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Leeds Station

Archive/Image Reference


Title of Original Drawing



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Description of Drawing


Date of Creation


Scale of Original Drawing


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    Leeds Station (Wellington)...
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    Leeds Station...
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    Leeds Station (New)...
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    Leeds Station (City)...
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Leeds Station
Leeds Station Low Level Plan

Did you know?

The arches beneath New Station were named the ‘Dark Arches’ by Leeds’ Victorian residents, and the name remains in use today.

Today’s Leeds Station is a historical combination of the former Wellington and Leeds New Stations.

Leeds began its relationship with the railway in 1758, when parliamentary authority was granted for a wooden wagon-way to haul coal from Middleton to Leeds. In the early days of railway development, six different companies developed competing lines and different stations in and around Leeds.


Wellington Station

A temporary station called Wellington Station was built by the Leeds and Bradford Railway in 1846.This Company became part of the much larger Midland Railway, who built a permanent Wellington Station in 1850, resting on top of arches over the River Aire on which part of Leeds Station is built to this day. Functional in design, it had a low, three-span train shed with its station building opening onto City Square and containing refreshment rooms, waiting rooms and a booking office. To compliment its station, the Midland Railway built the first Queens Hotel in 1863.


New Station

In 1869 the London North Western and North Eastern railways jointly opened Leeds New Station. On the south side of the Midland’s Wellington Station, New Station was built at a higher level and on a wider collection of arches crossing the River Aire and with a wrought iron and masonry bridge over the Leeds and Liverpool canal basin which allowed it to have a more spacious train shed than its neighbour. Thomas Prosser, the North Eastern Railway’s architect designed the station building and train shed, Thomas E Harrison as Consulting Engineer for the Joint Station Committee was responsible for the arches which supported the New Station, and do to this day. The vaults created a series of tunnels, each about 80 yards long, running beneath New Station and connecting with the vaults beneath Wellington, running parallel between the River Aire and the basin of the Leeds and Liverpool Canal. Further side vaults, running east to west, connected many of the underground arches making a railway maze. These arches beneath the stations soon became important to local industry for storage and business premises and are still used in this way today.


City Station

After railway ‘grouping’ in 1923, and with increasing traffic through Leeds in this period, New and Wellington Stations were joined in 1939 to create Leeds City Station. Very much a station designed for its time these two stations were connected by a spacious north concourse built from modern reinforced concrete with an art deco tall panelled ceiling, square skylights, and stylish lighting pendants. It also directly connected the station with the rebuilt art deco LMS Queens Hotel.

Leeds City Station was completely rebuilt in 1967 when the nearby Leeds Central Station closed, and its services transferred to Leeds City Station. Bridges taking the railway over the Leeds and Liverpool canal were replaced, a new roof over the station was constructed and the newly created south concourse was the chief location for shops, refreshment rooms and the ticket office.

Between 1999 and 2002, Leeds City Station underwent significant rebuilding and refurbishment in a programme called Leeds First. This project brought back into action the largely abandoned Wellington side of the station, increased the number of platforms from 12 to 17 and built a new footbridge with modern escalators and lifts. The North Concourse was also restored to its former art deco glory.

Page first created: Monday, February 27, 2012
Page last updated: Wednesday, March 7, 2012


Parliament allows horse draw wagons along wooden ‘wagon way’ between Middleton and Leeds



The wooden wagon way between Middleton and Leeds becomes the first to use a commercial steam engine



Temporary Wellington Station is erected by the Leeds & Bradford Railway



A permanent Wellington Station is opened by the Midland Railway



The Midland Railway opens the Queens Hotel. The Hotel is extended in 1867 and 1898



Leeds New Station is opened by the North Eastern Railway with further renovations in 1874 and 1882



Wellington Station and New Station are combined to form Leeds City Station



British Railways House (City House) was brought into the station complex



Leeds City Station is completely rebuilt



Significant improvements are made to the station as part of the Leeds First project. the art deco North Concourse is restored

Comments & Suggestions (3)

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A very interesting page here about the station. The detailed old map under the arches is superb, thanks for uploading it. Is there any chance of a similar map for the arches on the other side of Neville Street? It's historically important for old the Kings Mill goit that ran under there too.

Posted by phill.d, Thursday, March 1, 2012.

 what about some info and photos of the l.n.e.r or the l.m.s or the l.t.s.r railway company,s great old stations like fenchurch st or liverpool st

Posted by ian lewis, Friday, March 2, 2012.

Thanks to NR for this information. The (Leeds) Station is an engineering masterpiece. Could you also please also post archive documents for the equally important East-bound section (Leeds Station>Kirkgate/Leeds Parish Church). In your hands is route of the water power taken from the Station/River through as far as The Calls. This ought to be in the public domain. Great work, good site.

Posted by rick carn, Friday, May 25, 2012.

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See also


Manchester Piccadilly

Manchester was already at the heart of industrial revolution when the railway came to the city in 1830. The potential to link the city with other industrial towns and cities has made Manchester an important centre for railway investment.  Read more

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