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Forge Valley Line

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Forge Valley Line
Opened1 May 1882 (1882-05-01)
Closed25 January 1953 (1953-01-25)
OwnerNorth Eastern Railway
London and North Eastern Railway
British Railways
Closed to passengers1950
Closed to all traffic1963
Line length16 mi (26 km)
Number of tracks1
Track gauge4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm)
Forge Valley Line
Falsgrave Tunnel
Scarborough Central
Scarborough Londesborough Road 
Falsgrave Junction
Washbeck Viaduct
Seamer Junction
Irton Waterworks
Forge Valley
Brompton Beck
Thornton Dale
Mill Lane Junction

The Forge Valley Line was a 16 mile long branch of the North Eastern Railway between Seamer (near Scarborough, North Yorkshire) and Pickering. The line was intended to link Scarborough with Pickering. It opened in 1882 and closed in 1950, with the exception of a stretch from Pickering to Thornton Dale which remained open for quarry traffic until 1963.

The line did not pass through Forge Valley, but the station in the village of West Ayton was named after it to avoid confusion with another station—Great Ayton—already owned by the North Eastern Railway.

YouTube Encyclopedic

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  • ✪ Pickering to Seamer by train, circa 2010




A railway running east/west across the Vale of Pickering, was first proposed in 1864. This intent was that this line would actually travel up the Forge Valley and connect with a line between Whitby and Scarborough at Scalby. However, due to local land owners objecting and the fact that the railway between Whitby and Scarborough had not been built, the idea was scrapped.[1]

The North Eastern Railway (NER) pressed ahead with their plans for a railway across the northern edge of the Vale of Pickering, but drove the eastern end to meet up with the York–Scarborough line at Seamer. This route was opened on 1 May 1882.[2] Earlier bills that had passed through Parliament had become known as Forge Valley because of the route they would take up the valley rather than across it. The NERs line was always known as Forge Valley too, but this was also down to the station at Forge Valley serving the villages of West and East Ayton, and so to avoid confusion with the station at Great Ayton (on the Nunthorpe-Battersby line), the name of Forge Valley was kept.[3]

The line ran quite close to the Pickering to Scarborough Road (now the A170) and some of its stations were some distance from the villages that it claimed to serve. As a consequence, the rural bus service that started up in the 20th century took patronage away from the line and despite using steam railcars and push-pull trains, the passenger numbers dropped.[4]

The line closed to passengers completely in June 1950, with closure to all traffic between Thornton Dale and Seamer at the same time.[5] Beyond that time, a small section extending for 2.5 miles (4 km) from Pickering to Thornton Dale, was kept open to serve quarries at Thornton Dale.[6] This last section was removed in January 1963.[7]

The route

The line covered 16 miles (26 km), or 19 miles (31 km) if the last 3 miles (4.8 km) from Seamer station to Scarborough station are included, and was single track throughout with a passing loop at Snainton.[7][8][9] It had no major engineering works or gradients of note, with only a few sections steeper than 1 in 100.[10] Six stations were constructed on the line, Forge Valley, Wykeham, Sawdon, Snainton, Ebberston and Thornton Dale.[11] Both terminus stations, Pickering and Seamer were constructed before the opening of the line.

Post closure

Thornton Dale, Ebberston, Snainton, Sawdon and Wykeham have now been restored and there are three Camping Coaches at Ebberston.[12]

Wykeham also survives and there are plans to restore the station itself. Whilst the other stations on the line are completely restored, Forge Valley is now currently in use by North Yorkshire County Council as a road and highways depot.[13]


  1. ^ Catford, Nick. "Disused Stations: Thornton Dale Station". Retrieved 30 December 2017.
  2. ^ Suggitt, Gordon (2005). Lost railways of North and East Yorkshire. Newbury: Countryside Books. p. 94. ISBN 978-1-85306-918-5.
  3. ^ "Disused Stations: Forge Valley Station". Retrieved 30 December 2017.
  4. ^ Burgess, Neil (2011). The lost railways of Yorkshire's North Riding. Catrine: Stenlake. p. 36. ISBN 9781840335552.
  5. ^ "Disused Stations: Ebberston Station". Retrieved 30 December 2017.
  6. ^ Chapman], [Stephen (2008). York to Scarborough, Whitby & Ryedale. Todmorden: Bellcode Books. p. 112. ISBN 9781871233193.
  7. ^ a b Bairstow 2008, p. 112.
  8. ^ Brailsford, Martyn (2016). Railway Track Diagrams 2; Eastern. Frome: Trackmaps. p. 39. ISBN 978-0-9549866-8-1.
  9. ^ Ellis, Norman (1995). North Yorkshire railway stations. Ochiltree: R. Stenlake. p. 17. ISBN 1-872074-63-4.
  10. ^ Bairstow 2008, p. 72.
  11. ^ Haigh, A.; Joy, David (1979). Yorkshire railways : including Cleveland and Humberside. Clapham, N. Yorkshire: Dalesman. p. 8. ISBN 0-85206-553-1.
  12. ^ Bairstow 2008, p. 73.
  13. ^ Suggitt, Gordon (2005). Lost railways of North and East Yorkshire. Newbury: Countryside Books. p. 95. ISBN 978-1-85306-918-5.
  • Bairstow, Martin (2008). Railways Around Whitby Volume One. Farsley: Bairstow. ISBN 978-1-871944-34-1.
  • Lidster, J. Robin (1986). The Forge Valley Line—A Railway Between Pickering And Scarborough. Hendon Publishing Co. Ltd. ISBN 0-86067-103-8.

External links

This page was last edited on 3 January 2018, at 22:38
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