Meltham Station, Meltham
Meltham Station was the terminus of the Meltham Branch Line.
The station opened to passengers on 5 July 1869. The first train from Huddersfield consisted of eleven carriages, carrying a number of local dignitaries and railway company management. For the rest of the day, a free service was offered.
Although some sources state that the station had a turntable, no supporting evidence was found to confirm this during research.
Meltham Branch Line was closed to passengers on 21 May 1949. The final train, pulled by engine no. 42406, departed Meltham Station at 7:25pm and was filled to capacity. 90-year old Francis W. Creaser, who had accompanied his parents to watch the sod cutting ceremony for the branch line in 1864 and who had travelled from Meltham on the first passenger train in 1869, was the guest of honour. According to a newspaper report, locals helped themselves to pieces of coal from the engine's tender as souvenirs.
During the early 1960s, David Brown's approached British Railways to enquire about the possibility of using custom rolling stock that would allow more tractors to be loaded at the station. The request was turned down, apparently with a note that there were concerns about the "deterioration of Butternab and Netherton tunnels". Brown's seemingly took this to indicate the likely closure of the line in the near future and instead invested the money on new lorries to transport their tractors.
The branch line was formally closed on 5 April 1965 and the track dismantled in the autumn of the following year.
Notes and References
- The only local L&YR branch line to have a turntable was the Holmfirth Branch Line (which was double tracked) and that was added around 30 years after the station opened. Apart from the fact that a turntable was unnecessary on a single track line, it was not mentioned in any newspaper reports or shown on the first revision O.S. maps of the late 1880s.
- Rail UK
- "The Last Trip of 'Meltham Coddy'" in Yorkshire Post (23/May/1949).
- Manchester Guardian (07/May/1951).
- Branchlines of the L.&.Y.R. No. 5: The Meltham Branch (1987) by Neil Fraser, page 28.