a footbridge and lifts linking them.[7] A bus stop, 127 car parking spaces and secure cycle storage were also constructed along with the station.[8] Ticket vending machines are available and there are digital information screens and a P.A system provided for train running information provision.


Though it is sited on the Airedale and Wharfedale lines, the station was to be served by trains between Leeds and Bradford Forster Square providing two trains per hour in each direction.[8] The May 2016 timetable, published by Network Rail and Metro, shows the station as being served by one train per hour between Leeds and Ilkley, with a limited number of additional calls (peak hour & late night) provided by Airedale Line services to/from Skipton & Bradford.[9] On Sundays Leeds to Bradford Forster Square trains call once per hour each way.

In November 2017 the frequency of services was raised in the House of Commons by the local Member of Parliament[10] and plans were subsequently announced to double the frequency between Kirkstall Forge and Leeds to 2 trains per hour from 20 May 2018.[11]

Services to/from Ilkley no longer now stop at Kirkstall as a result of this change, with regular timetabled calls now provided by the Leeds - Bradford Forster Square trains (Ilkley connections are now available at Shipley). Certain Skipton services also stop in the weekday peak and after 20:00 Mondays to Saturdays when the Bradford - Leeds service doesn't operate. Sunday services remain unchanged.[12]

Preceding station National Rail National Rail Following station
Wharfedale Line
Airedale Line
Leeds-Bradford Line
  Historical railways  
Newlay & Horsforth   Midland Railway
Leeds and Bradford Railway

Planning and construction[edit]

The derelict site of Kirkstall Forge seen in December 2014.

In 1999, Metro announced that Kirkstall Forge and Apperley Bridge were among five new or reopened stations which they wished to see achieved over the ensuing five years. Glasshoughton opened in 2005.

In July 2007, Leeds City Council approved a planning application to redevelop the Kirkstall Forge site, and the developer, Commercial Estates Group, committed £4 million to build a railway station and provide new rolling stock.

In September 2008, the West Yorkshire PTE announced that the Yorkshire & Humber Regional Transport Board had approved funding for its "rail growth programme" which included stations at Apperley Bridge and Kirkstall Forge. A public exhibition of the plans took place in June 2009[13] with the planning application submitted to Leeds City Council in March 2010[8] and approval being granted in June 2010.[14]

Despite significant private sector funding, the larger Rail Growth Programme including Apperley Bridge was listed as a schemes under government review in June 2010.[15]

Following the Comprehensive Spending Review in Autumn 2010 the Leeds Rail Growth Package was included in the "Development" pool of schemes. Metro submitted a "Best & Final Funding Bid" in September 2011 and funding was confirmed November 2011 as part of the National Infrastructure Plan.[5][6]

On 29 May 2014 the Department for Transport committed £9.5 million from a total of £16 million towards the Leeds Rail Growth scheme which included both Kirkstall Forge and Apperley Bridge stations. Works began in November 2014 by designers Amey Plc and the principal contractor C Spencers Ltd on behalf of Network Rail with completion of both stations expected by winter 2015.[16] Partly due to flooding, work for the wider non-rail Kirkstall site ran behind schedule[17] and its opening was delayed until June 2016.[18] It eventually opened on 19 June.[19]


  1. ^ Bairstow, Martin (2004). Railways Through Airedale and Wharfedale. Farsley: Bairstow. p. 11. ISBN 1-871944-28-7.
  2. ^ "David Heys steam diesel photo collection - 49 - AIRE VALLEY LINE 1". Retrieved 15 March 2018.
  3. ^ Binns, Donald (1984). Steam in Airedale. Skipton: Wyvern. pp. 11–12. ISBN 0907941117.
  4. ^ "300 Jobs Axed". Yorkshire Evening Post. 14 November 2001. Retrieved 15 March 2018.
  5. ^ a b National Infrastructure Plan 2011 HM Treasury
  6. ^ a b "New stations for Kirkstall Forge & Apperley Bridge". 29 November 2011. Archived from the original on 1 December 2011. Retrieved 2 December 2011.
  7. ^ Kirkstall Forge station facilities National Rail Enquiries; Retrieved 29 November 2016
  8. ^ a b c "Planning permission sought for new station at Kirkstall Forge" (Press release). Network Rail. 17 March 2010. Archived from the original on 29 September 2011. Retrieved 29 March 2010.
  9. ^ GB eNRT May 2016 Edition, Tables 36, 37 & 38
  10. ^ "Kirkstall Forge Station: "There's no point opening new stations if trains don't stop"". Retrieved 22 January 2018.
  11. ^ "Half hourly service for Kirkstall Forge Station". West Leeds Dispatch. Retrieved 24 March 2018.
  12. ^ Table 37 National Rail timetable, May 2018
  13. ^ Reeves, Rachel (27 July 2010). "'Join my campaign to save Kirkstall Forge station' - MP". The Guardian. Retrieved 15 March 2018.
  14. ^ "Kirkstall Forge agreed". Rail (647). 30 June 2010. p. 16.
  15. ^ Broadbent, Steve (30 June 2010). "Twenty rail funding schemes now 'under Government review'". Rail (647). pp. 14–15.
  16. ^ "Kirkstall Forge site greenlit as government agrees to fund two new rail stations". Yorkshire Evening Post. 28 May 2014. Retrieved 28 May 2014.
  17. ^ "April opening for Kirkstall Forge". Rail Magazine. 25 February 2016. Retrieved 14 March 2016.
  18. ^ "First trains due at Kirkstall Forge on Sunday". West Leeds Dispatch. 15 June 2016. Retrieved 15 June 2016.
  19. ^ "Leeds Kirkstall Forge railway station opens". BBC News. BBC. 19 June 2016. Retrieved 19 June 2016.

External links[edit]