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Cawood railway station

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Cawood was the northern terminus[8] of the short Cawood, Wistow and Selby Light Railway (CW&SLR), in rural North Yorkshire, England. The line was connected to the North Eastern Railway (NER) at its southern end.[9][10][11]

YouTube Encyclopedic

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    3 617
    1 427
    5 481
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  • ✪ Flooding York, Naburn Lock, Cawood, Leeds 10/12/2011
  • ✪ The Swollen River Aire by Leeds Railway Station, Leeds, West Yorkshire, UK - 26th September, 2012
  • ✪ GWR Loco 7822 Foxcote Manor
  • ✪ Class 24 D5061 idling
  • ✪ York Flooding, April 29th 2012



The station buildings

The line originally had three stations, Selby (Brayton Gates), Wistow and Cawood. The Brayton Gates terminus was temporary and probably wooden. It closed in 1904 when trains were diverted to the NER's main Selby station. Cawood's and Wistow's permanent, brick-built station buildings were similar, but clearly differed from the NER's typical rural station. The main difference between the two was that Wistow station building stood alongside the platform, parallel to the track, whilst the Cawood building stood at right angles to it.[12] In 1899 the company obtained parliamentary approval to build an extension to Church Fenton; this never happened, but had it done so the Cawood station building would have had to be demolished or bipassed.

Cawood station's passenger provision was unexceptional for a small rural station in a medium-sized village with a rural hinterland. The goods provision was more generous, in particular it featured a long loading platform of varying height to facilitate loading and unloading, especially during the "Campaign", i.e. harvest period for crops such as potatoes and beet. "Campaigns" could lead to trains of 40 wagons, especially before the Second World War.

Station masters

Cawood had three station masters over its 62 years, Mr Dale, followed by Mr Higgins and finally Mr Harry Oldfield from about 1936 to closure.[13]

The line and traffic

The line had an exceptionally low route availability of "two". Operators could easily supply very light goods engines which did not need continuous brakes, but had precious few very light passenger locomotives. The founding company hired a loco - "Cawood" - and two coaches specifically for the job. When the NER took over they modified at least one steam locomotive for the line. In the Edwardian period the NER developed a pioneering pair of Petrol-electric Autocars which were sent to Selby in 1908 to run the Cawood service, among others.[14]

The autocars ceased working the line in the early 1920s, when it reverted to steam haulage, with trains composed of a single "Bogie Brake third" coach worked by a NER Class E 0-6-0T or, occasionally, BTP 0-4-4T No. 189.[15]

On 9 July 1923 a quite different form of internal combustion-powered provision was deployed on some services in the form of the unique "Leyland" petrol railbus, a converted 26-seater NER road bus of conventional appearance for the period.[16][17] This ran a wide-ranging diagram including the Cawood branch[18] which came to a sudden end on 11 November 1926 when the railbus was destroyed by fire while refuelling at Selby.[19]

On 1 May 1928 Selby received its first Sentinel steam railcars.[20][21] No. 220 "Water Witch" may have been the first to work to Cawood, but it was destroyed in a collision near Doncaster on 9 June 1929. Better remembered were two similar cars, No. 225 "True Blue" and No. 273 "Trafalgar" which worked the branch until the last passenger service on Saturday 30 December 1929.[22] Occasional special passenger trains, such as excursions to pantomimes in Leeds, used the line until 1946.

After the end of passenger services the line went into steady decline in the face of road competition, which accelerated after the Second World war. A handful of ancient 0-6-0Ts were regularly in charge, notably J71s 68285 and 68286 and veteran "Ironclad" J77 68406, with a J72 appearing more often in the late 1950s. Selby locoshed closed in September 1959, after which the occasional "flyweight" freights were usually hauled by a Class 03 diesel shunter.[23]

Passenger services

The line's initial passenger timetable provided five trains a day, Monday to Saturday, plying between "Selby" (i.e. Selby (Brayton Gates)) Wistow and Cawood. The journey time was 17 minutes.[13] By July 1899 the timings had been adjusted and one train had been removed on Tuesdays to Saturdays. On Monday - Selby's Market Day - an extra train was provided out and back mid-morning and an extra from Brayton Gates at teatime, which returned empty.[24] By 1910 the unbalanced teatime Market Train had been withdrawn and timings had been adjusted, but the pattern of four a day plus a Market Day extra remained, with the added benefit that the first train from Cawood in the morning ran through to York. The journey time remained 17 minutes despite the extra mile to reach Selby's main station instead of Brayton Gates.

April 1910 Railway timetable
April 1910 Railway timetable

By 1914 there were two Market Day extras and four daily trains,[25] but by 1923, whilst the Market Day extras remained, only two daily trains survived, morning and mid-evening.

July 1923 Railway timetable
July 1923 Railway timetable

A "Farewell" railtour ran on 22 April 1960 using two brake vans.[26][27][28]

The line closed on 2 May 1960.[29][30][31]The very last train, sent out to collect a stranded van and Cawood station's office equipment, ran on 23 May 1960, hauled by a diesel shunter. As a boy, Mr John Woodall had travelled on the first train in 1898, British Railways agreed to his request to travel in the guard's van of this final trip.[7]

After closure

The track was lifted and the Selby Dam bridge was demolished by contractors in 1961, using road vehicles.[32] Cawood station has been demolished,[33] Wistow station remains as a private residence.[34] The engine shed at Brayton Gates was used by railwaymen's mutual improvement classes for many years, but was demolished in 1963.[35] By 2010 less than half the trackbed remained visible as field boundaries.

Preceding station Disused railways Following station
Terminus   NER
Cawood, Wistow and Selby Light Railway
Line and station closed


  1. ^ Hartley 1973, pp. 23 & 33.
  2. ^ Barnett 1992, p. 44.
  3. ^ Chapman 2002, p. 26.
  4. ^ Opening day Howdenshire History
  5. ^ Butt 1995, p. 56.
  6. ^ Quick 2009, p. 118.
  7. ^ a b Hartley 1973, p. 19.
  8. ^ The station and village on the 1906 25" OS map National Library of Scotland
  9. ^ Conolly 1998, Map 21.
  10. ^ Smith & Turner 2012, Map 21.
  11. ^ Jowett 1989, Map 52.
  12. ^ Hartley 1973, p. 33.
  13. ^ a b Hartley 1973, p. 17.
  14. ^ Hartley 1973, p. 24.
  15. ^ Hartley 1973, p. 26.
  16. ^ The LNER petrol rail bus LNER Encyclopaedia
  17. ^ Bairstow 1990, p. 21.
  18. ^ Hartley 1973, p. 48.
  19. ^ Hartley 1973, pp. 9, 11 & 26-27.
  20. ^ Bairstow 1990, p. 66.
  21. ^ The LNER Sentinel Railcars LNER Encyclopaedia
  22. ^ Hartley 1973, pp. 12 & 28.
  23. ^ Hartley 1973, pp. 5 & 27-28.
  24. ^ Hartley 1973, pp. 17-18.
  25. ^ Barnett 1992, p. 46.
  26. ^ Special train at Cawood Six Bells Junction
  27. ^ Special train at Cawood RMweb
  28. ^ Chapman 2002, pp. 57-58.
  29. ^ Hoole 1986, pp. 39-40.
  30. ^ Barnett 1992, p. 48.
  31. ^ Railway Magazine 1960, p. 289.
  32. ^ Hartley 1973, p. 30.
  33. ^ Image: Cawood & Selby Light Railway, 1952 via
  34. ^ Wistow station flickr
  35. ^ Griffiths & Smith 2000, p. 301.


  • Bairstow, Martin (1990). Railways in East Yorkshire. Halifax: M Bairstow. ISBN 978-1-871944-32-7.
  • Barnett, A.L. (1992). The Light Railway King of the North. Mold: RCHS. ISBN 978-0-901461-15-5.
  • Butt, R. V. J. (1995). The Directory of Railway Stations: details every public and private passenger station, halt, platform and stopping place, past and present (1st ed.). Sparkford: Patrick Stephens Ltd. ISBN 978-1-85260-508-7. OCLC 60251199.
  • Conolly, W Philip (1998). British railways pre-grouping atlas and gazetteer (9th impression; 5th ed.). Shepperton: Ian Allan. ISBN 978-0-7110-0320-0. OCLC 221481275.
  • Chapman, Stephen (2002). Selby & Goole. Railway Memories. Todmorden: Bellcode Books. ISBN 978-1-871233-14-8. 14.
  • Cooke, B.W.C., ed. (April 1960). "Closure of Cawood Branch". Notes and News. The Railway Magazine. Vol. 106 no. 708. London: Tothill Press Limited. ISSN 0033-8923.
  • Griffiths, Roger; Smith, Paul (2000). The Directory of British Engine Sheds and Principal Locomotive Servicing Points: 2 North Midlands, Northern England and Scotland. OPC Railprint. ISBN 978-0-86093-548-3. OCLC 59558605.
  • Hartley, K.E. (1973). The Cawood, Wistow and Selby Light Railway. Leeds: Turntable Enterprises. ISBN 978-0-902844-11-7.
  • Hoole, Ken (1986) [1978]. The North East (A regional history of the railways of Great Britain). 4 (3 ed.). Newton Abbot: David & Charles. ISBN 978-0-7153-7746-8.
  • Jowett, Alan (March 1989). Jowett's Railway Atlas of Great Britain and Ireland: From Pre-Grouping to the Present Day (1st ed.). Sparkford: Patrick Stephens Ltd. ISBN 978-1-85260-086-0. OCLC 22311137.
  • Quick, Michael (2009) [2001]. Railway passenger stations in Great Britain: a chronology (4th ed.). Oxford: Railway and Canal Historical Society. ISBN 978-0-901461-57-5. OCLC 612226077.
  • Smith, Paul; Turner, Keith (2012). Railway Atlas Then and Now. Shepperton: Ian Allan Publishing. ISBN 978-0-7110-3695-6.

Further reading

External links

This page was last edited on 19 May 2018, at 18:10
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