Leeds nostalgia: Your Letters - talk about getting off on the wrong platform

In relation to an article which appeared in Monday Retro on February 8, we received a number of letters wishing to point out an error and we are happy to clarify that we did indeed cite the wrong viaduct. We said work had been carried out on Holbeck Viacuct, when it had in fact been the old Central Station viaduct.

The point was hit home hardest by J Auld, from Burley-in-Wharfedale, who wrote: “The pictures show Central Station viaduct which was built around 1850 to provide joint access to Leeds for the Great Northern, Leeds & Thirsk, Leeds & Dewsbury and Leeds & Manchester Railway companies. This is the viaduct which spans the River Aire and the Leeds Liverpool canal and now terminates in mid-air at the end of the car-park on Whitehall Road.

“Holbeck viaduct is the long straight viaduct which spans Globe Road, Water Lane, Domestic Road and Gelderd Road. As you state, it was built in 1885 by the LNWR. This was to provide alternative access to Leeds New Station (built jointly in 1864 by the L&NW and North Eastern Railway companies, which had by that stage absorbed the Leeds & Dewsbury and Leeds & Thirsk respectively).

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“Leeds New and Wellington Stations were literally next door. Access was severely congested so Holbeck viaduct was built as part of a relief route extending to Farnley Junction and the alternative New Line or Spen route via Upper Birstall, Gomersal, Cleckheaton, Liversedge, Heckmondwike, Northorpe and Battyeford.

“Leeds New and Wellington were combined in 1938 by the LMS and LNER to form Leeds City Station. Most of the New Line stations closed by 1953 and Dr Beeching ensured there would be no reinstatement in 1965. Parts of the route, however lingered on. Holbeck viaduct was used until recently for stabling of stock.

“Leeds Central closed in 1967 but Central Station viaduct remained in use until the closure of Wellington Street goods yard in 1974.”

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