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Heaton Lodge to Stalybridge
1849 - Present
London & North Western Railway & Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway
Contributors:   Reproduction prohibited / Andrew Stopford / Mark Damon Heeley / Patrick Blow / Malcolm Mallison /Andrew Sutton
                           Bernard Coomber / Phill Davison / Martin Wood / Cyril Towell / Roger Lynch / Philip Hardaker / David Webdale
The Route
From From Heaton Lodge, 4 miles north east of Huddersfield,
on the Calder Valley Main Line to Stalybridge,
via Bradley, Deighton, Huddersfield, Longwood & Milnsbridge, Golcar,
Slaithwaite, Marsden, Diggle, Greenfield & Mosley

Heaton Lodge to Huddersfield 4 miles.
Huddersfield to Stalybridge 17 3/4 miles.

Heaton Lodge to Huddersfield 2nd August 1847.
Huddersfield to Stalybridge 1st August  1849.
Original Companies
The formation of the Huddersfield & Manchester Railway & Canal company came about due to the Manchester & Leeds Railway company rejecting proposals for a railway link from Cooper Bridge on the Calder Valley mainline to Huddersfield & by 1842 still no progress had been made.
It was only when other companies showed interest in linking Huddersfield with their own networks, one of which the Sheffield & Manchester Railway company.
The M&L attempted to move in & monopolise Huddersfield's goods trade by buying out the impoverished narrow gauge Huddersfield Canal Company, this was rejected by its major share holders the Ramsdens.

To prevent losing control of essential transport links to the likes of the L&M, a local company was promoted to join the Leeds & Manchester at cooper bridge & the Sheffield, Ashton-under-Lyne and Manchester Railway at Stalybridge, this included the Standege tunnels running along side the canal.
The Huddersfield Canal Company was in no position to contest the plans & on 20th April 1844 canal & railway interests were merged into The Huddersfield & Manchester Railway & Canal company, who later went on to acquire the broad gauge Ramsden canal.

The section between Huddersfield & Heaton Lodge was built by The Huddersfield & Manchester Railway & Canal company, with help from the SA&MR.
The section between  Huddersfield & Springwood junction was built jointly by the Manchester & Leeds Railway & the London & North Western Railway.
This also included an agreement with the Huddersfield & Sheffield Junction Railway from Penistone to Springwood junction.
Huddersfield station was also a joint M&L, LNWR venture.
On the 27th August 1846 the Huddersfield & Sheffield Junction Railway was taken over by the Manchester & Leeds railway company.

The section Between Springwood junction & Stalybridge was built by the Leeds Dewsbury & Manchester Railway.
As part of the same scheme they also built the Mirfield to Leeds via Morley line, which opened on September 18th 1848.

On the 9th July 1847 the Manchester & Leeds Railway changed its name to the Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway. Also on the same date the Huddersfield & Manchester Railway & Canal company & the Leeds Dewsbury & Manchester Railway were incorporated into the London & North Western Railway.

Heaton lodge junction
Heaton lodge junction map 1908 : David Webdale
Officially Heckmondwike & Heaton Lodge Junction.
Two short single bore tunnels, take the Leeds New Line under the L&Y Calder Valley main line, forming a flying junction.
Heaton Lodge Facing North (c1980) : David Webdale
Class 47 passenger at  Heaton Lodge joining onto the Calder Valley mainline, having passed underneath the flying junction.
More tracks & loco hauled passenger trains in those days.
Heaton Lodge junction (nd) : Philip Hardaker
Leaving Mirfield on the way to Huddersfield heading towards Heaton Lodge Jct.  see Cabride
Heaton Lodge junction (nd) : Philip Hardaker
Towards Heaton Lodge Jct.
Heaton Lodge junction (nd) : Philip Hardaker
As above.
Heaton Lodge junction (nd) : Philip Hardaker
The signal for Heaton Lodge Jct in the foreground. Heaton Lodge Jct was originally two tracks some years ago,
it has now been changed to a single line from Huddersfield, the route indicator on the signal has not been removed.
Heaton Lodge junction (nd) : Philip Hardaker
Passing where the original double tracks exited at Heaton Lodge Jct.

Bradley station
Opened 03-08-1847. Closed 04-03-1950.
Bradley Station (nd) Martin Wood
Photo of Bradley station (long gone).
Bradley Station (2009) Martin Wood
The site where Bradley station stood showing the junction to Brighouse.
Bradley Junction (nd) : Philip Hardaker
Heading towards Huddersfield, the single track from the right takes you down to Halifax.   see Cabride
LNWR boundary marker Bradley curve (17-09-06) : Andrew Stopford
LNWR boundary marker on the A62 at Colne Bridge.
Underneath this spot the Bradley Curve, opened originally in 1852, crosses the A62 in a short tunnel.

Note : Nigel Haigh (28-08-14)
On a recent visit to the West Yorkshire Archives, I did find a couple of documents from the early 1880's relating to sales of land to the two railways in the
Heaton Lodge area. To: London & North Western Railway, an area of 1 acre, 2 rods, 8 perches to facilitate widening the railway between Bradley Junction
Station and Heaton Lodge Junction, for 744 and 2 shillings. As I recall there was a map attached to the details.
My family owned that land - at least that bit from the railway bridge at Bradley Station upto the bridge over the River Colne.

The next time I get to Huddersfield and retrieve the archive box, I'll check on the exact date. The contents list for the box records "Papers relating to Petition of Samuel Wood Haigh relating to the LNWR (Reddish to Leeds), House of Commons Session 1878", but that might not be the same letter about the expansion, because that definitely included a map of the stretch with the land to be purchased shaded.

I also have come across a series of articles in the Huddersfield Chronicle & West Yorkshire Advertiser dated Jan 01 1859 (and subsequent) which describes a court case between another of my relatives, Jonathan Haigh, suing the LNWR for the value of a pony that had strayed through a gate onto the line at Heaton Lodge, and been killed by a train (a luggage train, with the guards van being derailed).
The fields on the opposite side of the track from the farm could only be reached by a crossing protected by gates. Although the Judge found for the Railway, the jury found that they had not provided sufficient protection against cattle trespassing. A jury and counsel (on both sides) all for the cost of a horse valued at 25!

See also Midland Railway Newtown goods section for the Viaduct over the River Colne at the Dam Head for 130.

Deighton station
Deighton station (nd) : Philip Hardaker
Passing through Deighton station on a wet day.   see Cabride

Red Doles
Red Doles facing east (c1980) : David Webdale
The site of Red Doles junction, Fieldhouse bridge in the background, a 47 hauled passenger on its way to Huddersfield.
Way back in the 12th century this area was used for growing high quality grass by a method of flooding.
The "doles" were the shares of individual tenants marked out by stones & the word red is derived from "reed".
Red Doles facing West (c1980) : David Webdale
The site of Red Doles junction Taken from Fieldhouse bridge, in the background on above photo, facing towards Huddersfield.
A picturesque 1980s photo of a 47 hauled passenger on its way to Leeds.
The Newtown goods track bed can be seen on the right. The bridge over Red Doles road is just visible in top left.

Red Doles (nd) : Philip Hardaker
The outer automatic signal for Huddersfield still under Healey Mills power box.   see Cabride

White Stone Engine shed (Hillhouse)
Map (1850) : Malcolm Mallison
Plans of station taken from 1850 6 inch to the mile map. Referred to as White Stone engine sheds Sugdens Fields, later to become Hillhouse.
These sheds went through various reconstructions & enlargements up until 1907 when the sheds reached their maximum size.
Hillhouse map (1890) : Malcolm Mallison
Huddersfield shed plate 25b : Andrew Sutton
Just thought I would share my photos, with other viewers, of the shedplate for 25b Huddersfield,
which dates from 1948 to 1956 before it became 55G in 1957.
The plate is 100 percent authentic and a lovely item from Huddersfields lost hillhouse shed.
Huddersfield (nd) : Philip Hardaker
Huddersfield station controlled signal on the outskirts of Huddersfield.   see Cabride
Huddersfield (nd) : Philip Hardaker
Huddersfield station controlled signal with theatre indicator attached, this advises that the train will be routed into platform one.

Huddersfield station
Opened 02-08-1847.
Huddersfield station map (1907)
Huddersfield station was a joint venture between the  Huddersfield & Manchester Railway & Canal Company,
later taken over by the LNWR & the Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway.
Huddersfield station map (1850) : Malcolm Mallison
Plans of station taken from 1850 6 inch to the mile map.
Huddersfield station map (1890) : Malcolm Mallison
Head of Steam (23-02-08) : David Webdale
Left hand side, the original Lancashire & Yorkshire booking office.
The section of line between  Huddersfield & Springwood junction was built jointly by the L&Y & the LNWR.
Station Tavern (23-02-08) : David Webdale
Right hand side, the original Huddersfield & Manchester Railway & Canal Company booking office.
Taken over by the London & North Western Railway on 9th July 1847.
This company built the Huddersfield to Heaton Lodge section.
Huddersfield (nd) : Philip Hardaker
Approaching platform one at Huddersfield station.   See Cabride
Huddersfield (nd) : Philip Hardaker
Platform end Huddersfield.
Huddersfield (nd) : Philip Hardaker
Standing at platform one.
Huddersfield station cafe (2005) : David Webdale
These waiting rooms were built around 1880 when the station was enlarged, with this new island platform & an overall roof.
Thankfully the buildings have been done up a bit recently, not many wooden ones left now.
Huddersfield Station (1983) : Mark Damon Heeley
East bound 47 hauled passenger stands on a moist platform 4.
Huddersfield Station (c1980) : David Webdale
East bound 47 hauled passenger rolls along side a busy platform 4.
Huddersfield Station (1983) : Mark Damon Heeley
08172 shunter in the parcel bay area.
Huddersfield Station (1983) : Mark Damon Heeley
Bays at the east end of the station for stopping trains to Leeds & Wakefield.
Huddersfield Station (c1980) : David Webdale
Same as above on a soggy Sunday evening.
Huddersfield Station (c1980) : David Webdale
A poorly executed photo looking back towards the station from the end of platform 8.
Huddersfield Station (c1980) : David Webdale
West bound 47 passenger awaits the whistle on platform 1.
47s were standard issue on this stretch back in the 80s.
Huddersfield Station (c1980) : David Webdale
Multiple units parked up on the centre roads.
Huddersfield Station (c1980) : David Webdale
Multiple units parked up on the centre roads.
Huddersfield Station (c1980) : David Webdale
Multiple unit enters from the east, maybe with the drivers children in the cab, happy days.
Huddersfield Station (c1980) : David Webdale
47 west bound loading up with mail on platform 1.
Huddersfield Station (10-08-03) : David Webdale
Clagging 47150 Freightliner  from Rail Day 10/08/03.
Notice widened platform 1 & no more centre roads.
Huddersfield Station (c1980) : David Webdale
25 152 loitering on the sidings.
Huddersfield Station (c1980) : David Webdale
Class 47 east bound passenger approaching platform 8.
Huddersfield Station (c1980) : David Webdale
Old friend.
Huddersfield Station Royal Scots Grey (24-02-08) : David Webdale
55022, platform 1, return journey.

Huddersfield water tower

Huddersfield water tower (15-09-13) : David Webdale      See acorp.uk.com
Built sometime between 1885 & 1890, the recently converted grade 1 listed water tower at the east end of the station was opened for public viewing on a Kirklees heritage day & is now ACORP's new headquarters. Seen here is ACORP's General Manger Neil Buxton standing next to some of the impressive pipe work within the building.
Huddersfield water tower (15-09-13) : David Webdale
The project was primarily funded through the European Interreg programme.
The idea is to explore the feasibility & benefits in renovating old buildings in an environmentally friendly way & to make them energy efficient.
Huddersfield water tower (15-09-13) : David Webdale
View of the tower from behind the station. The water cast iron water tank has a capacity of approximately 25,000 gallons.
A white water level gauge is visible on the left of that central chimney. The empty tank now houses solar panels.
Huddersfield water tower (15-09-13) : David Webdale
The east end of the building.
Huddersfield water tower (15-09-13) : David Webdale
On the front of the building, Neil Buxton pointed out this particular stone carving, some sort of valve valve open & shut we guessed.
Huddersfield water tower (15-09-13) : David Webdale
The right hand corner of the building with some interesting artefacts. The lamp has been restored.

Huddersfield Goods warehouse
Goods warehouse facing north (2005) : David Webdale
Taken from Huddersfield station. This massive building has been empty for as long as I can remember.
Built in 1885 at a cost of 100,000, five storeys high & very strong, was the largest warehouse in the country at that date. Walls are red brick with blue brick bands. Window jambs are blue brick, with blue brick heads & sandstone Springer's. Wagon lift visible on the right.
Goods warehouse lift facing west (2005) : David Webdale
The wagon lift taken from Huddersfield station. The warehouse was a joint L&Y & LNWR venture.
The 30 ton lift, supported on these fancy Doric columns, hauled complete wagons to the upper floors.
Goods warehouse lift facing west (24-04-11) : David Webdale
The wagon lift taken from Huddersfield station platform 8.
Goods warehouse lift facing south (24-04-11) : David Webdale
The view from Brunswick street.
Goods warehouse (24-04-11) : David Webdale
Taken from New North Parade, window detail.
Goods warehouse (24-04-11) : David Webdale
Taken from New North Parade, loading door detail.
Goods warehouse facing south (2005) : David Webdale
Photographed from the former goods yard. The building was designed by the LNWR engineering department. Internally consists of an iron frame, giving the floors a load bearing capacity of 25 cwt a square yard. Wagons were hauled from this yard into the building, using a series of capstans. Wagon lift visible on the left.
Accumulator facing west (2005) : David Webdale
The warehouse capstans & lifts were all powered hydraulically. To supply the power, this separate plant was built across the other side of the yard. It consisted of an engine house used to generate pressure in a massive hydraulic accumulator
(Big cylindrical tank of water) housed in that tower on the right.
Goods warehouse entrance (28-02-08) : David Webdale
Next few shots taken on the St Georges Project open day.
Entrance driveway from New North Parade. Original cobbles re-laid down the sides there. Only just finished the day before.
Goods warehouse entrance plaque (24-04-11) : David Webdale
Close up of the plaque to the left of the main doorway.
Goods warehouse interior (28-02-08) : David Webdale
Reception area with nice re-laid wood block floor. Strong smell of creosote.
Goods warehouse interior (28-02-08) : David Webdale
Blurb from the parties involved.
Goods warehouse interior (28-02-08) : David Webdale
Staircase seems to go out onto the roof. My missus & the nice guide lady just visible, miles away, in the distance.
Goods warehouse interior (28-02-08) : David Webdale
Due to the failing light could only manage some top floor shots, illuminated from the skylights. Massive floor area.
Goods warehouse interior third floor (24-04-11) : David Webdale
Taken through one of the windows on New North Parade. Same level as the main entrance.
Goods warehouse interior HD1 office (28-02-08) : David Webdale
The nice guide lady showed us upstairs of the office used by the HD1 company. Some tasty veneer & wood panelling, unfortunately all to be ripped out soon. The office is situated on the top part of the wagon lift. See next photo.
Goods warehouse wagon lift (28-02-08) : David Webdale
HD1 offices & wagon lift. Huddersfield Platform 8 down on the right there.

Spring Wood Junction

Class 47 Passenger (c1980) : David Webdale
A 47 hauled passenger on its way to Liverpool Lime Street, emerges from the Second Huddersfield tunnel opened on 10th October 1886 during track widening & is about to enter Gledholt tunnel. Between 1881 & 1883 during track widening, the recovered stone from the cutting (between the two tunnels) was used to increase the width of the Huddersfield viaduct. The tracks veering off to the right are the L&Y Penistone line. The old building top right is my old school at Spring Grove. The footbridge I'm standing on was not completed until 1858 after disputes with the railway company going back to 1848. The tunnels & cutting through Springwood interrupted an ancient right of way from the top of the town to Paddock Foot. The railway company was required to have the footpath  made passable & to put up & maintain lights near to the rubbish & holes they had made. We used to call this place the Monkeys Neck. Don't know why.
Note : Roger Lynch
What a lot of people do not realise is that Huddersfield is covered with mine workings even under the Town Centre.
The Coal Authority quoted me 1200 between M62 To Hazlehead, M62 to Shepley. Kirkburton had a lot itself.
Springwood Tunnel must have cut through Springwood Colliery, the only mine put down by The Ramsden Family.
Springwood junction (nd) : Philip Hardaker
In between tunnels at the west end of Huddersfield station, the branch to the left takes you up to Clayton West.   See Cabride

Gledholt Junction

Gledholt (nd) : Philip Hardaker
Heading west, climbing up the bank towards firstly Milnsbridge & then Marsden.   See Cabride
Gledholt (08-08-86) : Andrew Gallon
Emerging from the Paddock portal of Gledholt Tunnel, Huddersfield, on August 8th 1986,
45 135 heads the 08.20 Newcastle-Llandudno.
Class 47 Passenger (c1980) : David Webdale
A 47 hauled passenger on its way to Liverpool Lime Street having just left the short Gledholt tunnel.
Paddock (08-08-86) : Andrew Gallon
On August 8th 1986, 45 122 is seen at Paddock, descending to Gledholt Tunnel, with the 10.03 Liverpool Lime Street-Scarborough.
Class 47 Passenger (c1980) : David Webdale
A 47 hauled passenger approaching Gledholt tunnel & Springwood junction.
Remnants of a yard crane or something on the extreme left of the photo. (see next photo's)
The whole of the goods yard area has been redeveloped into industrial units.
Crane (03-07-11) : David Webdale
Hard to get to nowadays, but remnants of the yard crane (see above photo) surrounded by flower beds & access roads.
Photographed from the other side of the tracks somewhere behind the 2nd carriage on the above photo.


Class 47 Mail (c1980) : David Webdale
Class 47 hauled mail train heading west through Paddock cutting, opening the throttle in here sounds ace. Evidence of track widening along this section in 1887 on the right hand side under Church street. Paddock church visible in the background, the roof tiles are now missing .
Class 47 passenger (c1980) : David Webdale
Class 47 hauled passenger heading west having emerged from Paddock cutting & passed under Clough lane.
The incline is about 1 in 100 here.
Longwood (18-08-86) : Andrew Gallon
On August 18th 1986, 47 442 climbs at Longwood whilst heading the 10.53 Scarborough-Holyhead.
Class 40 goods (c1980) : David Webdale
Class 40 hauled goods heading west having emerged from Paddock cutting & passed under Clough lane. Mixed freight I think.
Class 47 passenger (c1980) : David Webdale
Same view point as above, wider angle lens.
Class 25 mail (c1980) : David Webdale
Same view point as above, long rake of vans for a 25, seems to be managing though.

Longwood & Milnsbridge

Opened 03-08-1847. Closed 05-10-1968.
Longwood & Milnsbridge station map (1890) : Malcolm Mallison
6 inch maps from the 1890 survey.
Class 47 passenger (c1980) : David Webdale
Same foot bridge as above facing the other way.
A couple of 47 hauled passengers coasting towards Huddersfield past the site of Longwood & Milnsbridge station.
The station was closed on the 7th October 1968. The tracks have been re-laid since these photo's to smooth out the bend.
Peak & 40 passengers (c1980) : David Webdale
Same as above with a Peak & a 40.
Longwood (18-08-86) : Andrew Gallon
Descending past Longwood, on August 8th 1986, a mixed rake of Metro-Cammell DMUs forms a Scarborough-bound service.
Duchess of Hamilton (c1980) : David Webdale
LMS 4-6-2  No. 46229 Duchess of Hamilton.
Class 47 Passenger (c1980) : David Webdale
Class 47 passenger heading west over Milnsbridge viaduct.

Botham Hall Siding
Map (23-07-16) : David Webdale
Situated between Milnsbridge viaduct & Longwood goods,
Botham Hall siding was double track & provided a railway connection to Shaws coal merchants.
Chair & sleepers (23-07-16) : David Webdale
A few yards from the connection to the live Heaton Lodge - Staly Bridge line, we dug up a chair. Sleepers also visible.
Gateway (23-07-16) : David Webdale
Further on towards Royd street, through the playing fields, a gateway led onto the tracks, some sort of crossing.
Trackbed facing south (23-07-16) : David Webdale
A bit further on is  a concrete platform, may not be anything to do with the railway.
Trackbed facing south (23-07-16) : David Webdale
The gateway from Royd street.
Royd street crossing facing south (23-07-16) : David Webdale
Wider view from the other side of Royd street.
Trackbed facing south (23-07-16) : David Webdale
Further back along the trackbed, standing next to a small building, see next photo.
Trackbed (23-07-16) : David Webdale
Small building belonging to Shaws coal merchants & the view around the back.
Trackbed (23-07-16) : David Webdale
Photographed through a metal gate to the left of the building , the trackbed continues towards the coal drops.
The Furniture Direct building in the distance is visible from Dale street, see next photo.
Coal drops (23-07-16) : David Webdale
The coal drops photographed from Dale street.
Coal drops facing south (23-07-16) : David Webdale
Looking back along an access road.

Longwood Goods
Class 47 Passenger (c1980) : David Webdale
A west bound passenger under Scar lane bridge, making a bit of smoke for the camera.
The site of Longwood Goods was just beyond the bridge on the right.
Class 55 Passenger (c1980) : David Webdale
Same place as above & hardly breaking a sweat the soon to be withdrawn 55003 Meld drones up the Colne valley with a Liverpool bound express. Always a surprise to see 55s on this line, they would venture off their normal mainline duties as the HSTs took over.
Meld was one of two loco's with white window surrounds, the other being 55012 Crepello.
Meld worked up until Christmas 1980 & was cut up for scrap in March 1981.
Scar Lane overbridge (09-08-86) : Andrew Gallon
A mixed rake DMU, led by a Class 110 Gloucester RCW 'Calder Valley' set, forming the 12.06 Scarborough-Manchester Victoria,
climbs beneath Scar Lane overbridge, Milnsbridge, on August 9th 1986.
Scar Lane overbridge (08-08-86) : Andrew Gallon
August 8th 1986, and an unidentified 'Peak', heading the 11.12 Bangor-Newcastle, descends towards Scar Lane overbridge, Milnsbridge.

Golcar station

Opened 01-08-1849. Closed 05-10-1968.
Marsden (nd) : Philip Hardaker
Heading west up the bank towards Marsden station.      See Cabride
Marsden (nd) : Philip Hardaker
Approaching Marsden station, this signal (HU704) controls the main line and loop line.

Marsden station
Opened 01-08-1849.
Marsden station facing west (04-03-06) : Patrick Blow
A special trip organised to celebrate the 175th anniversary of the opening of the Leeds Liverpool line.
A double header jobbie consisting -  in front, Black five No 45407 class 5 MT. Built in1934 for the L.M.S, weighing in at 72 tons.
Marsden station facing east (04-03-06) : Patrick Blow
Behind, a 1953 class 4 MT No 76079, weighing in at 69 tons, nice.
Marsden (nd) : Philip Hardaker
Approaching the platform end of Marsden Station.      See Cabride
Marsden (nd) : Philip Hardaker
Standedge tunnel ahead, the Marsden loop runs to the left and joins the main line before the tunnel entrance.
Marsden (nd) : Philip Hardaker
Standedge tunnel round the curve,being some 3 miles in length.
Standedge (nd) : Philip Hardaker
The approach to the Standedge.

Standedge Tunnel
Note : (13-03-10) Mark Damon Heeley
In rail magazine number 638 there's an article about Leeds to Manchester upgrade this includes a proposal to open the single bore tunnels at Marsden.
This includes plans to put 4 tracks back up the Colne valley to Marsden and through to Diggle.
One of the single bores has steel reinforcing where the brickwork bulges in , it will be removed and repaired so trains can run again.
See Phill Davisons photo below - Central tunnel Supports (12-07-09)
They intend to run 6 semi fast services per hour , between Leeds and Manchester. Also to put a Manchester bound through line at Dewsbury.
Marsden : Bernard Coomber
A westbound freight at tunnel end Marsden about to enter the 3_ mile long tunnel.
Marsden : Bernard Coomber
The westbound freight again entering Standedge tunnel Marsden.
Class 47 Passenger (c1980) : David Webdale
Smokey class 47 passenger exits the twin bore tunnel at Marsden heading towards Huddersfield.
Standedge (nd) : Philip Hardaker
Marsden loop line joins just before the tunnel with the aqueduct flowing over the railway lines.      See Cabride
Standedge (nd) : Philip Hardaker
The Standedge ahead, top of the bank, the fireman can have a breather as it is now on the level.
Standedge (nd) : Philip Hardaker
Standedge tunnel built in 1894 and stated to be the fifth longest railway tunnel in Britain at just over three miles in length.
Standedge (nd) : Philip Hardaker
Into the dark hole in the hillside!
The following are extracts from Phill's Standedge exploration. See the full set on Phills Blog - http://blogs.myspace.com/

The South tunnel Diggle end (Nelson tunnel) constructed in 1871 (12-07-09) : Phill Davison
A very strange experience awaits!
Little did we know about the strong gusts of wind inside this tunnel, the vortex type air pressure and thick mist. We weren't expecting the strange blinking light that seemed to follow us. I've never seen the glow of daylight from a tunnel entrance switch on and off like it did in Standedge. Strange things were afoot-but there's more about those shenanigans later!
The South tunnel (12-07-09) : Phill Davison
Were now peering into the impending gloom from the entrance of the South tunnel. Three miles of a very long tunnel lie ahead. There is no sign of the other end 3 miles away!
Central tunnel (12-07-09) : Phill Davison
We were stood in the closed Central tunnel at this point. An oncoming train was under the hills. I was amazed at the air pressure effect it created. You could feel the strong wind blow down these adits a good minute before the train roared past in the live tunnel. A 'very lively' experience for sure!
Connecting Passage (12-07-09) : Phill Davison
This is a connecting passage between the central, and live railway tunnel. You could see the canal tunnel below by peering through the small gap at the side of the stairs. These passage were originally construction adits, they were dug down to the canal during the excavation of the rail tunnels. Construction spoil was then transported away by boat.
Air Shaft (12-07-09) : Phill Davison
This is at the base of the first open air shaft. These shafts were all between the central and live rail tunnels. Awesome amounts of water poured continually down these shafts. The sound of water emitting from deeper within was really quite loud at times. Heavy duty wooden props have been fitted at the base of this shaft. It reminded me of an old American Creek mine.
Side passage (12-07-09) : Phill Davison
A few side passages at the Marsden end were bare rock excavation.
Some construction adits had been bricked up, others had been started and abandoned.
Air Shaft (12-07-09) : Phill Davison
This is at the base of the third open air shaft. Water again pours down this shaft like a power shower.
The bright orange is caused by iron contaminating the water.
Track workers 'bothy' (12-07-09) : Phill Davison
Inside the bothy we found an old fireplace complete with chimney stack. I've heard about these fire places in long tunnels before, but this is the first time i've ever seen one. Here track gangs working in the tunnel, would have been able to cook there bacon and eggs and have a brew.
Central tunnel Supports (12-07-09) : Phill Davison
The central tunnel had these supporting girders fitted near to the Marsden end.
Extensive work had been undertaken in the South tunnel to strengthen buckling walls also.
Portal Marsden end (12-07-09) : Phill Davison
The end is in sight at last! The welcome portal of daylight at the Marsden end awaits!
The mist in the tunnel had started to clear by this time, you can still see traces of it in the beam of the search light.
1871 South tunnel (12-07-09) : Phill Davison
One last shot looking up the tunnel before we reach daylight again. This is the 1871 South tunnel.
South tunnel portal (12-07-09) : Phill Davison
The It was good to get into the fresh air again, this is the portal for the South tunnel. It was raining hard when we got to Marsden.
I couldn't manage anymore external shots without getting rain on the lens. We had a sit down in the tunnel and took a well earned rest.
Then we set off again for the very long 3 mile walk back through the tunnel.
Make sure to see the full set on Phills Blog - http://blogs.myspace.com/

We experienced some strange things down here, one phenomena we couldn't explain, was the strange flickering light we saw about 2 miles into the tunnel. At first we thought it was daylight at the far end. That was until it started to sway from side to side. We watched it for a bit before we decided it was coming towards us. It looked like someone was heading our way with a torch. We were a bit apprehensive about this. But we decided there were four of us, and one of 'it'

Note : Cyril Towell (Guard)
The tunnel was a smoke filled experience with a freight train , in the guards van especially if the leading door was ill fitting.
Another use for the daily paper packing the door edges if you had one.
If memory right, took about 4 or 5 minutes to pass through with a freight train, 2 or 3 with a passenger train in round figures.
A passenger guard could read his newspaper, duties permitting of course.
A passenger guard had train lighting, electric, whereas the freight guard only had his oil filled hand lamp.
Standedge (nd) : Philip Hardaker
A welcome sight the tunnel entrance, not the rain!      See Cabride
Standedge (nd) : Philip Hardaker
Welcome to Lancashire, exiting the Standedge, after being in the pitch black for three miles it is good to get back into the light once again.
Diggle (nd) : Philip Hardaker
Diggle Jct. signal box in sight.
Diggle (nd) : Philip Hardaker
The Diggle Jct. loop.
Diggle (nd) : Philip Hardaker
Passing Diggle Jct. signal box.
Greenfield (nd) : Philip Hardaker
Down the bank heading towards Greenfield.

Greenfield Station
Greenfield Station (nd) : Philip Hardaker
Passing through Greenfield Station.

Mosley station

Mosley station (nd) : Philip Hardaker
Mosley station ahead.
Stalybridge Tunnel (nd) : Philip Hardaker
Stalybridge Tunnel

Stalybridge station
Stalybridge station (nd) : Philip Hardaker
A dark day in Stalybridge.