If members have any photographs (like the ones below), news items, gossip, or articles that they think would be of interest to other members, why not get them published here?  Simply email them to:

Pictures should be in jpg format as email attachments: text can be a simple email or an attached Word document. All contributions will be fully credited.


Monday meetings start at 1.00pm, ending at 3.00pm.

Friday meetings start at 7.30 pm, ending promptly at 9.15 pm.

Wednesday meetings start at 1.00 pm, ending at 2.45


Useful Links:

Data Protection Notice

Members'  personal data will be used by the Manchester Locomotive Society only for the purposes of administering the Society and informing you of its activities.  The Society will not disclose any personal information to any third parties, except where required by law, without your express consent.  By joining the Society, you consent to receiving the Mancunian, notices of General Meetings, occasional information regarding special events or outings and other information of legitimate interest to members.  Should you wish to change the data we hold for you or opt out of receiving the Society publications or notices, please inform the Membership Secretary in writing.


Tornado Visits the North West

Pacific no 60163 'Tornado' was in charge of 1Z63NC, a West Coast Railway charter from Darlington North Road to Liverpool Lime Street on Saturday September 19th.  As expected, some of our members turned out to record the occasion on film.

Photo: Andrew Macfarlane
The special passes through Manchester Victoria station.

Photo: John Tate
Approaching Rindle Lane Crossing, Astley at 12.34.

Photo: John Sloane
Passing through Earlstown.

Photo: John Sloane
Admirers gather on Lostock Hall platform.  Is the gentleman taking a low shot or is he on his knees in awe?

Photo: John Sloane
This fine photograph, taken at Standish, highlights the locomotive's superb lines.

Bury Diesels - Green and Blue.   Photos by John Tate

First the green - Classes 40, 25, 47, 24, and a glimpse of diesel-hydraulic Class 14

-and then the blue.  English Electric Type 4 and 3.  Photos taken by John Tate on September 20th 2020 at an organised photographic day event.

Local News Items



The free WiFi on Metrolink has ended to save £1.3 million.  Tram frequency was increased to every 10 minutes during the day as from Monday 22nd June.  Trams run every 20 minutes in the evenings and on Sundays.


Northern began using class 142 Pacers again as from Monday 6th July.  They only operate coupled to a "compliant" unit on diagrams which take in Kirkby,  Rochdale, Rose Hill Marple, New Mills Central and Sheffield. 
A plan to use 142s on their own on the Southport to Alderley Edge/Stalybridge service was dropped.  Northern have permission to also use class 144 Pacers in service but they are not currently doing so.

Possible new station in Cheadle.

A bid for funding for a new station in Cheadle was announced on the 15th July.  The previous station on the LNWR line in Cheadle closed in 1917.

New freight flows from North Wales.

The new freight flow of slate waste from Llandudno Junction yard will run to Earles Sidings. 
The new stone traffic from the reopened sidings at Penmaenmawr will be operated by GBRf and will run to Theale.

Thanks to Andrew Macfarlane for these news items.

A most unusual event on the evening of 27 July  was the appearance, for reasons unkown, of Freightliner electric  loco 86 607 reversing at Hazel Grove, as part of an intinerary which began and ended at Freightliner's depot at Basford Hall, Crewe. Is this a genuine 'first'? Picture by Peter Cross.

Committee Meeting No 746 (July) Minutes

Because of the social distancing and travel restrictions required in view of the current Covid 19 pandemic, it is not possible to hold a Committee Meeting at present. In order to ensure continuity of MLS Committee business, the minutes report has been produced based on email submissions by Society officers and on-line discussion by MLS Committee members.

The minutes can be found in the Members Only password protected area

May News Items  by Andrew Macfarlane

Metrolink.  From 6th April services were reduced to operate every 20 minutes due to the virus. They were increased back to every 12 minutes from 26th May (still every 20 minutes on Sundays).

The Government recently announced funding for a feasibility study into reopening the Rochdale-Heywood-Bury line. Do they know that part of that is part of the East Lancashire Railway? Also it is not clear how this fits in with the TfGM plan for tram-train on this corridor.

Class 70s.  Freightliner stored all of their examples in mid-April. The Greater Manchester binliner trains have reverted to class 66 haulage.

Saver Half Single.  Avanti West Coast have withdrawn this useful ticket type from the start of the May fares change. The ticket was available online only for one leg of a journey if an advance purchase single had been bought for one leg and no advance ticket was available for the other leg.

Adswood Spur.  Railfuture has published a report advocating a new freight terminal at Carrington (to replace Trafford Park) to take freight away from the Castlefield corridor. They also propose a spur from the former Midland line at Adswood across the site of Adswood Tip to join the main line at Cheadle Hulme

Note: Password Change

On the evening of Sunday 12 April the password for access to the Members-only section of the website will change (the username remains the same). Members of the MLS email group have been notified of the new password; if you are an MLS member not in the email group, or otherwise have not received notification, email:

so we can confirm your membership and send you the password. We recommend that members join the email group, which helps to keep the Society together during these difficult times. If you wish to join the email group, mention this in your email and we will send you an invitation.

April News - from Andrew Macfarlane

The Trafford Centre Metrolink line opened as planned on Sunday 22nd March (despite the virus). The initial service is a 12-minute frequency shuttle from Cornbrook. Metrolink services were reduced to a 12-minute frequency across the system (with the Altrincham-Bury service withdrawn) as from Monday 23 March due to reduced demand because of the virus (and also because fewer staff were available). Where possible services have been formed of double trams to enable social distancing to take place. The service will be further reduced to every 20 minutes from Monday 6th April.

The Northern franchise was taken into public ownership as from 1st March. Nick Donovan is the new Managing Director of Northern. He was previously MD of Transpennine Express. Experienced railwayman Robin Gisby is Chairman of the new company Northern Trains Limited.

Since February Freightliner have been using class 70 locomotives on the Greater Manchester binliner trains  The Dean Lane refuse transfer station at Newton Heath is currently being rebuilt and rail traffic from there has temporarily ceased.

The last four Northern class 142 Pacers have been withdrawn and are currently parked at Newton Heath depot. Plans for a farewell tour to the Northern class 142s have been cancelled due to the virus.

In March it was announced that a feasibility study is to be carried out into the possible reopening of the Skelton Junction to Glazebrook line.

Freight Variety - by Charlie Hulme

It's perhaps an interesting fact that in March 2020 the three main types of freight loco - classes 60, 66 and 70 - can be seen in action in the Stockport area. These three views were taken at Stockport station before the current crisis.

On 11 March, the 09:54 from Cemex, Peak Forest to Hope Street, Salford was powered by 66 780 'Cemex Express' in its special livery, named by Peter Waterman in June 2019. The wagons behind  the locomotive are former coal hoppers shortened for limestone usage by cutting out the centre section. The company name 'Cemex' is a clue that Dove Holes quarry is now owned by a multinational based in Mexico.

Freightliner hold the contract for Greater Manchester Waste trains, which currently run to the Runcorn Folly Lane branch where there is access to an 'energy for waste' plant.These have been hauled by Class 66s in recent times, but in February Class 70s took over.Seen at lunchtime on 11 March was 70 010 with the 11:12 empty containers from Runcorn to Brindle Heath waste terminal in Salford. Until February some of the wagons would have been detached at Brindle Heath and tripped to Dean Lane waste terminal in Newton Heath, but this has ceased, as the Dean lane building is being demolished for rebuilding in another form. The last train to enter the sidings was a railtour on 7 March.

Another regular flow is of 'biomass' (wood pellets) from Liverpool Docks to Drax power station. The loaded trains take an indirect route via the Mid-Cheshire line and Stockport to avoid the climb of Miles Platting bank. The empties return via Rochdale, Manchester Victoria and Eccles. The wagons are a special design to carry a maximum load of the relatively light material. GB Railfreight is the hauler, using Class 60 locos purchased from Colas, such as 60 096 'Impetus', seen on 14 March approaching Heaton Norris Junction where it will take the route towards Guide Bridge. The 'unofficial' names on these locos reference celebrity marine tugboats, 'tug' being an enthusiasts' nickname for the Class 60.

News Items for the Mancunian   by Andrew Macfarlane

Crewe Heritage Centre News

Metrolink tram no. 1023 was due to be moved from Trafford depot to the Crewe Heritage Centre by Allelys Heavy Haulage (as featured on Train Truckers on Yesterday channel) on Monday 3rd February. Tram 1007 is due to be moved from Trafford depot to Rigby Road depot in Blackpool. Both trams are earmarked for eventual transfer to the Heaton Park Tramway.  

Metrolink Trafford Park Line

It has been announced that the line is due to open in April. The initial service will be from Cornbrook to the Trafford Centre.  This will eventually be extended to become a service from Crumpsall (where a new bay platform has been constructed) to the Trafford Centre.  It has recently been announced that this line will now open on Sunday March 22nd.

Metrolink Extension to Stockport

On 22nd January it was announced that Stockport Council and Transport for Greater Manchester are to request between £500m and £1bn from the Government to deliver an extension of the Metrolink line from East Didsbury to Stockport town centre. The Government has previously signalled its support in principle for the extension of the network. TfGM and the council have already paved the way for trams to integrate with other transport networks in Stockport; the £120m redevelopment of Stockport Interchange due to start on site this year factors in a Metrolink route and stop, and is backed by £40m of Government Growth Fund money. Stockport Council and TfGM will now work up a business case for the Metrolink extension, which is set to cost between £500m and £1bn, and will also request Government grant the necessary transport planning powers at the same time as the funding. If funding is granted, a start on site could begin by 2025. 

Wayfarer Ticket Price increase
The GM Wayfarer ticket increased in price from 2nd January to adult £14.40, group (up to 4 people no more than 2 of whom are adults) £28.80, English National Concessionary pass holders £9.50 and children (aged 5 to 15) £7.20.

Metrolink fares increased by an average of 2.2% as from 26th January. Single fares remained unchanged.

Northern’s  class 323 electric trains have been maintained at the Trans-Pennine Express Ardwick depot since the December 2019 timetable change.

Drivers on Northern who are members of ASLEF have voted to accept a new deal on Sunday working and Sunday services were back to normal as from Sunday 26th January.

Demolition of Erecting Shop at Horwich Works

(From the Bolton News website)
Visitors were recently given the last chance to look around the Horwich Locomotive Works erecting shop, of the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway, which turned the sleepy village into the heart of the first Northern Powerhouse. Demolition is imminent at the site to make way for a 1,700-home development. Horwichers, heritage enthusiasts and councillors alike seized the opportunity to see a part of the town’s heritage for the last time. The Horwich Loco Works erecting shop is due to be demolished to make way for a spine road which is “crucial” to the development and regeneration of the site. Talks are currently underway to move the first locomotive built at Horwich Locomotive Works, No.1008, to the site. And it might be joined by another well-known engine, the miniature works engine ‘Wren’.

New Look Pendolino

Pendolino No 390 155 in the new Avanti West Coast livery calls at Stockport on January 8th while forming a service to Manchester Piccadilly.
Photograph by Charlie Hulme

Older items can be found on the 2019 Archive page

Members' contributions welcome at:

Page updated September 20th 2020