Diagram of Woodfield Station (May 1874)
This is a copy of the diagram submitted to the Board of Trade by the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway Company in May 1874 (reproduced from the copy held in the Board of Trade's archives).
Unfortunately, the diagram is only meant to show the position of Woodfield Station relative to the signalling, so there is no indication of how far the platform was from the nearby railway bridge, or the route passengers took to get to the platform.
However, Board of Trade documents note that the station was sited around 700 yards (640 metres) from the branch line's junction with the Penistone Line.
Unaware that the station was sited on a steep gradient (1 in 60), the Board of Trade gave the railway company permission to open Woodfield Station prior to it being inspected.
Colonel Hutchinson carried out his inspection on 3 June 1874 and his report stated that urgent remedial work was required to make the station safe and to ensure that runaway rolling stock wouldn't run though to Lockwood Station and then on to Huddersfield Station. Until such work was carried out, the Board of Trade could not sanction the use of the station.
It seems the railway company decided the cost of fixing the issues (e.g. by levelling the line at the station) made Woodfield Station economically unviable. Within a week of receiving Hutchinson's report, they issued the public notice of closure.
The company's financial report for the half-year ending 30 June 1874 showed an unexpected fall in profits with a decline in rail freight and only a small increase in passenger traffic. This too may have influenced their decision not to carry out the costly remedial work.
Following H.F. Beaumont's gifting of Dungeon Wood to the town in 1879, for the purpose of creating a new park, it seems likely that the railway company decided to demolish the station since they would come under pressure to re-open it to serve the new park.
Instead, the tram line to Lockwood was extended along Woodfield Road (now Meltham Road) with a terminus sited at Dungeon Wood. Visitors to the park then climbed up the path which had previously served the station.
|tags:||1870-79, 1874, Dungeon Wood, Lockwood, Meltham Branch Line, Railway Stations, Woodfield Station (Meltham Branch Line)|
|date added:||28 December 2016|