1968 was a significant year for the railways; steam traction came to an end, and Parliament passed the 1968 Transport Act. The demise of steam meant more new or refurbished diesel trains, while the Transport Act introduced the concept of locally subsidised services. Both of these impacted heavily on the Leeds/Bradford area, especially when the West Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive began to financially support local 'Metro' lines from 1976 onwards. The first major developments were at Bradford, where the two main terminal stations were demolished and replaced by smaller versions; Exchange in 1972 and Forster Square in 1990. In Leeds, the old Central station had closed in 1967, its trains being diverted into City station newly rebuilt to accommodate these. Between 1988-95, when passenger numbers spiralled, four routes from Leeds were electrified: Skipton, llkley, Bradford (Forster Square) and Doncaster. By the end of the 1990s, Leeds station was at capacity and was rebuilt again between 2000 and 2002, for the second time in thirty-five years!
Much of this book is therefore devoted to the transformations of these major stations, as well as Shipley, the busy station that serves Leeds, Bradford, Skipton and Ilkley. Shipley remained un-modemised for many years, and the plethora of changes made here since 1968, following the growth in commuter traffic to Leeds, is also included. Due largely to the efforts of the WYPTE, several new stations have been added to the Metro system twenty-four currently, but more are likely. With two new franchises starting in April 2016, further developments are planned, including more trains, better frequencies, faster services and more electrification! The book is profusely illustrated with 300 of the author's colour photos, which cover the entire period 1968-2015