Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Buzzing off to Bradford [4]

The last leg (two of the last three legs, actually!)
En route for a funeral in the suburbs of Bradford, fbb and Mrs had spent a night in Sheffield Central Travelodge and are now joining the 1018 Northern Trains "express" to Leeds. This is a relatively new (in terms of railway history) hourly service through from Nottingham and will call at Meadowhell, Barnsley and Wakefield.

History gives Wakefield two stations ... 
Westgate (left on map) and Kirkgate (lower centre).

Westgate, opened in 1867, is into its third mainfestation; having been rebuilt in the early sixties; fettled a little for electrification ...
... and recently re-rebuilt for the 21st century.
Meanwhile, Kirkgate ...
... oh dear, oh dear!

Once grand, with fine overall roof ...
... it has been allowed to rot; so much so that Lord Adonis (Andy to his chums), the former Labour transport minister, dubbed it "the worst station in the UK."  He was not wrong! Served by local trains and Grand Central's innovative Kings Cross to Bradford Adelantes ...
... neither station nor surroundings were a advert for modern, safe rail travel.

But all is changing. Work on "doing up" the platform area has progressed well, despite damage (vandalism already?) to a huge pane of glass ...
... not too clear through an unclear sprinter's window! A community charity organisation has taken on the decrepit station buildings; Wakefield City is encouraging the regeneration of the tatty surroundings ...
... and the future looks very rosy indeed.

Major works have already been carried out on the station platforms. Life-expired and unused canopies on the island platform have been removed and also a section of the spine wall, which remained in place since the removal of the station roof during the 1970s. The canopy over the Leeds-bound platform has been refurbished and fitted with modern glazing, and new entrances to the subway have been created.

A £4.6m regeneration project to transform Wakefield Kirkgate station has started. The redevelopment of the formerly dilapidated station has set out to take on board the views of the local community, businesses and passengers, following various consultations. It will include restoring the Grade II listed building, as well as creating space for a cafe, ticketing, retail, office space and meeting rooms for the community to use, as well as ‘incubation units’ for small businesses.
Work on the buildings was in progress as fbb passed through.
A brief "station stop" does not do justice to the project but it will look so much better when it's all done and in use.

Changing in Leeds to a Manchester Victoria via Rochdale train was straightforward and so it was that the fair pair from down there in Devon arrived in Bradford Exchange station.

Time for lunch!
But first, fbb goes for a look round the bus station part of the Interchange.

This boy really knows how to enjoy himself!

 Next bus blog : Wednesday 29th January 

No comments:

Post a comment