All aboard for rail history

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Lightcliffe railway station is shown in about 1960 and there’s just time for a last photograph before all these people get on board for a great day out.

It is difficult to imagine that we once had railway stations not just at Lightcliffe but also at Bailiff Bridge, Hipperholme, Norwood Green Clifton Road, Brighouse and one just over the borough boundary at Cooper Bridge.

It was also at Lightcliffe station where the Prime Minister Lord Palmerston arrived as the guest of honour to lay the foundation stone at the new Bradford Wool Exchange in 1864.

From the railway station he travelled the short distance to stay with Sir H W Ripley and his family at Holme House down Wakefield Road for his three day visit. But of course our passenger rail network was not to last with Hipperholme station closing on June 6th 1953.

During its 113 year history, particularly from the late 19th century it saw tens of thousands of passengers, who once having got off the train poured down the cobbled Tanhouse Hill and on to the famous ‘Sunny Bunces’.

The following week on June 12, the station at Wyke and Norwood Green closed its doors to passengers and then on June 12, 1965 both Lightcliffe and Low Moor Stations were closed.

Bailiff Bridge which opened in 1881 had a disastrous fire in 1929 which saw it completely destroyed.

The line was closed in 1952 owing to subsidence.

With Cooper Bridge closing in 1950 and Clifton Road in 1931 that just left the station at Brighouse.

But it too closed although just temporarily while it moved across the road in 1872 from its original 1840 location, but was closed permanently in 1970.

A new Brighouse station was opened with a fanfare and a huge crowd of well wishers to see the first train arrive in 2000.

According to figures from the West Yorkshire Passenger Executive (Metro) for 2009/10 the total number of passengers using the service at Brighouse, based on the annual passenger usage and on the sale of tickets which end or originate at Brighouse is 0.18 million. This is a figure that is rising year on year.