Pontefract Monkhill railway station
Pontefract Monkhill railway station is the busiest station in the town of Pontefract, West Yorkshire, England. The station is on the Pontefract Line managed by Northern but is also served by Grand Central and is 14 miles (23 km) south east of Leeds.
A Class 153 unit at platform 2
|Local authority||City of Wakefield|
|Number of platforms||2|
|Live arrivals/departures, station information and onward connections|
from National Rail Enquiries
|Annual rail passenger usage*|
|Passenger Transport Executive|
|PTE||West Yorkshire Metro|
|Key dates||Opened 1848|
|National Rail – UK railway stations|
|* Annual estimated passenger usage based on sales of tickets in stated financial year(s) which end or originate at Pontefract Monkhill from Office of Rail and Road statistics. Methodology may vary year on year.|
The lines to Leeds via Castleford and Wakefield Kirkgate separate immediately west of the station, which was opened by the Wakefield, Pontefract & Goole Railway (one of the constituent companies of the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway) in April 1848. The branch to Castleford (Cutsyke) & Methley Junction was completed the following year (on 1 December) and a pair of short curves were subsequently constructed from the eastern end to link up with the Swinton & Knottingley Joint line following its opening in the spring of 1879. One of these was used by passenger trains between Leeds & Pontefract Baghill until 1964, although it has since been lifted. The Wakefield to Goole passenger service was withdrawn on 2 January 1967 (although trains to and from Goole continued, running instead to Castleford & Leeds) but the line remained open to carry coal to the power stations to the east of Knottingley. Services on the Wakefield to Knottingley route were reinstated in May 1992.
The station is unstaffed and no longer has permanent buildings other than standard waiting shelters. There is an automated ticket machine on the Leeds bound platform. There are digital information screens and timetable posters on both platforms, along with a customer help point on platform 1. Step-free access is only available from the car park to platform 1, as platform 2 (towards Knottingley and Goole) can only be reached via the footbridge (which has stairs).
In the Leeds direction, alternate trains run via Castleford or Featherstone and Wakefield Westgate. Three trains via Castleford are extended to or from Goole: one service from Goole to Leeds in the morning (which is formed from an empty train that runs towards Goole earlier) and one return trip from Leeds to Goole in the evening.
On Sundays the service is hourly, with trains also running alternately via Castleford and Wakefield to Leeds, and no services operate past Knottingley to Goole.
|Preceding station||National Rail||Following station|
In January 2009, open access operator Grand Central was given the go ahead by the Office of Rail Regulation (ORR) to operate a service between Bradford Interchange and London King's Cross  which will call here (giving the station a regular service to the capital for the first time). Three daily paths in each direction were allocated for these new trains, although one morning northbound service used a different route between Doncaster & Wakefield and consequently did not call here.
The service is operated and branded by Grand Central, using refurbished Class 180 units, and started on 23 May 2010. However, according to a recent document submitted the ORR, only 15 passengers a day (on average) are making use of the new service.
The timetable has though been altered to serve Mirfield in addition to the other intermediate stops since December 2011, although only one of the three northbound trains actually serves both this station and Mirfield (the evening departure from King's Cross is routed via Adwick & Fitzwilliam and so doesn't call here, whilst the morning one calls but omits the Mirfield stop).
As of 2018, there are 3 southbound services and 2 northbound services per day on weekdays. On Saturdays this is increased to 4 southbound services but reduced to 1 northbound service. There is no Grand Central service on Sundays.
- Body, p. 143
- Pontefract Monkhill station facilities National Rail Enquiries; Retrieved 19 January 2017
- Table 32 National Rail timetable, May 2019
- ORR Track Access Applications Decision for the ECML - 28 January 2009 Archived 24 March 2009 at the UK Government Web Archive ORR Website; Retrieved 2009-01-29
- RAIL issue 641
- End of the line for rail link? Pontefract and Castleford Express News article; Retrieved 19 March 2011
- West Yorkshire and Doncaster timetable