Lake Lock Rail Road

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The Lake Lock Railway was an early narrow gauge railway built near Wakefield, West Yorkshire, England.

The Company[edit]

The Lake Lock Rail Road Company was formed in 1796 with the capital being raised from 128 shares.[1] These were purchased by a broad range of people including a lawyer, banker, doctor, clergyman, merchant and widow.[1] The initial route opened to traffic in 1798 (pre-dating the Surrey Iron Railway),[2] and commenced at Lake Lock, near Stanley, Wakefield on the Aire & Calder Navigation and ran broadly in a westerly direction to Outwood,[3] a distance of approximately 3 miles.[1] In 1804 the route was changed to avoid a steep incline and this resulted in the terminus relocating from Lake Lock to nearby Bottomboat. There were also a number of branches to collieries and a stone quarry. Extensions were constructed to East Ardsley and Kirkhamgate.[1]


The primary purpose of the line was the carriage of coal from the various coal pits surrounding the line to the Aire & Calder Navigation for shipment elsewhere.[4] Other goods carried include roadstone, timber and burnt lime. The load of three waggons was hauled by one horse with an average gradient of 1 in 70 (1.43%) down to the navigation. The track used edge rails to a gauge of 3 ft 4 34 in (1,035 mm).[1] Goods were charged by toll, initially at 6d per ton, subsequently increasing to 10 ½ d per ton. In 1807 110,000 tons were being carried each year, however this had reduced to 81,000 tons by 1819 with a further reduction to 76,000 tons in 1823. The line gradually declined and was closed in 1836 when the major colliery owner J & J Charlesworth built an alternative railway.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f "Stanley History Online - Lake Lock Rail Road". Stanley History Online. Retrieved 24 April 2017. 
  2. ^ Sowan, Paul (2007). "The Croydon, Merstham & Godstone Iron Railway reaches Reigate at last – about two centuries late" (PDF). London Archaeologist. p. 241. Retrieved 24 April 2017. 
  3. ^ "Lecture notes 2014-2015". Retrieved 24 April 2017. 
  4. ^ "1798 Lake Lock Rail Road Company Above Ground Railway | Railroad History". Retrieved 24 April 2017. 
  • Goodchild, J. (2006), Early Railways 3, Six Martlets Publishing