Ripon Railway & Train Station

When i was really young ie around 5 i can remember my dad taking me up to the old disused railway and showing me round. As he spent time there when he was a child trainspotting as it was the thing to do in the 60’s.

My memories are pretty vague but i can remeber going. Anyway i was looking through flickr and found some great pictures uploaded and probably taken by Pinzac55.

The Ripon Line was part of the Leeds – Northallerton Line and was axed under the Beeching axes. It was mainly down to trains going through to York which was Ripon last nail in the coffin. Ripon was one of the later cuts and possibly could of been avoided.

In March 1969 The line closed to Passenger journeys but some freight trips still used the line for a few more months, After these last trains stopped it was only 2 years before the track was uprooted.

Its under constant Scrutiny from Local MP’s to re open the Ripon Line, but i personally don’t think it will ever happen due to the state of the England in the current climate and the fact that the station would be way out of town.

Ripon Train Station Drive

Ripon Train Station Main Enterance

Ripon Train Station Ticket Booth

Ripon Train Station Southern Approach

Ripon Train Station North Bouth

Ripon Train Station 1981

The Main Station now hosts houses

Ripon Train Station 2000's

Below are 2 pictures of the bridge that crosses the river Ure which is now replaced my the bridge which takes traffic on the Ripon By Pass taken from www.geoffspages.co.uk

Train Bridge Over Ure

Ripon Train Bridge Over The Ure

Thanks to Tim heres a picture of Trigo’ A3 Class steam locomotive No 60084 which often came through Ripon

Trigo' A3 Class steam locomotive No 60084

You would most often see Deltic Diesels and A2’s coming through Ripon Station.

Deltic Running At York (55014 1981yr)

Here is a recent picture of a A2 Pacific

LNER Peppercorn Class A2 60532 'Blue Peter'

I’ve even found a small picture of The City Of Ripon A2 Pacific

2404 City of Ripon A2

41 thoughts on “Ripon Railway & Train Station”

  1. I’d never thought about it like that before – why is the train station so far out of town? That seems a bit odd.

    I agree there’s no real chance of the railway coming back. Even if it did it would only get people to Harrogate, then it’s either York or Leeds to actually get anywhere.

  2. not sure why its so far out maybe its so it avoids the city centre. Well you could probably get to thirsk

  3. The train stations would have been out of town – because it would have been a central spot for lots of villages (I have to assume). There’s a tiny station we went past in Devon once that would have served tons of places – all a mile or two away.
    You used to have several mail deliveries a day too in the olden days – trains everywhere and loadsamail!

    People didn’t travel as far back then. 16 miles would have been a hugely long journey for people. My grandmother went to Birmingham when she was about 14 to start her first job – at 26 miles from her parents home that was a big step back then.

  4. I can remember an old relative aged around 90, told me that a trip to Newcaslte was a 2 day trip. Ripon train station is still out of town around 10/15 minute walk

  5. Read my book the “Leeds Northern Railway” in Harrogate libarary which explains why the railway station (Not train station) is so far out of town.

  6. From what I’ve read the station at Ripon was built where it was because the Diocese of Ripon opposed to it being built any closer to the city centre so it was built well out of the city as it was at that time. The closure of this line was one of the late 1960’s closures and should arguably never have happened, but it’s difficult to see it ever re-opening, even in a truncated Harrogate-Ripon form. What commuters would give for a quick ten minute rail shuttle service between Harrogate and Ripon compared to the nightmarish congested road journey that exists now !

  7. I’m afraid the story about the Diocese of Ripon opposing the railway is nonsense. The station was so far out because basically the cost of builing Bramhope Tunnel almost bankrupted the company and they needed to get part of the line opened and earning money quickly. That part from Thirsk to Ripon being of easy construction was built first but south of the Ure the embankment gave trouble and so the station was built at the North Bridge. It was meant to be temporay but remained on the same site until closed in 1967.

  8. I go along with that. But remember a lot of early railways were built to link specific places and not necessarily towns on the route. The Leeds & Thirsk Railway (later changed to Leeds Northern) opened in 1849 primarily to provide a route from Leeds to the north east and even by-passed Harrogate with only a station at Starbeck! Also again remember most early railways were built for freight and particularly coal traffic with passengers coming second. Dont agree about it taking 2 days to get to Newcastle. I remember in the 50s there were two or three Liverpool – Newcastle expresses using this line and I regularly travelled on one between Leeds and Harrogate. Do however wholeheartedly agree that we have Railway and NOT train stations in this country.

  9. Rory, those are fantastic pictures, thanks for sharing them. I spent ages trying to find more out about the Ripon Railway a couple of years ago as I lived very close to it and got no where. Very informative, thank you.

  10. Thanks Sally

    I can only just remember going before it all got knocked down, but that was probably very early 90’s.

  11. Why can’t the railway be reinstated to Harrogate/Leeds? Surely it would open Ripon up to the rail network and bring investment to the city? The trackbed is mostly intact and the new station could be based near the Dallamires Lane bypass roundabout behind the oil storage place? There is an empty field near there which could be turned into a modern station and car park. That way commuters from Ripon and surrounding areas could park there for their trip to Harrogate/York & Leeds. A bus/taxi service could connect the station and Ripon center?

    This could remove many cars from the horrific A61. Everyone wins.

  12. sounds good but little thorpe would have to be bypassed, and it looks tight. what about wormald green you’d need a bridge over A61. or straight on over the fields.

    It could be done i suppose

  13. As a boy in the early 1960s I travelled now and again from Ripon station to both Northallerton and to Harrogate and to Headingley (for the cricket). Sometimes we were pulled by a steam train called Trigo, which was named after a race horse I think, but mostly the diesel multiples. From my house about a mile away I could see(in winter when no leaves) and hear the trains rumble over the bridge from my bedroom window. I deeply regret the loss of the railway. It took a lot of Ripons status with it when it went. Had it survived just a few more years its value as an asset would have re-emerged I am sure.

    As to being out of town, I think topography, geology and available land were also powerful arguments for placing it where it was. The town centre is up a hill, and between the river and the town centre are a number of sink holes that have always proved a problem for building anything in certain places.

  14. Hi Tim,

    Thanks For the comment after some digging, Trigo’ A3 Class steam locomotive No 60084 was withdrawn from service in November 1964, and it was named after a racehorse

  15. I work in Ripon and have an interest in railway history and development. The feasibilty study done a few years ago concluded that Ripon could sustain a new rail link to the south with a Leeds-Harrogate-Ripon service. It was a bit disappointing that the link northwards was not considered feasible for various reasons and now the new widened A1 motorway has breached the railway at Sinderby. The feasibility study seemed more interested in purely the benefit to Ripon (and not the bigger picture). The train service to Leeds would not do much more than the existing bus service. Reinstatement of the line north to Northallerton would create a new trunk route and open up a whole new possibility of trans-pennine rail services and healthy competition to existing train operators on the Newcastle/Middlesbrough – Manchester/Liverpool services. This would not only benefit Ripon but also put Harrogate back on the ‘main line’ map after years as a bit of a rail backwater.

  16. I have very fond memories as a young boy at Ripon Station in the late 1950’s,early 1960’s.My Great Aunt & Uncle lived in Ure Bank House in the station yard.I would spend many a happy hour on the dock ‘spotting’ such great delights as ‘The Queen of Scots’ hauled by 60084 & 60539 plus many WD’s on freights plus B1’s and J39’s.My fondest memory is being allowed to ride in the cab of D49 ‘The Zetland'(62738) from the dock onto the main line & reverse into the station.Happy days!

  17. Amanda asks “What on earth does the difference between and a railway station and train station matter?”

    Primarily it really depends on how you view English English as opposed to American English. Just as we have railways not railroads and motorways not freeways etc etc.

    However I suppose within this context it was noticeable because Train Station is a term which is not used in railway circles hence it was a surprise to come across it on a railway blog.

    My apologies if my earlier comment seemed offensive or patronising, that was certainly not intended.

  18. Hi Rory, great memories but I’m afraid that James Rogers seems a bit of a bell end and offers nothing to the discussion.

  19. In 1955 as a National Serviceman I was posted to Harper Barracks 5 Training Regt. Royal Signals and I have fond memories of Ripon and of course the times that I used the Railway Station at weekends if I was lucky to get a 48 hour pass to go home to London. If I remember rightly I would go to Leeds ( Holbeck ) and then on to Kings Cross?
    The return journey was a nightmare as we use to arrive back in the early hours of the morning and there was always a scramble for the waiting taxi’s to get us back to camp so that we might just get some shut eye for an hour if we were lucky.
    Can any readers help me with what was the name of the road that led to Harper Barracks.

  20. I have just found this website, so forgive me for correcting most of you. James Rogers has more knowledge of this line than the rest of you collectively will ever know. Just repect his replies as he has published and sold books on local lines around Harrogate.
    I led the campaign to reopen the Harrogate-Ripon-Northallerton railway line (not train line)which culminated in £80,000 being spent on a reopening study in 2005. Harrogate-Ripon was chosen as this section is only 10 miles long and more likely to reopen than the whole route through to Narthallerton. Melmerby-Thirsk was looked at but discounted as the station at Thirsk is too far out of town and would not attract passengers from Ripon.
    NYCC said that they would support reopening just to Ripon. British Rail(not British Train) said they would look more closely at reopening Ripon-Northallerton if Ripon-Harrogate was already open. From a Revenue/Demand forecast, the biggest flow is along the A61 corridor. Of everybody who commutes out of Ripon daily, 48% go to Harrogate, 11% to Leeds and 6% to Bradford. Only 30% travel northwards. Those who can convert to rail for their journey would produce a footfall figure of 1100 daily. This would be sufficient to cover the operating costs but not the capital and interest on the capital to build the line estimated between £38-£46Million. This would be for a 100mph railway with journey times to Harrogate of 9 minutes and 40 minutes to Leeds. There would have to be compulsory purchase of certain properties built on the line since closure and new alignments to avoid former level crossings with bridges as they are not now permitted. The old station site was built so far out of town because that was the only site where the ground was solid enough for a station and goods yard. From here to Littlethorpe was all on high embankment and would have cost too much to build an area large enough for a station as James Rogers states.
    A new route has been looked at both inside and outside the bypass but whichever is chosen, the new station site would be adjacent to the roundabout at the bottom end of Rotary Way. It is only a 10 minute walk from here to the Market Place and many people live within 20 minutes of this site. There will be park and ride facilities here for up to 300 cars.
    The last passenger train ran on 6th March 1967 not 1969 as stated and freight continued to the Ordnance Depot at Melmerby for two years. The line reopened on 30th July 1967 for two days for northbound trains only due to a partial blockage of the main line south of Thirsk between a derailed cement train and following northbound express. The day after the diversion was over, an overbridge on the Thirsk-Masham road at Sinderby was demolished by explosives to prevent this happening again. This was the mentality of our leaders in the 1960s.
    The line was closed because in 1965 operating cost of the line was £18,000 but takings at Ripon station was only £13,000. The fact that the Army bill for travel warrants and troop trains was £5,000 wasn’t taken into account as that was paid to the central accounts office in London and not Ripon booking office. Also, the additional cost of diverting passenger and freight trains via York, 15 miles longer than via Ripon, was not costed. This was the usual sneaky actions of the Beeching team.
    A campaign was launched to stop closure by Harrogate Town Council, but as soon as Knaresborough-York was reprieved, the campaigh to keep Ripon open was dropped. Typical selfish attitude of Harrogate Council but something that has been detrimental to Harrogate in the long run.
    I hope this has helped explain.

  21. What a superb response from both James Rogers and Adrian Morgan, both of whom I have met and respect for their knowledge and dedication to keeping the history of this line documented and indeed hopes that one day, the government will see sense ( just after the civil aviation authority successfully bring in the “Clearance for flying pigs to land act” no doubt ! ), and are both known for their careful research and accuracy in the facts they state.

    I am seeking photographs of Deltic D9002 / 55 002 on the line. Firstly, as D9002 was just 20 days old in service on 29.03.1961 when it became the first Deltic into Harrogate and Ripon, running a test train ( coded 1XXX ) from Neville Hill to Newcastle via Harrogate and Ripon, followed by several months of driver training runs that returned from Newcastle to Leeds via York. D9002 ( un-named ) was then introduced onto the Harrogate to Kings Cross Pullman trains ( 1E10 ) again for driver training purposes.
    Incredibly by chance, the last Yorkshire Pullman from Kings Cross into Harrogate was hauled by 55 002 ( formally D9002 and by then, on 04.04.1963, named Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry ), thus Deltic no. 2 hauled the very first and last, the second man on the first run being the driver on the last ! An incredible set of coincidences. I was honoured to meet him in retirement at his home in Lofthouse Gate, nr Wakefield in 2010, again, purely by chance, and what a delightful chat we enjoyed.

    Anyone with a picture as sought please email me at dmh1501@yahoo.co.uk
    Many thanks. Jon

  22. Thanks for all your comments and contributions. It’s been fascinating. While taking the daily drive to Harrogate from Ripon and seeing some landmarks I often wonder what it would have been like to take the journey by train, sorry rail. It was a shame that the short sightedness of local councils and governments in the 60’s demolished our heritage both on the railways and in our towns and cities for what they saw as being modern and progressive. How wrong could they have been.

  23. P.s. my original thought, about the location of the station in Ripon, before reading the other comments, was to do with the location of the the Auction Mart as I assume the railways were used up the Dales for carrying livestock and wool etc. Maybe this was an additional factor or maybe not.

  24. has anybody any photos or drawings of ripon station and buildings or know where they are documented

  25. Help about a Jubilee 4-6-0 no 45562 Alberta on the royal train somewhere on the line mentioned. As I have a very niggling feeling it was taken on the line when her Majesty went to Northallerton the day or after the line closed and it running on the wrong line also. I would welcome any information as I have this slide but no info to tell you where the picture was taken or the date. Thank you folks.

  26. Hello just came across this site. As of the latest Ripon City Development Plan. It states that plans to reopen the Ripon- Harrogate line is very likely. The station is mapped out to be built opposite Morrisons in the fields there. Chances are that the trackbed between the last roundabout on the Bypass and before Wormald Green can be used again.

    But I think when they rejoin the line at Harrogate they won’t reinstate the bypass line to Starbeck. As I think no one will get on to Ripon from Starbeck. Also I think Northern will run trains to and from Ripon when reopened. Can’t wait for it! 😊

  27. My Grandmother’s second marriage in 1939, took her live close to Sharow cross, a 10 min walk from Ripon railway station, thus putting credibility to the thoughts and reasons for the distance from City center.
    I was born during air raid on London, Sept 1940, and at two weeks my mother brought me to live with grandmother in Sharow. We caught the regular 10:10 from Kings cross, semi fast to Doncaster then all stations to Leeds Central. Reduced rake was then reversed out en route to Harrogate. There only two or three coaches continued onto Ripon, to allow forces personnel to get to the three training camps near Ripon, Signals, REME and RE I recall. Train terminated at Ripon, and after shunting, empty stock returned to Harrogate for cleaning etc, assuming being used for the down run to London the following morning.
    My Grandmother was in the fashion trade when in London, and in Ripon used to dress make for several ladies around that part of world. This necessitated regular weekly trips to Harrogate for clothing accessories etc. As I grew older and after war, I used to regularly travel between London and Ripon for summer holidays. When still young, my father would tip the waiting staff on Queen of Scots or Harrogate Pullman, to keep an eye on me, to be picked up in Harrogate. As a teenager, I used the cheaper West Yorkshire coach between Victoia Coastal Coach station in London and Harrogate..
    Then it wasn’t another train to Ripon, but either the 136 (United) or 36 (West Yorkshire) from Harrogate to Ripon station. Trains too expensive and infrequent, and not so much traffic as today. Not many folks could afford cars. (no HP or Credit facilities) So with thoughts on reinstating the Ripon to Harrogate line from historic experience, I wonder if the line would be used and be viable.

  28. ‘James Rogers has more knowledge of this line than the rest of you collectively will ever know.’
    ‘ I’m afraid that James Rogers seems a bit of a bell end’.

    Hmm.

    I have read Mr. Rogers informative book. I have also noted his comments above, and their tone, and the fact the above two quotes are not by any means mutually exclusive.

    If Mr Rogers is a good student of history he should know that while there may be one quoted or recorded reason for something happening, there may indeed be others that played a part. By all means ask somebody for evidence for their opinion and question it, but I suggest Mr. Rogers you refrain from describing an opinion as ‘nonsense’ just because it is something you do not believe unless you are prepared to come across as … well, a ‘bit of a bell end’ I suppose is a good a way of putting it as any.

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