My time in Huddersfield was up, so I waved farewell to Harold Wilson and went into the railway station, slightly saddened that I was leaving too early to pop into the King’s Head or the Head of Steam (both pubs at the railway station) for one more quick visit. This rail journey cost just over £8, which was relatively high for a direct train journey of under one hour, based on prices that I’ve been paying recently. The anytime single meant that I could break my journey anywhere along the route, although nowhere initially sprang to my mind. I only realised too late that I could have got off at a stop near Holmfirth and walked there, but I’ll remember that for another occasion.
Huddersfield railway station is probably going to be knocked down soon, or at least this rickety old bit at the back is. The frontage of the railway station is one of the finest in the country from the Victorian period when it was constructed, but everything else is tired, inefficient and in need of replacement. The matter is currently with Grant Shapps, which doesn’t entirely fill me with confidence, but perhaps that’s being unfair.
This is platform 2, which it took me a little while to find. It’s illogically numbered due to historic reasons, but it’s actually the platform nearest to the station building, even though logically that should be platform 1 (which is behind it in the above photo).
The service operates on the Penistone Line, which opened in 1850 and meanders through some fairly small settlements before going through Barnsley and onto Sheffield. There’s apparently a real ale trail which often takes place along the line, which sounds rather lovely (although probably isn’t, it’s probably packed with people feeling ill, but I digress).
The situation I found myself in was a little odd. The train from Sheffield rolled in and it’s the only service that departs from Platform 2, so it was clearly the train going back again to Sheffield. The driver left the doors open and popped into the railway station building, so I assumed that everyone waiting would get on. They didn’t. I faffed about a bit on the platform looking awkward and confused, before deciding that I’d be brave and climb on board. I was half expecting the damn train thing to drive off and end up at Torquay or something if I’m being honest. One person followed me on, also looking confused. The driver came back a few minutes later and a customer asked him if they could board. He also looked confused, as if permission was needed to get on a train which had the doors open. Perhaps they’re just very polite people in Huddersfield…..
Also, the seating set-up is completely pointless (not that I want to start moaning about something else), as three people don’t fit sitting side by side on those seats (well, usually don’t). They’d be far better off converting those to the same as most other rail companies, two seats one side of the aisle and two seats the other side. Anyway, the train service wasn’t that busy, so I didn’t have a problem getting a block of seats to myself.
It’s not going to win any photography awards, but there were some scenic landscapes, and a fair few tunnels, along the journey. The guard seemed helpful, but there was no checking of tickets going on at any stage. They must be trusting folk.
Arriving on time into Barnsley.
This is Barnsley Interchange railway station, constructed a few years ago to try and merge the town’s rail and bus operations. What it meant for me was the chance to explore Barnsley, a town that I’ve never been to before. As an aside, I kept hearing Michael Parkinson’s voice in my mind (not all day, just occasionally, I’m not yet entirely losing the plot) who is the most famous Barnsley resident that I know. I don’t know many others, just Arthur Scargill and Dickie Bird, who statue I might go and have a little look at. Anyway, I digress.