page updated
5 October 2010

Oldham Loop Line Tour, 29 September 2009

Network Rail Sectional Appendix route designation NW7019; Down direction is from Thorpes Bridge Junction to Rochdale East Junction.

Engineers' Line Reference (ELR) MPR2 Thorpes Bridge Junction to Werneth Junction; datum Manchester Victoria.

Engineers' Line Reference (ELR) MPR3 Werneth Junction to Rochdale East Junction; datum Manchester Victoria.

Signalling Record Society RailRef LY003

This tour was carried out by road during the last Sunday morning prior to closure of the line for conversion to Manchester Metro. The objective of the tour was to record something of the line's infrastructure - stations, bridges, signalling - whilst it was still in use. For once the weather was fine. I left home early and the first picture was taken at 07:30; and the last at 14:31.

At all locations there was evidence of past neglect of the infrastructure, partially from Sir Peter Parker's “Crumbling Edges of Quality” in BR days, division of responsibility between BR and the PTE who had been given the responsibility of funding much of the provision of facilities, and finally the split at privatisation whereby the train operator leased the minimum amount essential for their business and ignored the rest. Railtrack did spend some money in catching up arrears of work but the PTE areas seem to have missed out on this because of the PTE responsibility to fund the work. Yes, the PTEs did spend some money but the effect here was largely to 'tart up' the decay rather than really make the premises into a pleasant environment. As ever, subsequent maintenance of the 'tarted up' premises was neglected, allowing vegetation to take over and add to the overall impression of neglect. This will be evident from some of the pictures! Network Rail followed the party line and seem to have made little difference beyond plastic windows in the signal boxes.

The change from industrial to residential use of land was also evident at a number of locations and had led to disappearance of some bridges as evidenced by missing numbers in the sequence and reconstruction of others for pedestrian only use. Of course, some bridge numbers may have been present (such as those over streams and culverts) but omitted from the records inspected.

The tour has been split across several pages as the large number of pictures could otherwise give rise to unaccceptable page download times. Click on the links below to dive in.

I started at Dean Lane and went via Oldham to Rochdale visiting all the stations and all the publicly accessible bridges I could along the way. My start point for the list of locations was a mix of the Railway Track Diagrams (Quail, volume 4) and the Route Learning Diagrams of First North Western. Coordinates are from Google Earth. This gave an infrastructure list to target and the list has been added to post visit. Links are provided to the picture pages.

Mileage Coordinates Location Comments
2m20c N53.502822
W2.193454
Thorpes Bridge Junction approximate middle of junction points and crossings
2m21c N53.502837
W2.193212
estimated
Siding connection to Quick Mix Concrete Co, up side, included in Quail 1990 but gone by date of survey.
2m26c N53.503117
W2.192288
Siding connection to Newton Heath TMD, down side.
2m30c N53.503308
W2.190403
Signal MN904 up line.
N53.504082
W2.184656
Dean Street overbridge bridge no.2
2m54c N53.504215
W2.183724
Dean Lane station missing bridge no.3 was probably the station footbridge.
N53.504276
W2.183299
Signals MN903 & MN901 MN903 down line, MN901 up line to down line or GMC siding.
2m58c N53.504409
W2.182156
Trailing Crossover
N53.504505
W2.181457
Reliance Street overbridge bridge no.4
2m62c N53.504537
W2.181287
Dean Lane Yard entrance yard occupied by Greater Manchester Waste plc (GMC Siding).
N53.504646
W2.180725
MN906 signal from GMC siding to up line
N53.504831
W2.179157
Subway bridge no.5, site of
N53.505250
W2.177452
MN905 signal from GMC siding to down line
2m78c N53.505302
W2.176835
Dean Lane Yard exit
N53.505340
W2.176586
Morton Street overbridge bridge no.6
N53.505693
W2.175092
Mill Lane overbridge bridge no.7
N53.505803
W2.174632
Mill Street overbridge bridge no.8
N53.506305
W2.172825
Footbridge bridge no.9, wide enough to have been a road bridge
N53.506901
W2.170997
presumed
MN907BR signal down line in front of bridge 10.
N53.506972
W2.170704
overbridge bridge no.10, access to Lancaster Sports & Social Club and other sports facilities
N53.507152
W2.170213
Broadway overbridge A663 bridge no.11
N53.507765
W2.168698
MN907 signal down line in front of bridge 12.
N53.507790
W2.168562
Hardman Street overbridge bridge no.12. Blocked off to motor traffic.
N53.508084
W2.167840
Hulton Street overbridge bridge no.13
N53.508272
W2.167417
Aqueduct bridge no.13A
N53.508804
W2.166263
subway bridge no.14
3m51c N53.510341
W2.163372
Hardman Lane underbridge bridge no.15
N53.510409
W2.163183
MN908 signal platform starting, up line
3m54c N53.510671
W2.162807
Failsworth station station subway N53.510549 W2.163021 was probably bridge no.16
N53.511527
W2.161345
Grimshaw Street underbridge bridge no.17. Pedestrian only.
3m70c N53.512771
W2.159203
Greaves Bridge underbridge bridge no.18. Pedestrian only.
N53.513589
W2.157799
Rochdale Canal underbridge bridge no.20
N53.515088
W2.155207
Wrigley Head subway bridge no.21
N53.515339
W2.154865
MN909 signal on down line
N53.519625
W2.147729
Hudson Street underbridge bridge no.24
4m49c N53.520042
W2.147251
Hollinwood station station subway N53.520250 W2.147049 is bridge no.25
4m52c N53.520323
W2.146837
presumed
Hollinwood signal box site of on up side
N53.520723
W2.146655
Bower Lane underbridge B6393 bridge no.26, modern and much extended to include ..
N53.521057
W2.146412
M60 underbridge bridge no.26
N53.522033
W2.145844
MN910 signal on up line
N53.523940
W2.145549
MN911 signal on down line
N53.524754
W2.145512
Drury Lane underbridge B6189 bridge no.27
N53.526964
W2.145101
Boiler Works underbridge bridge no.28
N53.529613
W2.143233
Stanley Road underbridge bridge no.29
N53.530896
W2.142497
Washbrook underbridge B6191 bridge no.30
N53.533243
W2.142035
MN913 signal down line
5m44c N
W
Signalling boundary Manchester North handover to Oldham on down line.
5m70c N53.537597
W2.138157
Block Lane underbridge bridge no.32 (5m69c to 5m71c)
5m78c N53.538493
W2.136169
Jammy Lane underbridge bridge no.33
N53.538989
W2.134738
Suthers Street underbridge bridge no.34
N53.539432
W2.132542
Platts Reservoir underbridge bridge no.35
6m15c N53.539387
W2.131899
estimated
Werneth Junction change of ELR
N53.539074
W2.129603
Featherstall Road South overbridge A6048 bridge no.10
N53.538955
W2.129059
estimated
MN912 signal up line in front of bridge no.10
6m28c N53.538839
W2.127911
Oldham Werneth station
N53.538693
W2.126751
OM19 signal down line in front of tunnel portal
6m31c N53.538653
W2.126732
Werneth Tunnel portal
6m53c N53.537674
W2.120469
Werneth Tunnel portal
6m60c N53.537372
W2.118533
Central Tunnel portal
7m00c N53.537400
W2.112376
Central Tunnel portal
7m01c N
W
Signalling boundary Oldham handover to Manchester North on up line.
7m01c N53.537402
W2.112284
OM16 signal up line
7m05c N53.537770
W2.110807
OM21 signal down line
7m07c N53.537884
W2.110391
Oldham Central station
N53.538020
W2.109950
Clegg Street overbridge bridge no.18
7m16c N53.538971
W2.107637
Trailing crossover
7m19c N53.539228
W2.107058
Waterloo Street underbridge bridge no.19
7m21c N53.539274
W2.106657
Oldham (Mumps) signal box on up side
N53.539957
W2.105161
Footbridge bridge no.20
N53.540322
W2.103869
OM18 & OM20 signals OM18 on up line, OM20 down line to up line.
7m40c N53.541007
W2.102158
Oldham Mumps station
N53.541050
W2.102293
Station Subway bridge no.22, under down line only
N
W
underbridge bridge no.23
N53.541995
W2.101334
OM23 signal on down line
N53.542391
W2.101131
Mumps Roundabout underbridge A62 bridge no.24
N53.542811
W2.101179
Mumps Roundabout pedestrian subway A62
N53.543189
W2.101155
Mumps Roundabout underbridge A62 bridge no.25
N53.543440
W2.101120
Signal Gantry removed before survey but shown on large scale OS map
N53.543972
W2.100989
Subway bridge no.26
N53.546939
W2.101326
Shaw Road overbridge B6194 bridge no.27
8m09c N53.549777
W2.101623
Derker station
N53.550169
W2.101646
Yates Street overbridge bridge no.28
N53.550294
W2.101605
OM23 signal up line in front of Yates Street bridge
N53.552892
W2.101752
Holyrood Street overbridge bridge no.29
8m38c N53.553784
W2.101393
estimated
Royton station
8m38c N53.554555
W2.100974
estimated
Royton Junction
8m66c N53.557400
W2.097736
Meek Street Bridges Level crossing (in 1990) had been replaced by access bridge and Footbridge by time of survey
9m11c N53.559330
W2.095676
Level crossing Footpath.
N53.561597
W2.093981
stream underbridge
N53.563833
W2.092811
stream underbridge
N53.564005
W2.092732
Cop Road overbridge bridge no.33
N53.565936
W2.091624
Old Bank Farm overbridge bridge no.34
N53.567640
W2.090359
stream underbridge bridge no.35
9m40c N53.568226
W2.090076
SW1 signal semaphore down distant
9m41c N53.568415
W2.089902
Footpath level crossing
N53.573078
W2.089213
SW up advanced starting
9m73c N53.574272
W2.089409
Wild Street Subway bridge no.36 (9m72c-9m75c but it doesn't look like that on site)
N53.573120
W2.089631
SW2 signal semaphore down home
10m04c N53.576669
W2.089652
Shaw Station signal box on down side
10m05c N53.576727
W2.089584
Beal Lane level crossing
N53.576772
W2.089584
Footbridge bridge no.37
N53.576831
W2.089531
SW19 signal semaphore up starting
10m10c N53.577176
W2.089603
Shaw & Crompton station
10m14c N53.577731
W2.089561
Trailing crossover
10m23c N53.579521
W2.089388
Start of single line former up line is used.
N53.581154
W2.089235
Linney Lane overbridge bridge no.42
N53.581338
W2.089165
estimated
SW21 signal up line in front of bridge no.42
N53.584752
W2.089852
Milnrow Road overbridge A663 bridge no.43
10m59c N53.585915
W2.090395
Bridge Street Footbridge bridge no.44
N53.587775
W2.089969
SW22 signal up direction
N53.592007
W2.088420
underbridge River Beal
N53.593495
W2.088097
Milnrow Road overbridge A663 bridge no.48
11m32c N53.595357
W2.088175
Jubilee level crossing leads to Jubilee Fulling Mill (now derelict) and Jubilee House
N53.598110
W2.089661
underbridge accommodation, Meadowside Farm
N53.599728
W2.091883
Two Bridges Road overbridge bridge no.53
N53.599951
W2.092326
Stream underbridge
11m64c N53.600791
W2.094670
New Hey station L&Y Cotton Warehouse is at N53.600376 W2.094172, now part of Coral Mill. Bridge 54 was probably the station footbridge.
N53.601027
W2.095735
Huddersfield Road overbridge bridge no.55
N53.601974
W2.103069
Newhey Road overbridge bridge no.57
N53.602594
W2.104724
overbridge bridge no.58
N53.603223
W2.105959
M62 slip road over bridge bridge no.58a
12m31c N53.603499
W2.106333
M62 over bridge bridge no.58b
N53.604766
W2.107842
Ladyhouse Lane overbridge
N53.606036
W2.109287
River Beal underbridge
12m69c N53.608044
W2.111999
Milnrow station
N53.608419
W2.112682
Harbour Lane North overbridge bridge no.64
N53.608702
W2.113365
Elizabethan Way overbridge A640
N53.609587
W2.116142
Buckley Hill Lane overbridge Bridge no.65
N53.610147
W2.118954
Footbridge bridge no.66
N53.611780
W2.127347
Stream underbridge
N53.612238
W2.129713
Rochdale Canal underbridge wrongly marked in error as bridge no.20 on FNW route diagram
N53.612641
W2.131915
RE29 signal down direction, immediately before crossing Queensway bridge
N53.612711
W2.132118
Queensway underbridge A664
13m79c N53.614049
W2.139074
Milnrow Road underbridge A640 bridge no.73
N53.614079
W2.141578
RE28 signal down direction.
14m27c N53.612823
W2.146838
Rochdale East Junction line enters the Manchester & Normanton line in the up direction, underbridge beneath points.
10m62c N53.612823
W2.146838
Milnrow Bridge underbridge A640.

The locations and a few other useful ones are also pinpointed in a Google Earth data file.