In May 2015 it was 60 years since the Great Northern route to Bradford and Halifax via Queensbury carried its last regular passenger and to mark this event an exhibition is being held at The Museum of Rail Travel at Ingrow. Slowly over the years the GN line has reverted back to nature, with trees and undergrowth taking over much of the route, and in the inner city Bradford district much of it has been built on. However it has never really been forgotten and has gained an almost ‘cult’ appeal to some enthusiasts.
The lie of the land in the triangle between these 3 centres of population is extremely challenging rising to 1,150 feet at Queensbury. It was through this difficult territory that the Great Northern Railway drove its lines, resulting in the route having to be heavily engineered with severe gradients, three substantial and dominant viaducts, six tunnels and a triangular junction between the 3 routes at Queensbury which gave this spectacular route its identity as The Queensbury Lines.
In 1999, KWVR guard, Martin Bairstow, published The Great Northern Railway in the West Riding covering the Company’s routes between Doncaster, Wakefield, Leeds and Bradford. In Part 2, Martin covers the routes in the west of the region which have direct links with our own Railway at Keighley where the Great Northern shared Keighley Station and the first ¾ mile climb out of the station. At the appropriately named Great Northern Junction, the Queesnbury line left the KWVR, joined up with the Line climbing out of Keighley Goods Yard (seen on the right as one departs Keighley) and headed for the hills.
Anyone with a fascination for the KWVR cannot fail to have a secondary fascination with this long lost route and wonder what the area to the left of the line on the approaches to Ingrow West, looked like all those years ago. A superb descriptive and photographic record of The Queensbury Lines, this book is a must for anyone with even a passing interest in lines around the area.
Available at all the KWVR shops, Price £11.95.
These 2 photographs from the book show our links with the Great Northern Railway at Keighley.