Saturday, 5 February 2022

Halifax Railway Station

In July 1844 Halifax celebrated as the first single track line to reach the town arrived, terminating at Shaw Syke near to the current B and M store, the town had finally joined the railway revolution. The line had been constructed from the Manchester and Leeds Railway at Greetland along the the current route that passes by Salterhebble. By August 7 1850 the line had been extended to Bradford and a new station was opened with temporary buildings at its current location, the Shaw Syke site now being developed as a goods yard.

The temporary station was replaced by permanent stone buildings which were designed by Thomas Butterworth, these opened on the 23 June 1855 and Halifax now had a station to be proud of. The station became a junction station in the 1870's when the Great Northern Railway constructed the Queensbury Line to Keighley and Bradford. The line branching off just beyond the end of the platform over a viaduct in the direction of North Bridge Station. This new venture led to the station being redesigned and a new access bridge crossing the much enlarged station beneath, by this time it had grown to a station of 7 platforms.

Due to the growth of the railways in Halifax the station was renamed in June 1890 as Halifax Old Station to distinguish it from Halifax North Bridge and Halifax St Paul's Station's, it was renamed in September 1951 as Halifax Town Station, and again in June 1961 back to just Halifax after the closures of the St Paul's and North Bridge Station's.

The station was greatly reduced in size over the next few years, eventually becoming a 2 platform island station with poor facilities and access. The local paper the Halifax Evening Courier eventually started a campaign for a station fit for the 21st century which led to Northern and Network Rail investing in repairs and refurbishment of the stations facilities. In October 2014 there was a plan to restore the 1855 building as a third platform to improve services from the building, but the seems to have stalled whilst Calderdale Council plan a near £30 - £40 million development that will remove the bridge and higher access station,  add ground level access, retail and facilities and supposedly give an all round much better experience for travellers. Personally I will believe it when I see it, our local council always seem to manage to make a bad project out of a good idea.

The station currently offers direct trains to Bradford, Huddersfield, Leeds and Manchester, with additional services to Chester Hull and London. The station is manned with ticket counters in addition to ticket machines. There is a small retail shop and a toilet if required, the station is not step free access but there is a lift down to platform level, I believe when there are staff in attendance. Before the pandemic hit the station saw approx 1.914 million passengers a year, an average of approx. 36800 per week. The last full year of figures during the Corona Virus era saw an average of approx 7000 per week using the station.

These pictures were taken in November 2013 using a Samsung Galaxy Tablet.

The bridge is the only access to the stations island platform

The Nestle Factory can be seen to the right of the picture

The listed 1855 building, having housed officers and a nursery for
the Eureka Children's Museum, their are now plans to reopen this

The operations were moved to York and this signal Box Closed
in October 2018.

The following pictures were taken near to the station buildings.

Halifax Station is built upon a viaduct, high wall and this is one of the
tunnels underneath the station.

This bridge used to cross a number of lines and the goods yard, it was built
to provide a new access to the station in the 1880's.
There are currently plans going forward to demolish this structure.

The station buildings roofs captured from Bailey Hall. The Halifax
branch of the Calder & Hebble Navigation used to terminate
near to this site which is occupied by Nestle now.

Lilly Lane Footbridge was built to replace Lilly Lane, 
the road having been split in 2 by the railways arrival
and the station construction.

One of the tunnel paths that lead underneath
Halifax Station.

All the pictures can also be seen on Clickasnap full size, resolution and un-watermarked, all remain the copyright of Colin Green, if shared please credit me.

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