West Riding and Grimsby Railway

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West Riding &
Grimsby Railway
Wakefield Westgate
Sandal & Agbrigg
Hare Park & Crofton
South Elmsall
Manchester, Sheffield & Lincs Rly
to Grimsby
Stainforth and Hatfield
Bentley Crossing Halt
Great Northern Railway
main line to York

The West Riding and Grimsby Railway was a joint railway whose main line linked Wakefield with Doncaster, while a branch line ran between Adwick and Stainforth. The companies involved were the Manchester, Sheffield and Lincolnshire Railway and the Great Northern Railway. The WR&G gave the Great Northern Railway a new direct line to Wakefield from Doncaster on its north-south main line, and onwards to the Woollen District towns and the cities of Leeds, Bradford and Halifax over the tracks of the former West Yorkshire Railway, which it acquired in 1865; while the M.S.& L.R. could offer connections to Grimsby, and its docks, and the seaside resort of Cleethorpes.

The company was formally susbsumed into the Great Northern Railway on 28 June 1867.[1] The line was then inherited by the LNER in 1923, and today is still the main route for East Coast Main Line expresses to Leeds.


The main line ran from Wakefield, the county town of the West Riding of Yorkshire, to Marshgate Junction, just north of Doncaster and the branch from Adwick Junction near Adwick-le-Street and Carcroft to Stainforth Junction, just to the west of the present day Hatfield and Stainforth.[2] There were also three further lines: a triangular junction was created at Adwick, opened in November 1866, which made it possible, should it be required, to run from Doncaster to Grimsby by this route; secondly a line from Hare Park Junction, near Wakefield, to the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway near to Wakefield Kirkgate, and lastly a connection to the Midland Railway at Oakenshaw Junction, south of Wakefield.[3] A short curve was also laid in from Applehurst Junction to join the North Eastern Railway main line towards Selby at Joan Croft Junction to allow through running to and from the north.[4]


The main line was opened in February 1866 with intermediate stations at Sandal, Hare Park, Nostell, Hemsworth, South Elmsall and Adwick-le-Street and Carcroft.[5] Since that time halts were opened at Hampole and Bentley Crossing in 1866.[6][7] One station was built on the "branch" line at Bramwith but as early as 1933, this was closed to passengers and dealing only with goods.[8]

Historical maps[edit]

The western end in 1912
The western part of the central section in 1911
The eastern part of the central section in 1910
The eastern section in 1914
Railway Clearing House diagrams showing the WR&G line (orange/pink) from Wakefield to Doncaster, and the branch to Stainforth.

Modern times[edit]

New stations at Adwick, Bentley, Sandal and Agbrigg (30 November 1987) and Fitzwilliam (1 March 1982)[9] have been opened as population shift has made these viable. South Elmsall is the only original station but this has been extended and the Doncaster-bound (Up) platform rebuilt. The Adwick to Hatfield & Stainforth line closed to passenger traffic in 1979,[10] but is still kept busy as it is used by freight services as a means to avoid Doncaster.[11]


  • West Riding and Grimsby Railway Act, 1862 (25 & 26 Vic., Cap.211); An Act to authorize the Construction of a Railway from the Bradford, Wakefield, and Leeds Railway at Wakefield to the South Yorkshire Railway at Barnby-upon-Don, and of certain Branch Railways, to be called "The West Riding and Grimsby Railway".
  • West Riding and Grimsby Railway Act, 1864 (27 & 28 Vic., Cap 91); An Act to enable the West Riding and Grimsby Railway Company to make a Station at Wakefield, and for other Purposes with relation to that Company.
  • West Riding and Grimsby Railway Act, 1865 (28 & 28 Vic., Cap.259); An Act to enable the West Riding and Grimsby Railway Company to raise further Sums of Money; to extend the Time limited in respect of One of their authorized Branches; and for other Purposes.
  • West Riding and Grimsby Railway (Extension) Act, 1865 (28 & 29 Vic. Cap.321); An Act to authorize the West Riding and Grimsby Railway Company to construct a Railway from the South Yorkshire Railway to Lincoln; and for other purposes
    • West Riding and Grimsby Railway (Abandonment) Act 1868 (31 & 32 Vic. 1868, Cap.55); An Act to repeal "The West Riding and Grimsby Railway (Extension) Act, 1865."
  • The West Riding and Grimsby Railway (Transfer) Act, 1866 (29 & 30 Vic., Cap.162); An Act to transfer the West Riding and Grimsby Railway to the Great Northern and Manchester, Sheffield and Lincolnshire Railway Companies jointly; and for other Purposes with respect to the said Undertaking and Companies


  1. ^ Bassett, Herbert H, ed. (1915). Bradshaw's railway manual, shareholders' guide, and official directory 1915 (67 ed.). London: Henry Blacklock & Co. p. 114. OCLC 317660658. 
  2. ^ Grant, Donald (2016). Directory of British railway companies of Great Britain. Kibworth Beauchamp: Matador. p. 604. ISBN 9781785893322. 
  3. ^ Bairstow 1999, pp. 18-20.
  4. ^ Historic England. "Great Northern Railway (Northern Direct Line) (1375238)". PastScape. Retrieved 23 January 2017. 
  5. ^ Body 1989, p. 173.
  6. ^ Bairstow 1999, p. 94.
  7. ^ Tuffrey, Peter (2011). South Yorkshire Railway Stations - Adwick-Le-Street to Wortley. Stroud: Amberley Press. p. 23. ISBN 978-1-4456-0122-9. 
  8. ^ Willox, William Arthur, ed. (March 1933). "Pertinent Paragraphs - West Riding and Grimsby". The Railway Magazine. Vol. 41 no. 480. pp. 220–221. ISSN 0033-8923. 
  9. ^ Haigh, A J (2012). Railways in West Yorkshire; Leeds, Bradford, Wakefield, Huddersfield and the West Riding (1 ed.). Express Publishing. pp. 75–77. ISBN 978-1-901056-44-0. 
  10. ^ Slater, John, ed. (July 1987). "Why and Wherfore - West Riding and Grimsby Railway". The Railway Magazine. Vol. 133 no. 1035. Ewell: Prospect Magazines. p. 469. ISSN 0033-8923. 
  11. ^ "Yorkshire &Humber Route Utilisation Strategy" (PDF). archive.nr.co.uk. Network Rail. July 2009. pp. 30–36. Retrieved 23 January 2017. 


  • Bairstow, Martin (1999). The Great Northern Railway in the West Riding. Farsley, West Yorkshire, UK: Bairstow. ISBN 1-871944-19-8. 
  • Body, Geoffrey (1989). Railways of the Eastern Region. Wellingborough, Northamptonshire, UK: Thorsons Publishing. ISBN 1-85260-072-1.