Arram (1853), on the Hull to Bridlington line, is the fourth station in Yorkshire to get a mention.
It is the last station mentioned in the song that managed to escape closure. If we include the two busway locations and Landywood (for Cheslyn Hay), the number of stations in the song that have a public transport role in 2021 is an incredible thirteen out of the total thirty-one.
Services: Past, Present and Future?
Back In 1962 there were around 10 trains in each direction every weekday and just 2 on Sundays. The trains linked Scarborough and Bridlington (36 minutes) with Hull (25 minutes).
These days many of the Hull to Scarborough trains pass through the station without stopping, the 2019 service consisted of just 6 trains in each direction on weekdays and 2 on Sundays.
Although Arram was saved, it is still not terribly well utilised. With less than 1400 passengers in 2018/19, an average of just four people a day, it by far the least used of all the saved stations.
The Station Today
We saw a sign for the station as we headed north along the A164 through Leconfield. Soon after we had turned onto Arram Road we came across a cul-de-sac sign. At first, I thought it was a mistake, but looking at the map it was clear that there really was just a single road that led to the station, less than 2 miles away, and then terminated half a mile later after passing through the hamlet itself.
A short while later we reached the railway station at a level crossing. The two platforms were staggered; the northbound (towards Scarborough) one was on the north of the road; the one towards Hull was on the opposite side.
The old station house on the southbound platform had been turned into a private dwelling; but there were a couple of simple shelters on each platform. The train service between Hull and Scarborough passing through here was hourly but (as of September 2020) only 3 trains stopped in each direction.
There was a “Yorkshire Coast Heritage Rail Trail” poster displayed on the northbound platform that gave some of the history of the line. It had been built by the York and North Midland Railway in 1846 and had been taken over, just after Arram itself opened, by the North Eastern Railway in 1854.
We watched a Hull-bound train pass through the station and then carried on towards the village itself. It was certainly a pleasant enough looking place, although there was no one around. The single road, now called Chapel Garth, passed by houses and a few farms before it eventually petered out a little further on.
We retraced our steps to the station and following a fingerpost that said “Airfield” went a few hundred yards along a road that ended abruptly at a gate covered in Ministry of Defence warning signs. This was the site of RAF Leconfield which opened in 1936 and served as both a fighter and bomber station during the war. I wondered if this was perhaps one of the reasons they did not close Arram in the end.
The runway was lengthened for jets in the cold war and Arram Road, the single way into the village, had been diverted around it to the north. The RAF vacated the base some years ago and now it had been renamed “Normandy Barracks” and serves as a driver training centre for military vehicles.
The Minster Way footpath passes along the side of the barracks and leads to Beverley, one stop south of Arram, on the railway line. There, in the graveyard of St Mary’s church, was a small memorial to the men who had died at RAF Leconfield.
After looking at it for a while, we went off to the atmospheric White Horse Inn, apparently the last gas-lit pub in England, for a drink.
Then we walked through picturesque Beverly to atmospheric old railway station, which still retains its covered roof, and hopped on a train to Hull.