The Anonymous Widower

Reopening The Askern Branch

On October 27th this Beeching Reversal Project was given £50,000 to build a case for reopening.

These are my thoughts.

The Askern Branch Line

This description of the Askern Branch Line is from Wikipedia.

The Askern branch line is a railway line which runs in North, South and West Yorkshire in England. The stretch of track runs from Shaftholme Junction north of Doncaster (on the East Coast Main Line between Doncaster and York), via Askern, Norton and Womersley to Knottingley, where it joins the Pontefract Line.

This map was also clipped from Wikipedia.

Note.

  1. Shaftholme junction is where the Askern Branch splits from the East Coast Main Line.
  2. There are three closed stations on the Askern Branch; Askern, Norton and Womersley.
  3. Between Shaftholme junction and Knottingley West junction, on the Pontefract Line is 10.7 miles.
  4. The operating speed of the line is between twenty and fifty mph.

Unbelievably, in those 10.7 miles there are nineteen level crossings.

Current Passenger Services

The only passenger services on the line are Grand Central‘s services between London King’s Cross and Bradford Interchange.

  • Grand Central are an open-access operator.
  • Grand Central ran the first service in 2007.
  • There are four trains per day (tpd) in both directions.
  • They call at Doncaster, Pontefract Monkhill, Wakefield Kirkgate, Mirfield, Brighouse, Halifax and Low Moor.

Perhaps, if they stopped at a station on the Askern Branch Line, it would give their finances a lift.

Freight Services

There are up to four freight services per hour on the line.

Askern Station

Askern station used to serve the village of Askern.

  • Askern has a population of about 6,000.
  • Askern used to be a spa town.
  • But then coal was discovered and it became a mining village.
  • Do spas and coal mining make a good mix? I doubt it.
  • Eventually the station closed in September 1948.
  • There is a level crossing at the station.

The village is now developing and there is pressure for the reopening of the station.

Railfuture has backed the reopening.

Norton Station

Norton station used to serve the village of Norton.

  • Norton has a population of about 5,000.
  • The station closed in September 1948.
  • There is a level crossing at the station.

There appears to be no pressure to reopen the station, although the site is protected.

Womersley Station

Womersley station used to serve the village of Womersley.

  • Womersley has a population of a few hundred.
  • The station closed in September 1948.
  • There is a level crossing at the station.

There appears to be no pressure to reopen the station.

Would This Project Be Better Described As Reopening Askern Station?

I can’t find any reference to reopening Norton and Womersley stations, so perhaps Reopening Askern Station would be closer to the reality.

A New Askern Station

This Google Map shows the site of the former station.

This could be a challenging station to design depending on the brief.

Services At A New Askern Station

I suspect that some or perhaps all of Grand Central’s Kings Cross and Bradford Interchange  services will call.

But these don’t go to Leeds and I suspect that a service is needed to and from Leeds.

Will The Askern Line Be Electrified?

Who knows?

 

October 31, 2021 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , | 6 Comments