Brighouse railway station was first opened on 5 October 1840, as a main line station operated by the Manchester and Leeds Railway. The station was initially known as Brighouse for Bradford, as no stations had yet been built in Bradford itself. Similarly, Elland station served Halifax, and Huddersfield was served by the station at Cooper Bridge.
In 1847 Brighouse station came under the control of the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway, when the M&L was incorporated into that company. The station remained under L&Y operation until it was incorporated into the London, Midland and Scottish Railway in 1923. The station's importance had gradually declined because other lines connecting Manchester and Leeds were built via Halifax and Huddersfield, bypassing Brighouse.
Brighouse station passed into British Railways ownership upon nationalisation in 1948, and was operated as part of the North Eastern Region. The decline in passenger numbers continued, and the station was eventually closed by British Rail on 5 January 1970, remaining closed for thirty years. The line remained open throughout that time as a freight-only one, but it was also used as a diversionary route for passenger trains when other lines were closed.
Brighouse station reopened on Sunday 28 May 2000. It also serves the town of Elland some 2 miles (3 km) away. Plans for a station in Elland to open at the same time as Brighouse were cancelled due to lack of funds. These plans have recently been resurrected and proposals are being put together to open a new station at Elland.
On opening the station was served by one train per hour running to Leeds via Halifax and Bradford, and one train per hour in the other direction to Huddersfield. Trains called every two hours on Sundays.
In December 2008, the service was supplemented by an hourly Leeds - Dewsbury - Hebden Bridge - Manchester Victoria stopping service (Monday - Saturday daytime only, no late evening or Sunday service). This provided a considerable service improvement providing both a twice-hourly frequency for journeys to/from Leeds and a reduction in journey time taking only 35 minutes to travel to Leeds via Dewsbury rather than 50 minutes via Halifax. Even without this important improvement in services, usage of the station has increased year on year since the reopening. Some services from Leeds terminate at Brighouse and start back from here. In 2018 an additional service was added which went via Brighouse to Manchester and onto Southport.
In January 2009, Grand Central had their application for train paths to run a Bradford Interchange (via Halifax) to London service accepted by the Office of Rail Regulation. This service commenced on 23 May 2010. Now there are four direct return services per day to London King's Cross via Wakefield Kirkgate and Doncaster, including Sundays.

In May 2018, the Sunday service from Leeds to Huddersfield via Brighouse was doubled in frequency to one per hour in each direction.
As of May 2018 Brighouse is regularly served by two trains per hour to Leeds, one train per hour to Huddersfield and one train per hour to Southport via Hebden Bridge and Manchester Victoria.
The Leeds service includes a faster journey via Dewsbury and a slower journey via Halifax and Bradford Interchange.
On Sundays there is one train per hour to Leeds (via Halifax and Bradford) and one train per hour to Huddersfield, where passengers can change for services to Manchester.
In addition to the regular service pattern,
The station has two platforms. Platform 1: served by services towards Huddersfield and Leeds (via Dewsbury).

July 2018

Platform 2: served by services towards Manchester Victoria, and Leeds (via Halifax and Bradford Interchange).

July 2018

Northern and Metro secured joint funding from the Department for Transport's Access for All – Small Schemes initiative to provide a new Customer Information System at the station.
New LCD style customer information screens with real-time information have been installed on both platforms linked into an improved public address system providing accurate, reliable audio/visual train running information to passengers.
In addition; Northern has announced plans to replace the station's HelpPoint intercom system with a more updated reliable model. This will enable passengers to speak to a member of staff in Northern's control centre for information or to summon assistance in emergency situations. In the near future a ticket machine will be installed on each platform.

In 2014 the station was adopted by the Friends of Brighouse Station.

A photograph of some of the committee, first sponsors, local councillors and MP.

In 2018 the platforms were extended to accommodate new trains which would be 5 carriages long.

In 2022 the fencing under the bridge on platform 1 was moved back to create a dry waiting area although it still can be very cold.

In 2023, in a partnership with Friends of Brighouse Station and Northern, students from Calderdale Collage designed and constructed two murals for both platforms showing a 'modern view' of special places in Brighouse.