Station Name: SNAINTON

[Source: Nick Catford]

Date opened: 1.5.1882
Location: At the junction of Foulbridge Lane and Middle Lane which is at the end of Station Road.
Company on opening: North Eastern Railway
Date closed to passengers: 5.6.1950
Date closed completely: 5.6.1950
Company on closing: British Railways (North Eastern Region)
Present state: The station is in single ownership but has been divided into two residences with a fence across the track. The main station buildings are in good condition although the waiting shelter on the up platform has been demolished. The east end of both platforms survive it is not know whether the west ends are also extant.
County: Yorkshire
OS Grid Ref: SE919818
Date of visit: 7.9.2008

Notes: Snainton was the principal station on the Forge Valley Line being the busiest and the only one with a passing loop and second platform. The station was just over 8 miles from Pickering and 11½ miles from Scarborough. The surroundings were probably the flattest part along the line and the station was conveniently placed on the southern outskirts of the village.

There was a brickyard situated to the south of the goods yard where bricks were stored in the early times of the railway before transporting them to other parts of the country. In later years after the Second World War the brickyard was used to store timber which was imported by Gabriel, Wade & English of Scarborough. The timber was used in the Post War house building programme.

The station was cut off at both ends by level crossings. At the east end was Foulbridge Lane with a Crossing Keepers House and at the west side Middle Lane. Both sets of gates were double swing and hand operated.

Snainton goods yard was primarily on the down side of the line level with the station where a single siding served coal drops. There was also a goods shed and a weight office. The brick yard was on the up side of the line where another siding served a loading bay and then on to the brickyard where there was a loop. The main station buildings were on the down side of the line. A signal cabin was provided on the down platform on the left side of the east bay window. A small wooden waiting shelter was provided on the up platform.

A market garden at Snainton used to send van-loads of lettuce, which were attached to the rear of passenger trains, to Leeds and Bradford. At harvest time two or three wagons of grain were sent out every day by means of the Malton to Scarborough goods train. A more unusual form of traffic was the two van-loads of cut flowers, which were sent every week to Bradford during the season.

One of the most unlikely and unpleasant of goods traffic was sent from here, this was known as 'dog pures'; it consisted of dog excrement from the local kennels in barrels, loaded in open wagons. The motor lorry usually collected the barrels from the kennels on Wednesdays, all year round. They were transferred to the railway wagons on skids and occasionally one of
the barrels, which weighed 5cwt, slipped and the lid came off! The 'dog pures' were consigned to tanneries in Leeds where they were used in the tanning of leather.

After the Second World War thousands of tons of sawn timber were brought by rail from Hull Docks to be stored partly in the goods yard and partly in the brickyard field. This was the timber imported by Gabriel, Wade & English of Scarborough for the post-war house building programme.

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: Seamer, Forge Valley, Wykeham, Sawdon, Ebberston & Thornton Dale

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

Snainton Station looking east in c.1908
Copyright photo from John Alsop collection

Snainton Station looking west before December 1914
Copyright photo from John Alsop collection
Snainton Station in April 1976
Photo by Alan Young

Snainton Station in September 2008
hoto by Nick Catford

Snainton Station looking west in September 2008
hoto by Nick Catford




[Source: Nick Catford]

Last updated: Saturday, 20-Jan-2018 19:44:48 CET
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