Pontefract Monkhill railway station is the busiest station in the town of Pontefract, West Yorkshire, England. The station is on the Pontefract Line managed by Northern but is also served by Grand Central Railway and is 14 miles (23 km) south east of Leeds.
The other stations in the town are Pontefract Tanshelf and Pontefract Baghill.
The lines to Leeds via Castleford and Wakefield Kirkgate separate immediately west of the station, which was opened by the Wakefield, Pontefract & Goole Railway (one of the constituent companies of the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway) in April 1848. The branch to Castleford (Cutsyke) & Methley Junction was completed the following year (on 1 December) and a pair of short curves were subsequently constructed from the eastern end to link up with the Swinton & Knottingley Joint line following its opening in the spring of 1879. One of these was used by passenger trains between Leeds & Pontefract Baghill until 1964, although it has since been lifted. The Wakefield to Goole passenger service was withdrawn on 2 January 1967 (although trains to and from Goole continued, running instead to Castleford & Leeds) but the line remained open to carry coal to the power stations to the east of Knottingley. Services on this route were subsequently restored in May 1992.
The station is unstaffed and no longer has permanent buildings other than standard waiting shelters. There are no ticket machines available, so all tickets must be bought prior to travel or on the train. There are digital information screens and timetable posters on both platforms, along with a customer help point on platform 1. Step-free access is only available from the car park to platform 1, as platform 2 (towards Knottingley and Goole) can only be reached via the footbridge (which has stairs).
There is an hourly service operated by Northern to both Leeds and Wakefield Kirkgate in one direction and two trains per hour to Knottingley in the other.
The Goole route is now served by three trains a day, two from Goole to Leeds and a single evening service towards Goole.
Sundays there is a two-hourly service to Leeds and Knottingley.
New Northern franchise operator Arriva Rail North plans to extend the Wakefield service through to Wakefield Westgate and on to Leeds (via Outwood) once the new franchise agreement comes into effect in April 2016. The Sunday service will also be improved to hourly, with trains running alternately via Castleford and Featherstone.
In January 2009, open access operator Grand Central was given the go ahead by the Office of Rail Regulation (ORR) to operate a service between Bradford Interchange and London Kings Cross which will call here (giving the station a regular service to the capital for the first time). Three daily paths in each direction were allocated for these new trains, although one morning northbound service used a different route between Doncaster & Wakefield and consequently did not call here.
The service is operated and branded by Grand Central, using refurbished Class 180 units, and started on 23 May 2010. However, according to a recent document submitted the ORR, only 15 passengers a day (on average) are making use of the new service.
The timetable has though been altered to serve Mirfield in addition to the other intermediate stops since December 2011, although only one of the three northbound trains actually serves both this station and Mirfield (the evening departure from Kings Cross is routed via Adwick & Fitzwilliam and so doesn't call here, whilst the morning one calls but omits the Mirfield stop).
As of 2015, there are 3 southbound services and 2 northbound services per day on weekdays. On Saturdays this is increased to 4 southbound services but reduced to 1 northbound service. There is no Grand Central service on Sundays.