Sowerby Bridge Railway Station

On 5th October 1840, Sowerby Bridge Railway Station opened and the Sowerby Bridge service of the Manchester-Leeds Railway Company began.

Starting work in September 1840, a few days before the opening, Branwell Brontë worked at the station as Assistant Clerk in Charge for a year until he moved to Luddendenfoot Station.

The route of the Manchester & Leeds Railway by-passed Halifax, and passengers and goods had to depart and arrive at Sowerby Bridge or Elland.

Trains to Rishworth used the main platforms and then reversed on to the Ryburn Valley branch line.

In 1907, a separate platform was constructed for these trains.

The station was situated between the tunnel and the road bridge over the Ryburn, near The Nook, opposite the Royal Hotel at Sowerby Street.

A Tesco store now stands on the site.

The old Booking Office is still standing at the foot of Sowerby Street.

In 1850, Halifax connected to Sowerby Bridge and to Low Moor.

On 9th April 1853, a porter at the station was killed whilst walking on the line.

The station was considered too small and too far from the centre of Sowerby Bridge.

In 1876, the old station closed and completely demolished. A new station was built on a site near the coal drops in Station Road, Sowerby Bridge. This opened on 1st September 1876, and was at the junction of the new Ryburn Branch Line and the existing Calder Valley line. A footbridge linked the station and the town centre.

In August 1878, there was a service on the Ryburn Valley branch line from Sowerby Bridge via Scar Head Tunnel to Triangle, Ripponden, and Slitheroe Bridge, Rishworth.

On 16th June 1928, a woman died after falling between the platform and the train.

On 18th January 1977, a policeman was killed by a train as he investigated a report of vandalism.

In October 1978, the station was badly damaged by fire.

In July 1980, British Rail announced plans to demolish the building. Sowerby Bridge Civic Trust proposed that the building should be listed. In November 1980, the station was demolished by British Rail.

In 1981, a new station was built although away from the original site.

It is said that during the time of the Beeching Report, in the 1960s, Sowerby Bridge would have become a major shunting area if there had been more room to expand. Because of the limited flat ground, they had to shunt across the main line. As the network expanded, the station building would have been in the way of the shunting and engine shed operation, and was moved further on.

There have been several accidents at and around the station

See C. W. S Union Flour Mills, Sowerby Bridge, Coal Drops, Sowerby Bridge, Charles Cornwell, George Hartley, Motor Train and Royal Hotel, Sowerby Bridge

© Malcolm Bull 2021
Revised 11:09 / 28th May 2021 / 5816

Page Ref: KK_171

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