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WaltonAround the Village
Page 3 - Walton Railway Station
• Page 1 - Greenside  • Page 2 - Common Lane
➤ Click on the photographs to enlarge.

The station building no longer exists but the site of the station is located on the railway line that separates Greenside from Low Town. The railway line still exists but the station area on Greenside is now a private residential area. Access to the old station area is via the 'green triangle' on Greenside.

The railway line was part of the line from Derby to Rotherham and Leeds, opened by the North Midland Railway in 1840. In 1844 the North Midland merged with the Birmingham and Derby Junction Railway and the Midland Counties Railway to form the Midland Railway.

Sandal and Walton railway station was opened on 1st June 1870 by the Midland Railway on the line from Derby to Leeds Wellington Station. The station was brick-built, of a style often used by the Midland Railway. In 1926 the number of tracks was increased to four, with the new goods lines passing to the east of the 2 platforms, i.e. on the Low Town side of the station. The station was renamed 'Walton' on 30th September 1951 and closed on 12th June 1961, before 'The Beeching Axe'. See Note below.

To the north of the station a junction was built in 1868 with a curve to meet the West Riding and Grimsby Railway, jointly owned by the Manchester, Sheffield and Lincolnshire Railway (MS&LR) and the Great Northern Railway (GNR). This enabled goods services and southbound passenger trains to run from Wakefield Westgate Station. However this service finished during the First World War.

Later the London, Midland and Scottish Railway (LMS) became the train operator. The LMS was formed on 1 January 1923 under the Railways Act of 1921, which required the grouping of over 120 separate railways into four. The companies merged into the LMS included the London and North Western Railway, Midland Railway, the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway, several Scottish railway companies, and numerous other smaller ventures.

Sources & further reading:
Sandal and Walton Railway Station (Wikipedia)
London, Midland and Scottish Railway (Wikipedia).
Richard Beeching, Baron Beeching (21 April 1913 – 23 March 1985), commonly known as Dr. Beeching, was a physicist and engineer who was chairman of British Railways from 1961 to 1965. He published two reports in 1963 and 1965, these led to far-reaching changes in the railway network, including line and station closures.

When potential routes for the railway in the area were being surveyed for the North Midland Railway (Leeds to Derby line), one such surveyor was Henry Clarkson (17th Dec 1801- d. 8th June 1896, Alverthorpe Hall). He was living at Grove House, The Balk, at the time. He was working under the direction of George Stephenson ("THE Engineer of the day."). Clarkson wrote about his encounters with Sir William Pilkington and Charles Waterton with whilst surveying the route at Chevet. At the time, Clarkson's office was in the Manor House Yard. Read more on the Grove House page.

Although the line through Walton is no longer used for passenger services, it is still used for testing trains and industrial purposes. There is, however, a campaign to re-open the line to passenger services.
Read more:
• Campaign to reopen Royston rail line continues - Dan Jarvis MP. (Dan Jarvis web site)
• Rail Link Could Get Green Light in Royston - Barnsley Chronicle 24 Jul 2020. (Web site)


Station Master by Len Bedale?SANDAL & WALTON - A STATION MASTER'S VIEW
Len Bedale was the station master at the station from 1950 to 1958. In his book Station Master, he recounts his career working for the railways in Yorkshire. Included in this interesting book is a chapter on Sandal and Walton - My Last Stationmastership.

His work included passenger trains and trains collecting coal from local collieries.
A few quotes from the book:

1. "I travelled to Sandal & Walton from Rye Hill & Burstwick on the Monday morning. There was no convenient train foward from Leeds, so I made the journey from Leeds to Sandal by West Riding bus. ... I walked from the bus stop, by Sandal church, through Walton Lane and Oakenshaw Lane, to my destination at the station. Access from Oakenshaw Lane to the station was up a fairly steep, fenced footpath."

2. "Passenger traffic declined in terms of revenue although not in numbers. New period tickets, and other cheaper holiday fares, had been introduced from adjacent stations, but my own station was not included, with the result that local tickets only were being purchased, passengers preferring to buy their tickets for longer jpurneys at the lower prices offered at other local stations. In addition, local commuting to Rotherham had ceased almost completely."

3. During his time at the station "some dunderhead renamed the station 'Walton', the 'Sandal' being dropped. This was very foolish, in view of the large number of Waltons, so, to amend matters 'Yorks." was added."

Station Master - My Lifetime's Railway Service in Yorkshire, by Len Bedale as told to C.T. Goode. Published 1976 by Turntable Publications, Sheffield. ISBN 0 902844 36 9 (paper back), 0 902844 38 5 (hard back).

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Walton near Wakefield, West Yorkshire.