Knottingley railway station

Knottingley railway station serves the town of Knottingley in West Yorkshire, England. It lies on the Pontefract Line, operated by Northern, and is 16 miles (26 km) south east of Leeds railway station.

Knottingley National Rail
Knottingley station 2.jpg
Platform 2
Local authorityCity of Wakefield
Coordinates53°42′23″N 1°15′32″W / 53.7065°N 1.2590°W / 53.7065; -1.2590Coordinates: 53°42′23″N 1°15′32″W / 53.7065°N 1.2590°W / 53.7065; -1.2590
Grid referenceSE490235
Station codeKNO
Managed byNorthern
Number of platforms2
DfT categoryF1
Live arrivals/departures, station information and onward connections
from National Rail Enquiries
Annual rail passenger usage*
2014/15Increase 0.158 million
2015/16Increase 0.166 million
2016/17Increase 0.171 million
2017/18Decrease 0.155 million
2018/19Increase 0.157 million
Passenger Transport Executive
PTEWest Yorkshire Metro
Key datesOpened April 1848 (April 1848)
National RailUK railway stations
* Annual estimated passenger usage based on sales of tickets in stated financial year(s) which end or originate at Knottingley from Office of Rail and Road statistics. Methodology may vary year on year.
Platform 1

The station is the final one in West Yorkshire before the North Yorkshire border and most services terminate (or start) there.


The station was constructed by the Wakefield, Pontefract & Goole Railway as part of their main line from Wakefield to Goole, which opened in April 1848. It was not long though before it became a busy junction, as within two years links to Doncaster via the Askern branch (on 6 June 1848), Leeds via Castleford and Methley Junction (1 December 1849) and York via Ferrybridge and Burton Salmon (1 August 1850)[1] had all been opened. The first of those was jointly built and operated by the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway and Great Northern Railway and the station also became jointly managed by these two companies in 1854. The Great Northern made use of its running powers and traffic agreements with the LYR to run through trains from Doncaster to both Leeds and York, putting the town on a new main line between London & York for a number of years until shorter, more direct lines could be constructed.

By 1871 the station had lost its trunk line status with the opening of new lines from Doncaster via Wakefield (to Leeds) & Selby (to York), but it still handled plenty of local passenger and freight traffic (particularly coal from a large number of collieries in the area).

Whilst all of the aforementioned lines are still open, only the original WP&G routes now carry passenger trains as services to York ended on 11 July 1947 and those to Doncaster just over a year later on 27 September 1948.[2] The line to Wakefield Kirkgate also lost its passenger trains from 2 January 1967 (leaving only the route to Leeds serving the station) but it was re-opened in May 1992 with financial assistance from West Yorkshire PTE. Services on the Leeds line were re-routed via the former NER station at Castleford Central from 7 October 1968.

Regular passenger trains on the Askern line now operate once again (commencing on 23 May 2010 after an absence of more than 60 years), following the decision to grant open access operator Grand Central track access rights for a new service between London King's Cross and Bradford Interchange in January 2009.[3] These run via the Askern line, Pontefract, Wakefield and Brighouse to reach Bradford but are not able to call at Knottingley as the old Doncaster line platforms have long been removed.

Knottingley TMD is just east of the station, on the triangle of lines that go to Knottingley, Askern and Whitley Bridge.[4] It opened in 1967 to maintain the locomotives and hopper wagons for planned 75 Merry-go-round trains a day, expected to use the Wakefield and Goole line.[5] Though much of the coal traffic has now ceased, the depot is still used by the freight locos utilised on biomass trains to/from Drax power station


Like most of the stations on the route, Knottingley station has lost its main buildings and now only has standard waiting shelters on each of its two remaining platforms. Digital display screens, timetable posters and customer help points are located on both sides to offer train running information. Both platforms are signalled for use in either direction, so it is advisable to check the display screens prior to travel to determine which one is being used for a particular train. Step-free access is only available to platform 2 from the car park - the footbridge to platform 1 has stairs and is the only means of access to it.[6]


There is now a half-hourly service from Knottingley to Leeds since the spring 2018 timetable change. One runs via Castleford and the other via Featherstone and Wakefield Westgate. One train to and two trains from Goole run Mondays to Saturdays.[7]

On Sundays there is an hourly service to/from Leeds (alternating via Castleford and Wakefield), but no trains east of here.

New Northern franchise operator Arriva Rail North extended the Wakefield service through to Westgate and on to Leeds via Outwood as part of the new franchise agreement that was implemented in April 2016. The Sunday service has also been doubled to hourly from May 2018, with trains running alternately via Castleford and Wakefield.[8]

Preceding station     National Rail   Following station
Disused railways
Terminus   Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway
Askern branch line


  1. ^ History of Knottingley's Railways
  2. ^ Body, p. 98
  3. ^ ORR Track Access Rights Applications for the ECML Archived 24 March 2009 at the UK Government Web Archive ORR Website; Retrieved 2009-01-29
  4. ^ Webster, Neil (1994). British Rail depot directory : a guide to the location of over 260 BR, BRML & private depots, workshops and stabling points (3 ed.). Batley: Metro Enterprises. p. 42. ISBN 0-947773-38-X.
  5. ^ Modern Railways October 1966 p. 521 'The NER prepares for big three-power station coal feed'
  6. ^ Knottingley station facilities National Rail Enquiries
  7. ^ GB National Rail Timetable May 2019 Edition, Table 32
  8. ^ "Northern Franchise Improvements - DfT". Archived from the original on 24 July 2019. Retrieved 2 February 2016.


  • Body, G. (1988), PSL Field Guides - Railways of the Eastern Region Volume 2, Patrick Stephens Ltd, Wellingborough, ISBN 1-85260-072-1

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