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Old June 12th, 2012, 12:45 AM   #20001
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny de Rivative View Post
Edit - 2337 Martin just texted to say there's a huddle of hi-vis guys at the back of the Undercroft, but the barriers are still in place everywhere.
They were obvioiusly waiting for me to come in. Might go and have another quick look.
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Old June 12th, 2012, 12:45 AM   #20002
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History - the 20,000th post in this thread!!!

Lets get going for the next 20,000.
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Old June 12th, 2012, 12:48 AM   #20003
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Old June 12th, 2012, 12:49 AM   #20004
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The 10,000th post...

Quote:
Originally Posted by ScouseinManc View Post
9998 posts - only 2 more!!

Personally, I think the honour of the 10,000th post should be left to JdR, for all his outstanding updates & posts, without which, I'd have had no idea what so many places look like in Manchester.



(page 500)

Seemingly we have always valued JdR's contributions
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Old June 12th, 2012, 12:52 AM   #20005
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Well I've obviously frightened them off again as they're not there now.
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Old June 12th, 2012, 12:53 AM   #20006
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As service is just finishing, isn't it likely that testing on the EML would only just start about this time?
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Old June 12th, 2012, 12:57 AM   #20007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny de Rivative View Post

Cheers mateys!

Here's to the next 20000!!
So pleased it was you Johnny that took the 20,000/1,000 crown - well deserved after all your hard work. But the rest of you have made this a daily must read for so many of us, near and far (currently reading from Malaga, Spain).

The Met may have its problems (most mass transit systems do) but at least Manchester is getting a system that begins to address its needs.

So bravo to you all and sick that I can't be there for the ORL opening - but this forum will provide the next best thing to being there
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Old June 12th, 2012, 12:57 AM   #20008
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Cheers mateys!

Here's to the next 20000!!

The end of the beginning, and the beginning of the Oldham Line!!
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Old June 12th, 2012, 01:00 AM   #20009
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Just to join in celebrating the milestone as somebody who doesn't live in Manchester, and has only been on the Metrolink once(!) after following this thread I feel like I know the system like the back of my hand, and I think I have managed to catch up on the 1000 pages too since I joined back in March.

A huge thanks to all who contribute to this thread with updates and pictures, and long may it continue!
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Old June 12th, 2012, 01:14 AM   #20010
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Yes, well done everyone! Definitely one of the most interesting and popular threads on SSC and it's all down to you lot and your fantastic updates and photos. Much appreciated
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Old June 12th, 2012, 01:20 AM   #20011
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20,000... thats amazing, really is!!

Hanging around outside Piccadilly at this hour is not particularly fun it must be said! The police seemed to be intrigued by my presence..! Nice to meet fellow forumer ashley b, looking equally dodgy wandering the back streets of Piccadilly on foot...

No sign of action but as cats pointed out, the letter said 11-5! So they've got hours yet keep an eye out JDR!! They may trundle past your door yet!!
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Old June 12th, 2012, 01:23 AM   #20012
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Exactly, last time we saw a tram come out the back end of Piccadilly it was after 1am. And nice to meet you too Martin!
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Old June 12th, 2012, 01:38 AM   #20013
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Ashley and Martin, I'm monitoring your posts with interest on standby to rush over there!
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Old June 12th, 2012, 01:39 AM   #20014
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Too late, we've both gone home.
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Old June 12th, 2012, 01:41 AM   #20015
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JOHNNY'S BIG BANG

EAST MANCHESTER LINE PART 13

Ashton West



How the East Was Won . . .

<> Lord Sheldon Way <> Kentucky Roundabout <> Rayner Lane <> Ashton Moss Junction <> Curzon Ashton FC <> Cricket Ground <> Richmond Street <> Knowle Ave Crowhill <> Israelite Christian Institute <> Portland Street <>

https://www.skyscrapercity.com/showth...age=1001#20015

123 images, last update November 2015

In the Tameside Archive this building is marked as standing on Richmond Street Ashton-under-Lyne at the turn of the twentieth century. I think it may a predecessor of the Christian Israelite Institute? :-


S Taylor Tameside Image Archive http://www.tameside.gov.uk/history/archive.php3

Richmond Street is actually quite a busy quasi-radial artery, running North <> South on the Western edge of Ashton, and linking Crowhill and the major gyratory at Chester Square, via a fairly steep rise and dip to get over the widely-spaced railway configurations at Ashton Moss North Junction. In recent decades the area has had a somewhat bleak industrial outlook, but pictures from the past hint at a more elegant era. This is Richmond House near the summit of Richmond Street in 1907, to become a crossroads with Lord Sheldon Way a century later :-


Tameside Image Archive http://www.tameside.gov.uk/history/archive.php3

Looking South, down Richmond Street towards Katherine Street in 1910 :-


Tameside Image Archive http://www.tameside.gov.uk/history/archive.php3

From the site of the future tramstop at Ashton West, all directions head downhill. The future tramway will head due East towards Ashton on a new alignment, and will brush past another quasi-radial artery, Portland Street, seen here in the 1950s :-


Tameside Image Archive http://www.tameside.gov.uk/history/archive.php3


Tameside Image Archive http://www.tameside.gov.uk/history/archive.php3

The triangular configuration of railway lines in this area also included fairly extensive sidings in the mid-twentieth century. In 1955 a Fairburn Tank locomotive pulls 3 passenger coaches from Mossley to Victoria, heading towards Ashton Moss with Charlestown station visible in the background :-


Jim Davenport, Jeffrey Wells, Miles Platting to Diggle via Ashton, Book Law ISBN 1 899624 18 X


Jeffrey Wells, Miles Platting to Diggle via Ashton, Book Law ISBN 1 899624 18 X

Looking South down Richmond Street towards Katherine Street in 1960, one cannot help but bemoan the loss of the former elegance . . . The gas engine works referred to by Jeffrey Wells, above, is behind the wall on the right, but on the left is the more architecturally pleasing Christian Israelite Institute, which is also extant to-day :-


Tameside Image Archive http://www.tameside.gov.uk/history/archive.php3


Tameside Image Archive http://www.tameside.gov.uk/history/archive.php3


Tameside Image Archive http://www.tameside.gov.uk/history/archive.php3

The freedom of the press in the 1960s ;-


Tameside Image Archive http://www.tameside.gov.uk/history/archive.php3

Meanwhile, a singleton motor car stands in nearby Portland Street – in the coming decades it would multiply exponentially as the preferred mode of travel :-


Tameside Image Archive http://www.tameside.gov.uk/history/archive.php3

My 1974 A-Z shows how Richmond Street had a clear run across the Western flank of Ashton’s urban area at that time. It also makes for a cut-through towards Oldham via Knowle Avenue, avoiding Ashton centre, perhaps explaining the high volume of traffic which it continues to carry to this day. The former railway delta is also clearly shown here :-



By the 1992 edition plans were afoot for the M66 (later M60), and Richmond Street has been extended Northwards towards the residential area of Taunton. The Metrolink stop will be just below the junction with Rayner Lane, the long straight track across the Moss coming in from the West, which would later be cut off here by the motorway. What appears to be an adumbrated footbridge was never actually built as such, but it is at the location of the future overbridge for the Ashton Northern by-pass. This will also be a new arrival in years to come, and together with its encapsulated Metrolink track will have to bridge the chord of the railway near Portland Street (soon to be removed), in order to descend and make the final push towards the tramway’s Eastern extremity at Ashton :-



Sojourners enjoy the sunshine and steam locomotion passing Ashton Moss North Junction on a tour in 1989 :-


Thanks someone on SSC!

But diesels of the day released pollution of their own . . .


RAIL Magazine #790

Although there was always intended to be a tram station serving the Western edge of Ashton, like Ashton Moss its position was not firmed up at the outset. 1996 publicity suggested a location East of Richmond Street, within the railway triangle, and bordering the Moss and the new developments before the by-pass arrived. The stop’s location was later finalised to stand on the opposite side of Richmond Street :-



‘Drear was the prospect on all sides’ wrote Harrison Ainsworth in The Lancashire Witches, and that was certainly the case in GMPTE’s advance visuals of Ashton West in 1997 at the junction with Rayner Lane. However, as a sign of things to come, the Heras fencing appears to be already in place for construction of the by-pass, if not the tramway :-



The outlook is not that much better in the projected ‘after’ shot, although the new by-pass has brought trees and a little more human circulation, and Rayner Lane has disappeared from the scene. The approaching T68 adds a splash of colour, however, they were never to be seen in this location. Bright yellow will do the job later . . .



But a few furlongs West and a decade on in 2007, at Rayner Lane and Moss Lane, like a cactus in the midnight oasis, Colonel Sanders is our friend, he’ll point out the way . . . Ashton West tramstop will be behind him and below Hartshead Pike in the far distance :-



This was the layout at the Eastern edge of Ashton Moss in about 2010, shortly before the area was dubbed ‘Ashton West’ by the arrival of Metrolink all the way along the central reservation of Lord Sheldon Way. The stop will be in the median strip just to the West of Richmond Street, surrounded by Cineworld, the cricket ground and above a fairly complicated railway layout, which prior to the mid-1990s was a delta formation. The missing arm used to trail Eastwards into the main line through the footprint of the ‘Superstore’ (Sainsbury’s, later joined by M&S and others). The Metrolink alignment will then slip out of the central reserve near Bentinck Street, taking the chord to the South of the roundabout and gaining the bus station via the route of Charlestown Way :-


Big Manchester A-Z 2013

Just before the General Election in 2010, the funding for Phase 3b was announced, then another Summer and Winter came and went over Ashton Moss before the first spade went in. Virgin territory in August 2010, but well-planned for a tramway :-



It was still finger-lickin’ hot in a cold December twilight in 2010 :-



This was the year when the green shoots of funding for Phase 3b was finally announced, and here are the green shoots :-



February 2011 brought more hints that something was coming! :-



Until it finally broke through the sod at the end of February 2011, on the final run down towards Ashton centre near Portland Street. This is where it will leave the central reservation and slew across through the bushes in front of the loud yellow monolith of IKEA :-



March 2011, looking back ‘Up West’ from Ashton :-



The footprint of Ashton West tramstop is cleared and a couple of cabins arrive :-



Further West in March 2011, we now see that the tramline will cut through an arc of the roundabout, while everything else has to go all the way around :-



Just like in the days of the early tramway systems, (as in this example at Brownhill, Blackburn, where it is even stopping to pick up passengers in the middle of the roundabout!) :-



May 2011. For the first time in the history of Phase 3 construction, Metrolink was to come earlier than announced or expected! :-



June 2011, and amazingly quickly, the first rails appear across the roundabout. Again, I am guessing that no utility diversions were required, as this alignment was built with a tramway in mind :-





October 2011 - On the Eastern side, a preliminary bit of rail was laid in tarmac for vehicles to cross, where the track will slew across the left-hand carriageway on to the side reservation, towards Ashton behind the camera :-



From above, the purpose of this little bit of rail becomes evident :-



Re-bar and rail at Ashton Moss tramstop at the top of the hill in October 2011 :-





November 2011, starting to snake around and down the curves :-



One of the first people to arrive ten years ago, Colonel Sanders now smiles down on the curvaceous alignment, set in paving by November 2011, probably in order to be contiguous with the road crossings :-



I must say Tameside Council try to do their best with aesthetics: they have placed statues all along this by-pass, illuminated at night. Driving in November 2011, you have to keep your eyes on the road, but we will soon be able to admire them much better from a tram :-



Heading West at the end of 2011 from Ashton West :-



January 2012 brought platforms to the wilderness :-


Thanks high-fi

Over and down into the sunset at the dawn of a New Year and a new beginning :-


Thanks high-fi

May 2012, rails all the way to Ashton West :-



Looking West towards Manchester from the new tramstop in May 2012, Man City and skyscrapers on the horizon :-


Thanks high-fi

Rudimentary shelters in August 2012 :-


Thanks high-fi

Lovely blue poles were arriving in September 2012 :-





To me! – to you! - stringing the registration arms in September 2012 :-



Heading for the hills in October 2012 :-



Running wires arrived in November 2012 :-





Wires, tin hats and signboards on a cold November day in 2012 :-



Everything starts to look ready, but as ever, a few months to go yet :-



A Winter’s night at windswept Ashton West in January 2013 :-


Thanks hifi

And a New Year dawns, full of Western Promise :-


Thanks TonyH1

February 2013, the wait goes on in the cold twilight :-


Thanks loweskid

Then at last the man himself, Freel07 was on hand to witness the first nocturnal arrival, gauge testing very slowly in the early hours of 4 March 2013 - it’s a double banana crossing the roundabout :-


Thanks Freel,Copyright Steve Hyde

Up and around the rise :-


Thanks Freel,Copyright Steve Hyde

Approaching Ashton West tramstop for the first time :-


Thanks Freel, Copyright Steve Hyde

And down again towards Ashton :-


Thanks Freel,Copyright Steve Hyde

As ever following the initial gauge testing, there followed another wait of a few months during the Summer of 2013 :-



One development in June 2013 was the Arrival of the Totem :-



This time the wait was nothing like as long on these Accelerated sections of Phase 3b as it had been during the ‘TMS pauses’ on the construction of 3a. In August 2013, testing and training started in earnest. Freel was on hand again for the customary initial night shots :-


Thanks Freel,Copyright Steve Hyde


Thanks Freel,Copyright Steve Hyde

Then it was all systems go during daylight hours. Let’s climb to the top of IKEA, get the deck chair out and enjoy the view back towards Manchester :-











Away and over the Moss to Manchester :-





More testing in September 2013, back East across the roundabout :-





Get Ready for the big blast-off! :-











Down into Ashton :-



Trams have priority at this junction :-



Catch this one! :-



Is it a Drive-Thru? :-



The Piper at the Gates of Dawn . . .





I am sent with broom before to sweep the dust behind the door . . .







Two in October 2013 :-



Then at last the big day approached. Even the developers have updated their hoarding to include Metrolink :-



Well done Steve d33 for catching the first pic of a service tram when the line opened on 9 October 2013 :-


Thanks Steve d33

Andrew ro2bapurdie was also on hand on the big day :-


Thanks Andrew

Climbing up from Ashton Moss by the cricket ground :-



But only visible from the stumps in Winter :-



Network Rail initially had some concerns about electrical interference from the tramway passing directly over their lines, but these were soon resolved as at other locations :-



The proximity of the two systems, however, again raises the question, could an interchange be built here? I would say the potential is at least analogous to others, e.g. Baguley or Central Park? :-



For the future, according to the 2016 franchise negotiations, passenger trains from Stockport via Reddish South, Denton and Guide Bridge may once again pass under the Metrolink line here on their way to Victoria, possibly originating from as far back as Chester via Northwich :-



Unfortunately, the third arm of the delta was removed along here some years ago, severing the South-to-East connection to Ashton itself – however, perhaps the missing link is now provided by the tramway? :-



Plenty of room to make the connection though . . .





At present, the branch from Guide Bridge is used exclusively for freight, here passing under Richmond Street heading South to West and waiting to join the main line from Yorkshire. Note the long-disused 1500v dc electrification gantries, installed in 1954 as a spur from the Sheffield via Woodhead line at Guide Bridge, to give access to Ashton Moss sidings. Presumably they were abandoned in 1970 when the Woodhead tunnel closed and the line was truncated to Glossop/Hadfield :-







On the West side the railway re-joins the main line from Ashton, next stop Victoria, so the possibilities are quite considerable . . .



Here a Pacer 142 has just passed the junction and beneath Richmond Street heading for Ashton, under contemporary signalling which will soon disappear with electrification. On the Up line, the fishtail distant is ‘off’ for a clear run to Baguley Fold :-


To-day’s Railways November 2015

Ashton Moss Junction is one of a diminishing number of Absolute Block signalling areas with semaphores, leading to the anomaly of bells in a modern control environment :-


David Allen, RAIL magazine 787, 11 November 2015

But who knows what the future may hold - I suspect we’ve not finished with this area just yet by a long chalk . . . In the meantime, Ashton West tramstop, like Etihad Campus, is a convenient crowd-shifter for Ashton Curzon football club at the Tameside Stadium, centre right, which has a big enough following to fill a couple of doubles on match days :-





Belter – Get in!!



And so Metrolink’s predestinate grooves can now carry us over the railways, up hill and down dale from West to East, all eyes on the distant horizon! :-






Thanks Freel c) Steve Hyde

All aglow in the gloaming :-


Thanks Freel c) Steve Hyde


Thanks Freel c) Steve Hyde




Thanks Ashtonian

JOHNNY'S BIG BANG

East Manchester Line continues in Part 14 ASHTON-under-LYNE https://www.skyscrapercity.com/showth...&page=162#3237



Johnny’s Big Bang

JBB Homepage https://www.skyscrapercity.com/showth...&page=250#5000
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Last edited by Johnny de Rivative; July 16th, 2016 at 07:52 PM.
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Old June 12th, 2012, 01:43 AM   #20016
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Quote:
Originally Posted by martin2345uk View Post
No sign of action but as cats pointed out, the letter said 11-5! So they've got hours yet keep an eye out JDR!! They may trundle past your door yet!!
Quote:
Originally Posted by ashley b View Post
Exactly, last time we saw a tram come out the back end of Piccadilly it was after 1am. And nice to meet you too Martin!
Thanks very much for your efforts guys, much appreciated.

Just for future reference, and so I can recognise you while I'm out spotting, do you both look like your avatars?
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Old June 12th, 2012, 01:43 AM   #20017
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Too late, we've both gone home.
lol
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Old June 12th, 2012, 01:44 AM   #20018
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Thanks very much for your efforts guys, much appreciated.

Just for future reference, and so I can recognise you while I'm out spotting, do you both look like your avatars?
I don't, but Martin does.
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Old June 12th, 2012, 01:45 AM   #20019
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The mxData one.
I'm going to have to get my schedule page to output on that map....
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Old June 12th, 2012, 01:48 AM   #20020
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I don't, but Martin does.


Great pictures from Oldham Johnny.

You too SF07, and Martin from between the legs. I think I'd better go to bed.
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