Heaton Lodge and Wortley Railway

Also known as the Leeds New Line and later the Spen Valley Line, the Heaton Lodge & Wortley Railway was constructed by the London & North Western Railway (L&NWR) in the late 1890s and was opened at the start of October 1900. The line was built to ease a long-standing bottleneck on the Manchester-Huddersfield-Leeds line between Heaton Lodge area and Thornhill, and meant that the route was quadruple-tracked from Stalybridge through to Leeds.

The line branched off from the Huddersfield & Manchester Railway at Heckmondwike Junction (near Heaton Lodge) and passed under the Manchester & Leeds Railway before crossing the River Calder. It then passed through Mirfield, Northorpe, Heckmondwike, Liversedge, Gomersal, Birstall, and Gildersome, before rejoining the main L&NWR Leeds, Dewsbury & Manchester line at Farnley & Wortley Junction to the southwest of Leeds.

Stations were located at:

  • Battyeford
  • Northorpe Higher
  • Heckmondwike
  • Liversedge
  • Cleckheaton Spen
  • Gomersal
  • Upper Birstall
  • Gildersome East
  • Farnley & Wortley

The number of local passengers using the line failed to recover after the Second World War and British Railways announced station closures in the early 1950s. The remaining freight services and infrequent passenger trains meant that the line was deemed unviable and much of the route was closed during the 1960s and abandoned.


Further Reading