Topics of particular interest are listed here, generally where photos have been taken over several visits.
MSC Railway Deviations
MSC Railway Deviations
The Manchester Ship Canal is a 36 mile waterway in the North West of England linking Manchester to the Irish Sea. Construction began in 1887 and the canal opened in January 1894. See separate album collecting together all my Manchester Ship Canal photos.
Of particular interest to me are the bridges provided by the Ship Canal Company for the five railway lines that cross the route of the Canal. These were termed "Railway Deviations" and were numbered from No.1 in the west to No.5 to the east. In each case the railway companies forced the Canal company to build the new railway bridges and associated embankments, and test them as satisfactory, before the old routes could be taken out of use. This of course meant that both routes had to co-exist, and in turn this means that significant sections of the original routes are still visible to this day - despite the fact they were closed to through traffic in 1893.
This album collects together photos I have taken of the Railway Deviations and the original, pre-1893, alignments.
Manchester Ship Canal
Manchester Ship Canal
The Manchester Ship Canal is a 36 mile waterway in the North West of England linking Manchester to the Irish Sea. Starting at the Mersey Estuary near Liverpool, it generally follows the original routes of the rivers Mersey and Irwell through the historic counties of Cheshire and Lancashire. Several sets of locks lift vessels to the canal's terminus in Manchester. Construction began in 1887 and the canal opened in January 1894. This album collects together all my Ship Canal photos from various other albums.
Of particular interest to me are the bridges provided by the Ship Canal Company for the five railway lines that cross the route of the Canal. These were termed "Railway Deviations". See separate album collecting together all my Manchester Ship Canal Railway Deviation photos.
HS2 planned route
HS2 planned route
These photographs have been taken over several cycle rides in May and June 2020, showing the presently-planned route of HS2 (High Speed 2; Crewe to Bamfurlong section). Photos and their descriptions show how the route, if built as planned, will affect the landscape. The photos and descriptions are from north to south, and are my interpretation of the available maps and plans; they have no official status. For clarity, I am generally in favour of it being built.
For maps and other information, see the Government web site.
Trans Pennine Trail
Trans Pennine Trail
Photos taken of the Trans Pennine Trail on various dates
Glazebrook - Skelton Line
Glazebrook - Skelton Line
Glazebrook East Jn to Skelton Jn, March & April 2020.
Only a few miles from home, but a disused railway I haven't really explored very much previously. Having said that, I did travel over it throughout on a railtour on 06/03/1982, then later from Skelton Jn as far as Partington works on a railtour on 29/02/1992.
The line from Glazebrook East Jn to Skelton Jn was built by the Cheshire Lines Committee and opened for freight traffic in March 1873, and September 1873 for passenger traffic.
In 1893 the western end of the route was raised to carry the line over the Manchester Ship Canal, this was the so-called "Railway Deviation No.4". To ensure that rail traffic was not interrupted, the deviation was built alongside the original route until complete and approved for use; only then was the original route cut by the canal works. This, and the fact that both sides were re-used for industrial sidings, means that the original route is still mostly visible to this day.
Local passenger train services ceased in 1964 and the line last carried through passenger services in 1966. The costs of maintaining the bridge over the Manchester Ship Canal at Cadishead were cited as the reason for final closure as a through route in 1984. A single track was retained from Skelton Jn to serve the chemical works at Partington, but this closed in 1993.
As there are a lot of photographs, which were mostly taken in March & April 2020, I have separated the route into sections with an album for each: West Timperley area, Partington area, Partington and Carrington branch, and Cadishead area (including Glazebrook).
Manchester Metrolink
Thirlmere Aqueduct
Thirlmere Aqueduct
The Thirlmere Aqueduct is a 96-mile long water supply system built by the Manchester Corporation Water Works between 1890 and 1925. The aqueduct was built to carry approximately 55,000,000 imperial gallons per day of water from Thirlmere Reservoir in the Lake District to Manchester.
The majority of the aqueduct was built by cut-and-cover and so is only just below ground level. To ensure continuous access by maintenance staff, in most places where the route crossed a road or field boundary, a gate was built. These have a characteristic construction with stone stoops and iron gate, with spiked staves.
There are also a large number of valve houses, each built of stone and with a green painted door.
The MCWW TA (as displayed on pretty much every piece of hardware) also has some interesting engineering structures on the route, a few of which are pictured here.
Norton Bridge Remodelling
Norton Bridge Remodelling
Some record photos of the work done at Norton Bridge on the West Coast Main Line in Staffordshire to improve this busy and conflict-plagued junction. All photos taken from public roads.