Askern Branch Line

Askern Branch Line

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Askern Branch Line

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The Askern Branch Line is a railway line in South, North and West Yorkshire in England which runs from Shaftholme Junction north of Doncaster (on the East Coast Main Line between Doncaster and York), via Askern, Norton and Womersley to Knottingley, where it joins the Pontefract Line.


It was opened by the Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway on 6 June 1848 and running powers were granted to the Great Northern Railway (with which it made an end-on junction at Askern) giving the latter company its initial access to Leeds (using part of the current Pontefract Line) and the former to Doncaster. The line subsequently became part of the newly established East Coast Main Line with the opening of a branch from Knottingley to Burton Salmon in 1850, which gave access to the York & North Midland Railway's line from Normanton to York. The opening of a direct line from Shaftholme Junction to York via Selby in January 1871 saw the end of regular express trains using the route, but it remained busy with goods traffic, mainly coal from various collieries along its length and continued to carry a local stopping service from Wakefield to Doncaster until closure to passengers on 27 September 1948. Today it remains open to carry coal traffic destined for the power stations at Ferrybridge, Drax and Eggborough and the occasional passenger train diverted when either the ECML or Doncaster - Leeds line is closed for engineering work .|}

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