The Wakefield line is the name given to one of the rail services in the West Yorkshire Metro/ South Yorkshire P.T.E. area of northern England. The service connects Leeds and Wakefield with Sheffield and Doncaster. Part of the Line forms a section of the East Coast Main Line route to London, with electric trains running on services between Leeds and Doncaster. The local stopping service is operated by Northern Rail; it is supplemented by frequent InterCity services between Leeds, Wakefield and either Doncaster or Sheffield. Long distance services using this line as part of longer journeys are run by GNER, Midland Mainline and Virgin CrossCountry trains. Parts of the line over which the Wakefield Line trains run are also used by the Huddersfield and Pontefract Lines.
At the time of the 1923 Grouping the line was owned by different railway companies:
- Leeds Central station - Wakefield: Great Northern Railway (GNR). Wakefield station was jointly owned by the GNR and Great Central Railways (GCR). This section is part of the main Leeds - London line.
- Wakefield - Doncaster: West Riding and Grimsby Joint Railway (WRGJt) (joint GNR/GCR ownership).
- Moorthorpe Junction (near South Elmshall - Swinton: Swinton & Knottingley Joint Railway (MidR/NER).
- Swinton - Sheffield Midland Railway (MidR)
Leeds Central - Wakefield Westgate
|Beeston||Closed as of 2005|
|Ardsley||Closed as of 2005|
|Outwood||Open as of 2005, formerly known as Lofthouse and Outwood||See below|
|Wrenthorpe Junction: line to Dewsbury|
|Wakefield Westgate||Openas of 2005, redevelopment planned|
At Outwood there were junctions with two joint undertakings:
- East & West Yorkshire Union: a short line connecting the GN/MidR main lines via Rothwell
- Methley Joint Railway: [joint owners: GNR/Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway (L&YR)/North Eastern Railway (NER)]. The line connected to various lines in the Castleford area
Wakefield - Doncaster
Some stations on this line may have plans to be reopened.
- Sandal & Agbrigg Closed to passengers 5 November 1957; reopened 1988.
- Hare Park & Crofton (Closed) between here and Nostell were two junctions connecting with L&YR and GCR lines
- Nostell Open, but renamed Fitzwilliam.
- Hemsworth Closed as of 2005.
- here is a junction with the Hull and Barnsley Railway (HBR)
- here there is a junction where the Wakefield Line service to Sheffield branches south.
- South Elmsall
- Hampole Closed as of 2005 (further junctions with the HBR)
- Carcroft Closed as of 2005
Sandal - Sheffield
Part of this section is also worked as the Dearne Valley Line:
- "Frickley railway station" branch to Frickley Colliery
- Thurnscoe was Hickleton & Thurnscoe
- here at Hickleton Junction the line called the Dearne Valley Railway (worked by the L&Y) had a junction with the route
- here was a junction with the GCR Penistone - Doncaster line.
From here, towards Sheffield, the Midland and Great Central had parallel lines following the course of the River Don.
- The lines of the competing companies were so close that in 1965 BR built a new junction complex at Aldwarke; the Wakefield line now follows the former GCR line to reach the reopened Rotherham Central. Intermediate stations were to be found at:
- Parkgate & Aldwarke railway station (Closed 1951)
- Rotherham Road railway station (Closed)
- From Rotherham Central, taking a new curve, the line joins the Sheffield and Rotherham Railway.
- From Grimesthorpe Junction the line leaves the S&R and takes the line built in 1870 in order to reach the, then, new Sheffield station of the Midland Railway.
- Attercliffe Road
The part between the former Manvers coking plant, north of the Dearne, and Sheffield is on the ex-Midland Railway (MR). At Swinton is a trailing connection from the ex-Great Central (GC) Doncaster - Mexborough line. At Aldwarke Junction, between Swinton and Parkgate is a trailing junction from the ex-GC Mexborough - Sheffield line quickly followed by a facing junction with the same line, which local services take in order to stop at Rotherham Central. Leaving they take a BR built curve to reach Holmes Junction and the metals of the Sheffield and Rotherham Railway (later MR), which is taken by express services passing through the closed Rotherham Masborough station (where the 'old road' MR North Midland freight only route to Chesterfield diverges) . The GC between Woodburn Junction, east of Sheffield Victoria and Rotherham, and between Aldwarke Junction and Mexborough is, except for empty passenger stock workings to keep crew route knowledge, freight only.