East of Pontefract Monkhill


Pontefract East Junction is seen here viewed from the branch to Baghill. There are a number of infrastructural points of interest. It will be noted that the curve at this point was quite sharp and warranted the use of check rails on the inside of the curve: the effect of this was to constrain the wheel flanges to run between two rails and reduce the possibility of a derailment.

Visible on the right is the metal speed restriction sign of 15mph for the branch. The track on the left is the headshunt for the goods yard; this was provided to allow long lines of wagons to be shunted without the need for them to be drawn across the main line with consequent delays to main line trains. This track was not provided at the original opening of the line and was a later addition; a look at the bridge abutments on Ferrybridge Road shows the later addition clearly.

On the right hand edge of the picture one of the towers of the Old Hall can just be made out and in the left background the plume of steam from a departing coal train for Goole can just be seen. The locomotive in the centre is a light engine working back from Knottingley to Wakefield engine sheds.

Peter Cookson Railway Photography
Photograph copyright Peter Cookson