Basford Hall tunnel

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ole man

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I asked this a few months ago but got no replies!!!.

There was a tunnel that linked the WCML to the Stoke line from the south at Basford Hall does anybody have pictures of this and any information?
 
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ex-railwayman

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I asked this a few months ago but got no replies!!!.

There was a tunnel that linked the WCML to the Stoke line from the south at Basford Hall does anybody have pictures of this and any information?
Really ?? What period are you talking about please, as I've been travelling to Crewe Station since the 1970's and never knew of a tunnel at the south end of Basford Hall Yard, and the only way to get to Stoke On Trent from the WCML south was from Norton Bridge through Stone and Barlaston up to Stoke.

Cheerz. ex-railwayman.
 

ole man

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It shows in my atlas that it closed in 1984, a releative of mine who is a current driver clearly remembers the tunnel, it went under the WCML and came out by what is now LNWR on the Stoke line
 

The 39 Steps

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When you depart Crewe heading towards Alsager look to your right when passing the LNWR Sidings. There are plenty of trees. Then there is a break with a roadway running through it. At the WCML end of this roadway is the south end of the LNWR staff carpark and this roadway is part of the site access from the vehicular crossing over the Alsager line. Alongside the trees on the north side of this roadway you will see four of the remaining OHLE stantions which obviously mark part of the route at that end of the line.
 

The 39 Steps

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I have clear memories from the WCML of seeing the line and OHLE rise from under the WCML going towards Alsager. The other side of the WCML I probably have but I cannot bring them to mind. The view westwards across Basford Hall was a mass of sidings, far more than now and it may be that I will have seen it but cannot readily identify the particular track/route. I suppose a photograph may trigger a more clearer memory. Again the view from the Alsager line I will have seen, for example, when passing to go to Derby Locomotive (and Litchurch Lane) Works Open Days in the 1970's. I have no knowledge of the actual tunnel itself. I suspect that the local engineers from the early 1980's would know more and the Bridge Examiner more than anyone! Perhaps a then Crewe based driver will still be about who has actually driven through it.
 

eastwestdivide

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The big Cobb atlas shows the curve under the main lines of the WCML south of Crewe station, running from the west side of Basford Hall sidings, to join the line towards Alsager at "NS Sidings Junction". It gives an opening date of about 1900 and closing date of 1984.
Suppose it would give access between. the industry of the Stoke area to the marshalling yards S of Crewe and to the slow lines of the WCML.
 

ole man

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Thats what i've got the big Cobb atlas, i have searched the internet for years to try and find pictures and what loco's and services used this line.
 

38Cto15E

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In the 1970s Leicester depot had a turn which involved a freight working from Leicester via Castle Donington and Stoke to Basford Hall, returning via the WCML.
 

John55

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The big Cobb atlas shows the curve under the main lines of the WCML south of Crewe station, running from the west side of Basford Hall sidings, to join the line towards Alsager at "NS Sidings Junction". It gives an opening date of about 1900 and closing date of 1984.
Suppose it would give access between. the industry of the Stoke area to the marshalling yards S of Crewe and to the slow lines of the WCML.
The tunnel/bridge and line appears to have been buried under the developments south of the carriage shed.

Strictly speaking the line in question goes under the slow lines and gives access to Basford Hall and the "Independent Lines" which bypass Crewe Station. From there any number of routes out are/were available without crossing the main lines on the flat.
 

Geeves

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Those tunnels are still in use on the North side of the station Westcoaster. The tunnel talked about comes from the South and onto the Stoke line, avoiding a reverse in the station which you would have to do now.
 

Adrian42140

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There was a tunnel that linked the WCML to the Stoke line from the south at Basford Hall does anybody have pictures of this and any information?
Not what I would call a tunnel. It was a bridge under the WCML - to me a tunnel would have been dug under the surface, leaving the surface untouched. The 25 inch 1908 OS map shows the line runs in a cutting on each side of the WCML, and the WCML goes over the "L&NWR Stoke Goods Loops", as they're called, with lines drawn parallel to and adjacent to the WCML, exactly like a bridge would be, thus crossing the Goods Loops on a skew, whereas tunnel mouths would generally have been at right angles to the Loop. Seems pretty clear to me that what was over the Loop was just a bridge, not several foot of ground. No need to tunnel under, in any case, when a bridge would do perfectly.
 

6Gman

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To summarise, and add a few personal comments:

1. Technically it appears to have been a bridge rather than a tunnel.
2. Opened c.1900 in connection with the development of Basford Hall and the Independent lines.
3. Closed 1984 in anticipation of the 1985 Crewe remodelling. I believe it was to allow the speed restriction on the main line to be raised.
4. Its main use was to allow traffic from Stoke area to be remarshalled at Basford Hall - in the late 1970s/ early 1980s there were two regular Stoke - B Hall afternoon trains (mostly composed of vanfits and hauled by 24s) which I remember well.
5. I have a photograph of 2 08s passing along the line in the late 70s - probably en route from working in the Stoke area to maintenance at Crewe TMD. This was published as a 'mystery photo' on the Crewe Blog website.
6. My late father (a Crewe Driver) almost certainly drove along it!
 

ole man

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To summarise, and add a few personal comments:

1. Technically it appears to have been a bridge rather than a tunnel.
2. Opened c.1900 in connection with the development of Basford Hall and the Independent lines.
3. Closed 1984 in anticipation of the 1985 Crewe remodelling. I believe it was to allow the speed restriction on the main line to be raised.
4. Its main use was to allow traffic from Stoke area to be remarshalled at Basford Hall - in the late 1970s/ early 1980s there were two regular Stoke - B Hall afternoon trains (mostly composed of vanfits and hauled by 24s) which I remember well.
5. I have a photograph of 2 08s passing along the line in the late 70s - probably en route from working in the Stoke area to maintenance at Crewe TMD. This was published as a 'mystery photo' on the Crewe Blog website.
6. My late father (a Crewe Driver) almost certainly drove along it!
thats great, can you put any pictures up or send me a private message and will give you my email address?.

So are you saying it wasn't a tunnel more like a bridge going under the WCML?. Ive walked around this area and all traces seem to have disappeared
 

John55

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Yes, my mistake, west side of the main lines, and east side of the yard and the independent lines that bypass Crewe station.
My Signalling Record Society Track Plan from the 1950s shows the line from Stoke (NS) emerging west of the Up Fast Independent line but east of everything else. There are 18 through lines in this area (excluding the WCML) comprising Up & Down Fast & Slow Independent plus reception lines and shunting necks so it does get hard to sort it all out.

According to this book Basford Hall is the junction with the WCML further south and the complex of sidings is Crewe Sorting Sidings. This may well have changed since the 1950s of course.
 

ole man

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Without any pictures, nobody really knows if its technically a tunnel or a bridge , i'm surprised nobody has any it only closed in 1984 which is quite recent in railway terms.
 

6Gman

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Without any pictures, nobody really knows if its technically a tunnel or a bridge , i'm surprised nobody has any it only closed in 1984 which is quite recent in railway terms.
It was in a very awkward place for photography! It was also a pretty quiet stretch of track (especially conmpared to other parts of the Crewe area), so I'm not surprised it was little photographed. My photo doesn't show the tunnel/ bridge but the two 08s on the chord leading to the North Stafford lines.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
My Signalling Record Society Track Plan from the 1950s shows the line from Stoke (NS) emerging west of the Up Fast Independent line but east of everything else. There are 18 through lines in this area (excluding the WCML) comprising Up & Down Fast & Slow Independent plus reception lines and shunting necks so it does get hard to sort it all out.

According to this book Basford Hall is the junction with the WCML further south and the complex of sidings is Crewe Sorting Sidings. This may well have changed since the 1950s of course.
Basford Hall Junction is the junction with the WCML. The signalboxes within the sidings complex were Basford Hall Sorting Sidings North, Middle & South.

I'm pretty sure that from the mid-60s to the mid-90s (the period during which I saw WTTs) it was described as Basford Hall Sorting Sidings.
 

paulb1973

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Was this connecting line known as the 'North Staffordshire Curve'? I have a book somewhere at home stating this short line was electrified in the 1960's, only to be singled and de-electrified before final closure in Oct 1984.
 
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