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I’m taking advantage of the sunshine across West Yorkshire to get out and look at more Trans-Pennine route upgrade (TRU) work and other bits of the rail network in what’s fondly described as ‘God’s own country’.

As Dawn was going into the office today she gave me a lift into Huddersfield so I could catch a train East. Walking over to the island platform I was shocked and saddened to see that the famous station buffet run for many years by husband and wife team of Chris and Gez had closed for good whilst I was away in Asia. Calling in for one of their excellent bacon rolls was often the start to a days adventures. Sadly, the strikes and Covid had taken its toll on their business over recent years, so they took the decision to close their doors on February 18th. They’ll be missed by many rail staff – if not by their waistlines!

Heading East my first stop was at Batley where I walked down to the old level crossing to update pictures of the old level crossing and signalbox which will be replaced by a new footbridge.

Stood by the signalbox looking across to the old GNR embankment and site of the new footbridge.


After walking back to Batley and retraching my steps to Dewsbury I’m now in Leeds ready to head off to the next location I want to document improvements at, although this is off the main TRU route. Photography’s becoming more of a challenge as clouds are rolling in, although for some shots that’s no bad thing. Leeds station’s busy but not at the frenetic levels we see at the peaks.

Right now I’m sat on one of Northern’s 2-car Class 158s which is welcome because the wind’s really taking the heat out of the sun and Leeds station’s notorious for being cold. Feeling the strength of the solar rays through my seat window is a far more pleasant experience to being stuck out on the platform.

A variety of front ends and train classes at Leeds

My route out of Leeds follows the corridor HS2 would have used to enter the city. Mothballing this route is just another example of the criminal myopia and lack of ambition of our political classes. It does nothing for ‘levelling up’ or the environment. Truly, we have a government that knows the cost of everything and value of nothing (unless you count bungs to its friends and donors).


My next stop was at Castleford, a tpwn I’ve not visited for a dozen years. The single platform station is having its second reinstated along with a new footbridge with lifts to link the two. Track improvements and resignalling have added to the package of improvements so that the station can be a useful diversionary stop away from the main Trans-Pennine route whilst its closed for upgrade work. It’s a great example of the spin-offs from TRU work that has long-term benefits other areas.

I didn’t hang around to explore the town. I’ll save that for another time. I merely used the 10 minute window in between services to get the pictures I wanted before catching the next train back to Leeds.


There were two good reasons to get back to Leeds when I did and they arrived one after the other. First up was a Cross-Country double HST power car move from Derby to Neville Hill depot in Leeds.

Right behind it was the ‘Blue Pullman’ liveried HST set which had set out from Crewe on its way to Nevill Hill.


Last stop of the day is Ravensthorpe station and LNW junction. This are will undergo massive changes as part of the Trans-Pennine route upgrade. The station you see will be closed and a new one built West of the junction (and behind the camera)so that it can serve both routes. The old London and Northwestern line to Dewsbury to the left and the old Lancashire and Yorkshire line to Wakefield on the right. Plus, the fast LNW Trans-Pennine lines will cross the L&Y lines in a dive-under rather than the existing capacity-constraining flat junction.

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