Wakefield Kirkgate railway station
Entrance to the railway station viewed from the car park
|Local authority||City of Wakefield|
|Number of platforms||3|
|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 5 October 1840|
|Original company||Manchester and Leeds Railway|
|Pre-grouping||Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway|
|Post-grouping||London, Midland and Scottish Railway|
|5 October 1840||Station opened|
|National Rail – UK railway stations|
Wakefield Kirkgate railway station is a railway station in Wakefield, West Yorkshire, England. Unlike the nearby Wakefield Westgate railway station, Kirkgate is unstaffed. The station is managed by Northern but also served by Grand Central. It is on the Hallam, Pontefract and Huddersfield lines. It has a limited number of services to London King's Cross.
Some demolition work took place in 1972, removing buildings on the island platform and the roof with its original ironwork canopy which covered the whole station. A wall remains as evidence of these buildings. After this, Kirkgate was listed in 1979.
Since Westgate developed as Wakefield's main railway station, Kirkgate was neglected for many years and deteriorated until it was in a poor state of repair. In January 2008 the former goods warehouse was demolished to make way for a depot for Network Rail. In October 2008, part of the station wall collapsed, destroying a parked car.
The station is unstaffed and, despite the presence of CCTV, it suffered from crime. A rape, a serious assault and several robberies took place there. In July 2009, Kirkgate station was visited by Secretary of State for Transport Lord Adonis who dubbed it "the worst medium-large station in Britain". Local consensus was that the state of its facilities discouraged its use.
Following a campaign supported by the Wakefield Express newspaper, plans to redevelop the station were formulated. In July 2011, Wakefield Council was asked to decide upon a £500,000 grant to the environmental regeneration charity Groundwork UK as part of its £4 million Kirkgate project in which new life would be breathed into the area. The proposal was approved and funds raised in March 2013. The work was carried out in two phases between 2013 and 2015.
Work completed by June 2013 included the following items:
- Removal of life-expired and unused canopies
- Refurbishment and reglazing of the Leeds-bound canopy
- Creation of new entrances to the subway
- Installation of electronic information screens on the platforms and entrance hall
- Units for new businesses
- Retail outlet
- Exhibition spaces
- Meeting rooms for community and local business
- Accommodation for Groundwork Wakefield
Grand Central opened a first class lounge for its customers in April 2017.
Figures for annual passenger usage at Kirkgate have been comparatively low, with only 769 tickets sold to/from the station in the 2006/07 financial year. This is because most tickets are bought to Wakefield Stations, and it is hard to determine the true use of both Wakefield Westgate and Kirkgate, as separate entities. However, after changes in the way the statistics are split, Kirkgate's usage figure has increased dramatically to a value which more accurately reflects its true usage. Additionally over 61,000 interchanges were recorded during the same period.
Platform 3 – Served by north-eastbound Northern services towards Knottingley, westbound to Wakefield Westgate and Leeds and also several times each day by Grand Central eastbound towards London King's Cross (which then begin a southbound journey after Doncaster) and westbound towards Bradford Interchange via Halifax.
The island platform consisting of platforms 2 and 3, is linked to platform 1 and the station building by a newly refurbished subway, featuring better lighting and new bright white paint. Art panels were added to the subway in February 2017, and a brass band rendition of 'Jerusalem' plays in the background.
- Hallam Line – There are three trains per hour to Leeds and to Sheffield, two express (one of which continues to Nottingham and the other to Lincoln) and one stopping service, with the latter running via Castleford.
- Huddersfield Line – There is an hourly service between Huddersfield and Castleford with no Sunday service.
- Pontefract Line – There is an hourly service between Leeds and Knottingley railway station via Pontefract Monkhill with a two-hourly service on Sundays.
- Leeds to Nottingham – There is an hourly service every day in both directions, via Barnsley, Sheffield and Chesterfield.
- Leeds to Lincoln - There is an hourly service every day in both directions, via Barnsley, Sheffield and Worksop.
- Bradford Interchange to London King's Cross – There are four trains in each direction per day. London trains travel via Doncaster and those to Bradford go via Mirfield and the Caldervale Line.
|Preceding station||National Rail||Following station|
Leeds - Lincoln
|Terminus||Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway
Dearne Valley Railway
Line and station closed
From December 2019, services to Nottingham will begin operating via Wakefield Westgate, meaning they no longer stop here. This change is part of the new Northern Connect service, from here on, Kirkgate will be served by an hourly train to Lincoln Central via Sheffield and Retford. These services will be operated by brand new rolling stock, featuring free WiFi.
Summer Special trains
During the summer, excursion trains using heritage rolling stock run through the station; the Scarborough Spa Express on alternate Thursdays and The Dalesman to Carlisle running over the Settle-Carlisle line on occasional Mondays and Tuesdays. These services are hauled by diesel locomotives through West Yorkshire and changed to steam haulage part way along the routes.
- "Station Facilities: Wakefield Kirkgate". National Rail. Retrieved 22 August 2009.
- "List of Listed Buildings, Scheduled Ancient Monuments and Buildings of Local Interest" (PDF). City of Wakefield Metropolitan District Council. 26 April 2005. Archived from the original (PDF) on 25 February 2009. Retrieved 22 August 2009.
- "Going..Going..nearly Gone..!". Wakey S&T..Online. Archived from the original on 8 July 2011. Retrieved 3 April 2008.
- Wright, Rebecca (3 October 2008). "Car crushed as Kirkgate Station wall collapses". Wakefield Express. Retrieved 22 August 2009.
- "Kirkgate rapist jailed indefinitely". Wakefield Express. 3 April 2009. Retrieved 21 April 2009.
- Bradley, Lisa (29 July 2009). "Man attacked at Wakefield Kirkgate Station". Wakefield Express. Retrieved 1 August 2009.
- "Lord Adonis criticises Network Rail in letter about state of Wakefield Kirkgate". Wakefield Express. Johnston Press Digital Publishing. 30 July 2009. Retrieved 1 August 2009.
- "Rail Safety at Kirkgate and Services on the Pontefract Line" (PDF). City of Wakefield Metropolitan District Council. Retrieved 3 April 2008.
- "Kirkgate Station Petition". Wakefield Express. Retrieved 21 April 2009.
- "Council vote on Kirkgate". Wakefield Express. 11 July 2011. Retrieved 7 June 2013.
- "Wakefield Kirkgate: £4.6m raised for 'worst' station's upgrade". BBC News. 18 March 2013. Retrieved 7 June 2013.
- "Kirkgate Station officially open after multi-million pound renovation". Pontefract and Castleford Express. Retrieved 16 December 2016.
- "Wakefield Kirkgate Rail Station Redevelopment". Retrieved 7 June 2013.
- "Wakefield Kirkgate Opens after £5.6 million revampYorkshire Evening Post article 14 September 2015
- UK Government, https://www.gov.uk/government/news/transport-minister-opens-wakefield-kirkgate-station
- "Grand Central Rail unveils First Class lounge Wakefield". Buying Business Travel. 5 April 2017. Retrieved 9 August 2017.
- Office of Rail Regulation statistics
- "Permanent art show in Wakefield Kirkgate station underpass". BBC News. 2 February 2017. Retrieved 9 August 2017.
- Table 34 National Rail timetable, May 2017
- GB eNRT May 2017 Edition, Table 39
- GB eNRT, Table 32
- Northern Timetable 33 Leeds to Nottingham Northern; Retrieved 12 May 2017
- "West Yorkshire and Doncaster timetable". Grand Central Trains. Grand Central. Retrieved 30 December 2016.
Media related to Wakefield Kirkgate railway station at Wikimedia Commons