York Walks /3

Railway city

Photographed in July & August 2004

Railway offices, built c1906   Detail from entrance

The impressive carving (above, right) reads "North Eastern Railway – Head Office", and it forms part of a grand entrance to the imposing building pictured (right, and above left). When you look at this building you can see how York was at the centre of railway industry, around a hundred years ago when this office was built.

For more photographs of this building, and the nearby war memorial, see York Walks /3: Station Rise

  York's railway offices
York railway station   York station

Above and below: York's famous Victorian station, with its beautiful curving roof. So many journeys begun here, and so many homecomings too. I haven't travelled by train so much in recent years, but my dad's railway career meant that we as a family got free rail travel, which I took full advantage of throughout my teens, and enjoyed as a privilege until I finished university (and was no longer classed as a "dependant").

Such a civilised idea, free rail travel for the families of British Rail workers. I'm not sure whether it happens now, since rail privatisation.

Interior view, York station roof   Detail of roof support, York station
Interior view: platform at York station   Station platform

Below: moving beyond the railway station, and following the railway lines out of town.

Pedestrian walkway, Scarborough Bridge   Leeman Road – 'Marble Arch' tunnel

Above: by the side of the rail lines -Scarborough Bridge pedestrian walkway.

When the bridge was originally constructed the pedestrian walkway went between the railway lines, until it was moved out to one side, as shown above. It can be alarming, if you're crossing this bridge at the same time as a train, as they do pass very close to your head. Thankfully, as they're approaching the station or just leaving it, they're travelling quite slowly. Over the summer, the riverbanks by this bridge saw photographers gathering to photograph the Flying Scotsman on its journeys to and from Scarborough. Unfortunately I missed it.


Above: under the rail lines – the tunnel on Leeman Road.

Leeman Road is very close to the station, just around the back of it, and is home to the famous National Railway Museum. Before a new footbridge and walkway from the station was opened this year, all visitors to the museum had to walk around the long way and come through this rather dark and grubby tunnel. I used to walk along here with my dad, after work, to pick up the car from the BR carpark. (As well as privileged rail travel, he also got privileged parking. Just as valuable in York). Locally it has the rather grand name of the "Marble Arch", which I think is a superb example of Yorkshire irony.

Railway lines, leaving York   Railway lines, approaching York near Holgate Bridge

Above: heading south – rail lines from York station, from the bridge on Love Lane


Above: you are now approaching York Station – rail lines by Holgate Bridge

York's railway industry used to occupy a large area of land in the centre of York, apart from the small examples given above. See also: Former York carriageworks site, and York's other railway museum.