The first station in Yorkshire was built in Selby and opened on this day in 1834. The town was located in a strategic position, on a navigable river halfway between the industrial heartlands of the West Riding and the ports on the Humber Estuary. The grand opening of this new railway line from Leeds would have caused great excitement and novelty in both places. At 6am the train set off from Marsh Lane in Leeds, cheered on by a crowd of 10,000 people. At 9am, the train pulled into Selby’s new station, as thousands of locals looked on. The first piece of Yorkshire’s railway jigsaw was complete. Over the next decade a frenzy of new railways were built across the region and self styled promoters, such as George Hudson, “The Railway King” came to the fore in building Yorkshire’s new network. Unfortunately, the old Selby station lasted only seven years, until a newer station was built and the line extended to Hull. The old station is still visible to this day and is now part of a haulage yard off Ousegate. The old train tracks can still be seen etched into the ground, where the oldest station in Yorkshire once stood.
Cover picture credit: Allan Murray-Rust geograph creative commons.