Keighley

Keighley Station is the Railway’s main connection with the outside world via the national railway network. This is a four platform station, with Platforms 1 and 2 in use by services westward though Skipton and beyond, and to Leeds and Bradford to the east. The Keighley and Worth Valley Railway services depart from Platforms 3 and 4 which also once served services to Bradford and Halifax as well as the Worth Valley branch.

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Connections with the national railway network
Limited Free Parking
Shop, Buffet & Picnic Area
Level Access
Toilets

Platform 1 & 2 for mainline services to and from the entire UK.

Platform 3 & 4 for KWVR services

 

Keighley (pronounced Keith-lee) station is owned by Network Rail. KWVR leases platforms 3 & 4 and Northern Rail leases platform 1 & 2. Main line rail services are provided by both Northern and East Coast, which has a daily direct service to and from London (King’s Cross).

Platform 4 is the usual departure platform for the KWVR branch. It retains many of the original features. For example, a superb glass canopy and the original waiting room and toilets which are still in use, as are two rooms under the ramp which now house the Station Master’s office and the staff mess room. The booking office on platform 4 started life as a Findlay’s tobacco kiosk at the old Manchester Central station (now known as G-Mex), while the ticket collector’s hut was originally a telephone box at Wakefield Kirkgate.

Look to platform 3 you will see that it is quite bare in comparison to platform 4. Between the 1950s & 1990s most of the UK’s railways were operated by British Railways which was owned by the state. It had limited financial resources and was forced to cut back on many things which required expensive maintenance, hence the removal of the canopies and even the closure of the Worth Valley branch. It is hoped that Network Rail will, one day, be able to restore the platform canopies to a similar standard to those on Platform 4. The KWVR has collected a large quantity of suitable ironwork and, given the financial support, the platform 3 canopies at least, could be put back ‘tomorrow’.

There is a turntable at the end of platform 3 which was acquired in 1990 from Garsdale where it used to turn engines on the Settle to Carlisle line. The signal box at the end of the Platform 3 might look as though it has always been there but it was dismantled and moved to the Railway from Shipley, Bingley Junction. When it is brought into use it will control all movements on the KWVR side of the station. The original Keighley West signal box was further round the curve and gradient leading away from the station.

Signalbox-170211-CK-copy

As your train departs from Keighley the line starts with a 1 in 56 gradient and quickly turns through 90 degrees. Prior to 1962 trains had to start back beyond the station to take a run up the hill if conditions were wet due to the slippy rails. This cannot happen today, but if the locomotive is struggling it will begin to get into its stride once it rounds the curve by the Globe Inn.

As you leave Keighley you will see the Nelsons Builders’ yard on the right which used to be the Great Northern Railway goods station. The GNR route to Bradford and Halifax used to start at this point, go under the Worth Valley line by a bridge (now filled in), before running parallel to the Worth Valley line but at an even steeper gradient past GN junction where its passenger trains joined the KWVR for the run into Keighley, sharing the station with those of the Midland Railway. It then ran up the other side of the Worth Valley for about two miles, through its own station at Ingrow (East) which was above but alongside the Worth Valley Ingrow (West) presmises, before eventually disappearing into Lees Moor Tunnel.