In 1942 during WW2 the Ministry of Supply opened an Ordnance depot 1.5 miles south of Melmerby station. This was served by a short branch from the Leeds - Northallerton line. A new signal box (Melmerby South) was provided to control access to the branch. The line from Harrogate to Northallerton closed to passenger traffic in March 1967 however, the section from South Junction north of Starbeck (Harrogate) to Melmerby remained in use for freight. A daily train shunted in the yard at Ripon, then worked on to Melmerby depot, where there was an MoD depot. The depot closed on 31st December 1968 when there was a final working to collect the last wagons, would be the last working along that stretch of line. Today there is no evidence of the branch but all the magazines are extant.

Looking north towards Melmerby on 31st December 1968, the branch to Melmerby depot can be seen in the middle distance with Melmerby South signal box beyond the junction.
Photo by Geoff Cryer from Geoff's Pages web site.

The rail entrance to Melmerby depot.
Geoff's Pages web site.

The Melmerby depot branch.
Photo by Geoff Cryer from Geoff's Pages web site.

Aerial view of part of Melmerby depot c.2005. The course of the Harrogate - Northallerton line can be seen running north to south on the left.




[Source: Nick Catford]

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