NEWS ARCHIVE 2015-2017
The minutes of the 2017 Annual General Meeting, together
minutes of Committee Meeting no 730 (November) can be found
on Reports in the
protected section of the Members Page.
Mysteries from the
Among the vast collection of images in our archive
many that come without any information whatsoever and defy
efforts to identify subject, place or date. Here is a
taster. Others are appearing in a dedicated
I'm pleased to say that this location has now been
identified as Oldham
Central / Clegg St.
Many thanks for your contributions.
Anyone who is familiar with the erstwhile Millers
Station in the Peak District National Park will recognise
from the numerous photographs taken when the line was open.
This is where the Station Master used to live. From
spot which overlooks the entire station site he could keep a
on all that was happening at this extremely important
junction for Buxton on the Midland line from St Pancras to
this is a station that once boasted having its own Post
Nowadays of course, Millers Dale is just a stage on the
and the only wheeled traffic which passes through here is of
bicycle variety. The supervisor's abode is now in
condition and the Secret Garden Cafe in the grounds is open
food and beverages. A delightful place to stop and let
wander, as I discovered recently.
The Station Masters' house is the distinctive building
LOCAL RAIL AND METROLINK
by Andrew Macfarlane
Scheme to reopen the Skelton Junction to Glazebrook line
On 28th March a scheme was launched to reopen the
Junction to Glazebrook line as a heritage line with steam
£30 million scheme would include restoration of the
over the Manchester Ship Canal and is the brainchild of
Neil McArthur who was the founder of Talktalk. His trust
recent restoration of Irlam station building. The scheme
the reopening of West Timperley, Partington and Cadishead
further details remain to be confirmed. The section of line
Partington Junction and Glazebrook East Junction closed on
1982 and traffic on the Skelton Junction to Partington
ended on 10th October 1993.
Changes to the Wayfarer ticket
There are to be changes to the popular Wayfarer
from Sunday 21st May. The Concessionary version will
increase in price
from £6 to £8 and will now only be available to those with
National Concessionary Travel pass (otherwise known as a bus
this will exclude anyone under 63 and also anyone not from
(until 21st May anyone aged 60 or over could buy the
version). However holders of Disability ENCTS passes will
now be able
to buy the Concessionary version for the first time. The new
the other versions of the ticket are as follows: Adult £13,
persons no more than 2 of whom are adults) £26 and Child
In early May news broke that the Greater Manchester
Disposal Authority is to terminate its 25-year PFI contract
Viridor Laing, which still has 17 years to run. It is as yet
what effect (if any) this will have on the “bin liner”
traffic from the
four Refuse Transfer Stations in Greater Manchester
Bredbury, Brindle Heath and Dean Lane) to the Ineos Chlor
Waste power station at Runcorn, which uses the Mid Cheshire
Lifts at Altrincham Station
Good news is that the lifts at Altrincham station are
available until 2215 on Monday to Saturday (and later if you
ask at the
bus station office). They are available until 2000 on
Points at Navigation Road
Some of the rail in the points on the “heavy rail”
Navigation Road was replaced in the early hours of Sunday
but single line working over the down (Chester-bound) line
Navigation Road and Altrincham continues at the time of
Metrolink Second City Crossing is Open
Metrolink’s second city crossing (2CC in the jargon)
between St Peter’s Square and Exchange Square did open on
February. The Metrolink service from Manchester Airport is
extended to the centre platform at Manchester Victoria once
been commissioned, probably sometime over the summer. Work
has begun to
provide a new substation at Brooklands to boost the power
supply and so
enable the operation of more double trams. 10 spaces have
been lost in
the station car park as a consequence of this. There was a
possession in connection with this work on Sunday 14th May.
also carried out at the same time to remove the speed
the new crossover points at Sale in the inbound direction.
The main arch of the bridge across the Irwell was
into place on 21st February.
Northern and TransPennine Express plan to install
barriers across the end of platforms 1 to 3.
Industrial Action on Northern and Merseyrail
Three strikes by RMT members have so far taken place in a
the introduction of driver controlled operation (DCO). These
Monday 13th March, Saturday 8th April and Friday 28th April.
Department for Transport specified in the Northern franchise
of trains had to be under DCO by 2020. Both sides in the
adopted entrenched positions so it could be a long
Stockport Rail Day and Longsight Open
The Stockport Rail Day on Sunday 13th August has this
been cancelled, as has the proposed Longsight depot 175th
Open Day, which was to have taken place this summer.
Charlie Hulme has compiled a report of locomotives at
in Manchester on a day in March this year. Please follow the
view this excellent article.
Incredibly, it is over 53 years since the accident which
career of 'Jubilee' Class locomotive No 45695 Minotaur at Broadheath
signalbox near Altrincham. There is a short article on the
The Buxton Spa Express
A number of MLS members braved the elements on February 25th
photograph this steam hauled special which traversed Greater
and the Peak District. To appreciate their efforts,
please go to
Feature Articles > The Buxton Spa Express 2017.
The 2016 Annual General Meeting Report is now available on
Only section of the website together with the 2015 report.
Headquarters Upgrading Progress
Photographs taken by Dave
showing the work taking place at our Club HQ
LOCAL RAIL AND
by Andrew Macfarlane
We have seen steam through Altrincham this summer, but not
on the dates
originally planned. The Crewe-Piccadilly-Holyhead trains run
Railway Touring Company on 21st August and 4th September
diverted to run via Eccles and Warrington Bank Quay to
than via Altrincham. The reason for this is unclear. A train
run via Altrincham at short notice was a
hauled by 45690 Leander in bright sunshine on the early
Saturday 30th July. The train started at Liverpool Lime
Street and came
via Runcorn and the Hartford curve to Northwich, where the
to pick up passengers. There was then a water stop at
the train called at Altrincham to pick up before continuing
Junction, Northenden Junction and Cheadle Heath to reach the
Valley route. The return leg was diesel-hauled through
many members will know, one of the best sources of
short-notice changes to steam specials on the main line is
Arriva Trains Wales have restarted their Club 55 offer for
55 or over as from 1st September. Prices are the same as for
previous offer, £24 return from any station on their network
other station on their network. Senior or Disabled Persons’
holders get £1 off this fare. A higher fare (£29) applies on
This is a walk-on offer and tickets can be bought on the
day. A return
to Swansea enables outward travel via the Central Wales line
travel via Cardiff and Hereford. Break of journey is
ticket cannot be used before 0900 on Monday to Friday on
but this restriction does not apply on Saturdays or Sundays.
day for outward travel is Thursday 27th October. More
details can be
found here: http://www.arrivatrainswales.co.uk/55/Buy/.
Express is rumoured to be starting a Club 55 as from 19th
Off-peak rail fares in the TfGM area increased by 50p as
4th September. There is a very useful website at
lists all rail fares including through fares to Metrolink
you input a journey you have to scroll down to see the
Ticket barriers became operational on platforms 4 to 7 at
Piccadilly as from Tuesday 16th August. Rail replacement
depart from stand A in Altrincham bus station and not from
the car park
behind platform 4. The barrow crossing between platforms 3
and 4 at
Altrincham was taken out by 19th May. A bridge for
cyclists is to
be built across the Bridgewater Canal in Broadheath using
of the former railway bridge which carried the Lymm line
On freight, coal trains are again running through Altrincham
Fiddler’s Ferry Power Station. Freightliner is operating the
which began on 27th June, from the now-closed Ferrybridge C
Station in Yorkshire, which has a considerable stockpile of
new Knowsley (Kirkby) to Wilton (Teesside) flow of
domestic refuse has now started after a test run on 3rd June
train runs twice per day through
Turning to Metrolink, the 9-week engineering blockade at St
Square ended on time and the line and the station reopened
Sunday 28th August. The Eccles line reopened fully as from
date. The main all-day 7-days a week service from Altrincham
to Piccadilly station, operated by single trams. The
when the 6-minute frequency is in operation on Monday to
from Altrincham to Bury, operated by double trams. The East
line now has a tram every 6 minutes during the day on Monday
Saturday with trams running either to Shaw & Crompton or
Deansgate-Castlefield. However both services are operated by
trams so the overall capacity is still the same. The plan to
Airport line through to Deansgate-Castlefield was dropped
service continues to start and terminate at Cornbrook for
being. The Metrolink Passenger Information Displays
Timperley, Navigation Road and Altrincham are said to be
going live in
September. Seeing will be
The View from the Car Park
Exploring the photographic possibilities of the upper levels
of the new
NCP Stockport Station Car Park.
Photos and text supplied by Charlie Hulme.
A Class 323 EMU
from Platform 1. A few gaps are present in the mesh
which photography is possible. There are also large panoramic
each level in the lift towers which offer further scope
remain clean in the future. The one impedence which
be present though is the cats cradle of overhead wires and
Looking across the
carriage sidings to Edgeley: a view down Chatham Street
which forms the
spine of the area's grid layout of streets, which is
Stockport. Note the odd stepped down houses on King
West. The trees behind them mark the site of 'Daw
(demolished c. 1900), the residence of Henry Coppock,
Town Clerk, his wife and 12 children.
crosses the viaduct amid a forest of overhead line
is running on the Up Fast line, which was the original
Down line prior
to the widening of the viaduct.
Signalbox, with a backdrop of council flats.
Opposite the station
approach road stands the former Blue Bell Hotel, its
edifice typical of
Daniel Clifton's Royal Oak Brewery establishments.
It is now in
residential use but still proudly bears its name.
reveals what must surely be the original station building,
fanlight window, dating from before 1889. At this
viaduct was just double-track width. At
the bottom right of the photograph is Platform Zero, once
'white elephant', which came into use in 2008.
All photos taken on June 29th 2016.
This is a reminder that the position of Society Librarian is
The prime task of this post is the management and
administration of the
Library, which is open every Wednesday between 11.00am and
Regular back up cover is currently available.
There is no regular requirement for the Librarian to attend
bi-monthly meetings of the Committee.
For further information on this position please contact Nick
And A Vacancy Filled
At the last committee meeting, Ian Simpson was
the MLS Secretary.
We wish Ian well with his new duties.
Midsummer in the
These are interesting looking photos from our archives. The
date is the
22nd of June 1954 and the description for the first
states "Manchester Waterworks, the party at Torside". Note
the plume of
steam on the far side of the valley. The Woodhead Route
electric railway in this year.
photo: Hd Bowtell.
The caption for this photo is even more succinct - "Train and
buildings". Can anyone supply more details?
Buxton Diesel Depot.
The 1957-built DMU depot at Buxton, which was later used for
locos, is being demolished, to be completed by the end of
week. Not unexpected as it has been unused since
with locos now stabled at Peak Forest. Todays
always been shedded at Newton Heath (recently some 156s
The place will always be remembered along with the Class 104
which many of us travelled so very many times, and later
with the Class
37s and other locos to be seen there.
All things must pass, as they say.
photo ©JW Sutherland/MLS Collection.
Local Rail and Metrolink News.
by Andrew Macfarlane
A Customer Information System (CIS) screen was installed at
Road rail platform in the autumn and was in use by 27th
October. It is
inside the shelter and also makes announcements. Whilst its
installation is welcome, it can only be seen and heard by
passengers who are in the shelter (or walking past it). If
it is not
raining most passengers wait much further down the platform
trains stop so they can neither see nor hear the information
announcements are not loud enough to be heard along the
platform). The footbridge at Hale station was back in use
Christmas after a lengthy refurbishment.
The Cycle Hub is now open at Altrincham station (behind
platform 1). It
is a large covered shed where passengers can leave their
bikes. To be
able to do this you need to join a club at a cost of £10 per
Further details can be found at: http://cycling.tfgm.com/Pages/join-a-hub.aspx.
out of order on several occasions
since. They are available to be used 24 hours a day (a
security man is
currently on duty from 21.00 to 07.00 to oversee the use of
when the Northern station staff are not present). We hope
reliability problems can be overcome. TfGM has lifted its
overnight parking at some of its Metrolink car parks
Navigation Road (which can also be used by rail users),
Stretford. A three-month trial started on 4th December
can leave their cars overnight on Friday and Saturday only
the following day. Ticket barriers are to be installed
across the ends
of platforms 4 to 7 (the platforms used by Virgin Trains) at
Piccadilly. A World War One Memorial is due to be
platforms 10 and 11 at Piccadilly.
Following completion of the major work at Farnworth Tunnel,
train service resumed on the Manchester-Bolton line from
December. Clifton, Kearsley, Farnworth and Moses Gate
re-opened from that date. Northern had its full complement
of 20 class
319 electric trains (transferred from Thameslink) as from
the start of
the December 2015 timetable and the Liverpool Lime Street to
Bank Quay and the Manchester Piccadilly-Manchester Airport
services went over to class 319 operation from that
Displaced diesel trains are being used to strengthen other
services such as the 07.17 Piccadilly to Chester via
service, which is now booked to be formed of two class 142
go-ahead was given for the construction of the Ordsall Chord
October following a failed legal challenge by Consulting
Whitby but we understand that Mr Whitby is now mounting a
challenge. It has been announced that High Speed 2 will
reach Crewe in
2027 but the location of the station at Crewe remains
undecided (a site
at or near the present site or a site 2km south of the
at Basford Hall appear to be the contenders). An
announcement about the
final route of Phase 2 of HS2 to Manchester and Leeds, which
due in 2015, has been deferred to autumn 2016. Manchester
Football Ground Halt was closed temporarily for security
reasons in the
wake of the Stade de France bombings in Paris but re-opened
as from the
match on Saturday 23rd January.
Arriva will be taking over the Northern franchise as from
2016. Arriva Rail North will also be taking over a number of
from Trans-Pennine Express from that date including the
Airport-Blackpool North service and all trains to
from the Carnforth direction and all trains to Windermere.
franchise, which will still be branded as “Northern”,
includes a number
of service improvements. On the mid-Cheshire line, there
will be a
second train each hour between Piccadilly and Greenbank on
Saturday and also an hourly Sunday service between
Chester, both from December 2017. Hale and Altrincham will
be served by
the two trains an hour service but Navigation Road will
still only have
one train per hour in the off-peak. The class 323s are going
West Midlands but Arriva Northern will be getting a further
319 Thameslink units to replace them. 281 new vehicles are
from CAF of Spain for Arriva Rail North. The following
stations in Greater Manchester are due to be staffed under
franchise: Blackrod, Bryn, Flowery Field, Irlam, Mills Hill
Westhoughton. A total of 45 stations on Northern, which are
unstaffed, are due to be staffed and 54 other stations are
their staffing hours increased. Alex Hynes (who is
originally from Hale
and went to Altrincham Boys’ Grammar School) is to remain as
Director of the new franchise.
On freight, biomass traffic between Liverpool Docks and Drax
Station in Yorkshire is now running via Altrincham up to
five times a
day, hauled by GB Railfreight class 66s. The new wagons used
on some of
these trains have a distinctive blue livery. The train
cannot run via
Manchester Victoria (a more logical route) because a single
would not be able to haul the heavy train up Miles Platting
of Victoria). Also paths through Victoria are at a premium
empty biomass train goes that way in the night. The biomass
increase to as many as 10 trains each way per day later in
trains are routed from Liverpool via Earlestown and
Quay, then via the Hartford curve to join the Mid Cheshire
Hartford CLC Junction, then via Northwich, Altrincham,
Denton Junction, Ashton Moss North Junction, the Brewery
Rochdale and the Calder Valley route to Yorkshire (the
route has easier gradients for freight and there are few if
paths over the Diggle route during the day). Route learning
taking place with DB Schenker locomotives for a new flow of
refuse from Knowsley (Kirkby) to Wilton in the North East.
is due to start in April (two trains per day) and will be
Wigan, Warrington Bank Quay, Hartford curve, Northwich,
Stockport, Denton, Ashton Moss North Junction, Brewery curve
Calder valley route to Yorkshire.
There is a new local rate telephone number, 0161 244 1000,
enquiries about public transport in Greater Manchester. This
used for enquiries about bus, rail and tram times and for
bus and tram
fares (not rail fares). The opening hours of this service
Monday to Friday and 0800-2000 Saturday and Sunday. There is
in the December 2015 pocket timetable guide 17 and on the
train departure posters at stations. The train shown as
Altrincham to Stockport at 08.35 in fact departs at 08.33.
departs from Navigation Road at 08.35 and not at 08.37 as
On Metrolink, the new crossover at Sale was installed as
the weekend of 17/18 October but it is not yet in use. A new
recently opened at Sale in the former station building on
Altrincham-bound platform. The new Metrolink line between
Victoria and Exchange Square, the first section of the
Crossing, opened on Sunday 6th December. It is served by a
from Shaw operating every 12 minutes between 07.30 and 20.00
to Friday (09.00 to 18.00 on Saturdays) to provide a
service on the Oldham line between Shaw and Victoria during
periods. On Sundays the Rochdale-Ashton service has been
09.00 and 17.00 so that there are separate Rochdale-Exchange
Victoria-Ashton services. The service from Altrincham now
to Etihad Campus on Sundays as well as on Monday to Saturday
(previously the Sunday service terminated at Piccadilly
shortlist of four bidders has been announced for the new
operating concession beginning in 2017. These are Keolis
Express, Transdev and the current operators RATP Dev Ltd.
Information Displays (PIDs) on the Metrolink platforms at
Navigation Road and Altrincham are now due to be brought
during the second quarter of 2016 (they were installed in
2009!). The section of Metrolink between Deansgate Junction
Altrincham will retain its existing signalling controlled by
Rail. The TMS (Tram Management System) signalling at
Victoria is due to be fully commissioned in April 2016. All
of the old
Metrolink signalling equipment including signals and
is due to be removed by the first quarter of 2017. Metrolink
can still be viewed by going onto the TfGM website and
Traveline North West Journey Planner here:
You now need to put either “A”, “B” or “C” etc in the box
Number” rather than “MET1”, “MET2” or “MET3” etc. The
have been changed to co-incide with the letter codes used on
Metrolink route map. There will be another complete closure
Peters Square in July and August 2016 to re-instate double
working and for the stop to be re-opened on its new site.
City Crossing (2CC in the jargon) between St Peter’s Square
Exchange Square is due to open in 2017. It is not yet clear
future Metrolink service pattern will be.
Stockport Railway Station
Stockport Council has launched a Masterplan
for a new station layout which will include two modern
and a new glass bridge connecting all of the platforms.
This will enable the existing underpass to become a public
Station Road Closure.
in place for passengers
For reports of the 2015 AGM, follow
From 1st April 2016 Northern Rail's role in providing
services in the north west of England will be placed in the
Arriva Trains North. Trans Pennine Express retains its
subject to some adjustments to its service map, for example
Manchester Airport to Blackpool trains will now be
transferred to the
new Northern franchise.
A Membership Milestone.
The total number of members of the Manchester Locomotive
now reached 191.
This is the highest number in its entire 80 year history,
exceeding the previous record set in the 'halycon' year of
Land to be set aside for a new Middlewich Station.
Please use the link below for an interesting article on the
re-open Middlewich Station.
An Opportunity to Buy a Work of Art.
Our member Martin Dobson (one of the regular volunteers
Wednesday) is also a member of the prestigious 'Guild of
Artists'. Amongst his works of art is this highly
illustration of 6200 'The Princess Royal'. This was
as a limited edition print and Martin, who still has a few
of, is prepared to offer a copy for the much reduced price
of £10 to
MLS MEMBERS ONLY on a first come - first served basis.
For those who wish to view first, a framed copy adorns
You can contact Martin direct by email to reserve your
His address is:
Photo Room is Dedicated to Alan Gilbert
The late Mr Alan Gilbert's sister Shirley cuts the
after unveiling the new nameplate on the door of the
archive room named in his memory. This is a fitting tribute
to Alan as
he was an accomplished and prolific photographer throughout
photos by Ken Millward
A Railway Puzzle.
This photograph is believed to be of a very early MMRS
Model Railway Society) outing. It has also been suggested
that a couple
of these people could also be Manchester Locomotive Society
Does anyone have any idea who any of these gentlemen are?
... and through Woodsmoor station after reversal at Heaton
led by 66 165.
The return working ran via Chinley, Northenden and
Middlewich. 66 165
was captured at 17:55 in sylvan surroundings alongside
between Hazel Grove and Cheadle Junction. Pictures by Charlie
For anyone interested in the freight movements along the
to Crewe corridor, please click on the link below for the
Working Timetable. It is always a good idea to consult the
Trains website beforehand (see link on the left) as freight
can be notorious for running late/early/not at all!
More Loco-Hauled News
The new timetable from December 15th features a loco-hauled
the Manchester to North Wales line on Monday to Fridays
1D51 07.11 Crewe -
1H82 07.38 Chester
Manchester Piccadilly arr.
Piccadilly - Holyhead arr. 12.36
1H89 13.01 Holyhead
Manchester Piccadilly arr. 15.51
Piccadilly - Llandudno arr. 19.03
Llandudno - Crewe
The stock - Class 67 loco, four Mk3 coaches, and a Driving
- spend the night at Arriva's LNWR works at Crewe. At
train lies over in the 'excursion platform' line at
The 09.50 from Manchester seems like a revival of the
'Irish Mancunian' of the 1990's.
On Friday 19th December 67001 arrives at Manchester
Piccadilly with the
13.01 service from Holyhead.
MLS Scottish trip
During the cataloguing of the Harold Bowtell Collection this
interesting photograph came to light. It was taken at
Glasgow, on the 29th of May 1953 just a few days before the
Balornock is where St. Rollox shed (65B) was situated which
explains their presence here.
No doubt members will be able to put names to many of these
People identified so far include: Neville
the far left with the camera, then Alan Brown who is sixth
left. Standing next to him to the right is Jack Lord and in
Jack is Alan Gilbert. The gentleman smoking the pipe on the
right is Harry Townley.
This year is the 80th anniversary of the formation of the
Locomotive Society. To help commemorate this significant
are asking if anyone has any photographs of either the
Central or Sale clubrooms that they would be kind enough to
us. If you can help please contact Chris Tasker or Paul
Members' contributions welcome
Last update January 2018