A neglected route

From December 2009 Grand Northern will start operating between Bradford Interchange and London Kings Cross. This is excellent news for Bradford, and will join Forster Square in having a direct London service.

But this also means that Bradford will also have some newconnections to exotic places such as:  Pontefract Monkhill and Wakefield Kirkgate. And will improve on direct connections to Halifax, Brighouse and Doncaster.

Wakefield will join Bradford in being a twin-train city with competing services operating from competing stations. Following a recent visit, It is hoped that a new main-line rail service acts as a spearhead to WY Metro and Northern to make large improvements.

Pontefract Monkhill is one of the 3 stations in Pontefract and is normally served by Northern Rail’s Knottingley to Leeds service. Like Kirkgate it is unstaffed, but it is Pontefract’s most utilised station.*

Wakefield Kirkgate Station

Wakefield Kirkgate Station

Over 360,000 people travel through Kirkgate each year*, – A fifth of all rail passengers in Wakefield, yet this large station is unmanned. In recent years there have been several serious crimes at and around the station, the local paper has started a campaign to “save” Kirkgate: Kirkgate SOS / Kirkgate SOS Article.

* These figures  are more accurate than in previous years however like bradford, most anytime tickets are sold as “Pontefract stations” and “Wakefield Station”, therefore passenger figures are estimates.

Quick reference needs to be made regarding Doncaster, Grand Union is regularly questioned over using York Station as an ORCATS raid against NXEC ticket revenue. This suggetion will now be thrown at Grand Northern (a linked company of Grand Union) over the next NXEC station at Doncaster. Grand Union has however regularly stated that it’s use of the station is not to benefit from ORCATS. – one of the best explanations of ORCATS is provided here.

Hopefully the new service will lead to WY Metro and Northern making improvements at Kirkgate and Monkhill.

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