An Account of Riccall Railway Station by Malcolm Webster

Malcolm worked at Riccall station in the 1950’s. He remembers the 7:00 AM Rowntree train which went from Selby to York, picking up people who worked in York, mainly those who worked at Rowntree’s Chocolate Factory. A passenger train stopped at the station at 8:00 AM to take people to Selby and at 8:15 AM another train stopped to pick up more passengers for York. The 9:00 AM train to Selby was the last passenger train to stop at the station until later in the day. Throughout the day express passenger trains and goods trains went through without stopping. It was the main line between London and Edinburgh.

At 10:30 AM a goods train stopped to bring goods in from Selby way and then it took cans of water to Riccall North signal box as the signal box had no running water for the men to use and thus had to be brought in.

Riccall StationIn the evening the 5:30 PM train brought the workers home from York.This was the last train of the day that stopped at Riccall Station. The Mail Train left York at 10:15 PM and carried mail down to London, passing through Riccall on the way. The engines pulling the Mail Train were The Royal Scot and The Elizabethan.

The goods yard was a busy place with an office and weighbridge. Farmers sent their loads away by train, sending sugar beet, potatoes, cattle, hay and straw. A waste paper merchant sent baled waste paper away to be processed. Coal would be brought in by train and farmers brought in their new agricultural implements on the goods trains.

By 1956/57 Riccall Airfield had been cleared of equipment and bombs using the railway. Hollicarrs was a storage depot for bombs and ammunition and they were cleared after the war by loading them onto trains at Riccall. It took five years to clear Hollicarrs and the airfield.

The passenger trains were hauled by engines known as ‘Black Fives’. The Flying Scotsman and the Mallard came through the village on their way up and down the country from London to Edinburgh.  Silver Fox and Quicksilver, both A4 engines, pulled expresses which came through the station. Later, the steam trains gave way to the diesel engines.

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