Friday, 3 July 2009
Railways around Rawcliffe
To break up the monotony of the motorway on my way home I often leave and use local roads. Progress may not be as quick, but it’s much more interesting! On my way home there are A and B roads which parallel the Motorways. There aren’t too many highlights for the railway enthusiast (though if you know where to look - if you're in the vicinity, try and work out where Airmyn station was - not as easy as you may think!) but there is one curiosity…
Rawcliffe is a rather pleasant village just near Goole and Howden on the old main road between Doncaster and Goole and thanks to the motorway isn’t too busy. It has a railway station on the line between Wakefield - Goole line (ELR – WAG1). This is only a shadow of its former self though as this was once the Lanchashire & Yorkshire Railway's main line to Goole Docks.
As you approach the village you come to a slight incline up to a level crossing, nothing usual there at all, but if you look down there’s actually an under bridge with very little headroom. Every time I drive past it I wonder why there is such an arrangement – it does mean cars can continue their journey if the crossing is closed to road traffic. The line is very lightly used so the chances of getting stopped at the crossing are slim during the day – though I did have to stop a while back for a Fastline Tamper heading for Goole. I was puzzled why it would head this way though; route learning perhaps?
If you have time Rawcliffe Station is worth a look if only for the rather nice Station Master’s house, though it’s now in private hands, and the station is little more than a halt now.
It was a comment in a recent e-mail asking if I knew which station could be seen from the M62 where the M18 joins that made me think I should really go and take a couple of photos. By having a close look I noticed things I'd missed previously; like part of the old second line still in situ! Notice also how remaining line has been slewed across as it approaches the bridge. This is often to allow use of the best parts of the formation and to minimise expenditure - the Hull Docks Branch was similarly treated in the late eighties when that was reduced from twin to single line. The surroundings form a great example of the modern, no frills branchline. Worth a look if you have a few minutes to spare.