Railway junction recreated in former market hall December 6, 2021

The big layout depicts Heaton Lodge Junction, between Huddersfield and Mirfield, as it accommodated goods and passenger trains before tracks were reduced in the late 1980s Billed as Britain's Biggest Model Railway, an accurate scale model of a West Yorkshire railway junction has filled the former market hall in Union Street in the city of Wakefield.

The railway with highly-detailed scenery is a model of Heaton Lodge Junction, between Mirfield and Huddersfield, as it was before cuts to the number of tracks there in 1986. A wide range of trains operating over a mindblowing three miles of scale model track show how the four-track system the line once had was able to accommodate goods, fast and local trains.

The junction is at one end of a section of track through Mirfield where the main Trans-Pennine route via Huddersfield and the line along the Calder Valley merge then diverge again at another junction at Ravensthorpe.

Since the cuts of the 1980s there have been growing problems in accommodating fast and local trains and continuing goods traffic on the reduced number of tracks on the line. An emphasis on fast trains and a focus on Leeds has led to reduced local services and goods traffic.

The Heaton Lodge Junction has had fewer tracks in recent years The former Market Hall in Wakefield While there are still local trains to be seen on the 1980s model, the service between Wakefield and Huddersfield has recently been cut to just three peak trains a day and at other times travellers are forced into a 27-mile hour-long trip on busy trains into Leeds and back to cover the 12-mile distance or catch a bus that takes even longer.

Many local people will probably want to rekindle memories of the 1980s and earlier for some of their journeys, but there are in fact proposals to put back some new tracks at Heaton Lodge Junction to allow for fast trains, local trains and freight as part of a stretch of the Trans-Pennine Upgrade and electrification plan. The proposals for the bottleneck between Huddersfield and Dewsbury are in the final stages of planning, having just gone through a Public Inquiry in Huddersfield during late November and early December over some aspects of the scheme.

The model railway is on display in Wakefield daily until Sunday December 19, 2021.

More information about the model railway and ticket details can be found at the  event website.

 Wakefield   


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