Station Name: MARKET WEIGHTON
First in timetable May 1848
North side of Back Lane (an extension of Station Road)
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York & North Midland Railway
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British Rail (North Eastern Region)
The station has been demolished and the site redeveloped for housing. The site of the goods yard is now common ground. The only evidence of the station is the railway gateposts at the end of Station Road and the crossing keeper's house west of the station. There is a Market Weighton seat, complete was cast iron station name, in the reserve collection at the NRM in York.
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|Date of visit:||4 May 2010|
Notes: Market Weighton is one of the main market towns in the East Yorkshire Wolds and lies midway between Hull and York, about 20 miles from both cities. Industry in the town has always been largely based around agriculture.
In 1947 the trainshed was in need of substantial repairs but rather than carry these out, the LNER demolished the roof leaving only the retaining walls which then supported new steel awnings which remained until closure of the station.Goods facilities were spread over both sides of the line and either side of the Londesborough Road level crossing, west of the station. There were two signal boxes, one at each end of the station. The west signal box (originally known as Market Weighton Junction) was on the down side immediately west of the level crossing. When opened the box had 16 levers, but the number increased to 18 as the station expanded. Two railway cottages (one for the crossing keeper) were on the east side of the crossing. These were in the form of the standard two-storey brick building, with twin gables and a recessed central section between the two wings. The cottages are the only railway buildings still standing at Market Weighton. The cattle dock and pens were west of the crossing, and further west the lines to York and Selby diverged. The east box was also on the down side of the line, 600 yards north east of the station at the junction of the Driffield and Beverley lines; it controlled the junction and entry to the goods yard.
The bulk of the goods yard was on the up side, east of the station. Here there was a loop passing in front of a large brick goods warehouse which was a later addition, the original goods shed being adjacent to the engine shed. Another two sidings went into the warehouse, one passing out at the rear, terminating near the back of the stationmaster's house, whilst another siding passed to the rear of the warehouse to an oil depot. The goods warehouse had no walls at the east end, the roof being supported in metal pillars. Two further sidings ran up onto coal drops, with the coal yard reached from Hungate Road. The yard was adjacent to Market Weighton gas works, which was not rail connected. There were two weigh offices and weigh bridges, one to the east of the coal drops and the other to the west of the warehouse. The station also had a 5-ton crane. There were three sidings on the down side of the line, one passing behind the down platform and the other two running into the engine shed - which became another goods shed after 1917; one of these ran on to a turntable immediately west of the railway cottages.
In 1911 the population of the station’s catchment area was 3379. 29,911 tickets were sold that year (fewer than at Pocklington), and the main freight handled was barley with 1,639 tons, grain (847) and wheat (564) being dispatched. These were the products of the large farms on the Yorkshire Wolds north of the town. In 1913 622 wagons of livestock were loaded at the station.
Market Weighton closed to goods traffic on 1st November 1965 while passenger traffic continued for another four weeks until the line closed. After the track was lifted all the buildings remained largely intact for many years. In 1979 they were demolished to make way for a small housing estate (Aspen Close). The site of the coal depot is now a playing field and a public open area occupies the area of the former goods yard.
It was not long, however, before the arrival of railways would ensure the rapid decline in waterborne transport in the area. The Leeds & Hull Railway Company was formed in 1824 with George Stephenson appointed as engineer. He proposed three inclined planes to be worked by three stationary engines for the hilly route out of Leeds, but the remainder of the line was very nearly level.
This L&HR was one of a number of contemporary projects aimed at linking the east and west sides of northern England. The Leeds & Hull scheme soon stagnated, due in part to the stock market crash of 1825. In the meantime, the Knottingley & Goole Canal opened in 1826, turning Goole into a viable transhipment port for Europe.
The growth of Goole as a port to rival Hull was sufficient to spur the Hull-based shareholders of the Leeds & Hull railway into action. At the end of 1828, they motioned that the railway should be built as far as Selby, with the remainder of the journey to Hull being made by steam packet, most importantly, bypassing Goole. The shareholders passed the proposal at a general meeting in Leeds on 20th March 1829, and the Leeds & Selby Railway Company was formed.
The shortened line from Leeds to Selby was resurveyed by James Walker in 1829; he reported that the stationary engines were not required, with tunnels and cuttings being built in their place. Despite strong opposition from the Aire & Calder Navigation, who had a practical monopoly on transportation in the area, a Bill was passed by Parliament on 29th May 1830 allowing construction of the double-track line. By 22nd September, a single complete line of track had been built, and the railway was officially opened to passengers from a temporary terminus adjacent to the quayside at Selby. Both lines were complete by 15th December 1834, on which date the railway began to take goods traffic.In 1835 George Hudson formed a committee to promote a line to be known as the York & North Midland Railway, which was incorporated in 1836. This proposed line would join the North Midland at Normanton, a few miles east of Leeds, and it received its Act of Parliament in 1837. The first section of the Y&NMR opened on 20th May 1839 between York and a junction with the Selby line at Gascoigne Wood, with the remaining section to Normanton opening on 1st July 1840. A spur to Methley Junction, giving access to Leeds via a working arrangement with the North Midland, was opened on 27th July 1840, followed by a southbound curve from the Leeds & Selby at Gascoigne Wood. The line was extended southwards to Burton Salmon by 11th May 1840, with another short chord to the junction with the Leeds & Selby opening on 9th November 1840.
During this period of 'Railway Mania' there were proposals to build 107 miles of new railway in East Yorkshire, not all of which would come to fruition. One of these schemes was for a line between Selby and Driffield via Market Weighton, while another line from York to Beverley would also pass through Market Weighton.
Although four lines into Market Weighton were eventually completed separately, George Hudson’s York & North Midland held powers for a complete route from York to Hull which was authorised by an Act of 18th June 1846, including a requirement that the line should be completed within five years. On the same date the Y&NMR. (East Riding Branches) No. II Railway Act authorised the building of a 22-mile single-track line from the Hull & Selby line to Market Weighton. Running across flat open ground with 22 level crossings, the line would have no major engineering features apart from a bridge over the River Derwent at Bubwith.
The contractors for both lines were Messrs. Jackson and Bean with stations built by Burton & Son. Construction started on 12th August 1846, and the board expected completion on 30th September 1847 – they were out by only four days. It was hoped the Selby line would open two months later, but it was delayed, eventually opening on 1st August 1848.
The single-track Selby line from Barlby Junction to Market Weighton eventually opened on 1 August 1848 with intermediate stations at Cliff Common Gate, Duffield Gate, Menthorpe Gate, Bubwith, Foggathorpe Gate, Holme (Yorks) and Harswell Gate. An additional station close to Bubwith – known as Bubwith High Field - first appeared in timetables in January 1859: this finally resolved the lengthy dispute about the siting of Bubwith station.
The exact opening dates of the intermediate stations are uncertain. The August 1848 Bradshaw only lists the Selby line as a footnote to the York - Market Weighton timetable. No details are given until October 1849 when two intermediate stations at Dubwith (incorrect spelling of Bubwith) and Holme are shown. From 1850, footnotes in the timetable refer to a Tuesday market and Monday fortnightly fair with trains to York stopping at all stations, but without naming them. These stations might have been provided from the opening of the line as sufficient stopping time was allowed in the timetables; although it is unlikely that any facilities would have been provided at stops used only by market trains. From November 1851 all the stations are shown with no limitations on days. The ‘Gate’ suffix – frequently found in Yorkshire, and referring to the level crossing gates – was later removed from Cliff Common and Foggathorpe, whilst Harswell Gate was renamed Everingham in 1874 and Holme became Holme Moor in 1923.
On the opening of the line eleven permanent way men were employed, plus three coaching department staff, costing a total annual sum of £137.16s. Takings in June 1849 were £2,336, made up of £1,335 goods, £924 passenger, £44 parcels, £30 rents and £3 horse and dog conveyance. Initially there were two passenger trains each day between Selby and Market Weighton and three between York and Selby, and it was suggested that by juggling the timetable only one locomotive would be required to run both services - but this could not be achieved. By 1850 one of the Selby trains started at Pocklington on the York line, after a petition for better market travel facilities, which resulted in a general market ticket scheme from April 1851. By 1866 there were four daily trains between Market Weighton and Selby. The route was always used by excursion trains to Scarborough from its opening, with services being provided by the L&YR.
Traffic on the York line did not live up to expectations, In August 1850 the directors heard that receipts at Huntington barely exceeded the stationmaster's wages, and there was a proposal to close the station. This did not happen, although there were some redundancies in an attempt to save money, and there was a proposal to single the line as early as 1853- while the doubling of the Selby line started in 1889. At this time Duffield Gate station closed as it attracted very little traffic. Once the doubling had been completed an enhanced passenger service was introduced. This comprised twelve down and ten up trains, some not operating over the entire line to Selby, and some being expresses over one of the sections.
The stations on the York line eventually suffered heavily from the North Eastern Railway policy of renaming, which avoided any possibilities of confusion, but resulted in many stations conveniently situated for a particular village receiving the name of one much further away. Huntington became Earswick, Stockton turned into Warthill, Burnby to Nunburnholme, and Shipton to Londesborough.From its opening Market Weighton had been a terminus, but it was always intended that the York line should be extended south to Beverley, and the Selby line east to Driffield. The extension to Beverley proved problematic due to the routing of the line across the Dalton Holme Estate. By this time the Y&NMR were in financial difficulties, and they argued that there was now little public demand for the line. This view angered local people and, when the Y&NMR became part of the North Eastern Railway in 1854, the company found itself under the local pressure to complete the line.
There was much debate, which included a proposal to build a completely new line from Market Weighton to Brough. In 1860 the NER eventually agreed to build the line to Beverley as originally planned, and an Act was granted on 30th June 1862 with work starting in September that year. Progress was slow and, in 1864, the directors were trying to decide whether to provide an intermediate station at Goodmanham to the east of Market Weighton as well as Kipling Cotes (serving little more than a couple of farms) and Cherry Burton – Goodmanham was not built.
The single-track extension opened on 1st May 1865, and a new revised timetable was immediately introduced with four stopping trains from York to Hull completing the journey in two hours. There was also a fast service that called only at principal stations. The NER began a programme of doubling the line in 1899 with a second platform being provided at the two intermediate stations.At this time the NER had no plans to extend eastward from Market Weighton to Driffield. In 1884 an independent company, the Scarborough Bridlington & West Riding Junction Railway, projected a route from Seamer; this would bypass Bridlington then pass through through Driffield and Market Weighton, from where it would turn south-west to reach to Howden. This proposal was not greeted with much local enthusiasm and, when the company dropped the west end of the route between Market Weighton and Howden, the NER offered to operate the remaining section of line, but only between Market Weighton and Driffield.
Construction started in 1888, and the line opened on 21 April 1890 with intermediate stations at Enthorpe, Middleton-on-the-Wolds, Bainton and Southburn. From the outset the Driffield line had a good service, with most trains running on to Bridlington. There were, however, only three through trains between Selby and Bridlington, two morning (down) trains with one in the evening from Selby and one mid-morning up train and two in the evening; this could hardly be described as a regular service.The Scarborough Bridlington & West Riding Junction Railway was purchased by the NER in 1914. By 1922 the line had settled down to a more regular service with five through down trains and four up trains, and an additional short-running service between Bridlington and Market Weighton.
Following the 1923 general grouping, the LNER improved the service on both the York and Selby lines, with a fast service provided for commuters between Bridlington and Leeds which was achieved in 1 hour 35 minutes. The LNER also experimented with a petrol/electric railcar between Selby and Market Weighton. The 1903-built railcar and its shed at Selby were destroyed in an accidental fire in 1926. A number of steam railmotors were then acquired, and in 1932 two of these were shedded at Selby with another at Bridlington; they made two daily return trips, one mid-morning and the other mid-afternoon. In 1925 there were eight daily trains between York and Hull and seven in the opposite direction; not all trains called at all stations. There were two additional Saturday workings between York and Pocklington which were used to trial a new petrol rail car. One was in the morning and the other in the evening, but only the outward journey to Pocklington in the evening carried passengers.
WW2 brought a reduction in the service, with three daily trains in each direction calling at all stations between Selby and Driffield, and different stops for each service between Driffield and Bridlington. At this time the railmotors were also still in use. After the war there was little improvement to the service; in 1950 there were three through trains in each direction with some short running services between Bridlington and Market Weighton, and no Sunday service. The line was still well used by excursion traffic to Scarborough, especially on summer Saturdays, with up to 17 excursions using the line.
While the Market Weighton to York service still carried a reasonable number of local passengers, many of the stations on the Selby line were little used: in 1940 Menthorpe Gate took only £17 in passenger fares while Foggathorpe and High Field generated only £29 and £43 respectively. Only Southburn (£477 P/A) and Middleton-in-the-Wolds (£1,615 P/A) were taking more than £1 a day! It therefore came as no surprise when closure of the intermediate stations was announced. Menthorpe Gate was the first to close, losing its passenger service on 7 December 1953, with the rest of the intermediate stations closing on 20 September 1954. All the stations closed to goods traffic on 28 January 1964, except Enthorpe (where the small yard had closed on 14 September 1959) and Holme Moor and Everingham, which handled goods traffic until 1965.
A limited passenger service between Selby and Bridlington was retained, with one morning train from Selby returning from Bridlington in the evening. There was an additional morning train from Bridlington to Market Weighton with a connection for York, but this was withdrawn before the line closed. Final closure of the line to all passenger traffic was proposed for 15 June 1964. There was an appeal, but it only delayed the inevitable as the Transport Users' Consultative Committee said that they could see no way of alleviating hardship for the very small number who would be affected. The end came on 14 June 1965, and, with the closure of Holme Moor and Everingham goods depots on 2 August 1965, the whole route was completely defunct. Summer excursions which formerly used the line would in future be diverted via Hull.On the York line, the position was rather different. Holtby station closed at the start of WW2 and Nunburnholme closed in 1951. In June 1950 there were eight daily journeys between York and Hull with seven in the opposite direction. Through the 1950s there was some modernisation. Lifting barriers (the first in the country) were installed at Warthill in 1953, and coloured light signalling was installed at Market Weighton and near Stamford Bridge. Steel sleepers were laid between Market Weighton and Kipling Cotes. Warthill, Fangfoss and Cherry Burton closed in 1959. The introduction of Cravens diesel multiple-units saw a general speeding up of the service, with nine trains per day calling at the remaining stations. The accelerated service proved popular, but this upturn in fortunes was to be short-lived.
In May 1961 a contract for further modernisation work on the route was agreed with the engineering firm Westinghouse. Within weeks the first consignments of equipment were being delivered to Pocklington. The main part of the plan was to reduce costs further by singling the track but providing passing loops at Pocklington and Market Weighton. The line would be operated from a Centralised Traffic Control installation at Bootham Junction, York. Work was also to include the conversion of 19 of the line's 22 remaining gated level-crossings to automatic half-barriers and an overhaul of the signalling system, allowing the whole route to be controlled from fewer signal boxes.
Very little work had been carried out before the modernisation scheme was suddenly halted in February 1962, with British Railways announcing that the plans had been suspended for "re-assessment". What was happening became clear on 27th March 1963 when Dr. Richard Beeching released his report. The York to Beverley route was earmarked for closure, and was one of only three lines in the report to be presented as an economic case study. Beeching considered that closure was justified on the grounds that it was actually losing money when all the "terminal costs" were taken into account, and that closing the seemingly-profitable line would create greater savings that were more beneficial than the income it was making. He also argued that the majority of passengers were simply travelling between York and Hull, and that intermediate stations were underused. This made the line an unnecessary duplicate of the Hull to York Line (via Selby) despite the fact that the more direct line was far from underused.
By 1964 all the goods yards had been closed, with the exception of Market Weighton and Pocklington where a small amount of traffic was still handled. The election of a Labour government in 1964 appeared to throw the route a lifeline, but Harold Wilson quickly backtracked on his electoral promises to halt rail closures. Protests from local authorities along the route and concerns of the official railways watchdog were ignored, and the Transport Secretary, Barbara Castle, approved the closure. The final trains ran on Saturday 27th November 1965, the very last being a six-car DMU running the 9:42 p.m. from York to Hull. Despite the snow, the train was packed with local people and enthusiasts eager to travel on the last train.
Passenger services officially ceased as from 29th November 1965. The Minister's consent caused widespread bitterness. Critics of the closure claim that if the C.T.C. scheme had been revived it would have paid for itself in seven years and, thereafter, have permitted an annual profit of some £7,000. It also appeared that was an error over the alleged losses as, at the public inquiry, the British Railways Board stated these had been reduced by dieselisation and improved working to some £11,000. Yet the Ministry spoke of an annual deficit of some £100,000; a gentleman at Pocklington (who organised a protest) wondered, quite seriously, whether some secretary typed one naught too many.
Four years after closure all the lands and assets of the mothballed route were sold off by British Rail, mostly to local landowners and developers, resulting in the construction of houses on parts of the route in built-up areas. Nonetheless the majority of the trackbed and several railway buildings survive to this day. Pocklington station (a Grade II listed building) has been preserved and is now the sports hall of Pocklington School. In Stamford Bridge the station house and engine shed survive in other uses as do the platforms on both sides of the old trackbed. The impressive brick and cast-iron viaduct at Stamford Bridge that carried the line across the River Derwent was spared from demolition in 1991 and subsequently repaired. Other railway and station buildings still survive in good condition at Warthill, Holtby, Fangfoss, Nunburnholme, Londesborough, Cherry Burton and Kipling Cotes. The 11-mile long Hudson Way footpath and cycleway follows the course of the line from Market Weighton – Beverley, with a car park at Kipling Cotes station.
The substantial station buildings at Market Weighton were left abandoned before being pulled down in 1979, leaving no trace. Earswick was the only other station on the line to be totally demolished, although its position is marked by a railway signal outside the pub that now occupies the site. The continuation of the line from Beverley to Hull was spared from closure and today forms the southern end of the Yorkshire Coast Line between Hull and Scarborough.
In recent years, there has been considerable public support among local residents for the reopening of the line between York and Beverley. There has even been campaigning to this effect, led largely by the Minsters' Rail Campaign pressure group who argue that the railway was unfairly closed and that East Yorkshire's roads, particularly the A1079, are struggling to cope with increasing traffic to and from Hull. A report by the Carl Bro Group for East Riding of Yorkshire Council in 2004 concluded that the project was feasible, but would cost around £239 million to build. The council subsequently gave their complete backing to the proposals, however no further developments have taken place.
Due to British Rail's selling off of the line's assets shortly after closure, parts of the trackbed in localities including Huntington, Stamford Bridge and Pocklington have now been irreversibly re-developed for housing. If the line is ever reconstructed it would be impossible for it to follow the original route for its whole length. However, documents published in 2006 as part of the East Riding of Yorkshire Council's Local Development Framework Transport Development Plan suggest that new routes into and around these existing built up areas have been identified and safeguarded alongside potential sites for new stations.
Additionally section Section 6.63 of the Council's Core Strategy Document (published for public consultation in spring 2008) states: ‘...it is recommended that land for the following strategic infrastructure and transport schemes be protected from conflicting development: Railways - Beverley to York railway route; and Rail links to employment land at Melton, Hedon Haven and Carnaby. (if allocated).
Today most of the Selby route is traceable, with a 13-mile section between Bubwith and Market Weighton now reopened to cyclists and pedestrians as the Bubwith Rail Trail. There is some evidence to be seen at all of the stations and at some of the goods yards.
Click here to see a local newspaper article about the closure of the York - Beverley line
To see other stations on the Earswick, Warthill, Holtby, Stamford Bridge, Fangfoss, Yapham Gate, Pocklington, Nunburnholme, Londesborough Park, Londesborough, Kipling Cotes, Cherry Burton
To see other stations on the Selby & Driffield Railway click on the station name: Selby (still open), Cliff Common, Duffield Gate, Menthorpe Gate, Bubwith, High Field, Foggathorpe, Holme Moor, Everingham, Enthorpe,
|Last updated: Sunday, 21-May-2017 14:38:03 BST||
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