, ,

I’m having another rare day at home catching up on chores and a spot of picture editing, mostly of images that don’t fit the main gallery categories on my website and need a bit of research first. Some of these were taken earlier in the week around Mirfield in West Yorkshire. Like many people involved in railways I have a curiosity about the many lines that closed during my childhood or even before I was born. Yorkshire’s rich in such lines and Mirfield has quite a few remains. One I spotted was what’s left of the Spen valley line which lasted a little over 50 years, opening in 1900 and closing in November 1966 although it lost its passenger services as early as 1953. Built by the LNWR it ran from Heaton Lodge Junction through Heckmondwike and Cleckheaton to Farnley Junction and on into Leeds City station. You can find out more about it on this very good website, ‘Mirfield memories’. Here’s what I found.

The site of Battyeford station which was built straddling the Huddersfield Rd. This is the North side.
The view looking in the opposite direction to the first picture. Part of the viaduct remains as many of the arches are occupied by commercial premises.
The opposite end of the viaduct where the railway crossed the River Calder on a steel bridge. Behind me is the line from Huddersfield to Dewsbury which is still operational.
The Spen valley line came off to the left just on front of this Class 185 which is approaching Heaton Lodge Junction.

If you’re interested in abandoned or disused railways there’s a gallery dedicated to them on my Zenfolio website. You can find it by following this link.

I’d love to have more time to spend to explore West Yorkshire’s railway heritage, but there’s little time for that as most of my time’s taken up with the modern, growing railway rather than the remains of a contracting one. That said, Dawn and I are hoping to get out on the bikes to explore several that are close to us which have been converted into some excellent cycle-paths. I first got to know about several of them when I explored them by bike for an article in RAIL magazine. One of their writers and I were given a guided tour on Brompton bikes by a couple of Sustrans officers and I’ve always meant to revisit the places and infrastructure we saw. Some of the viaducts, tunnels and cuttings were really impressive, especially around Heckmondwike, Dewsbury and Queensbury. But as the year is rapidly moving on, that may have to wait until next year!