Shipley railway station serves the historic market town of Shipley in West Yorkshire, England. It is 2 34 miles (4.4 km) north of Bradford Forster Square and 10 34 miles (17.3 km) northwest of Leeds.

Train services are mostly commuter services between Leeds and Bradford, the Airedale line (Leeds and Bradford to Skipton, via Keighley), and the Wharfedale Line (Leeds and Bradford to Ilkley). There are also a few main-line Virgin Trains East Coast services between Bradford or Skipton and London, and it also lies on the line from Leeds to Glasgow via the Settle-Carlisle Railway.


When the Leeds and Bradford Railway built the first railway link into Bradford in 1846, they did not take the shortest route, but a flatter and slightly longer one up Airedale to Shipley then south along Bradforddale to Bradford. They built stations at several places along the route, including Shipley, which opened in July 1846.[1]

In 1847, the Leeds and Bradford Extension Railway was built from Shipley to Keighley and Skipton, creating the triangle of lines which surrounds today's station. The north curve was opened in 1848 and was on a much tighter alignment than the present 1883 curve. The original curve would pass through the car park.

The Leeds and Bradford was absorbed by the Midland Railway in 1851, and the Midland successively became part of the LMS and British Railways.

The Ordnance Survey map of Shipley in 1852 (surveyed between 1847 and 1850) shows the station some 500 m south of the present one, where Valley Road crosses the line to Bradford. However, an article in the Bradford and Wakefield Observer in February 1849 describes the station in its present position. It is not clear if it was moved in its first few years or there is an error on the map.

The present station was built at some time between 1883 and 1892, nestling between the western (Bradford-Skipton) and eastern (Leeds-Bradford) arms of the triangle. It was designed by the Midland's architect Charles Trubshaw. Platform 3 (on the Bradford-Leeds arm) was lengthened in 1990, to serve full-length InterCity trains. The northern (Leeds-Skipton) arm of the triangle is distant from the main station and had no platforms until May 1979. Before then, trains on the Leeds-Shipley-Skipton run had to come through the station to the Bradford branch and reverse. From 1979, there was a single platform there,[2] on the inside of the triangle, so Skipton-Leeds trains had to cross over to reach it. The current platform 1 on the north side was built in 1992.

It is now one of two remaining triangular stations in the UK: the other being Earlestown station in Merseyside. Ambergate station was previously triangular but only retains one platform and Queensbury station was closed to passengers in 1955.

Until the Beeching Axe closures of 1965, the next stations from Shipley were Saltaire on the Airedale line to the west, Baildon on the Wharfedale line to the North, Apperley Bridge in the east towards Leeds, and Frizinghall in the south towards Bradford. Baildon station closed in 1953, but on 20 March 1965, the other three of these stations closed, along with another dozen stations and the local service between Bradford and Leeds. Most of the services through Shipley were under threat and hung in the balance until the West Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive adopted them in the 1970s. All four of these adjacent stations have since been reopened: Baildon on 5 January 1973, Saltaire in April 1984, Frizinghall in 1987, and Apperley Bridge on 13 December 2015.[3]

Between 1875 and 1931, there was a second station, Shipley and Windhill railway station on Leeds Road very close to Shipley Station which served the Shipley and Windhill Line.[4]

Platforms 1 and 2 from the footbridge
The view from platform 2
The view from platform 3
Platform 5

Access and facilities

The station lies to the east of the town centre, across Otley Road, There is no access directly from Otley Road: pedestrian access from town is either via a tunnel at the bottom of Station Road, or from Stead Street onto platform 1. Vehicular access is from the side away from town, under the bridge and up a long cobbled drive from Briggate and there is a large car-park between the main station and platforms 1/2.

There are no bus stops on the station forecourt: bus connections are either on Briggate/Leeds Road, or in the Market Square. There is also no taxi rank within the station: again, passengers need to go into the town centre.

The station is fully staffed - the ticket office is open seven days per week and only closed in the evening. Ticket machines are also available, along with digital information screens and a long-line Public Address System (PA) for training running information.

Step-free access is available to platforms 2, 3 and 5. Platforms 1 and 4 can be reached by disabled passengers via lifts (there is also a subway with steep ramp to platform 4).[5]


Most of the services are commuter services operated by Northern, as part of the MetroTrain network. During Monday to Saturday daytimes, these operate every 30 minutes on each of the following routes:

In the evening a half-hourly service is maintained between Leeds and Skipton. Ilkley and Skipton to Bradford are hourly.[6] There is no direct service between Leeds and Bradford but a shuttle from Shipley to Bradford connects with Leeds departures. On Sundays, Ilkley/Skipton - Bradford and Skipton and Bradford to Leeds each operate once per hour. These services are mostly operated by Northern Class 333 electric multiple units, although Class 321 and Class 322 sets are used on some weekday workings.

There are also a number of trains each day from Leeds to Carlisle (seven on weekdays and four on Sundays) and Morecambe (four on weekdays five on Saturdays and four on Sundays; both routes operated by Northern), and from both Skipton and Bradford Forster Square to London King's Cross (via Leeds), which are operated by Virgin Trains East Coast.[7] The East Coast service from Kings Cross must access platform 3 in the station (i.e. it must run 'wrong line') as platform 4, the normal stopping point for Bradford bound services, is too short to accommodate the lengthy express trains. The northbound Kings Cross to Skipton service is the only train that doesn't stop here for similar reasons (platform 2 also being too short for use by a full-length express).

Preceding station National Rail National Rail Following station
Leeds   Virgin Trains East Coast
East Coast Main Line
(Limited service)
Forster Square
Kirkstall Forge   Northern
Leeds-Bradford Line
Apperley Bridge    
Apperley Bridge   Northern
Airedale Line
Kirkstall Forge    
Leeds   Northern
Leeds-Morecambe Line
Leeds   Northern
Settle-Carlisle Line
Frizinghall   Northern
Wharfedale Line
  Historical railways  
Frizinghall   Midland Railway
Leeds and Bradford Extension Railway
Frizinghall   Midland Railway
Leeds and Bradford Railway


  1. ^ Joy, David (1984). A Regional History of the Railways of Great Britain Volume VIII South and West Yorkshire. David St John Thomas. ISBN 0-946537-11-9. 
  2. ^ Whitaker, Alan (1986). Bradford Railways Remembered. Clapham: Dalesman. p. 68. ISBN 9780852068700. 
  3. ^ "Apperley Bridge's new railway station opens". BBC News. December 2015. Retrieved 13 December 2015. 
  4. ^ Young, Alan (2015). Lost stations of Yorkshire - the West Riding. Kettering: Silver Link. pp. 76–79. ISBN 978-1-85794-438-9. 
  5. ^ Shipley station facilities National Rail Enquiries; Retrieved 29 November 2016
  6. ^ GB eNRT May 2017 Edition, Tables 36, 37 & 38
  7. ^ GB eNRT 2017 Edition, Tables 26, 36 & 42
  • Bairstow, Martin 2004 Railways Through Airedale & Wharfedale. ISBN 1-871944-28-7
  • Chapman, Stephen N.D. Railway Memories No. 7: Airedale & Wharfedaile Bellcode books. ISBN 1-871233-05-4
  • Dewick, Tony 2002 Compete Atlas of Railway Station Names Ian Allan Publishing. ISBN 0-7110-2798-6
  • Heritage Cartography N.D. Shipley 1847 (based on the Ordnance Survey 1:10,560 County Series Map: Yourshire CGI: Survey of 1847). ISBN 1-903004-90-X
  • Sheeran, George 1994 Railway Buildings of West Yorkshire, 1812-1920 Ryburn. ISBN 1-85331-100-6
  • Smith, FW & Martin Bairstow The Otley and Ilkley Joint Railway Martin Bairstow. ISBN 1-871944-06-6.
  • Whitaker, Alan & Brian Myland 1993 Railway Memories No. 4: Bradford Bellcode books. ISBN 1-871233-03-8

External links