Early Planning of the Route

The route of the railway owes its thanks to notorious ‘Railway King’ George Hudson of York. He promoted the York and North Midland Railway in 1835 following a meeting held in the Guildhall, York, which received its Act in 1836. The line ran from York to Gascoigne Wood and was opened in 1839.

In 1854, the North Eastern Railway Company was formed by an amalgamation of the York and North Midland Railway, the York and Newcastle Berwick Railway and Leeds Northern and Malton and Driffield Railways.

In 1863, The North Eastern Railway applied for powers to construct two new stretches of railway, from Chaloners Whin Junction (some 2 miles south of York) to Barlby Junction (north of Selby), and from Selby southward to join the Great Northern Railway at Shaftholme Junction north of Doncaster. The new line opened after various delays caused by disputes with land owners, geographical features and limited finance on 2nd January 1871. This new route cut out the Knottingley Loop.

The new line at Riccall cut across the open fields which at this time were still unenclosed and cultivated in strips.   

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