Station Name: SEAMER
This station is still open but as it was on the the Scarborough to Pickering route it is included for completeness

[Source: Nick Catford]

Date opened: 8.7.1845
Location: South side of Station Road
Company on opening: York and North Midland Railway
Date closed to passengers: Still open
Date closed completely: Still open
Company on closing: Still open
Present state: Still open
County: Yorkshire
OS Grid Ref: TA033839
Date of visit: Not visited

Notes: The York to Scarborough line opened on 8th July 1845 although Seamer station didn't appear in Bradshaw until May 1848 but it may have opened with the line. Seamer station had an island platform with a canopy. The booking office was incorporated into the stationmaster's house adjacent to the level crossing on Station Road.

In 1911, the station layout was modified with a new down slow line and platform for Forge Valley traffic to clear the main running lines for express workings. Also provided was a footbridge to gain access to the Forge Valley platform from the island platform. After the Forge Valley Line closed, the down slow platform and footbridge were removed shortly afterwards.

Seamer had a unique feature of two signal boxes side by side. The signal box set back was the original York & North Midland box was set back from the track. In 1911, when the down slow line was added, this signal box was closed and a new one opened to accommodate the extra signalling and pointwork, a second box, Seamer West was opened in 1906 at Seamer Junction. half a mile south of the station. The old box remained in situ for many year after closure. By 1993 it was in a derelict state its wooden steps having been removed and it was demolished shortly after that.

The goods yard was on the down side of the line to the north of the station and consisted of two sidings, a timber goods shed and other timber buildings. A second goods platform was sited on the up side of the line adjacent to the passenger platform. All the buildings survived into the late 1970's although the goods yard closed in the early 1960's. The station canopy was demolished probably in the late 1990's and replaced by two glass bus shelters.

The Vale of Pickering (incorporating Ryedale) has always been subject to flooding due to the flat terrain so when railways finally reached the area they kept close to the edges. One of the last to be built was the east - west line from Seamer to Pickering which is usually known as the Forge Valley Railway although it doesn't actually follow the north - south Forge Valley cutting across the southern end of it at West Ayton. There was an earlier proposal in 1864 for a line from Pickering running east along the north side of the Vale of Pickering as far as West Ayton where it would turn north along the Forge Valley to a junction with the proposed Scarborough - Whitby line at Scalby. Because the Scarborough - Whitby line was not built at this time, the Forge Valley line was not proceeded with.

Work on the coast line finally started in 1872 and the Scarborough & Whitby company minutes on 4th November record a proposal to build the line along the Forge Valley from Ayton as a feeder for the Whitby line. The proposal was approved by the board at an estimated cost of £35,000. A Bill was put before parliament in 1873 but was later withdrawn following objections from Lord Londesborough who owned part od the proposed route.

Following the withdrawal of the Bill the North Eastern Railway were quick to step in promoting their own line from Pickering but instead of running up the Forge Valley this line would continue eastwards to join the Scarborough - Malton/Bridlington line at Seamer three miles miles south of Scarborough. Having received their Act the North Eastern Railway were in no hurry
to build the line which eventually opened to the public on 1st May 1882.

Intermediate stations were built at Forge Valley (serving East and West Ayton), Wykeham, Sawdon, Snainton, Ebberston (Wilton until 1903) and Thornton Dale. Trains ran between Pickering and Scarborough, also calling at Seamer which had opened with former York and North Midland route to Scarborough in 1845. The line retained the earlier name of the The Forge Valley Line, it was single track throughout with a passing place at Snainton, the only station with two
platforms running for 1614 miles from Seamer Junction to Mill Lane Junction south of Pickering where it joined the NER's lines from Rillington and Bishophouse Junction on the York - Darlington main line.

Services were four weekday trains each way; there was never a Sunday service and few excursions except for some to and from Helmsley. In 1928 the line became the first in the area with a regular Sentinel steam railcar service for passengers introduced by the LNER in an attempt to keep costs down. Railcars were considered suitable for this line as passenger traffic was light and there were no steep gradients. The Sentinels were mechanically unreliable and struggled to cope with attachments such as horseboxes, commonly required on rural lines. All the stations except
Wykeham had facilities to deal with livestock, and such agricultural produce comprised most of the freight on the line, although there was also stone from a quarry at Thornton Dale.

During 1935, the first diesel-electric Sentinel Railcar, the 'Tyneside Venturer', operated a circular route via Scarborough, Whitby, Goathland and back to Scarborough along the Forge Valley line. Despite their unreliability the railcars remained in use for 20 years but were gradually taken out of service on the approach to nationalisation

In June 1933 the LNER introduced camping coaches at a number of scenic stations in the area, two of these eventually came to the Forge Valley line with a single carriage being provided at Forge Valley and Thornton Dale.

Passenger traffic on the Forge Valley line had always been light and by 1922 the service remained at 4 daily trains with an additional train on Thursday and three additional trains between Scarborough and Forge Valley. With the introduction of the steam railcars the service was increased to seven daily trains but after nationalisation it was clear that the service was no
longer viable with the ever increasing popularity of the motor car post war. After only 68 years British Railways announced closure of the line to both passenger and freight traffic; despite some
local objections the line was closed from 5th June 1950; the last train out of Scarborough was at 6.40 pm on Saturday 3rd June where a small crowd gathered with over 100 local people boarding the last train which was greeted by detonators at each station.

The track between Seamer and Thornton Dale was lifted between 1952 and 1953. The final three miles of the line between Thornton Dale and Pickering remained open until 10th August 1964 to serve the stone quarry.

All the stations were of similar construction with substantial brick buildings incorporating the stationmaster's house. All the buildings and platforms survive and that at Ebberston which was restored in 1998 with a short section of track and three new camping coaches, ex BR 1st class stock built in 1968/9.

See also the Forge Valley Railway web site for a more detailed history of the line and more photographs.

Sources: Lost Railways of North & East Yorkshire by Gordon Suggitt - Countryside books 2005 ISBN 1 85306 918 3 and the Forge Valley Railway web site. Tickets from Michael Stewart

Suggested further reading: The Forge Valley Line by J. Robin Lidster Hendon Publishing 1986
ISBN-10: 086067103.

To see other stations on the Forge Valley Railway click on the station name:
Forge Valley, Wykeham, Sawdon, Snainton, Ebberston & Thornton Dale

See alto other local lines: Malton & Driffield Junction Railway, Thirsk & Malton Railway (Malton - Pilmoor) & Gilling - Pickering

Seamer Station looking north in June 1968
Copyright p
hoto by John Alsop

Seamer goods station in November 1978
Photo by Alan Lewis from his Flickr web site

Seamer Station in looking north in April 1983
Photo by Philip Crome from the Brush Sulzer Type 4 web site

Seamer Station looking south in May 1984
hoto by Alan Young

Seamer Station looking south in June 1992
hoto by Ben Brooksbank

Seamer Station looking north in March 2002
hoto by Alan Young

Last updated: Friday, 26-May-2017 10:53:46 CEST
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