Ribblehead railway station

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Ribblehead National Rail
Ribbleheadstation aug07 leedsplatform.jpg
Place Ribblehead
Local authority Craven
Coordinates 54°12′21″N 2°21′39″W / 54.2057°N 2.3609°W / 54.2057; -2.3609Coordinates: 54°12′21″N 2°21′39″W / 54.2057°N 2.3609°W / 54.2057; -2.3609
Grid reference SD765789
Station code RHD
Managed by Northern
Number of platforms 2
DfT category F2
Live arrivals/departures, station information and onward connections
from National Rail Enquiries
Annual rail passenger usage*
2012/13 Decrease 18,636
2013/14 Decrease 18,448
2014/15 Increase 19,820
2015/16 Decrease 18,930
2016/17 Decrease 17,734
1876 opened
1970 closed
1986 reopened
National RailUK railway stations
* Annual estimated passenger usage based on sales of tickets in stated financial year(s) which end or originate at Ribblehead from Office of Rail and Road statistics. Methodology may vary year on year.
170433 at Edinburgh Waverley.JPG UK Railways portal

Ribblehead railway station is located at the southern end of the famous Ribblehead Viaduct in North Yorkshire, England. It is operated by Northern who provide all passenger train services.

The station was designed by the Midland Railway company architect John Holloway Sanders.[1]

It was reopened in 1986 by British Rail with only one platform (the southbound one) in place - the northbound one having been demolished after the station's original closure in May 1970 to allow for the construction of transfer sidings for a nearby quarry (these still exist and have recently been restored to use for timber trains - see below). A replacement second platform was opened in 1993 a short distance south of the original site.

In previous years, Ribblehead served as a meteorological station, with the stationmaster transmitting coded reports to the Air Ministry.[2] In 1957, the task was carried out by a former Royal Air Force navigator.[2] Monthly services were held in the station's waiting room by the Vicar of Ingleton.[2] These were accompanied by a harmonium concealed behind a billboard in the waiting room, which was brought to the station by a missionary who came as a minister to the construction gangs when the railway was being constructed through the moors in the early 1870s.[2] British Rail charged 2 shillings for the use of the waiting room, which saw as many as 50 worshippers at harvest festivals.[2]

This station is now leased by the Settle and Carlisle Railway Trust, who have completely restored and refurbished it (reopened to public use in 2000).[3] There are resident caretakers, holiday accommodation, a small shop selling memorabilia, and its Visitor Centre includes exhibits about the history of the line and the fight to keep it open. One exhibit in the Visitor Centre is the original station sign and a small exhibition about the Midland Railway company, builders of the line and originally the train operators.


The platforms both have level access, but the northbound one is linked to the rest of the station by a barrow crossing and is not recommended for use for disabled passengers without assistance.[4] Train running information is available via telephone and information posters. The station is unstaffed and no ticket machine is provided, so passengers must purchase them on the train or before their journey.

Passenger services[edit]

Generally there is a train every two hours northbound to Carlisle (eight departures on Mondays to Saturdays) and southbound to Leeds (seven Mon-Fri, plus one extra on Saturdays).[5] One service each day also terminates and starts back from here (the last train of the day from Leeds) - this runs empty across the viaduct to reverse at Blea Moor signal box, where the driver changes ends before returning south.

Five trains each way call on Sundays all year round, with an additional DalesRail service each way also serving the station in the summer. All northbound trains terminated at Armathwaite (with a bus link to Carlisle) until the end of March 2017 due to the ongoing repair works to the damaged embankment at Eden Brows. Services through to Carlisle resumed on 31 March 2017 upon reopening of the affected section to traffic.

Preceding station National Rail National Rail Following station
Horton-in-Ribblesdale   Northern
Settle-Carlisle Line

Freight services[edit]

Colas Rail Freight began hauling timber from the transfer sidings adjacent to the station in August 2010. The timber arrives by lorry from the local fells and is transported to a woodchip and board plant at Chirk in North Wales.[6]

Roadstone from Ingleton Quarry has also occasionally been railed out of the sidings.[7] All services leaving must head north over Ribblehead Viaduct due to the lack of Run-round facilities at the station. Southbound trains can then reverse at Blea Moor Loop.[8]



  1. ^ "Notes by the Way". Derbyshire Times and Chesterfield Herald. British Newspaper Archive. 1 November 1884. Retrieved 12 July 2016 – via British Newspaper Archive. (Subscription required (help)). 
  2. ^ a b c d e "Chapel in a station". Trains Illustrated. X (101): 59. February 1957. 
  3. ^ Stations - Ribblehead Settle Carlisle Railway; Retrieved 23 November 2016
  4. ^ Ribblehead station facilities National Rail Enquiries; Retrieved 5 December 2016
  5. ^ GB National Rail Timetable May 2018, Table 42
  6. ^ Buck, Martin (2010). Loco Review 2011. Swindon, United Kingdom: Freightmaster Publishing. p. 38. ISBN 978-0-9558275-4-9. 
  7. ^ Shannon, Paul (February 2014). "Freight Review - Gains & Losses 2013". Railways Illustrated. Key Publishing. Retrieved 8 October 2015. 
  8. ^ Bridge, Mike (2013). Railway Track Diagrams - Book 4; Midlands & North West. Bradford-On-Avon: Trackmaps. ISBN 978-0-9549866-7-4. 

External links[edit]