Even though Healey Mills Traction Depot near Wakefield in northern England officially closed in 1987, an impressive assortment of abandoned trains and railway buildings continue to haunt the forgotten site. Extensive sidings were present by the 1920s, and today’s eerie scene is a far cry from 1963 when Healey Mills was modified to handle 4,000 wagons each day. Despite the infrastructure, Healey’s only public transport service by 2011 was the number 102 bus from Wakefield to Ossett.
The Healey Mills Sidings are a sad reflection of Britain’s great railway past. But the overgrown tracks and forlorn diesel engines have captured the attention of urban explorers intent on documenting their decay in atmospheric images. Abandoned railway stations and tracks are fascinating in their own right, but like this post-Soviet aircraft graveyard discovered on a Far East Russian air base, the presence of defunct machines fuels the imagination and helps bring abandoned places to life.
Despite the yard’s closure 25 years ago, these rusting Class 56 locomotives are a more recent addition. Operated latterly by English, Welsh and Scottish Railway (EWS), they were likely stored here from 2004 after the company withdrew most of the fleet. Quietly awaiting their fate – most likely the breaker – they’ve become the subject of urban exploration, captured by the likes of Urban Outlaw and Phill.d, and featured on sites such as Derelict Places. Be sure to check out the history of Healey Mills here.