Sowerby Bridge railway station

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Sowerby Bridge National Rail
Sowerby Bridge stn.jpg
Platform 2 at Sowerby Bridge railway station
PlaceSowerby Bridge
Local authorityCalderdale
Coordinates53°42′29″N 1°54′25″W / 53.708°N 1.907°W / 53.708; -1.907Coordinates: 53°42′29″N 1°54′25″W / 53.708°N 1.907°W / 53.708; -1.907
Grid referenceSE062235
Station codeSOW
Managed byNorthern
Number of platforms2
DfT categoryF1
Live arrivals/departures, station information and onward connections
from National Rail Enquiries
Annual rail passenger usage*
2013/14Increase 0.352 million
2014/15Increase 0.384 million
2015/16Increase 0.392 million
2016/17Increase 0.409 million
2017/18Decrease 0.393 million
Passenger Transport Executive
PTEWest Yorkshire (Metro)
Original companyManchester and Leeds Railway
Pre-groupingLancashire and Yorkshire Railway
Post-groupingLondon, Midland and Scottish Railway
5 October 1840First station opened
1 September 1876Station re-sited
National RailUK railway stations
* Annual estimated passenger usage based on sales of tickets in stated financial year(s) which end or originate at Sowerby Bridge from Office of Rail and Road statistics. Methodology may vary year on year.
170433 at Edinburgh Waverley.JPG UK Railways portal

Sowerby Bridge railway station serves the town of Sowerby Bridge in West Yorkshire, England. It lies on the Caldervale Line 4.5 miles (7 km) west of Halifax and 21 miles (34 km) west of Leeds.


The original station was opened on 5 October 1840 by the Manchester and Leeds Railway, on a site 662 yards (605 m) further west (on the other side of the River Ryburn) of the current site.[1] Prior to opening, in August 1840, Branwell Brontë was engaged as 'assistant clerk in charge' at Sowerby Bridge, for which his salary was £75 per annum; he transferred to Luddendenfoot on 1 April 1841.[2] The station became a junction from 1 January 1852, when a branch line from nearby Milner Royd Junction to Halifax was opened by the M&L's successor company the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway; this allowed through trains to operate to Bradford Exchange and eventually Leeds via Stanningley from 1854. Ahead of the opening of the Rishworth Branch in the 1880s, a new station was built on the current site[3] - this opened on 1 September 1876.[1]

Regular passenger services along the original M&L main line via Brighouse (to Wakefield Kirkgate and York) were withdrawn by British Rail on 5 January 1970. Through trains between Manchester & York over the route had ended in the mid-1960s (due to the Beeching Axe), leaving a much-reduced DMU service in later years that started/terminated here and connected with the Calder Valley trains via Bradford. The route remained in use for freight and was subsequently re-opened to passengers on a limited basis in 2000, with an all day service restored in 2007.

A major fire in 1978 resulted in the demolition of most of the buildings by British Rail in 1980. New canopies were erected in 1981 on the remaining platforms, with a ticket office housed in the surviving wing of the 1870s station, however this closed in 1983[3] and the station is now unstaffed.[4] In 2008, the former ticket office building was re-opened as a bar called the Jubilee Refreshment Rooms.[5]

A ticket machine was installed in 2011, allowing passengers to buy tickets before boarding for the first time in almost 30 years. Recent work has seen the installation of an electronic Passenger information system (PIS), giving details of forthcoming departures, and the car park enlarged[6] which is currently free to use. Step-free access is available to both platforms via the inclined subway linking them or from adjoining roads.[4]

A volunteer group, The Friends of Sowerby Bridge Railway Station, was founded in 2010, to improve the station's environs.[7]

Accidents and incidents[edit]

  • On 22 October 1903, an express passenger train was in collision with a light engine due to a signalman's error. Another passenger train collided with the wreckage at low speed. One person was killed.[8]


The regular service from here was increased at the May 2018 timetable change to 3tph each way. Eastbound trains run to Leeds via Bradford (2tph) and via Dewsbury (hourly). One of the former continues to York. Westbound there are two trains per hour to Manchester Victoria (one of which continues to Southport) and one per hour to Preston.

During the evenings and on Sundays, there is an hourly service each way to Manchester and Preston and two per hour to Leeds via Bradford.[9]


At Milner Royd Junction, approximately a quarter of a mile to the east of the lines to Halifax and Brighouse diverge. Immediately east of the station, the dismantled branch line to Ripponden and Rishworth diverged to the southwest, until its closure in 1958.[10] This had at one time its own separate wooden platform south of the main station and linked to it by a short footpath.

Preceding station National Rail National Rail Following station
Mytholmroyd   Northern
Caldervale Line
Disused railways
Luddendenfoot   L&YR
Manchester - Halifax
Manchester - Normanton
Watson's Crossing Halt   L&YR
Rishworth Branch



  1. ^ a b Butt, R.V.J. (1995). The Directory of Railway Stations. Yeovil: Patrick Stephens Ltd. p. 217. ISBN 1-85260-508-1. R508.
  2. ^ Marshall, John (1969). The Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway, volume 1. Newton Abbot: David & Charles. p. 52. ISBN 0-7153-4352-1.
  3. ^ a b "History". Jubilee Refreshment Rooms. Retrieved 5 July 2011.
  4. ^ a b "Station facilities for Sowerby Bridge". National Rail Enquiries. Retrieved 4 January 2010.
  5. ^ "Refreshing change at Pennine station". Yorkshire Post. 2 February 2008. Retrieved 5 July 2011.
  6. ^ "Station Car Park Extensions" (PDF). My Journey Newsletter. West Yorkshire Metro. Retrieved 9 March 2014.
  7. ^ "Home Page". The Friends of Sowerby Bridge Station. Retrieved 9 March 2014.
  8. ^ Hall, Stanley (1990). The Railway Detectives. London: Ian Allan. p. 65. ISBN 0 7110 1929 0.
  9. ^ Table 41 National Rail timetable, December 2018
  10. ^ "L&YR Sowerby Bridge - Rishworth". Railway Ramblers. Retrieved 28 January 2008.

External links[edit]