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Just as a matter of interest, regarding the Ardwick to Guide Bridge section, when the Sheffield, Ashton-under-Lyne and Manchester Railway built the line, the section between the stations at Ardwick and at Ashburys was only two tracks wide. At Ashburys, the line connection from the Miles Platting area came in at the rear of that station and from Ashburys to Guide Bridge, it was four tracks wide, two tracks being specific to fast services. Fairfield was once a six-platform station, with a two-track junction taking the Fallowfield Loop Line into Manchester Central station.
To complete the picture later pinch points have arisen where the M60 crosses the line and the rebuiliding of Guide Bridge where the southern pair of tracks were removed to make way for the cae park and new station buiding..
Guide Bridge before and after the post Woodhead closure rationalisation. by Mwmbwls, on Flickr

Guide Bridge before and after the post Woodhead closure rationalisation. by Mwmbwls, on Flickr
 

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I noticed this morning that structures have started to appear on the Guide Bridge to Stalybridge line. At the bridge adjacent to the junction of Whitelands Road, Lower Wharf Street and what used to be known as Scotland Street I noticed these two structures.





I didn't have time to investigate further other than a quick look near the site of the former Park Parade Station at the end of Warrington Street where there are still no signs of any OLE masts.
 

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I took a more extensive look at the progress along the Guide Bridge to Stalybridge line between Cavendish Street Ashton and Clarence Street Stalybridge this morning. As far as I can make out there are no structures in place between Cavendish Street and Scotland Street as yet. I guess that as this section is maninly on a viaduct most structures are likely to need bespoke foundations. Neither are there any on either line (MVL or SAJ) at or east of Clarence Street bridge in Stalybridge.

Between Scotland Street and Granville Street there are plenty of structures evident but none other than the two either side of Scotland Street bridge have any fixtures on them.

PXL_20221117_082458797a by Steve Hyde, on Flickr

P1390412 by Steve Hyde, on Flickr

Access to see the track from Bank Top above Whitelands Road is hindered by vegetation but I did give it a try.

P1390414 by Steve Hyde, on Flickr

P1390418 by Steve Hyde, on Flickr

This stretch still has no palisade fencing but there was a team starting work at the footbridge near Mabs Court.

P1390419 by Steve Hyde, on Flickr

P1390423 by Steve Hyde, on Flickr

P1390425 by Steve Hyde, on Flickr

P1390428 by Steve Hyde, on Flickr

Granville Street footbridge with the Countess Street compound on the right.

P1390427 by Steve Hyde, on Flickr

P1390430 by Steve Hyde, on Flickr

Looking west from Granville Street, there are still missing masts although piled foundations are visible.

P1390433 by Steve Hyde, on Flickr

Looking towards Stalybridge just 4 structures are visible.

P1390435 by Steve Hyde, on Flickr
 

· jonesy3001
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I also had a look at the MVL line between Granville Street and Mossley Road most structures now have registration arms etc on them

Looking east from the other bridge at Granville Street.

P1390447 by Steve Hyde, on Flickr

and west from the same location with Currier Lane bridge in the background.

P1390449 by Steve Hyde, on Flickr

The same section viewed from Currier Lane.

P1390454 by Steve Hyde, on Flickr

Currier Lane looking towards Ashton with Stamford Street bridge in the background.

P1390456 by Steve Hyde, on Flickr

The same stretch viewed from Stamford Street.

P1390458 by Steve Hyde, on Flickr

Work is still in progress raising the height of the parapets on Stamford Street bridge. Both sides have extended brick parapet walls now and a start has been made installing the concrete tops on the north side.

P1390460 by Steve Hyde, on Flickr

A couple of views from the next bridge at Queen Street. First looking back to Stamford Street

P1390461 by Steve Hyde, on Flickr

and towards Mossley Road.

P1390466 by Steve Hyde, on Flickr
 

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Been looking on realtime looks like there's engineering works every sunday between victoria and stalybridge.
Sunday services between Victoria and Stalybridge have been intermittent since the start of the pandemic. As far as I know Northern haven't run any trains on Sundays on the route since March 2020 and TPE services have been on and off over the same period. In fact Ashton station has become a bit of a forgotten backwater with at best an hourly service 6 days a week in place of pre-pandemic half hourly trains. That's when they can be bothered to run them.
 

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MEN


A railway bridge in Hindley is due to be demolished and replaced as part of the electrification of the line between Wigan and Bolton. Network Rail is investing £78 million into this scheme which would see 13 miles of railway given an overhaul.

Despite objectors raising questions over whether this historic bridge on Ladies Lane, built in the 1840’s, should be protected from a heritage point of view and fears over traffic disruption, Wigan Council were required to green light the proposals. This is because under planning law railway companies have the powers to carry out any work that is deemed necessary for ‘making, maintaining, altering or repairing and using the railway’.

The bridge next to Hindley Railway Station - which will continue to have vehicle and pedestrian access upon completion - will be reconstructed with concrete and incorporate 1.8-metre-high parapets to meet the required standards for electrification.
 

· jonesy3001
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Wires have gone up on the ashton line up to berry brow crossing, wonder if they're doing the rest during this weeks overnight closures,this was posted on LinkedIn.

It's interesting to ponder why Network Rail delayed the announcement about the installation of the first length of catenary for a month. The post quoted above on November 7th is mirrored by a news item in Modern Railways this month quoting a Network Rail news briefing of the same date. I took and posted photos of the same area dated 7th October showing the run of catenary mentioned in the news release. I also recall there being a news item on the BBC North West evening news around November 7th including Network Rail video clips of the same area.

Anyway with nice weather this morning I thought I would take another look at this section to see if any more progress had been made. Sadly the only changes seem to be that there is now a return conductor in place through the section tha6t wasn't there in October and additionally the western gantry structure at the M60 bridge has been installed. The eastern one is still missing.

Still no catenary east of Moss Lane footbridge

P1100821 by Steve Hyde, on Flickr

or between Moss Lane and Benny Lane.

P1100822 by Steve Hyde, on Flickr

P1100824 by Steve Hyde, on Flickr

But there is now a gantry at the western end of the M60 bridge

P1100825 by Steve Hyde, on Flickr

P1100829 by Steve Hyde, on Flickr

although as mentioned above the eastern one is still missing. You can make out the foundations for it in this enlargement.

P1100826 by Steve Hyde, on Flickr

At Benny Lane although its not apparent really in the photos the return conductor starts around three structures west of the footbridge. Otherwise nothing else seems to have changed.

P1100835 by Steve Hyde, on Flickr

P1100838 by Steve Hyde, on Flickr

P1100834 by Steve Hyde, on Flickr

Now at Littlemoss Road bridge the return conductor ends just east of the bridge as seen here.

P1100840 by Steve Hyde, on Flickr

It starts again on the first structure west of Lumb Lane footbridge.

P1100841 by Steve Hyde, on Flickr

P1100842 by Steve Hyde, on Flickr

P1100845 by Steve Hyde, on Flickr

P1100851 by Steve Hyde, on Flickr

P1100855 by Steve Hyde, on Flickr

At Ashton Moss North Junction the 2 cross track structures seen in the middle distance are now complete with them have had the cross track booms added recently. They now await registration arms etc.

PXL_20221121_095218068a by Steve Hyde, on Flickr

PXL_20221121_095225472 by Steve Hyde, on Flickr

Similarly at Ashton Station 2 structures which up to last week had been incomplete have now had more steelwork added. These also await the provision of registration arms.

PXL_20221127_103050924a by Steve Hyde, on Flickr

PXL_20221127_103050924b by Steve Hyde, on Flickr
 

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Hi Freel great work as always, isn't it standard in electrification to delay the putting up the cables to reduce the time they'll be left without power through them - to avoid the cables being out there too long for them to be stolen?
 

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Hi Freel great work as always, isn't it standard in electrification to delay the putting up the cables to reduce the time they'll be left without power through them - to avoid the cables being out there too long for them to be stolen?
Yes obviously from a security point of view that makes sense. But my point was that the wires went up around the beginning of October but the press release was the beginning of November and made it appear that the installation had just taken place that week. You would think that NR would want to make a big thing about a significant landmark in the project.
 

· jonesy3001
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There are overnight engineering works again this week between stalybridge and victoria, so some more might go up.
 

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There are overnight engineering works again this week between stalybridge and victoria, so some more might go up.
There has been overnight engineering between Victoria and Stalybridge for a few months at least. The last 3 evening Northern trains to Stalybridge have been replaced by buses for several months to allow longer possessions. I understand that the TPE trans after around 21:30 all run via Piccadilly.
 

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For my walk this morning I thought I'd take another look at the railway work west of Droylsden and see how far I could get. In the end I got rather carried away and ended up at Clayton Bridge. This entailed a little bit more than a simple walk as along the path leading from Droylsden towards Clayton Vale I encountered a flooded area where the path crosses Lumb Clough.

P1100872 by Steve Hyde, on Flickr

The water appeared rather deep and I was on the point of abandoning my expedition but nothing ventured nothing gained I followed what looked like a fairly well trodden path up the bank towards the railway and finally after a bit of scrambling managed to regain the public footpath.

Anyway here are some of the photos I took.

To put the walk into perspective this is where I left off yesterday at what was Droylsden Station junction.

P1100856 by Steve Hyde, on Flickr

A little further west there is a pipe bridge over the line and access is gained easily. Here the installation is catenary and return conductor over the up line only and this continues for some distance.

P1100861 by Steve Hyde, on Flickr

P1100862 by Steve Hyde, on Flickr

P1100865 by Steve Hyde, on Flickr

Immediately west of these industrial warehouses the next drum length of wire should start but it doesn't yet and a couple of spans further on the installed length finishes although access to see this end is rather precipitous.

P1100866 by Steve Hyde, on Flickr

P1100867 by Steve Hyde, on Flickr

Sorry about the angle of this shot but I was slipping in the mud here.

P1100869 by Steve Hyde, on Flickr

P1100870 by Steve Hyde, on Flickr

The path is down there somewhere under the water.

P1100875 by Steve Hyde, on Flickr

Back on the approved path and there is now only a return conductor to see.

P1100876 by Steve Hyde, on Flickr

P1100878 by Steve Hyde, on Flickr

P1100883 by Steve Hyde, on Flickr

Looking back towards Droylsden, the footbridge is behind Gloucester Road.

P1100885 by Steve Hyde, on Flickr

Sunnyside Lane now, the bridge parapets here are too high for me to takes photos over although I did try this one and the result isn't too bad after much rotating and cropping.

P1100889 by Steve Hyde, on Flickr

P1100887 by Steve Hyde, on Flickr

View towards Manchester.

P1100892 by Steve Hyde, on Flickr

This enlargement seems to show registration arms aligned across the track rather than out of the way parallel to it.

P1100892a by Steve Hyde, on Flickr

This is where I got a bit carried away and ventured way further than I intended. As a child my wife used to live on the road just above the line here and told me of a path that ran down from Chestnut Avenue to Millstream Lane and under the viaduct just before Clayton Bridge crossing so I thought I'd give it a go. Found it ok but it is now closed, however alternatives exist so I ploughed on and was glad I did.

The viaduct over Millstream Lane and yes there are overhead wires visible (just).

P1100910a by Steve Hyde, on Flickr

This required further investigation so on to Berry Brow and the level crossing at Clayton Bridge. Lo and behold wiring above both road here.

P1100895 by Steve Hyde, on Flickr

P1100898 by Steve Hyde, on Flickr

P1100903 by Steve Hyde, on Flickr

And a train thrown in for good measure.

P1100906 by Steve Hyde, on Flickr

By now I had realised that I had to find a way back home and didn't fancy repeating my clambering up muddy embankment sides so a reasonable walk back down Berry Brow and along Edge Lane to catch the tram back to Ashton before a 20 minute walk back up the old Oldham Ashton and Guide Bridge route to Limehurst. It's a puzzle to me why there is that gap in the wiring west of Droylsden, there seems no logic in the sequence they are following.
 
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