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When British Railways embarked on its modernisation plan in the latter part of the 1950s it included provision of a number of large mechanised marshalling yards in order to reduce the amount of the shunting activity that so often extended transit times between origin point and final destination. One of the sites chosen was by the hamlet of Healey to the west of Wakefield.

The railway here had been opened in 1840 by the Manchester and Leeds Railway but parts of this had to be moved to make way for the new yard. The up and down lines were separated to create a large 'wideway' between them which was then occupied by the new yard complex which opened in the late spring of 1963.

The decline in wagon load freight that followed led to the gradual death of the railway facilities with the motive power depot closing and only part of the yard remaining. Even the part that remains is no longer in regular use.

The signal box remains, however, and now controls a sizeable area from just west of Greetland and Deighton to the west through to Ravensthorpe on the line to Leeds via Cottingley and Horbury in the east just beyond the yard area. The box is, therefore, at one end of the route mileage it controls. The equipment and panel was all replaced in 2003.

There is more about this signal box here.

The geographic location of the signal box can be seen on a current OS Map. The map will place this location at the centre of the map panel, roll the mouse over the icon(s) to reveal what they represent. Increase the scale using the scale selector on the left to separate closely positioned icons.

This video is intended for viewing at a maximum screen resolution of 720 pixels wide by 400 pixels high. Please be aware that viewing at a larger size may result in a loss of clarity and a 'grainy' appearance.

Copyright © of the FARSAP videos belongs to the Friends of the National Railway Museum.
The material may be freely used except for sale or advertising purposes.

Video Credits

Filmed by: Richard Pulleyn
Filmed in: 2014
Narrators: Richard Pulleyn
Signaller: David Pendleton
Local Operations Manager: Steve Houlston
Video Editor: George Duncan

Key Chronology

1840 Line through the area opened by the Leeds & Manchester Railway.
1848 Leeds & Manchester Railway changed its name to the Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway thus recognising its widening operations beyond the original line.
1922 Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway bacame part of the London & North Western Railway as one of a number of amalgamations that took place in advance of implementation of the Railways Act 1921.
1923 London & North Western Railway became part of the London Midland & Scottish Railway.
1948 At nationalisation became part of the London Midland Region.
1958 Transferred to the North Eastern Region.
1967 Transferred to the expanded Eastern Region.
2003 Signal box refurbished and provided with new panel and equipment.


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