Bradford Forster Square railway station

Infobox UK station
name = Bradford Forster Square


manager = Northern Rail
locale = Bradford
borough = City of Bradford
pte = West Yorkshire (Metro)
zone = 3
usage0405 = 0.404
usage0506 = 0.394
usage0607 = 1.389
platforms = 3
start = 1846
Rebuilt before 1853 and again in 1890
Renamed 'Forster Square' 1924
Rebuilt on new site 1990

Bradford Forster Square Station is a railway station in Bradford, West Yorkshire, England. The majority of services to/from the station use Class 333 electrified trains operated by Northern Rail, on the Airedale Line to Skipton, the Wharfedale Line to Ilkley and the Leeds-Bradford Line to Leeds. Up to three services each day are operated by National Express East Coast to London King's Cross.

The other main railway station in the city is Bradford Interchange, about 10 minutes' walk from Forster Square, from where services operate along the Caldervale Line to Leeds, Halifax, Huddersfield, Manchester Victoria and Blackpool. The rails enter each station from opposite ends of the city, effectively collinearly, but they do not join.

History

The first rail service into Bradford was opened by the Leeds and Bradford Railway on 1 July 1846. The line approached the town from the north, up Bradforddale from Shipley, and terminated at a station on Kirkgate, opposite the end of Market Street. There were hourly services to Leeds Wellington Station, and through trains to London Euston via Derby and Rugby.Whitaker, Alan & Myland, Brian (1993) "Railway Memories No. 4: Bradford" Bellcode books. ISBN 1-871233-03-8]

The first station building was an imposing neoclassical building designed by William Andrews. (An engraving of it is reproduced in Sheeran, George (1994) "Railway Buildings of West Yorkshire, 1812-1920" Keele, Staffs: Ryburn Publishing. ISBN 1-85331-100-6] , p. 14).

By 1853, the Midland Railway had acquired the Leeds and Bradford, and had rebuilt the station. The new building was larger, but apparently less interesting architecturally (Sheeran, 1994).

In 1890 the station was again replaced. The Midland Railway's architect Charles Trubshaw designed a large complex containing the passenger station, goods station, and the Midland Hotel. The station had six platforms, and was also used by the North Eastern Railway. According to , the station began to be called "Market Street Station" at this time, but local maps (eg Dixon & Hindle 1871 "Plan of the Town of Bradford", ed. Elvira Willmott 1987, as "The Ryburn Map of Victorian Bradford", Keele, Staffs: Ryburn Publishing. ISBN 1-85331-004-2] ) and directories do not confirm this (see Station name below).

By 1906,Ordnance Survey 1906 "Bradford" (Sheet 216.08), pub. Alan Godfrey Maps 1989. ISBN 0-85054-281-2] Forster Square had been built just southeast of the station, but the name "Forster Square Station" was not used until 1924.

In March 1963, the Beeching Report recommended closure of all railways serving Wharfedale, and of several other services out of Forster Square; during 1965 many stations closed, and local services to Leeds ceased. But for some of the lines the decision was deferred, and trains continued to run - in the event, for eight years. In 1972 Bradford Corporation (now City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council), together with several other local authorities in the area, determined to subsidise the Wharfedale and Airedale lines. The lines have remained open, and in the ensuing years a number of stations have been reopened. From April 1974, the new West Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive (now know as Metro) took responsibility for these services.

The current Forster Square Station, a modern three-platform station, was built in 1990 somewhat to the north of the former station; the latter was demolished two years later to make way for a £90 million shopping centre. That development was never built, and the site remained derelict for some years and has latterly been used as a car park. Part of the screen arcade that fronted the 1890 station remains, as does the Midland Hotel; and in 2005 these becamemuch more visible when the city centre redevelopment began and Forster House was demolished. It is unclear how visible they will remain as the development continues.

The line into Forster Square was electrified in the early 1990s, as part of the electrification of the Airedale Line and Wharfedale Line, and allowing through electric trains to London via the newly-electrified East Coast Main Line.

Historically, services have been as follows:

historical rail line|start-date=1965|end-date=1987|company=West Yorkshire Metro(trains operated by British Rail)|previous=terminus|next=Shipleyhistorical rail line|start-date=1987|end-date=1997|company=West Yorkshire Metro(trains operated by British Rail)|previous=terminus|next=Frizinghallhistorical rail line|start-date=1997|end-date=2001|company=West Yorkshire Metro(trains operated by Northern Spirit)|previous=terminus|next=Frizinghallhistorical rail line|start-date=2001|end-date=2004|company=West Yorkshire Metro(trains operated by Arriva Trains Northern)|previous=terminus|next=Frizinghallhistorical rail line|start-date=2004|end-date=Present|company=West Yorkshire Metro(trains operated by Northern Rail)|previous=terminus|next=Frizinghall
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tation name

There is some disagreement about what names were used when. Most of the modern references state that one or more of them were called 'Market Street', though there is disagreement as to exactly when this name was in use:

* says it was 'Market Street' from the rebuilding in 1890 until 1924.
* Dewick, Tony (2002) "Complete Atlas of Railway Station Names" Ian Allan Publishing. ISBN 0-7110-2798-6] p. 42, shows one of the three stations as 'Market Street' in red, which in that book indicates that the station and the name passed out of use before 1901.

However, contemporary sources do not seem to use the name. The "Bradford Post Office Directory" says that the Midland terminal is at "Station, bottom of Kirkgate" (1856, 1863, 1898) or "Station, Forster Square" (1916, 1927); only in 1928 did a directory use the name "Forster Square Station". (In contrast, from 1879/80 onward the directories show the other terminal as "Exchange Station, Drake St"). Neither nor gives a name for the station other than 'Midland Station', though the latter does name Exchange Station.

It seems likely that the original station was called simply 'Bradford', at least until the Lancashire & Yorkshire station opened at Drake Street in 1850. After that time it would have been the Midland Station. At some time it apparently came to be called 'Bradford Market Street', but this does not appear to have been official. Bradshaw's July 1922 Railway Guide, in a timetable footnote refers to Market Street, giving the distance to Exchange Station.

ervices

Trains from Bradford Forster Square are operated by Northern Rail and National Express East Coast. Most trains are run by Northern Rail; these are towards Leeds (on the Leeds-Bradford Line), Skipton (on the Airedale Line) and Ilkley (on the Wharfedale Line). During Monday to Saturday daytimes, trains operate every 30 minutes on each route. During the evenings, there are trains every hour to each of Skipton and Ilkley; on Sundays these run every two hours. At these times there are no trains to Leeds; passengers have to change at Shipley.

National Express East Coast operate around three services per day via Leeds and the East Coast Main Line to London Kings Cross.

References

Further reading

* Firth, Gary (1997) "A History of Bradford" Phillimore. ISBN 1-86077-057-6
* Smith, F.W. & Bairstow, Martin "The Otley and Ilkley Joint Railway" Martin Bairstow. ISBN 1-871944-06-6.

External links

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