Monday, 14 July 2008
The York - Beverley line continues to hold a great fascination for me; it must partly be because it's (or rather it was) my 'local' line but also, I think, because it seems to be a real sleeping giant. The remaining infrastructure seems to stand defiantly, waiting for, well, I'm not sure. As I've mentioned before (No Trains Today), the prospect of reopening seems unlikely, despite the benefits such a scheme could take. However, enthusiasts can still enjoy the legacy of George Hudson's scheme in the form of the remaining stations, bridges and earthworks.
Stamford Bridge was not a station I had actually visited previously, despite having been past it on other occasions. Despite it being on the line between York and home, it's a little out of the way if we're driving home from York. However, I was travelling home from York on Friday afternoon and decided to make a point of passing the station. The building itself is unmistakably GT Andrews, with it's imposing columns greeting travellers. Elslewhere the good shed and loading dock still remain in situ, though unlikely to ever see railway use again.
The users of the building seem to be embracing its heritage; although the sign show 4771 Green Arrow on the Settle - Carlisle line! Not that this detail detracts from it in anyway; the building is obviously well cared for.
The building has been extended over the former platform, but even this is built in a sympathetic style. This view looks towards Market Weighton and Beverley and shows quite clearly one of the problems any rebuilding scheme would face; on the other side of the level crossing, a building sits right across the formation. Although this one is only a small garage, but a couple of hundred yards east of the former crossing a housing estate has taken possession of the old route.
The goods yard entrance still retains its old gate posts but now serves cars coming in and out of a car park. Though I would say, despite the rather gloomy view of these buildings not being in their intended use, they still seem to be fulfilling important roles with within their community. And from an enthusiast's point of view, the fact that these buildings survive should be enough to keep us happy.
Just by the road one of the former crossing gates stands; ironically for such an obvious symbol of the railway having once run here, had the line remained open the CTC scheme would have done away with such equipment. It serves as a curiosity now; children who may never even have travelled by train may ask what it is and at least be aware that a railway once went by here. Sadly, the gate will never be closed to road traffic again.