Sowerby Bridge railway station
Platform 2 at Sowerby Bridge railway station
|Number of platforms||2|
|Live arrivals/departures, station information and onward connections
from National Rail Enquiries
|Annual rail passenger usage*|
|Passenger Transport Executive|
|PTE||West Yorkshire (Metro)|
|Original company||Manchester and Leeds Railway|
|Pre-grouping||Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway|
|Post-grouping||London, Midland and Scottish Railway|
|5 October 1840||First station opened|
|1 September 1876||Station re-sited|
|National Rail – UK 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.|
|UK Railways portal|
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. 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. 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 - this opened on 1 September 1876.
Regular passenger services along the original M&L main line via Brighouse (to Wakefield Kirkgate and York) were withdrawn by British Rail on 5 January 1970.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 and the station is now unstaffed. In 2008, the former ticket office building was re-opened as a bar called the Jubilee Refreshment Rooms.
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 which is currently free to use. Step-free access is available to both platforms via the inclined subway linking them or from adjoining roads.
A volunteer group, The Friends of Sowerby Bridge Railway Station, was founded in 2010, to improve the station's environs.
Accidents and incidents
- 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.
There are two trains per hour in each direction during the day, westbound to Todmorden and Manchester Victoria and eastbound to Leeds. Since the 2008 timetable change, eastbound trains run alternately via Bradford Interchange and via Brighouse and Dewsbury. Some peak hour services between York and Blackpool North also call here.
During the evenings and on Sundays, there is an hourly service each way to Manchester and to Leeds via Bradford.
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. 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||Following station|
Manchester - Halifax
Manchester - Normanton
|Watson's Crossing Halt||L&YR
- Butt, R.V.J. (1995). The Directory of Railway Stations. Yeovil: Patrick Stephens Ltd. p. 217. ISBN 1-85260-508-1. R508.
- Marshall, John (1969). The Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway, volume 1. Newton Abbot: David & Charles. p. 52. ISBN 0-7153-4352-1.
- "History". Jubilee Refreshment Rooms. Retrieved 5 July 2011.
- "Station facilities for Sowerby Bridge". National Rail Enquiries. Retrieved 4 January 2010.
- "Refreshing change at Pennine station". Yorkshire Post. 2 February 2008. Retrieved 5 July 2011.
- "Station Car Park Extensions" (PDF). My Journey Newsletter. West Yorkshire Metro. Retrieved 9 March 2014.
- "Home Page". The Friends of Sowerby Bridge Station. Retrieved 9 March 2014.
- Hall, Stanley (1990). The Railway Detectives. London: Ian Allan. p. 65. ISBN 0 7110 1929 0.
- Great Britain eNRT December 2008 and December 2016 Editions, Table 41 (Network Rail)
- "L&YR Sowerby Bridge - Rishworth". Railway Ramblers. Retrieved 28 January 2008.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Sowerby Bridge railway station.|
- Train times and station information for Sowerby Bridge railway station from National Rail
- Milner Royd Junction
|Calderdale Lines (Past, present and future)|