Yorkshire’s lost railway stations: Six of North Yorkshire’s historical train stations that were closed down

During the age of steam, railway stations sprung up across North Yorkshire, from Richmond to Robin Hood’s Bay - but not all of them survived to the present day.

A train platform. (Pic credit: Jim Fitton)
A train platform. (Pic credit: Jim Fitton)

These long lost stations are entwined with Yorkshire’s history, from a visit from Prince Edward and Princess Alexandra in 1866 to the cattle sheds and coal yards that were once a necessity for every station.

While you may no longer be able to catch a train through these stations, many of which were shuttered for the final time in the 1950s and 1960s - there is still evidence of the bustling transport hubs they once were.

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Ravenscar railway station, Scarborough

Ravenscar station opened on July 16, 1885 and was initially known as Peak as it was the highest point on the line at 631 feet above sea level.

The railway was owned by the Scarborough and Whitby Railway Company.

However, the station was not long for this world due to a demand by the North Eastern Railway company for a station house be built.

When the Scarborough and Whitby Railway Company failed to do so, the station was forced to close down on March 2, 1895.

Richmond railway station

Richmond railway station first opened in 1845 when the Great North of England Railway was granted permission to build a branch line from Coopers House near Dalton to Richmond.

The railway line from Dalton Junction, which was renamed Eryholme Junction in 1911, had stations at Moulton, Scorton and Catterick Bridge and was a double track. The stations are rare as they were designed in a Tudor-style by architect George Townsend Andrews.

The line crossed the River Swale at Easby and boasted a variety of facilities including a large goods shed (which is now the site of a swimming pool), engine shed (now a fitness centre), gasworks (currently deserted) and a signal box (which was demolished in 1968).

Facilities also included a good’s agent house, six staff cottages, two goods staff cottages, a water pumping station at Sand Beck, turntable (which was removed in 1969) and 50 coal drops (which is now a car park).

In 1963 British Railways proposed the closure of the line but was heavily criticised by the local community, so the proposal was withdrawn.

But over the years, the station was gradually becoming run down; the goods traffic was removed in 1967 and eventually the whole station was closed on March 3, 1969.

Before it was shut down, the station was included in the List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest and it is now a Grade II listed building.

Ripley Valley railway station

The railway line that ran through Ripley Valley railway station served the villages of Killinghall and Ripley from 1862 to 1951 on the Nidd Valley Railway.

The station had been opened on May 1, 1862, by the North Eastern Railway and was renamed from Killinghall to Ripley and then to Ripley Castle before being finally renamed Ripley Valley in 1875.

It was one of the four original stations on the Nidd Valley branch and had a small goods yard with two sidings, a hand crane and a weigh house - but it was lacking facilities for coal.

The station building was designed by North Eastern Railway architect, Thomas Prosser.

The station used to host a LNER camping coach from 1936 to 1939.

It was closed to passengers on April 2, 1951, and a closure to goods traffic took place from November 6, 1961.

The site was then completely demolished and has been redeveloped for commercial use.

Ripon railway station

Ripon railway station was opened on June 1, 1848, by the Leeds and Thirsk Railway - and it was briefly visited by Prince Edward and Princess Alexandra on August 11, 1866, when they went to Studley Royal.

This line served Ripon on the Leeds-Northallerton line that ran between Harrogate and Northallerton.

The station was closed by the British Railways Board to passenger trains in 1967, and freight trains in 1969, as part of the Beeching Axe, which was a plan to increase the efficiency of the nationalised railway system in Great Britain.

The closure of the station remains a controversial issue in local politics and there are movements wanting to restore the line.

Certain reports claim that reopening a line between Ripon and Harrogate would be economically beneficial, costing £40 million and could initially attract 1,200 passengers a day, which could rise to 2,700.

Despite the North Yorkshire County Council’s fight to restore the station in 2015 and again in 2016, it has been accepted that it is unlikely to happen until after 2030.

Robin Hood’s Bay railway station

This was a train station on the Scarborough and Whitby Railway and opened on July 16, 1885.

It served the fishing village of Robin Hood’s Bay as well as the lesser known village of Fylingthorpe.

With five sidings, cattle dock, a coal yard, a goods shed and weighbridge, it was considered the largest intermediate station on the line.

Freight services were withdrawn on August 10, 1964, but the last freight train to Robin Hood’s Bay ran six days later as some of the final freight that was forwarded to the station arrived late at Scarborough Gallows Close.

The last passenger train service took place on March 6, 1965, and the station officially closed down two days later.

The building has been redeveloped into holiday accommodation and only a small part of the down platform is still there.

Pilmoor railway station, Sessay

This line was opened on September 20, 1847 by the East and West Yorkshire Junction Railway.

There was a junction on the Pilmoor to Knaresborough line from which it ran roughly eastward, crossing over the East Coast Main Line and joining the Thirsk and Malton Line from Sunbeck junction.

This connecting line was never opened but instead was utilised as a site for eyesight tests all the way up to the 1960s.

The main line was widened to four tracks north towards Thirsk and the station was rebuilt in 1942 during the Second World War.

The station officially closed to both passengers and goods traffic on May 7, 1958.