Sunday, 17 June 2018

North Dean (Stainland) Branch Railway Line

The North Dean, Stainland or Greetland and Stainland branch line was a double track railway that ran from the main line at Greetland, Near Halifax climbing approx. 1.6 miles up the valley to it's terminus at the Stainland and Holywell Green Station. Opened on the 1st January 1875 to service the mills along the valley the line remained in use for passengers until 23rd September 1929 still running 16 trains each way upon closure. Goods traffic ceased on the 14th September 1959.

Despite it's short length the line featured 4 stations by 1907 with North Dean and Greetland Station at the junction with the mainline. Opened in 1844 as the mainline junction to Halifax Station, Greetland station remained in use until closure on the 8th September 1962, there have been rumours / discussions according to online sources of the station re-opening as a parkway station.

Overgrown Railtracks at Greetland.
Overgrown tracks in the area that used to be Greetland Station.

Railway Westwards at Greetland.
Looking westward along the mainline. This was the junction of the branch and the site of Greetland Station.

After leaving the mainline the branch cornered sharply through North Dean towards Clay House, there is part of a bridge still remaining here.

Overgrown and closed Railway Cutting at North Dean Woods, Halifax.
Partially infilled track bed at North Dean.

Bridge Remains at Clay House on the Closed Stainland Branch. 
Bridge remains near to Clay House, West Vale.

The line then arrived at the 2nd station along the route was the Rochdale Road Halt, opened in 1907 when the line change to rail motors the halt was on a bridge that crossed the B6113 Rochdale Road at West Vale. This station served passengers only and closed in September 1929 along with all passengers services along the line. Nothing remains of the bridge or station.

Former Railway Cutting at West Vale, Yorkshire.
This picture was taken at the approx. site of the bridge and station that operated as the Rochdale Road Halt.

After leaving the halt the line made a small climb before crossing the Grade II listed 13 arch West Vale Viaduct. Now accessible as a public footpath  / cycleway, the viaduct remains an impressive feat of civil engineering.

The Edge of West Vale Viaduct.

West Vale

Path along West Vale Viaduct. 

West Vale Viaduct.

West Vale Viaduct.

West Vale Station was next just after West Vale Viaduct, all that remains is a partially covered retaining wall at the station site on a small housing estate called Green Royd. The station opened on January 1st 1875 and closed along with the line in September 1959.

Former Site of West Vale Station on the Stainland Branch. 
The former site of West Vale Station.

Former Long Heys Railway Bridge on the Stainland Branch Line.
Former railway bridge at Long Heys, West Vale.

After passing through West Vale Station, the line the passed under Long Heys Bridge before crossing Rawroyds (Stainland) Viaduct. Rawroyds is a Grade II listed 14 arch viaduct that crossers the valley and Holywell Brook. The viaduct remains largely intact but is now inaccessible with only a couple of footpaths under it's archers. The embankment at the western end has been almost completely removed to allow an access road to Brookwoods Industrial Estate.

Rawroyds (Stainland) Viaduct. 

Rawroyds (Stainland) Viaduct.

Rawroyds (Stainland) Viaduct.

Rawroyds (Stainland) Viaduct, West Yorkshire.

 After crossing Rawroyds the line went up through a cutting and underneath Station Road Bridge before arriving at the final halt and terminus of the line which was Stainland and Holywell Green Station, nothing remains of this station as an industrial area has been built upon it. The cutting is now an access road that passes underneath Station Road Bridge.

Former Trackbed from Station Road Bridge

Station Road Bridge

There are a total of 57 pictures taken along the abandoned line. They feature in 2 albums, the first one of 45 viewable here and on Flickr. The remaining 12 can only be seen on Clickasnap via the link below.


Stainland Branch Lines
Use the arrows to navigate the album.

The pictures were taken on the 23rd and 30th March 2014 using a Polaroid iS2132 bridge camera, another set of pictures were taken on the 15th October 2017 using a Nikon d3300 SLR camera.

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