Driffield Station was opened by the York and North Midland Railway on 6 October 1846, at the same time as the line from Hull to Bridlington. The independent Malton & Driffield Railway company obtained parliamentary approval to build a branch line between it and Malton in the same year, but more than six years would pass before it was ready for traffic – the first train running in May 1853.
Between 1940 and 1945 in addition to the Hull – Sboro line and Malton, trains also ran to Market Weighton. Records exist of as many as 125 trains movements before lunch!
There were five signal boxes regulating the passage of the trains through Driffield. Wansford Road, Eastgate or Depot crossing, Station, Skerne Road and Driffield West on Beverley Road. All allowed vehicles and pedestrians across as footbridge at Eastgate had not been built. Each of the boxes was allocated two signalmen and relief signalmen attended when necessary. At some of the crossings, for example Wansford Road and Eastgate, signalmen lived in the railway house adjacent. The operation of the railway was divided into a passenger and a goods department, each with its own foreman and clerical staff, under the overall control of the stationmaster who lived in his house on the platform of the railway station itself. This house still exists on the Bridlington platform, which also housed a booking office, waiting room with fire, a railway buffet and a branch of W.H.Smith The goods office had five clerks, and had up to 8 lorries working from it all maintained in the garage at the yard. One lorry was kept going all day just supplying Woolworths!
At one time approximately 50 people where employed at Driffield Station.
Written with the much appreciated assistance of Trevor Malkin, Driffield
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