Nidd Valley Light RailwayTo contents

Lofthouse Station.jpg (26511 bytes) Tunnel near Goyden 2.jpg (29692 bytes)

Lofthouse Station/ Tunnel near Goyden



Background A short history

Suggested Short Walks Following the route

A Trip Along The Route Today   Photos as the route appears now

Further information Books and sites etc

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The Nidd Valley Light Railway started life as a 3ft gauge contractor's railway connecting Pateley Bridge with Angram Reservoir constructed as part of the Bradford Corporation Waterworks project. It was taken over by Bradford Corporation and re-laid to standard gauge opened in 1907. As part of the light railway order the council were required to operate passenger services between Pateley Bridge and Lofthouse with intermediate stations at Wath and Ramsgill. The NVLR had it's own station in Pateley some distance away from the North Eastern Railway station and connected by a goods line across Pateley High Street. Above Lofthouse the line continued as a steeply graded contractors line with a short tunnel at Goyden.

The railway was the only corporation operated passenger light railway in the country

The line was closed to passengers in December 1929 although goods traffic continued until 1936 when Scar House Reservoir was completed with dismantling in the course of 1937.


Today, much remains of the trackbed and stations which are all occupied as private residences.

The section from Pateley to Ramsgill is visible from the Nidderdale Way which starts near the bridge at Pateley. After passing the houses the old station site comes into view now surrounded by a builders yard. It is difficult to spot where the engine shed would have been but the track bed is clearly visible. The footpath follows very close by until Wath where it veers towards the river. The trackbed is crossed at the end of Gouthwaite Dam and a nearby farm track runs parallel all of the way to Ramsgill. Unfortunately access is not permitted directly on to this section of trackbed as this is part of a nature reserve.

Above Lofthouse the trackbed is occupied by a private water authority road. Access is permitted along the road up to the carpark at Scar House passing the tunnel portals at Goyden en-route.

One of the locomotives, Illingworth  remains in preservation and is currently undergoing a restoration project

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Suggested Short Walks

1. Pateley to Wath -Park in Pateley Bridge and  the path starts to the rigt hand side of the bridge and then follows the trackbed on right hand side with river on left. Return the same way  -3 miles

2. Wath to Ramsgill - Park in lay-by at Wath. Follow path on other side of pack horse bridge across filed until reaching Gouthwaite Dam. Then follow track above shore of reservoir to Bouthwaite then Ramsgill returning via road -5 miles

3.Lofthouse to Goyden - Park in Lofthouse and follow private road to Goyden pot and tunnel. Return using footpath on other side of river-  4 miles.

4. Circuit of Scar House - Park in Scar House carpark and follow Yorkshire Water path- 5 miles

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A Trip Along The Route Today

Pateley Bridge NER.jpg (28170 bytes)


Pateley Bridge NVR.jpg (31030 bytes)


Pateley Bridge NVR 2.jpg (29778 bytes)


NVR near Pateley.jpg (33008 bytes)


nvr near Pateley 2.jpg (31243 bytes)


nvr near Pateley 3.jpg (24378 bytes)


NVR near Pateley 4.jpg (44301 bytes)


NVR near Pateley 5.jpg (27574 bytes)


NVR near Wath.jpg (22894 bytes)


NVR near Wath 2.jpg (23062 bytes)


NVR near Wath 3.jpg (33476 bytes)


NVR near Wath 4.jpg (25691 bytes)


  • Wath Station Once a public house before conversion to a station. Both Wath and Ramsgill were converted to houses well before the closure of the passenger services in 1929 

Wath Station.jpg (26285 bytes)


Wath sta across field.jpg (27076 bytes)


  • Trackbed at Wath   from former level crossing (looking North)   - This section up to the dam was probably the steepest graded on the passenger railway

Trackbed at Wath.jpg (32623 bytes)


NVR near Wath 5.jpg (38184 bytes)


NVR near Gowthwaite.jpg (30239 bytes)


NVR @ Gowthwaite.jpg (36455 bytes)


NVR @ Gowthwaite 2.jpg (36606 bytes)


NVR @ Gowthwaite 3.jpg (34715 bytes)


  • Ramsgill Station -this should really be called Bouthwaite as it is mile from Ramsgill village

Ramsgill Station.jpg (40834 bytes)


Remains of bridge at Ramsgill.jpg (34607 bytes)


Trackbed @ Sykes Brow.jpg (26688 bytes)


Trackbed at Sykes Brow (towards Lofthouse).jpg (31610 bytes)


  • Lofthouse Station showing platform (along fence) The station was an antiques shop for a while during which time it was possible to see the booking hall original Bradford Corporation tiling and ticket window still in-situ 

Lofthouse Station.jpg (26511 bytes)


  • Trackbed above Lofthouse (trackbed to left) - the gradient becomes steep all the way to Scar House - Typically a heavy goods train would need 4 locos. 

NVR above Lofthouse.jpg (24542 bytes)


  • Tunnel portal at Goyden Pot -The tunnel was built in the early 1920's to ease the bend. The track doubled at this point one of the tracks following the sharply curved road

Tunnel near Goyden.jpg (31814 bytes)

There are several pictures from inside the tunnel to be seen on the internet - see flckr

Tunnel near Goyden 2.jpg (29692 bytes)


NVR above Goyden.jpg (25406 bytes)


NVR near Scar House.jpg (21137 bytes)

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Further information

There are two good books available

  • The Nidd Valley Light Railway - DJ Croft - Published by Oakwood Press

  • Lesser Railways Of The Yorkshire Dales - Bowtell - Published Plateway Press

Some material is displayed at the Nidderdale Museum located near St Cuthberts Church in Pateley Bridge



There are several pictures from inside the tunnel to be seen on the internet - see flckr

Carey Home Page

Family Cycle Trails

Walking in the Yorkshire Dales


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©John Carey 2009