Wakefield line

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Wakefield line

West Yorkshire
South Yorkshire

Yorkshire and the Humber
Owner Network Rail
Track gauge 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
Wakefield Line
Wakefield Westgate
to Wakefield Kirkgate
Sandal and Agbrigg
Freight route toward
Wakefield Kirkgate and Normanton
to York and Pontefract Baghill
South Elmsall
East Coast Main Line
North to Selby and York
to Goole and Hull
East Coast Main Line
Swinton to Doncaster Line
to Mexborough and Doncaster
Rotherham Central
to Barnsley and Huddersfield
Meadowhall Supertram (Sheffield)
to Worksop and Retford
Sheffield Supertram (Sheffield)

The Wakefield line is a railway line and service in the West Yorkshire Metro and South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive areas of northern England. The Wakefield line is coloured yellow on maps and publications by West Yorkshire Metro.[1] The line was electrified in 1989.[2][3]

The service connects Leeds and Wakefield with Sheffield and Doncaster with the section of the line between Leeds and Doncaster forming part of the East Coast Main Line.[4] The local stopping service is operated by Northern with services between Leeds, Wakefield and either Doncaster or Sheffield. Inter-city operators are Virgin Trains East Coast, East Midlands Trains and CrossCountry who provide services from Leeds to London and the South of England.

Some sections of the line are shared with the Huddersfield (orange) and Pontefract lines (light blue).

West Yorkshire "Metrocards" are available for all trains as far as South Elmsall on the Doncaster section of the line and to Moorthorpe on the Sheffield section.[5]

Pre-nationalisation ownership[edit]

At the time of the 1923 Grouping the line was owned by different railway companies:

  • Leeds Central–Wakefield

Great Northern Railway (GNR) – with Wakefield Westgate station being jointly owned by the GNR and Great Central Railways (GCR).

  • Wakefield–Doncaster

West Riding and Grimsby Joint Railway (WRGJt) itself being of joint Great Northern Railway and Great Central Railway ownership.

  • Moorthorpe–Swinton

Swinton & Knottingley Joint Railway itself being of joint Midland Railway (MidR) and North Eastern Railway (NER) ownership.

  • Swinton–Sheffield

Midland Railway (MidR)

The route[edit]

Trains on the line serve the following places; however, some stations have closed:

Leeds City–Fitzwilliam[edit]

Ardsley Tunnel

At Outwood there were junctions with two joint undertakings; East & West Yorkshire Union (a short line connecting the Great Northern / Midland Railway main lines via Rothwell and Methley Joint Railway (owners being Great Northern, Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway and North Eastern Railway) connecting to various lines in the Castleford area.

Wrenthorpe Junction

From this junction was a line to Dewsbury which was partially closed in 1963 and complete closure came in 1965 – some artefacts still remain to this day.

Nostell North & South Junctions with Great Central Railway

  • Nostell (closed)
  • Fitzwilliam (replaced an earlier station of the same name a short distance away)
  • Hemsworth (closed)

Junction with the Hull and Barnsley Railway (HBR)

Junction with Sheffield branch to the south



Part of this section is also worked as the Dearne Valley line:

Branch line to Frickley Colliery

Hickleton Junction for the Dearne Valley Railway (worked by the Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway)

Junction with the Great Central Railway Penistone–Doncaster line.


From Swinton towards Sheffield, the Midland Railway and Great Central had parallel lines following the course of the River Don. The lines of the competing companies were so close that in 1965 British Railways built a new junction complex at Aldwarke and the current Wakefield Line now follows the former Great Central line to reach the reopened Rotherham Central. Intermediate stations were to be found at:

Taking a new curve, the line joins the Sheffield and Rotherham Railway.

Grimesthorpe Junction the line leaves the Sheffield & Rotherham and takes the Midland Railway line built in 1870.

Route maps of the route 1910–1913

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Rail network map Metro". wymetro.com. Retrieved 18 January 2016. 
  2. ^ "Leeds West". www.lostrailwayswestyorkshire.co.uk. Retrieved 18 January 2016. 
  3. ^ "Intercity 225: Fastest in the fleet". BBC. 17 October 2000. Retrieved 18 January 2016. 
  4. ^ "Moving ahead – Route Plan G East Coast" (PDF). Network Rail. NR. 2010. p. 4. Retrieved 18 January 2016. 
  5. ^ "MetroCard – bus travel with rail zones 2–5". www.wymetro.com. Retrieved 18 January 2016.