Lancaster Canal in Whittle-le-Woods - January 2017
Lancaster Canal in Whittle-le-Woods - January 2017
The South End of the Lancaster Canal opened in stages between 1803 and 1810 from the Leeds & Liverpool Canal (at the foot of Johnson's Hillock Locks) to the interchange basin with the Lancaster Canal Tram Road at Walton Summit. It last carried commercial traffic in 1932 and was officially abandoned in the 1960s to allow the M61 Motorway to cross the route in three places without the need for bridges.
The half mile section through Whittle-le-Woods (between Chorley and Preston) has plenty of interest as can be seen in these photographs. The quarries here were an early source of traffic for the canal.
The two tunnels were originally built as one longer tunnel but this collapsed in 1830, and was replaced by two shorter tunnels.
Bolton area closed lines - February 2017
Bolton area closed lines - February 2017
Walking along closed railway lines around Bolton in two parts - around Great Moor Street station and the viaducts on the line towards Bury.
Hayfield to New Mills Walk - February 2017
Hayfield to New Mills Walk - February 2017
Another walk I've been meaning to do for ages. Tram then train to Glossop, then the No.61 bus to Hayfield. Walk to New Mills along the old railway line (opened 1868, closed 1970) then some exploring around the splendid Goyt and Sett riverside walks through New Mills. Home by train and tram from New Mills Newtown.
Weather was poor, cold and snowy/sleety, but no problem when dressed properly - first outing for the walking boots this year. Walked about 5 miles.
I haven't put captions on many of the photos I took in the Sett and Goyt gorges.
Preston Maudlands Bridge area - February 2017
Preston Maudlands Bridge area - February 2017
An interesting area only a short distance from Preston centre, with the remains of the Lancaster Canal and the branch railway to Longridge still easily visible. Some tree clearance of the Longridge line appears to have occurred.
One single track is still basically intact in this area, though the junction points are lifted.
All photos taken Saturday 25/02/2017.
For maps and other details see Wikipedia page.
Mam Tor area - April 2017
Mam Tor area - April 2017
A bit of industrial archaeology on the way home from Barrow Hill this evening - all photos taken along the old Mam Tor road, near the Treak Cliff Cavern.
Peak Forest Tramway - April/May 2017
Peak Forest Tramway - April/May 2017
Phhotos of the Peak Forest Tramway in Derbyshire. This ran for about 5 miles from Bugsworth Basin (the upper terminus of the Peak Forest Canal) to quarries at Dove Holes and Peak Dale. It was open from 1796 to the 1920s and was built by Benjamin Outram to 4 ft 2 in (1270 mm) gauge; the track was formed of stone block sleepers and cast iron L-shaped rails. It was always horse drawn except for the steep inclined plane in Chapel-en-le-Frith which was self-acting, not powered.
Much of the route is walkable, particularly the lower section from Chapel Milton to Bugsworth. Getting around the non-accessible sections meant that I walked about 10 miles in total, from Peak Dale (bus from Buxton) to Whaley Bridge. All photos were taken by myself from public land or public footpaths.
There is plenty to see, particularly the stone sleeper blocks still in situ in so many places after all these years.
Peak Forest Canal - May 2017
Peak Forest Canal - May 2017
A lovely early May day for a cycle ride. From home in Timperley to Manchester along the Bridgewater Canal, then by train to Chapel-en-le-Frith, then along the lower section of the Peak Forest Tramway (again), then a lovely lunch at the Navigation at Bugsworth basin.
After lunch I followed the full length of the Peak Forest Canal, including a side visit to Whaley Bridge and the Cromford & High Peak Railway terminus - plus the incline - and over the splendid aqueduct at Marple.
Finally from Ashton-under-Lyne via part of the Ashton canal, part of the former Stockport canal, then the Fallowfield Loop line to Barlow Moor Road and over the Mersey at Jackson's Boat.
52 miles altogether, but mostly downhill!
Jordan - May 2017
Jordan - May 2017
This was an excellent five days of special trains which covered all the available track in Jordan - much of which has no regular service of any kind, passenger or freight. It was organised by Iain Scotchman on behalf of the Branch Line Society (BLS), supported by the Locomotive Club of Great Britain (LCGB).
Of course many thanks go to Jordan Hejaz Railway (JHR), Aqaba Railway Corporation (ARC), Aqaba Port Authority and our Jordanian travel agents United Travel Agents of Amman.
For a map of the route and an alternative report please see the BLS website Fixture Report.

The Hejaz Railway was built to alleviate the suffering of the Hajj pilgrims en route to Mecca, avoiding 40 days of trekking through desert wilderness. It opened in stages from Damascus (1901) reaching Medina in 1908, never reaching the intended destination of Mecca. It closed in the mid 1920s but was reinstated in part in the 1950s. The connecting railway to the Red Sea port at Aqaba was opened in 1975 for phosphate traffic.
Bole Hill and Millstone Quarries - June/July 2017
Bole Hill and Millstone Quarries - June/July 2017
Two afternoon walks to explore quarries in the Derwent Valley area. Bole Hill Quarry provided most of the stone for the Howden and Derwent Reservoirs via an inclined plane down to the Hope Valley Line. More information on Bole Hill Quarry can be found here.
Near "Surprise View" on the A6187 there was a quarry that produced mill stones; many were simply abandoned in situ.
Colne and Trawden Light Railway - August 2017
Colne and Trawden Light Railway - August 2017
A walk along the route of this 4 foot gauge Light Railway (really, an electric tramway) that ran east from Colne in Lancashire for a little over 3 miles to the village of Trawden. To the west it connected up with the Nelson and Burnley systems. It opened in stages in 1904 and 1905, and closed in stages in 1926, 1928 and 1934. The route was mostly single track with lots of crossing loops. Every photo is of the former alignment unless otherwise stated.
Electric Locomotives - September/October 2017
Electric Locomotives - September/October 2017
Photos of electric locomotives taken while on on a track-bashing holiday in late September and early October 2017. I flew to Paris, then by train overland via France, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Hungary and Serbia to Montenegro; returning by flying from Podgorica to Frankfurt then by train back to Paris.
Some details of workings and also some technical details added where known.
Beograd Centar - October 2017
Beograd Centar - October 2017
A visit to what is supposed to be the new central railway station (sometimes called "Prokop") for Beograd, to replace the old terminus known as Beograd Glavna Železnička Stanica. All photos taken by myself 01/10/2017.
The old terminus closed on and from 1 July 2018, but I haven't been to Centar since then to see what it is like.