Trial by Camera - The Manchester Area in
by Pete Bridge
In the 1970s I worked on the ninth floor of Rail House,
Manchester in the Permanent Way Office of the Divisional
Civil Engineer. One of my colleagues was a guy who took up
various hobbies with enthusiasm and always bought the best
equipment. Unfortunately his enthusiasm did not last for
very long and he would then sell his equipment to fund his
new passion. In the mid 70s he took up photography, but as
usual, after a time, he wanted to sell his equipment and so
the following photographs were taken by me to try out the
camera. Iím afraid I canít remember the make of the camera,
except that it was an SLR fitted with a standard lens.
The first three photographs were taken at Adlington Station
on the line to Macclesfield and show the typical expresses
of the time with electric motive power and a mixture of Mk
1, 2 and 3 coaches. The waiting room shown in the
upper picture was demolished not long afterwards.
The reason for being at Adlington was to survey the existing
Up line track in order to replace the jointed track with new
track comprising of concrete sleepers and continuous welded
rail. The ballast was also replaced, the work being carried
out in a series of Sunday Possessions.
An interesting aside concerning this particular job was the
fact the some time after the work had finished, I received a
letter in the office from one of the local residents. His
letter thanked us for doing the work as the passage of
trains was now considerably quieter than before and if we
would like to pop in for a drink, when we were in the area,
we would be very welcome. Unfortunately someone had the
forethought to remove the address!
The next four photographs were taken at Stockport Edgeley
looking north. They were all taken from the same spot, at
the end of platform 1/2. Above is the train from
Stalybridge, formed of a Class 100 'Gloucester' DMU, coming
off the Up fast and into the bay between Platforms 3 and 4
Electric locomotive 86 033 on a passenger train
leaving for Manchester on the Down Fast. 86 033 later became
86 433 and 86 633 before being withdrawn by Freightliner in
2012 and scrapped.
The photograph below shows a Class 304 (AM4) leaving
Stockport on the Down Slow. The unit still has its original
four coaches, with a first class section. The train is
probably an Alderley Edge to Oxford Road service. These EMUs
were notorious for a bouncy ride - particularly if you were
sitting on the long seat at the end of the coach.
The fourth photograph at Stockport is a Class 310 (AM10) EMU
310 084 coming off the Up slow into platform 1 on a
train to Alderley Edge. Built for the lines around
London and Manchester, 310s sometimes appeared in the
Manchester area at that period,
Manchester Piccadilly, just after the arrival of the
daily Boat Train from Harwich Parkeston Quay. The
locomotive, 'Peak' 45 055 Royal Corps of
Transport, is about to run round its train, which is
in platform 5, the only one at Piccadilly with a release
crossover, before starting back for Harwich. For many
years this train ran via the Woodhead route, but when that
was closed to passengers from January 1970 it was re-routed
via the Hope Valley line and Marple, although occasional
diversions used the Woodhead route until it closed
completely in 1981. 45 055 was re-numbered from 84 in
1975 and withdrawn in 1985.
This photograph shows a Class 47 in Dewsnap sidings.
The sidings here were used by the District Engineer and by
his successor the Divisional Civil Engineer at Manchester.
The sidings were also the site of a 'prefab' depot used for
building up track panels for relaying. The wagons in the
front of the photo are 'Salmon' wagons used to carry the
prefabricated track. They were loaded five panels high for
wooden sleepers and four-high if concrete sleepers were
The final picture shows a class 47 on a Merry-Go-Round coal
train to Fiddlers Ferry passing the remains of Cheadle (CLC)
station, closed in 1964. The line remains today as a single
track freight line, with the station building converted to
the 'Cheshire Line' pub and the goods yard houses the Golden
Days garden centre.
Last update January 2017. Comments