Since the new railway timetable was introduced in May 2019, Filey station has fifteen trains between Scarborough and Hull (and vice versa), that represents the best train service in its 173 year history.
Filey is fortunate to have, what has been descried as, one of the ‘best surviving examples’ of the small town railway station in Britain. The station was designed by George Townsend Andrews. The dominant feature is the 200 feet long train shed.
Along with Beverley, it’s a rare survivor. Indeed, in 1988 British Rail applied for permission to demolish Filey’s station roof, but protected by its Grade II* listed status, the application was rejected. The threat turned into the saviour, as a collaboration of British Rail, heritage bodies, Filey Town Council and Scarborough Borough Council, funded a reconstruction of the roof at a cost of £450,000.
Filey joined the rail network on 5 October 1846 when the section between Seamer and Filey was officially opened. Construction of the line was relatively straight forward, there were no bridges required, few earthworks and only eight level crossings. Aside from the station at Filey, two others were provided at Cayton and Gristhorpe.
The opening day was a grand affair, with a five carriage train departing from York containing: the chairman of the York and North Midland Railway, George Hudson; William Richardson the Lord Mayor of York; the MP for York, Sir John Lowther, the 2nd Baronet of Swillington; and Sir Frederick Trench, MP for Scarborough.
Upon arrival at Filey at 1pm, a procession took place towards Ravine Villa, the residence of the brewer Henry Bentley. The villa stood in what is today the Glen Gardens, so it is probable that the procession came through the town and along The Crescent. A dinner party for 120 guests was held, they were split into three parties, one in the dining room, the second in the breakfast room and the third, and by far the largest, on the lawn with views overlooking the sea. The diners worked their way through ten pheasants, twelve grouse, thirty-two partridges, twelve turkey’s, four guinea foul, four hams, five tongues, all followed by pastries, jellies and fruit. The party on the lawn also had a roast leg of beef weighing in at 145 pounds! Afterwards they promenaded in the grounds of Ravine Villa before taking the train back to York at 5pm.
Constructing the section from Filey to Bridlington provided a much greater engineering challenge, passing as it does through part of the Yorkshire Wolds. By contrast to the section between Seamer and Filey, the extension to Bridlington had eighteen brick bridges some and two large girder bridges. There were extensive earthworks west of Hunmanby and a high embankment on the approach to Bridlington. It opened to traffic on 20 October 1847; a section of line from Hull to Bridlington had opened the previous year and thus the through route was created between Scarborough and Hull.