Page first uploaded: 29 January 2014

Opened to passengers as part of original Leeds & Thirsk main line on 1 September 1848, this section was superseded for principal trains by the route via the new Harrogate station from 1 August 1862; local trains, however, continued to run via Starbeck until withdrawn 1 March 1917. Thereafter, regular passenger use was restricted to trains using the route to avoid running round at Harrogate, making their return journeys via Crimple Junction.

Pre World War I

North Eastern Railway Leeds - Harrogate local trains (4-5 outward but only 1-2 return) via Starbeck - withdrawn 1 March1917 (confirmed by public notice RAIL 968/74). Thereafter, none of the trains shown below as running via Starbeck actually called there, apart from the short-lived NER local of 1920-1.

Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway 1050 Leeds Central - Harrogate due 1124, returning at 1512, ran outward via Starbeck, during the pre-WWI era (from at least 1907 but withdrawn by 1910).

Midland Railway 1420 Monday, Tuesday, Friday and Saturday Skipton – Harrogate due 1515, returning at 1740, ran outward via Starbeck, 5 July 1913 to 22 September 1913 and 4 July 1914 to 21 September 1914 only, providing connections to/from Heysham, for Isle of Man sailings.

Post World War I

North Eastern Railway single local service, 1600 Leeds New – Harrogate, calling Starbeck, started 12 July 1920, withdrawn Wednesday 6 April 1921 (coal strike) and not resumed

Midland Railway , later London Midland & Scottish Railway Leeds - Harrogate service of four (later three) each way restored 1 May 1922, withdrawn 24 September 1928. Usually 1024, 1405 (withdrawn ca.1925), 1612 and 2138 from Leeds Wellington, of which only the 1405 (withdrawn ca.1925) and 1612 were via Starbeck one-way (to avoid running round at Harrogate). All were temporarily withdrawn in consequence of General and coal strike from 23 May 1926 and apparently not restored until 20 September 1926. Note: the Midland’s Leeds - Harrogate service of three each way started 1 July 1902, withdrawn 1 January 1917. Usually 1030, 1528 and 2135 from Leeds Wellington, returning 0940, 1213 and 1745. However, none was regularly scheduled via Starbeck during the pre-1917 period.

London & North Eastern Railway summer (early May – mid September) 1410 (subsequent years 1415) Saturdays (Wednesdays also, in high summer from July) from Bradford Foster Square, returning at 2200, outward via Starbeck, started 5 May 1928, last ran Saturday 12 September 1931.This represented the last regularly scheduled passenger use of this section.

All workings were Monday to Saturday, unless otherwise shown. Timings given above in 24 hour clock were, of course, rendered in 12 hour timings contemporarily.

Source: NER and LNER (NE Area) working timetables (National Archives references: NER RAIL 968/- and LNER RAIL 944/- )

Richard Maund

A version of this article appeared in Railway and Canal Historical Society Railway Chronology Group Co-ordinating Newsletter no. 76, October 2013.

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