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The Calder valley is seeing a package of rail improvements at the moment. The ones that are most visible to passengers are taking place right now as platform extensions on several stations are underway or just about to start.

The following stations will see platforms extended by varying lengths, with work due to finish by December 2018.

Mills Hill. Smithy Bridge. Littleborough. Walsden. Todmorden. Hebden Bridge. Mytholmroyd. Sowerby Bridge and Bradford Interchange.

Here’s a good example: Hebden Bridge station’s the most historic on the rout as it’s in pretty much original condition, so any work has to be carried out sympathetically. Platform two is being extended by 56m, one of the longest extensions planned. The opposite platform only needs to be extended by a few metres. Here’s a series of pictures showing how the work has progressed.

DG300391. Platform 2. Hebden Bridge. 22.6.18

How it used to be on the 22nd June 2018: Platform 2 just as the work to extend the platforms was starting. On the bottom left of the picture you can see the old wooden buffer-stops to the former goods yard behind the Vortok fencing and the black pipes containing cable runs.

DG301729. Starting construction of the platform extensions. Hebden Bridge. 9.7.18

By 9th July the old buffers had gone, along with the platform ramp and cables were encased in protective plastic tubing.

DG302808. Platform extensions. Hebden Bridge. 16.7.18

16th July: The first precast concrete section of the platform extension were in place, along with the crane that was used to lift them into position during night-time possessions.

DG302816. Platform extensions. Hebden Bridge. 16.7.18

16th July: A closer look, showing the facing to the pre-cast concrete to enable it to blend with the original platform.

DG303340. Platform extension. Hebden Bridge. 23.7.18

Blending old and new.

DG303344. Platform extension. Hebden Bridge. 23.7.18

Here’s a view inside the new platform on July 23. The plastic pipes that protected the signalling cables have been replaced with concrete cable toughs.


By the 30th July the platform structure was complete. Foundations for lighting columns and much of the hardcore infill were in place.

DG305385. Platform extension. Hebden Bridge. 9.8.18

9th August: The coping stones and tactile paving is in place, along with a drainage channel at the back of the platform and finished bases for lighting columns.

Meanwhile, platform 1, which had a much shorter extension and had limited access was being built by more traditional methods, using breeze-blocks.

DG303363. Platform extension. Hebden Bridge. 24.7.18

Platform 1 on the 21st July, a much more restricted site access than platform 2 means traditional construction methods were being used.

The platform extensions aren’t the only work happening at Hebden Bridge. The signalling is being replaced and the listed Lancashire and Yorkshire signalbox is expected to be decommissioned in October. Here’s one of the new signals which guards the crossover and siding.

DG303348. New signalling. Hebden Bridge. 23.7.18

To enable modern step free access to platform 1 the former goods lift shafts will be refurbished and used for new lifts.

DG303342. Site for new lift. Hebden Bridge. 23.7.18

Meanwhile, over at Sowerby Bridge, the long-abandoned section of the Bradford bound platform has been stripped of undergrowth ready to be rebuilt. Here’s how it looked on the 24th July.


Here’s a different view taken on the 16th August.

DG305670. Old platform about to be rebuilt. Sowerby Bridge. 16.8.18


I’ll keep blogging about the upgrades to the Calder valley line and add as many pictures of the work as I can over the next few months.