Oxenhope

Oxenhope is the terminus of the Railway in the shadow of the surrounding moors. The goods shed, extended in the early days of preservation, is now the main site for the restoration and servicing of the carriages and goods vehicles in regular use on the Railway.

Large free car park
Buffet & Shop
Picnic Area
Bus connections to Hebden Bridge

Just minutes walk from the village centre Oxenhope station has always been busy. The station became unstaffed in 1955, as did Ingrow, with the station master for the line being based at Haworth.

When the railway closed in 1961 Oxenhope had just one coal siding remaining from what had been quite a large good yard. There was no longer any track into the stone goods shed adjoining the platform. It has changed dramatically since. Inside the station there is now a shop where the booking office used to be in BR days and the booking office has now moved across the booking hall to the former waiting room. In fact these two offices have exchanged location at least twice in their lifetime, the current booking office having been a waiting room for a considerable part of its life.

The Head-shunt (the piece of line at the south end of the station beyond the point where the loop lines converge) was extended in 1971 allowing two locomotives to run round together. The area beyond the new buffers was then landscaped to make a car park, which has been paved in sets with the help of a joint initiative with Bradford Council, and a large picnic area. Oxenhope has changed a great deal since the 1960s. The success of this project led the local authority and Manpower Services Commission to continue the partnership in helping us to rebuild Ingrow.

In 1970 the ‘White Shed’ opened, a double track extension to the original goods warehouse and you can see it adjoining the platform. It was originally intended as a locomotive running shed but it was decided that this should remain at Haworth and it has since become used for carriage restoration, but this does explain why there are locomotive servicing pits inside the shed which have hardly ever been used.

Since the late 1970s Oxenhope has been used as the base for operational coaches. The three road ‘Green Shed’, which you see on your right as you enter the booking office from the car park, opened in two stages in 1971 and 1973. This shed provides a home mainly for locomotives which are out of traffic long term but which are in sufficiently good external condition to appear as static exhibits and hence the shed is now known as the ‘Exhibition Shed’; but what it is most certainly not is a museum, the railway is quite touchy about that. It is used for storing coaches that are less well used and long term out of use locomotives. One of our Guides describes it to visiting parties as “A shed full of stuff into which we allow the public to look round” which describes its purpose precisely. It is a working space and the vehicles inside are very regularly changed according to operational needs.

On the east side of the site is an ‘open-air’ covered structure where the operational carriage fleets are stored when not in use. Although open sided, this structure, known locally as the ‘cow shed’ keeps the worst of the Pennine weather at bay whilst providing shelter for minor maintenance and cleaning of the carriages within.

In 1982 a buffet car was purchased from BR and positioned permanently between the goods shed and the station building with access from the platform. However this over-burdened catering facility is giving way to  a new purpose-built café and catering centre for the whole Railway which will not only serve hot snacks and drinks but hot meals as well. The build is due to commence in 2016.