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Rocky Road | by Xerones
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Rocky Road

Harrogate's first station...

 

The first trains to enter Harrogate on 20th July 1848 came along a branch line of the York and North Midland Railway from Church Fenton, (which was on the main lines between York and Leeds, and York and Sheffield). This branch terminated at Brunswick Station near what is today Trinity Road.

 

The station and line were replaced 14 years later by the current site in the town centre.

 

Harrogate once provided a vital relief line for north-south rail traffic avoiding the congested East Coast Mainline (through York). Major services, however, ceased in the 1960's under the infamous Dr Beeching. It was when the track capacity was increased on the East Coast Main Line that the through freight traffic ceased. At the same time the Beeching era arrived. It was decided that the line was not profitable and that Harrogate’s passenger and freight traffic could make the journey north via York. The line was closed officially on 5th March 1967, except for local freight between Starbeck and Ripon which lasted until 6th September 1969.

 

Perhaps lessons could have been learned or today's conjestion allievated, if many of the lost lines had remained open or, at least, if the trackbed had survived to be re-opened when needed. Sadly, most has long gone on housing developments or 'business parks'...

 

It is worth noting that even today at least one train a day makes the direct journey from Harrogate to London King's Cross station. The 07:28h arrives in London at 10:27h... shoppers' special?

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Taken on March 26, 2006