Wakefield Westgate railway station

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Wakefield Westgate National Rail
Wakefield Westgate station with Voyager (geograph 5022098).jpg
Wakefield Westgate railway station
Location
Place Wakefield
Local authority City of Wakefield
Coordinates 53°40′55″N 1°30′20″W / 53.6820°N 1.5055°W / 53.6820; -1.5055Coordinates: 53°40′55″N 1°30′20″W / 53.6820°N 1.5055°W / 53.6820; -1.5055
Grid reference SE327207
Operations
Station code WKF
Managed by Virgin Trains East Coast
Number of platforms 2
DfT category B
Live arrivals/departures, station information and onward connections
from National Rail Enquiries
Annual rail passenger usage*
2011/12 Increase 2.288 million
2012/13 Decrease 2.267 million
2013/14 Increase 2.358 million
2014/15 Increase 2.485 million
2015/16 Increase 2.519 million
Passenger Transport Executive
PTE West Yorkshire (Metro)
Zone 3
History
1867 Opened
National RailUK railway stations
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
* Annual estimated passenger usage based on sales of tickets in stated financial year(s) which end or originate at Wakefield Westgate from Office of Rail and Road statistics. Methodology may vary year on year.
170433 at Edinburgh Waverley.JPG UK Railways portal

Wakefield Westgate railway station is a mainline railway station in Wakefield, West Yorkshire, England. It is 10 miles (16 km) south of Leeds on Westgate to the west of the city centre, on the Wakefield Line and Leeds branch of the East Coast Main Line.

History[edit]

Entrance to the 1867 station near the bridge on Westgate

The first Westgate station opened in 1856 following the opening of the spur line from the city's first station Wakefield Kirkgate. It occupied part of a mansion on the south side built for John Milnes in the mid-18th century. No trace of the station remains as the site was cleared and a school, also demolished, was built on it.[1]

The second station, built by the Great Northern Railway (GNR), Manchester, Sheffield and Lincolnshire, and Lancashire and Yorkshire Railways on the line from Leeds to Doncaster, opened in 1867 on the opposite side of Westgate. The line approached Westgate from Leeds on an embankment and then passed over a bridge on Westgate at the start of a 95-arch viaduct. Designed by J B Fraser, the station had a tower to which a clock with four faces by Potts of Leeds was added in June 1880. The clock tower and some of the station buildings were demolished in the 1960s.[1][2]

The station was modernised and rebuilt by British Rail in 1967, when direct access to the platform level was achieved by infilling the station forecourt to the former first storey platform level.[citation needed] Opened after the Kirkgate station, Westgate has become the main station in the city due to its location on the main line from Leeds to Doncaster and London. Until the mid 1960s, it had regular services to Bradford Exchange via Batley and Ossett and via Morley Top and to Castleford via the Methley Joint Railway but these services fell victim to the Beeching Axe between 1964 and 1966.

In 2013 the station was rebuilt at the northern end of platform 1 as part of the Merchant Gate redevelopment scheme.

Regeneration[edit]

Platform 2 - For northbound trains

A £1.4 million redevelopment scheme was planned for the station by the end of 2009.[3] The development is part of the Westgate Key Development Area.[4] in which "offices, leisure, small scale retail, hotel, restaurants and a substantial amount of new housing" was built on the site of the old dairy and the disused railway goods yards. Work on the Merchant Gate development - comprising 66 apartments, office space and nine retail/leisure units began in 2009 and was completed in September 2010.

Work began to reconstructing the station at the northern end of the platforms in March 2013 and the new station and footbridge opened on 22 December 2013 and officially opened by Secretary of State for Transport Patrick McLoughlin on 3 February 2014.

Services[edit]

The station is managed by Virgin Trains East Coast, whose services run south from platform 1 to Doncaster and stations to London King's Cross and north from platform 2 to Leeds. A half-hourly weekday service from Wakefield to London takes approximately just over 2 hours for the 175 miles (282 km) journey.[5]

The station is also served by CrossCountry, Northern and East Midlands Trains. CrossCountry operate train services north to Newcastle, Edinburgh and Glasgow and services to Birmingham New Street, Exeter and the South West of England.[6]

Northern operate services to Leeds, Doncaster and Sheffield on the Wakefield Line and Huddersfield Line services to Huddersfield via Wakefield Kirkgate and Mirfield.[7] During the evenings, there are trains on the Pontefract Line towards Knottingley via Kirkgate and Pontefract Monkhill. This route will run all day and be extended to Leeds after the new Northern franchise starts in 2016. The new franchisee Arriva Rail North is planning to operate its new Northern Connect service between Bradford Interchange and Nottingham via Westgate, Leeds & Sheffield.[8]

East Midlands Trains services from Leeds to London St Pancras via Derby or Nottingham call at Westgate. They are three early morning departures from Leeds and up to four late afternoon/evening return trips from St Pancras.[9] This is because the maintenance depot for former Midland Mainline HST power cars is the Maintrain depot at Neville Hill in Leeds. This provides a limited but useful service between West Yorkshire and the East Midlands. The former operator Midland Mainline had plans for a regular service between St Pancras and Leeds via the Erewash Valley and Leicester but they were rejected by the Strategic Rail Authority.

Facilities[edit]

The station concourse in 2014.

The station is manned and has an information kiosk, ticket office and self-service ticket machines, refreshments and a newsagent. Outside is a taxi rank, a cashpoint and a bus stop. Train running information is via digital display screens, timetable posters and automatic announcements. Lifts and a footbridge connect the platforms, so step-free access is available throughout the station.[10]

Culture[edit]

Between 1988 and 2009, a modern sculpture 'A Light Wave' by the Leeds-based artist Charles Quick was located on the wall behind the old bay platform on the northbound side of the station. The installation comprised a series of wooden planks laid up against a wall, in the form of waves, and illuminated from behind by a succession of lamps.[11] The sculpture fell into disrepair and was removed. Wakefield Westgate appeared in the TV series A Touch of Frost as Denton Station.


Wakefield Westgate railway station
To Outwood & Leeds
To Wakefield Kirkgate
To Sandal & Aggbrigg,
Sheffield & Doncaster

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Wakefield’s Westgate Stations" (pdf). Wakefield Historical Society. Retrieved 4 August 2016. 
  2. ^ Wakefield Westgate, West Yorkshire
  3. ^ "£2.4 Billion Rail Expansion Programme Unveiled". Network Rail. 3 April 2007. Archived from the original on 28 September 2007. Retrieved 3 April 2007. 
  4. ^ "Westgate Key Development Area". Wakefield Metropolitan District Council. 
  5. ^ GB eNRT 2016-17 Edition, Table 26
  6. ^ Table 51 National Rail timetable, December 2016
  7. ^ GB eNRT 2016-17 Edition, Tables 31 & 39
  8. ^ Northern Franchise Improvements - DfT
  9. ^ GB eNRT, Table 53
  10. ^ Wakfield Westgate station facilities National Rail Enquiries; Retrieved 24 January 2017
  11. ^ "Bradford Sculpture Trail - Art - lap Light - Little Germany". Retrieved 3 April 2007. 

External links[edit]

Preceding station National Rail National Rail Following station
CrossCountry
CrossCountry
Doncaster   Virgin Trains East Coast
East Coast Main Line
  Leeds
East Midlands Trains
East Midlands Trains
Terminus Northern
Huddersfield Line
Northern
Wakefield Line