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  Airedale Line
Unknown route-map component "KBFa"
Unknown route-map component "eHST"
Kirkstall Forge (planned to open 2010/11)
Unknown route-map component "eHST"
Apperley Bridge (planned to open 2010/11)
Straight track Unknown route-map component "KBFa"
     Bradford Forster Square
Straight track Stop on track
Continuation to right Unknown route-map component "ABZrd" Straight track
Wharfedale Line
Unknown route-map component "BHFABZld" Track turning right
Stop on track
Stop on track
Stop on track
Straight track Continuation backward
Keighley and Worth Valley Railway
Right side of cross-platform interchange Left side end station of cross-platform interchange
Stop on track
Steeton & Silsden
Stop on track
Unknown route-map component "eABZrg" Unknown route-map component "exCONTl"
Skipton to Ilkley Line
Station on track
Abbreviated in this map
Junction to left Track turning from right
Settle Junction
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Unknown route-map component "KBFe" Abbreviated in this map
Unknown route-map component "KBFe"

The Airedale Line is the name given to one of the rail services in the Metro area of northern England. The service is operated by Northern Rail, on the route connecting Leeds and Bradford with Skipton in the North of England. Some services along the line continue to Morecambe or Carlisle. The route covered by the service was part of the Midland Railway (Midland) system. The line is electrified at 25 kV AC Overhead between Leeds and Skipton.


The route and its history

The first section, between Leeds and Bradford (Forster Square station), was opened by the Leeds and Bradford Railway on 1 July 1846. The route is described below: it originally included stations serving the following places, many of which are now closed:

Trains of the Leeds to Morecambe Line and Settle-Carlisle Line also run over the Airedale Line from Leeds.

The line today

The line is operated by the Northern Rail operating company. The fare structure is as follows (these show the Metro rail zones):

The future

Recent Network Rail reports have looked at ways of increasing capacity on the line. Because of the difficulty of lengthening platforms at Shipley, it will be hard to introduce longer trains (i.e. 5 or 6 carriages) as is being proposed on the neighbouring Wharfedale Line. It is therefore proposed to run more trains per hour between Leeds and Keighley, with a new platform at Keighley to accommodate this.[2] New stations at Kirkstall Forge and Apperley Bridge between Leeds and Skipton via Shipley are proposed by Metro between 2010 and 2013.

National Express East Coast (NXEC) currently operate a small number of daily services on the line, between Skipton/Bradford and Leeds before heading to London King's Cross. These are mostly diesel services, because the overhead electric cables on the line between Shipley and Skipton cannot support both local trains and high-speed electric services (due to the extra power needed by the locomotives). NXEC wants to run more frequent services from December 2009 but to do so would require the use of electric locomotives, which cannot happen unless the electric supply is upgraded.[3]

A recent report by Modern Railways claimed that a solid hourly service would operate on the line as far as Long Preston, but would serve Carlisle and Lancaster alternately. It may also become a freight artery to improve capacity on the West Coast Main Line. Network Rail's own latest plans involve new signalling and other improvements for the sections of the line beyond Skipton. Carlisle services will be increased to a basic two hour pattern with extra services to 'fill in the gaps' at peak times during the day to give a 1 train/h frequency.[4] Lancaster services will also be made more frequent, however it has been suggested they will be terminated at Skipton in future, rather than continuing through to Leeds as at present.[4] All of these plans are still dependent on getting enough government funding.


External links



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