Friday, 12 June 2015

One Small Step for Todmorden [2]

Decline and Fall!
fbb must confess to a totally inadequate knowledge of he railways of East Lancashire but he above map extract shows somethin of the extensive network that existed until the early 1950s. To put the map in context, Manchester is due south, Blackburn, then Preston are west of Accrington, Bradford and Leeds are east of Todmorden and Skipton is north of Colne.

 1952  saw the withdrawal of trains on the branch from Bury to Holcombe Brook [56 on map] ...
... and local services between Rochdale and Bacup [part of 10].
Bacup was still served by trains via Rawtenstall ...
... but all signs of the station have now succumbed to development.

 1957  brought the end of normal passenger services on the Great Harwood loop ...
... although seasonal excursion trains continued for a while longer.

 1966  was the kiss of death for through trains between Manchester and Burnley via Bury and Accrington ...
... and the loss of the remaining link to Bacup via Rawtenstall. Poor Bacup!

 1971  brought the end of a local service (along the very bottom of the map) beween Bolton and Rochdale.

 1972  was the unkindest cut of all. Local trains north of Bury and on to Rawenstall ceased; a half hourly service no less. Also in 1972 the Todmorden Curve ceased to be used thus depriving Burnley of its second route to Manchester.

 1982  might have deprived the Copy Pit line (between The Todmorden Curve and Burnley itself) of all rail services, local passenger trains having ceased in 1965 [26], BUT ...
...  In mid-1982 the last tanker train travelled over the line, with the expectation of closure shortly after. A turning point came when the National and Provincial Building Society moved staff from Burnley to Bradford. The Society arranged for a Preston to Bradford Interchange train to be run to move staff from their home base to Bradford offices. In October 1984 British Rail developed this into five trains each way between Leeds and Preston with one extended to Blackpool.

More on the Copy Pit line next week.

With the proviso that fbb may have missed some detail, we are now in a position to see what was left and thus what ran until the changes last month. (Click on this map to enlarge)
We have trains via Todmorden and on to Halifax, Bradford and Leeds; and from Bolton to Blackburn and Clitheroe [94].

The service via Copy Pit [41] has grown to hourly and runs through from York to Blackpool ...
... calling at Burnley Man(chester) Road.

There is a subsidiary and stopping service from Blackpool to Colne [97], also hourly ...
... calling at Burnley Central and (by request only) at Burnley Barracks.

Manchester Metrolink to Bury appears in black but the cartographers for the National Rail Maps haven't quite grasped the tram line via Shaw and Oldham to Rochdale.
Like the line to Bury, this was a "proper" railway line and now carries a much enhanced service.

For the sake of completeness, we should record that Heritage Trains run on the East Lancashire Railway from Rawtenstall via Bury to Heywood. See the map for 1966 above.

So we can now see that by reinstating the left hand turn just north of Todmorden ...
... Burnley's Bills, Brians and Belindas, plus Accrington's Stanleys, can travel direct to Manchester via the Copy Pit line after a gap of 40 years.

But it has not been quite as smooth a process as Wednesday's quoted Bolton News article suggested it would be.

More on Monday!
Mr and Mrs fbb
are pleased to announce
the arrival of
(aka Wacko-Jacko)

transferred from a near neighbour
at 1900 yesterday

Humans and Cat are doing well!
 Next book blog : Saturday 13th June 

1 comment:

  1. Congratulations on the addition to your family.

    Jacko is a handsome lad.