Notes: The line from Bradford to Thornton via
Queensbury was opened as a joint venture between the Lancashire
& Yorkshire Railway and the Great Northern Railway between
1876 and 1878. The line was extended to Keighley in 1884. Once
out of Bradford, the line was mostly rural and necessitated
the construction of many earthworks, viaducts and tunnels. Its
hilly nature earned it the nicknames of 'the Alpine route' or
'the switchback' from its loyal drivers.
Like Clayton and Thornton, Denholme station
was built in the GN "island" layout. Passenger
use was never very great as the station was a mile away
from the village down a dark and windy lane. Local buses
always offered a more convenient service for most people.
At 850 ft above sea level, Denholme was the highest station
on the entire GN system and as a result, its coal depot
was kept busy in the winter when the roads were cut off.
After passenger services ceased in 1955, the station
also continued to handle a large amount of timber traffic.
Despite local opposition, the station closed in 1961 and
the heavy freight traffic was transferred to the roads,
frequently causing noise & congestion on the narrow
When I visited the site in 2005, I found that virtually every
public footpath around the site had been closed off (some illegally)
or built over, making photography a difficult and frustrating
In May 2005 a section of the railway was brought back to life
as the Great
Northern Trail. The first section of the new trail runs
from Cullingworth to Harecroft Eventually the new trail will
cover a distance of 10 kilometres between Queensbury and Cullingworth
but it will be five years before it is completed.
The new trail is availbale for walkers, cyclists and horse
riders and is also suitable for wheelchairs. The section of
the trail already open includes two viaducts including the listed
Viaduct near Cullingworth
To see the other
stations on the Halifax - Bradford - Keighley lines click on
the station name: Halifax
St. Pauls, Pellon,
Road, St. Dunstan's,
Adolphus Street, Thornton,
& Ingrow East