Station Name: EASTWOOD (Yorks)

[Source: Alan Young]


Date opened: 28.12.1840
Location: North-west of Halifax Road (A646); down platform formerly west, and up platform, east of level crossing reached via steep station approach roads; line still in use
Company on opening: Manchester & Leeds Railway
Date closed to passengers: 3.12.1951
Date closed completely: 18.5.1964
Company on closing:

British Railways (London Midland Region)

Present state:

Demolished

County: Yorkshire West Riding, now West Yorkshire
OS Grid Ref: SD965258
Date of visit: July 1974 and May 2015

Notes: Eastwood station - suffixed ‘Yorks’ to distinguish it from its namesake in Nottinghamshire - opened with the Manchester & Leeds (M&L) Railway in 1840. Passing through Calderdale, with its steep valley-side slopes and narrow floor occupied by the River Calder, the Rochdale Canal, the turnpike road, scattered houses and mills, the M&L engineers faced considerable challenges inserting the route of the railway. At Eastwood the line was squeezed between the main road and the near-vertical valley side on a narrow ledge created by excavating on the uphill side and embanking on the other. The station was placed on this unpromising site, and Biddle in Victorian Stations (1973) selected it as an example of how the geographical constraints of a site could produce quite a remarkable station. He writes:

‘Eastwood … was built on a shelf above the valley. The platforms were low, barely above rail level, narrow in the extreme, and staggered on either side of a level crossing reached by a steep road. There was no space for platform structures, so the station offices were built into the hillside on the opposite side of the road which, after crossing the line, turned sharply parallel to it. The station existed in this primitive form for over a century, until closure in 1951.’

The location chosen for the station was on land acquired from the estate of the Eastwood family adjacent to Cockden Mill, which they both owned and operated; indeed, the presence of Cockden Mill might have been the reason for a station being built here. When the first Manchester & Leeds Railway Prospectus was published in 1831 Mr Thomas Eastwood was a director. The station was built on the original site of Eastwood Chapel, but little evidence of its existence remains. A large number of cottages were built right down to the site of the old Myrtle Grove Chapel, and the old inn at Bottoms. These two sites were absorbed when the railway was built and the chapel and the new Station House Inn constructed in their stead, the railway company greatly assisting in the provision of funds. Eastwood was little more than a hamlet at this time.

The main building was placed just beyond the north-east of the down (Leeds-bound) platform and included accommodation for the stationmaster and the booking office. It was a particularly plain two-storey structure that could have been plucked from any of the settlements in upper Calderdale, built of coursed, locally quarried thin sandstone blocks under a pitched slate roof. The window openings were unadorned, but the central doorway was sheltered by an angular hood-mould. The relatively short upstairs windows gave the building rather a pinched appearance, and this was emphasised by the single-storey office and waiting room range to the north-east, also of sandstone, whose roof-line was almost as high as its two-storeyed neighbour; the window and door openings were much taller on the single-storey section, again contributing to the unbalanced composition. Altogether the station building, fitting snugly into a sheer rock face, was ugly but fascinating. The signal box stood several yards north-east of the station building, set into a stone-lined recess in the cutting.

On the up (Manchester-bound) platform was a small, open timber pent-roofed shelter which extended a short distance back from the narrow platform. Gas lighting was provided. Despite the constraints of the site, space was found for goods sidings and coal drops north-east of the station, and a loop was installed opposite the Leeds-bound platform. It is fortunate that several photographers recorded the station for posterity.

Despite its unpretentious appearance this station it has been suggested that it was the local one for the wealthy and influential Fielden family, some of whom served on the LYR board, one being Chairman, and that one of the directors of the LYR lived at Eastwood station house; one source asserts that he would require trains to make unscheduled stops at Eastwood so that he could attend meetings in Manchester. Todmorden was the town where the three dominant Fielden brothers lived in the mid nineteenth century and exerted enormous influence.

The timetable below shows the service on the day of opening of the Manchester terminus at Victoria station; this replaced the Oldham Road terminus. Eastwood’s weekday timetable is distinctly unbalanced (in contrast to that of its neighbour Hebden Bridge) permitting only morning travel in the Manchester direction; this would presumably have been sufficient for businessmen and shoppers to reach the city, with a wider choice of return trains. Leeds services worked via Normanton; Hunslet Lane station closed in 1851.

Up trains: weekdays
January 1844

Destination

Down trains: weekdays

Destination

7.32am (Tues only)

Manchester Victoria

5.34am (Wed only)

Leeds Hunslet Lane

9.24am

Manchester Victoria

10.14am

Leeds Hunslet Lane

-

-

2.34pm

Leeds Hunslet Lane

-

-

4.36pm

Leeds Hunslet Lane

-

-

5.55pm

Leeds Hunslet Lane

-

-

8.32pm

Leeds Hunslet Lane

Up trains: Sunday

Destination

Down trains: Sunday

Destination

9.26am

Manchester Victoria

9.17am

Leeds Hunslet Lane

9.41pm

Manchester Victoria

8.17pm

Leeds Hunslet Lane

In February 1863 Bradshaw indicates that Eastwood station enjoyed a modest service of trains calling at irregular intervals, but with more balanced up and down direction departures than in the 1844 timetable:

Up trains: weekdays
February 1863

Destination

Down trains: weekdays

Destination

7.44am

Manchester Victoria

7.24am

Normanton

9.30am

Manchester Victoria

1.25pm

Normanton

2.20pm

Manchester Victoria

4.47pm

Normanton

5.03pm

Fleetwood

7.26pm

Normanton

7.41pm

Manchester Victoria

9.34pm

Normanton

9.52pm

Manchester Victoria

-

-

Up trains: Sunday

Destination

Down trains: Sunday

Destination

8.47am

Manchester Victoria

8.53am

Normanton

8.07pm

Manchester Victoria

5.43pm

Normanton

9.50pm

Manchester Victoria

8.56pm

Normanton

Destinations of trains are not shown clearly in Bradshaw

An accident occurred at Eastwood on 18 August 1874 resulting from a luggage train being shunted into a siding with the train buffer left protruding onto the main line. An excursion train collided with the luggage train injuring 20 people. Another unfortunate incident occurred here in 1906 when Harry Lumb, who lived at Charlestown, was struck by an express train and killed instantly. In 1912 a train crash occurred on the Charlestown curve, a short distance north-east of Eastwood station. There were three fatalities, but four bodies recovered from the site as an occupied coffin was being carried on the train.

From the station’s opening until the beginning of the twentieth century Eastwood’s stationmasters were:

  • 1841 James Brown
  • 1842 John Hitchen
  • 1849 Henry Hughes
  • 1850 W H Johnston
  • 1854 Andrew Aspden
  • 1855 Thomas Bentley
  • 1867 G Tilburn
  • 1872 John Ratcliff
  • 1891 T Hall
  • 1901 Thomas Allot

Eastwood station was owned by the LYR until January 1922 when that company was absorbed by the London & North Western Railway. In January 1923 at the ‘Grouping’ the LNWR became part of the new London, Midland & Scottish Railway. The table below shows departures from Eastwood during its brief spell in LNWR ownership. The service is frequent, though at irregular intervals, and provides several trains suitable for business travel towards Manchester in the morning though fewer by which to return in the early evening.

Up trains: weekdays July 1922

Destination

Down trains: weekdays

Destination

7.21am

Manchester Victoria

5.26am

Normanton†

7.38am

Manchester Victoria

7.18am

Bradford Exchange

7.56am

Manchester Victoria

8.23am

Halifax

8.35am

Rochdale

9.32am

Halifax

9.12am

Blackpool Central

11.31am

Sowerby Bridge

9.19am

Manchester Victoria

1.20pm

Bradford Exchange

10.39am

Manchester Victoria

1.52pm

Normanton

12.14pm

Manchester Victoria

5.15pm Sat excepted

Halifax

1.11pm

Manchester Victoria

5.34pm Sat only

Halifax

2.18pm

Manchester Victoria

6.13pm

Halifax

4.23pm

Manchester Victoria

7.00pm

Sowerby Bridge

5.06pm

Rochdale

7.41pm

Bradford Exchange

5.39pm

Todmorden

8.35pm

Halifax

6.24pm

Manchester Victoria

10.28pm

Leeds Central

7.46pm

Rochdale

-

-

9.21pm

Manchester Victoria

-

-

9.58pm

Manchester Victoria

-

-

11.03pm Tue & Sat

Todmorden

-

-

Up trains: Sunday

Destination

Down trains: Sunday

Destination

7.56am

Manchester Victoria

9.14am

Sowerby Bridge

10.48am

Manchester Victoria

11.20am

Bradford Exchange

7.30pm

Manchester Victoria

5.09pm

Normanton

8.02pm

Manchester Victoria

7.34pm

Bradford Exchange

10.13pm

Manchester Victoria

8.41pm

Normanton

† Train possibly divides en route to serve several destinations: not entirely clear in the timetable

The ticket clerk during the 1930s is recorded as being Edith Pilling.

The A646 road runs parallel and close to the railway between Hebden Bridge and Todmorden, and by the 1930s frequent motor buses between these towns ran through Eastwood, gradually winning passengers from the railway. Eastwood survived into the British Railways (BR) era, which commenced in January 1948, when the station was allocated to the London Midland (LM) Region. In April 1950 a major revision of BR regions transferred a large portion of the West Riding lines in the Leeds, Bradford and Halifax area from the LM to the North Eastern (NE) Region; Eastwood remained in the LM but the boundary with the NE was only a short distance north-east of the station.

Up trains: weekdays June 1950

Destination

Down trains: weekdays

Destination

7.21am

Liverpool Exchange

7.12am

Bradford Exchange

7.58pm

Manchester Victoria

7.43am

Sowerby Bridge

8.27am

Manchester Victoria

12.45pm Sat only

Low Moor

9.22am

Blackpool Central

1.52pm Sat only

Sowerby Bridge

10.03am

Manchester Victoria

2.22pm

Bradford Exchange

1.11pm

Manchester Victoria

3.40pm

Halifax

3.07pm Sat only

Manchester Victoria

5.31pm

Halifax

5.04pm

Manchester Victoria

6.15pm

Halifax

5.40pm Sat excepted

Todmorden

6.54pm

Sowerby Bridge

6.22pm Sat excepted

Manchester Victoria

7.46pm

Bradford Exchange

6.28pm Sat only   

Manchester Victoria

8.41pm

Low Moor

8.31pm Sat only

Blackburn

10.32pm

Bradford Exchange

10.08pm

Manchester Victoria

-

-

No Sunday trains

-

No Sunday trains

-

In the face of dwindling traffic, the station closed to passengers in December 1951, but goods and coal traffic continued to be handled until May 1964. The last stationmaster was George Logan.

The station buildings were still standing, though derelict, in 1972; they had been demolished by 1974. The signal box remained in use until 1973 when Preston Power Signal Box took over control of this section of line, and it was subsequently removed

In 2016 the sites of the station building and the signal box can be identified by the recesses into the steep slope north-west of the down line. The station approach roads sloping up from the A646 readily identify the station’s location. Both of the platforms have been demolished, but the coal drops survive close to the main road.

Tickets from Michael Stewart

Click here for a brief history of the Copy Pit line
See also Copy Pit Route Collieries

See other stations on the Copy Pit line: Burnley Manchester Road (1st site), Burnley Manchester Road (2nd), Towneley, Holme, Portsmouth (Lancs), Cornholme, Stansfield Hall & Hebden Bridge (still open)


Eastwood (Yorks) station in the 1880s, looking north-east. A local history website describes the men on the platform and the tracks as the ‘station gang’; there appear to be smartly dressed station staff as well as permanent way men in their work clothes. The photographer seems oblivious to the fact that a train is signalled. The stationmaster’s house and office range is to the left, backing onto the rock cutting and complementing the severely utilitarian architecture of local houses. Beyond the level crossing are the signal box, also on a site excavated from the steep hillside, and the up (Manchester-bound) platform with its timber waiting shed.
Photo from Jim Lake and from Pennine Horizons Digital Archive collections


1907 1: 2,500 OS map. The River Calder, the Rochdale Canal, Halifax Road and the railway jostle for space in the deep, narrow valley at Eastwood between Todmorden and Hebden Bridge. Industrial housing, some of it back-to-back, is also squeezed in, together with a school, an independent chapel, a dye works and a moleskin finishing mill. Eastwood station is perched on a valley-side ledge; its main building (west of the tracks) backs directly onto a sheer rock face, and the platforms are staggered either side of the level crossing on Eastwood Lane, a narrow track that zigzags its way up the slope, serving the dye works as it heads for the moors. Despite the constraints of the site, space has been found for goods sidings north-east of the station, and a loop is installed opposite the
Leeds-bound platform. Click here for a larger version.

1963 1: 2,500 map. The River Calder, the Rochdale Canal, Halifax Road and the railway jostle for space in the deep, narrow valley at Eastwood between Todmorden and Hebden Bridge. Industrial housing, some of it back-to-back, and a textile mill are also squeezed in. Eastwood station, closed to passengers since 1951 but still handling goods traffic, is perched on a valley-side ledge; its main building (west of the tracks and with its internal divisions shown) backs directly onto a sheer rock face, and the adjacent signal box (SB) is located in a cleft hewn in the steep valley side. The platforms are staggered either side of the level crossing on Eastwood Lane, a narrow track that zigzags its way up the slope, formerly serving dye works as it heads for the moors. Despite the constraints of the site, space has been found for goods sidings north-east of the station, and a loop is installed opposite the Leeds-bound platform. Click here for a larger version

This is thought to be an early twentieth century view of Eastwood (Yorks) with the Council School in the foreground and the rear of the station’s up platform and running-in nameboard to the left, in the distance.
Photo from Maurice Hartley collection

Looking south-west across Eastwood (Yorks) in the early twentieth century. The railway is at the foot of the slope from which the photograph is taken; the up (Manchester-bound) platform with its timber shelter is at the bottom of the picture, whilst the down platform is beyond the level crossing and on the opposite side of the tracks. The roof and chimneystacks of the station building are visible, set back into the steep slope at the near end of the down platform. To the left of the railway are the Hebden Bridge to Todmorden road, the River Calder and the Rochdale Canal, all competing for space in the
deep, narrow valley.
Photo from John Mann collection

Eastwood (Yorks) station looking north-east c1910. The constricted site is clearly seen. The down (Leeds-bound) platform is closest to the camera, with a series of gas lamp standards and a small pitched-roof shelter partly obscured by a bush. On the same side of the track, beyond the level crossing, is the main station building set back into the steep cutting wall; a glazed lean-to can be seen on its gable end. The signal box is beyond the station building. The up platform is also on the far side of the crossing, its only passenger accommodation being the pent-roof timber waiting shed. The up loop is seen parallel to the main up and down lines (right) and the goods facilities are on the far side of the level crossing. This view shows the sloping station approach roads which meet at the small pitched-roof building (coal office?) with a chimneystack. The industrial character of the valley is apparent with Wood Mill beyond the up platform; the OS plan of 1894 identifies its role as ‘moleskin finishing’, but by 1907 it produced fustian, the heavy-duty cotton cloth for which nearby Hebden Bridge was celebrated.
Photo from John Mann and from Pennine Horizons Digital Archive collections

Eastwood (Yorks), looking north-west over the level crossing c1952, apparently just after the closure of the station to passengers. The two-storey stationmaster’s house, possibly derelict, is to the left; it also contained the booking office, to the right of the main doorway. Whereas most of the window is glazed one lower section is a ‘ticket window’, suggesting that passengers did not need to enter the booking office to buy their tickets. A single-storey office and waiting room range is to the right. The building is of coursed sandstone and its design lacks adornment. The clock, sheltered by a tiny gable, will be noted. The hill slope had to be excavated to provide the site for the building.
Photo from Alice Longstaff collection

Looking down Eastwood Lane towards Eastwood (Yorks) station in 1963. The station closed to passengers in 1951 but its goods facilities are still open at the time of this photograph. A siding on the down (Leeds-bound) side of the tracks holds a couple of coal trucks, and in the distance a siding serving the coal depot can be seen diverging from the up line. Far left, the station building and signal box are seen pressed against the cutting wall. The disused up passenger platform is on the right, beyond the level crossing, notable for being only slightly above rail height; a series of lamp standards remains on the platform but the waiting shed has been removed. The down platform is out of sight below the wall and vegetation to the right.
Photo from John Mann and from Pennine Horizons Digital Archive collections

Eastwood (Yorks) station in August 1963, looking north-west over the level crossing. The derelict two-storey section is to the left, formerly comprising the stationmaster’s accommodation and the booking office - as indicated on the lintel of the large window - with the single-storey office and waiting range to the right. The building is of coursed sandstone and its design lacks adornment. A lean-to porch adjoins the gable end, far left. The clock is sheltered by a tiny gable. The hill slope had to be excavated to provide the site for the building. Although closed to passengers since 1951 the station still handles goods traffic, and a coal wagon can be seen on the siding, far right.
Photo from John Mann and from Pennine Horizons Digital Archive collections

Eastwood (Yorks) station in August 1963, looking north-west over the level crossing. The derelict two-storey stationmaster’s house and booking office is to the left, with the single-storey office and waiting room range to the right. The building is of coursed sandstone and its design lacks adornment. A lean-to porch adjoins the gable end, far left. The hill slope had to be excavated to provide the
site for the building.
Photo from John Mann collection

Click here for Eastwood Station Gallery 2:
June 1964 - 1969

 

 

 

[Source: Alan Young]




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