Branch Line Britain - celebrating Britain's minor railways

Eastern - Bradford Review 1

Ilkley train at Bradford Forster Square railway station 4/9/09


4/9/09 Guisley to Bradford Forster Square

Weather: cloudy

Traction used: Class 332 4-car EMU


Guisley station unlike the others on this line has been rebuilt in recent years. It has large waiting room on the up platform and a large waiting room cum ticket office on the down platform. Trains go to Leeds or Bradford Foster Square alternatively. We go into a cutting and under a short tunnel, then leave the Leeds line and go southwest onto a single track in a cutting and then a tunnel then a cutting onto a short viaduct. You get a quick view of the valley on the left, then it's into a cutting again. It feels that you're going downhill here. We pass fields on the right, then go onto a viaduct and see an old mill that has been modernised on the left. We then pass through two tunnels in quick succession, then go into a cutting and then arrive at Baildon station. It has a single platform with the original yellow brick station building but its windows are bricked up to halfway, then grills cover the rest of the windows. There is a red and cream shelter on the platform. Several schoolchildren are waiting to go to Guisley, so school must not start till 10 o'clock here! We go into another cutting, then onto an embankment and go over the river Aire. There are houses on the right and factories and mills on the left. We go over the Leeds and Liverpool canal, passing allotments on the left, then we join the Leeds to Skipton line briefly and then come into Shipley station - the only triangled station in Britain, with six platforms, though not all are used. All the original yellow brick buildings are still intact on the platforms, one housing a café. There is also a subway and footbridges. As we leave we join two tracks from the Skipton line on the right and pass a scrap yard with sidings. We soon come to Frizinghall station, which has staggered platforms with red-framed perspex shelters. We are now in a valley with houses on a hill on the left and foliage on the right. New factory units appear on the left and then large Victorian houses can be seen on the right, followed by new houses being built on the right. We pass Valley Parade football ground, the home of Bradford City on the right and then come into Bradford Foster Square at 09.53. It has three platforms and has been completely been rebuilt in the past few years. At the moment there are no ticket barriers.

Summary: A busy commuter and shoppers line, which should be safe for years to come. MC