Rishworth Branch

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Rishworth branch
Bridge over the dismantled Rishworth Branch railway line - geograph.org.uk - 1261540.jpg
Status disused
Locale West Yorkshire, England
Termini Sowerby Bridge
Opened 1 July 1878 (goods)
Closed 8 July 1929 (passenger)
Owner Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway
Track gauge 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
Rishworth Branch
Caldervale Line
Sowerby Bridge
Scar Head tunnel
Watson's Crossing Halt
Ripponden and Barkisland

The Rishworth branch was built by the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway and linked Sowerby Bridge with Rishworth and served the villages of Triangle, Ripponden, Barkisland and Rishworth.[1]


A branch from Sowerby Bridge to Ripponden was authorised in 1865, with an extension to Rishworth authorised in 1871. The line opened as far as Ripponden in 1878 and to Rishworth in 1881. It was intended to extend the line to Littleborough to shorten the Calder Valley main line by 5 miles (8.0 km), but this never took place. The branch line was closed to passengers on 8 July 1929. The section between Rishworth and Ripponden closed for freight in 1953 and Ripponden to Sowerby Bridge closed completely on 1 September 1958


The line left Sowerby Bridge a little to the west of the station, diverging south. It passed through the 593 yards (542 m) Scar Head tunnel, rising on a 1 in 107 gradient to Triangle. From Triangle to Rishworth the gradient increased to 1 in 60.

Present day[edit]

Part of the trackbed is now a permissive bridleway. A section of the line south west from Ripponden village is a permissive footpath.[2]


  1. ^ Joy, David (1984). A Regional History of the Railways of Great Britain Volume VIII South and West Yorkshire. David St John Thomas. ISBN 0-946537-11-9. 
  2. ^ "Railway Ramblers Calderdale - L&YR SOWERBY BRIDGE - RISHWORTH (3½ miles)". Retrieved 15 May 2009.