Bradford Forster Square railway station serves Bradford, West Yorkshire, England. The majority of services to/from the railway station use Class 333 electrified trains operated by Northern, on the Airedale Line to Skipton, the Wharfedale Line to Ilkley and the Leeds-Bradford Line to Leeds. The first rail service into Bradford was opened by the Leeds and Bradford Railway on 1 July 1846. The line approached the town from the north, up Bradforddale from Shipley, and terminated at a railway station on Kirkgate, opposite the end of Market Street. There were hourly services to Leeds Wellington Station, and through trains to London Euston via Derby and Rugby. The first railway station building was an imposing neoclassical building designed by William Andrews.
By 1853, the Midland Railway had acquired the Leeds and Bradford, and had rebuilt the station. The new building was larger, but apparently less interesting architecturally. In 1890, the railway station was again replaced. The Midland Railway's architect Charles Trubshaw designed a large complex containing the passenger station, goods station and the Midland Hotel. The railway station had six platforms and an overall glazed roof of the ridge and furrow pattern; the roof was dismantled in the 1960s and replaced with utilitarian 'butterfly' awnings. The railway station was also used by the North Eastern Railway. The railway station began to be called Market Street Station at this time, but local maps and directories do not confirm this.
By 1906, Forster Square had been built just south-east of the railway station, but the name Forster Square Station was not used until 1924. In March 1963, the Beeching Report recommended closure of all railways serving Wharfedale and of several other services out of Forster Square; in 1965, many railway stations closed, and local services to Leeds ceased. However, for some of the lines, the decision was deferred, and trains continued to run. In 1972, Bradford Corporation (now City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council), together with several other local authorities in the area, determined to subsidise the Wharfedale and Airedale lines. The lines have remained open, and in the ensuing years, a number of railway stations have been reopened. From April 1974, the new West Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive (now known as Metro) took responsibility for these services.
Forster Square Station was truncated in 1990, when a new station was built on the western side of the former station. The new station has three modern platforms, two of which (platforms 1 & 2) are able to accommodate intercity trains. The old station was later demolished to make way for a shopping centre called 'Broadgate'. Because of the early 1990s recession, that development was cancelled, and the site was subsequently used as a car park. A new tax office was later built on the site. Part of the screen arcade that fronted the 1890 station, as well as the Midland Hotel, remains. In 2005, these became much more visible, when the city centre redevelopment began and Forster House was demolished. It is unclear how visible they will remain as the development continues.
The line into Forster Square was electrified in 1994, as part of the electrification of the Airedale Line and Wharfedale Line, allowing through electric trains to London via the newly electrified East Coast Main Line. More recently the pedestrian approach from Cheapside was redeveloped and ticket barriers installed. Wheelchair users may require assistance using car park equipment at this station. There are 5 cycle lockers and 8 cycle stand parking spaces. There are Impaired mobility set down / pick up points available. There is only one member of staff at this station. There is level access to all the platforms and ramps are available. Lift available 06:15 - 20:00 Monday to Saturday, 09:00 - 21:00 Sunday, accessible route without having to use lift. There are waiting rooms and an ATM machine.
Trains from Bradford Forster Square are operated by Northern and Virgin Trains East Coast. Most trains are run by Northern; these are towards Leeds (on the Leeds-Bradford Line), Skipton (on the Airedale Line) and Ilkley (on the Wharfedale Line). During Monday to Saturday daytimes, trains operate every 30 minutes on each route. On weekday and Saturday evenings there are trains every hour to each of Skipton and Ilkley, but no trains run through to Leeds; instead a shuttle service runs between Bradford and Shipley, connecting there with Skipton – Leeds trains. Connections are also available at Shipley for longer distance trains to Morecambe and Carlisle, although direct services to both destinations sometimes operate if the Leeds route is closed for engineering work. On Sundays, trains run hourly between Bradford and Leeds all day (until the end of service) and every two hours to both Skipton and Ilkley. During off-peak hours most trains use platforms 1 (for Skipton) and 2 (Leeds and Ilkley) – platform 3 is mainly used during weekday peak periods and in the evening, though a spare set is usually stabled here between 09.00 and 16.00 each weekday. Virgin Trains East Coast operate one service each way per day via Leeds and the East Coast Main Line to London Kings Cross.
Local Taxis: Taxi rank at station.
Bus Connections: from South Road. 622 (Bradford Interchange to Eldwick), 626 (Bradford Interchange to Baildon), 653 (Bradford Interchange to Pool Bridge Corner), 680 (Bradford Interchange to Bingley Station) Live Next Bus. or Live Next Bus.