Mayfield Timetable

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HMS Ark Royal

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Does anybody have a copy of the last published passenger timetable for Manchester Mayfield station prior to closure in 1960?

Been reading about it, again, and I was just curious about the level of service provided prior to closure and what time the last train left - surprisingly, a search engine perusal flags up only the date of closure
 
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Interesting question. I have a copy of the LMR Passenger Timetable for the period 13 June–11 September 1960, which would cover the last summer before Mayfield closed to passengers on 28 August 1960.

This was the time when Manchester London Road was being electrified and re-built as Piccadilly, so a good fraction of trains which had previously run into London Road were diverted to Mayfield as a short-term measure. So what's written below is not typical of Mayfield in most of the post-WWII period.

The services which generally used Mayfield in 1960 were local trains on these routes:
  • Buxton via Stockport.
  • Local trains to Wilmslow, Alderley Edge or Crewe, via either Styal or Stockport.
  • Local trains to Macclesfield or Stoke-on-Trent via Stockport.
Confusingly, there was no hard-and-fast rule, so if you were a traveller to Wilmslow, for example, most of your trains would depart from Mayfield during this period, but a significant minority would still be timetabled to start from a platform at London Road. To add fuel to the fire, a good proportion of trains seemed to switch between Mayfield and London Road, or vice versa depending whether it was Monday-Friday or Saturday. Again with no way for the casual passenger to predict which.

There was no clock-face departure pattern for suburban trains back then, but as a rule of thumb there were typically 3 or 4 trains per hour in the mid-day off-peak spread between the local routes listed above.

Mayfield was busier in the SX peak period. Here’s a list of departures from the 1960 timetable:

1700 Wilmslow via Styal
1715 Crewe via Stockport
1720 Stoke-on-Trent
1727 Stockport.
1730 Chelford via Stockport
1737 Buxton – limited stops.
1740 Macclesfield Hibel Road.
1750 Buxton all stations
1810 Alderley Edge via Stockport
1812 Wilmslow via Styal
1832 Crewe via Stockport

Last local services at night were:-
2215 SO stations to Stoke-on-Trent
2250 SX stations to Buxton

The very last train at night (7 nights a week) was, surprisingly, an overnight train carrying sleeping cars - the 2355 Manchester Mayfield portion of a Manchester/Liverpool to Cardiff sleeper.

First train in the morning was the Manchester portion of the previous day’s 1650 Penzance to Liverpool/Manchester, due into Mayfield at 0617 and also conveying sleeping cars from Plymouth.

On Sundays, such local trains as were running were all timetabled from London Road, but just to stop passengers getting complacent (especially those carrying heavy luggage), there was a single 1555 departure to Bristol which ran from Mayfield, plus the daily 2355 to Cardiff.

I have older timetables which I could dig out to check Mayfield's "normal" services before the Piccadilly re-build. This would be time-consuming, since the older a railway timetable is, the harder it usually is to read and interpret correctly.
 
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HMS Ark Royal

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Interesting question. I have a copy of the LMR Passenger Timetable for the period 13 June–11 September 1960, which would cover the last summer before Mayfield closed to passengers on 28 August 1960.

This was the time when Manchester London Road was being electrified and re-built as Piccadilly, so a good fraction of trains which had previously run into London Road were diverted to Mayfield as a short-term measure. So what's written below is not typical of Mayfield in most of the post-WWII period.

The services which generally used Mayfield in 1960 were local trains on these routes:
  • Buxton via Stockport.
  • Local trains to Wilmslow, Alderley Edge or Crewe, via either Styal or Stockport.
  • Local trains to Macclesfield or Stoke-on-Trent via Stockport.
Confusingly, there was no hard-and-fast rule, so if you were a traveller to Wilmslow, for example, most of your trains would depart from Mayfield during this period, but a significant minority would still be timetabled to start from a platform at London Road. To add fuel to the fire, a good proportion of trains seemed to switch between Mayfield and London Road, or vice versa depending whether it was Monday-Friday or Saturday. Again with no way for the casual passenger to predict which.

There was no clock-face departure pattern for suburban trains back then, but as a rule of thumb there were typically 3 or 4 trains per hour in the mid-day off-peak spread between the local routes listed above.

Mayfield was busier in the SX peak period. Here’s a list of departures from the 1960 timetable:

1700 Wilmslow via Styal
1715 Crewe via Stockport
1720 Stoke-on-Trent
1727 Stockport.
1730 Chelford via Stockport
1737 Buxton – limited stops.
1740 Macclesfield Hibel Road.
1750 Buxton all stations
1810 Alderley Edge via Stockport
1812 Wilmslow via Styal
1832 Crewe via Stockport

Last local services at night were:-
2215 SO stations to Stoke-on-Trent
2250 SX stations to Buxton

The very last train at night (7 nights a week) was, surprisingly, an overnight train carrying sleeping cars - the 2355 Manchester Mayfield portion of a Manchester/Liverpool to Cardiff sleeper.

First train in the morning was the Manchester portion of the previous day’s 1650 Penzance to Liverpool/Manchester, due into Mayfield at 0617 and also conveying sleeping cars from Plymouth.

On Sundays, such local trains as were running were all timetabled from London Road, but just to stop passengers getting complacent (especially those carrying heavy luggage), there was a single 1555 departure to Bristol which ran from Mayfield, plus the daily 2355 to Cardiff.

I have older timetables which I could dig out to check Mayfield's "normal" services before the Piccadilly re-build. This would be time-consuming, since the older a railway timetable is, the harder it usually is to read and interpret correctly.

A detailed reply, for which I thank you. It was interesting to read...

On the final day of operation (passenger-wise that is), would it have been an otherwise normal running service day for Mayfield? Also, would the Mayfield station staff simply have walked over the road to London Road and took duty there?
 

kermit

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Didn't Mayfield carry on as a parcels station for a long while after passenger use stopped?

Sorry if I'm talking rubbish - just a glimmer of a memory at the back of the head there.....
 

HMS Ark Royal

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Didn't Mayfield carry on as a parcels station for a long while after passenger use stopped?

Sorry if I'm talking rubbish - just a glimmer of a memory at the back of the head there.....

Yes, but only after a while after passenger services ceased.
 

kermit

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Ah - so a gap with complete closure followed by reopening in another guise.

I wasn't talking complete horsepoo, but had missed a vital point.

Thanks!
 

HMS Ark Royal

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Ah - so a gap with complete closure followed by reopening in another guise.

I wasn't talking complete horsepoo, but had missed a vital point.

Thanks!

Yep

The very detailed post by Springs Branch made for good reading - I hope he or she can answer the second question
 

Bevan Price

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The 1955/56 Winter timetable shows a much lesser service from Mayfield. Departures were:
12:15 (SO) Wilmslow
12:30 (SO) Whaley Bridge
13:50 Alderley Edge (SX to Stockport only)
15:15 (SX) / 15:20 (SO) Crewe
15:50 (SX) Alderley Edge **
16:00 (SO) Buxton
16:15 (SX) Wilmslow **
17:00 (SX) Wilmslow **
17:22 (SO) Macclesfield Hibel Road
18:25 Crewe
18:45 Wilmslow **
19:35 Wilmslow **
20:20 Wilmslow **

** - Via Styal - all others were via Stockport

Winter 1951/52 timetable shows similar level of service to 1955, although with some slightly different departure times.

(And OT on this topic, I noticed that in 1955, Buxton had one express train to Manchester (London Road, now Piccadilly) that took only 41 minutes, with just one stop at Stockport Edgeley.)
 

deltic

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A 1959 timetable shows the following all day departures - for services to Stockport they dont seem to carry on elsewhere but difficult to check. So a lot quieter than in 1960!

07.50 - Stoke
08.35 - Stockport?
09.20 SX Buxton
11.20 SO Buxton
3.25 SX Crewe
4.35 SX Crewe
5.00 SX Wilmslow via Styal
5.08 SX Stockport?
5.27 SX Stockport?
6.32 Crewe
8.15 SO Crewe
9.20 FO Buxton
10.20 SO Buxton
10.50 SX Buxton
 
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…… On the final day of operation (passenger-wise that is), would it have been an otherwise normal running service day for Mayfield? Also, would the Mayfield station staff simply have walked over the road to London Road and took duty there?
I haven’t seen any info on the last day at Mayfield.

Since use of Mayfield station was wrapped up in the huge Manchester London Road re-building project and the first stage of electrification of the WCML at the time, and moreover the vibe of that era was very much “out with the old, in with the new”, if I had to guess, I’d say it was business as usual, then the last man out just switched off the lights, locked the doors and everyone turned up for work at London Road the next day.

I believe there was a hiatus of several years before Mayfield re-opened as a parcels depot.

A Google Search throws up lots of photos of Mayfield, mostly relatively recent and in a state of dereliction.
But there is one showing a topical scene dated 30 July 1960, right in the busy period just before closure.

Image is credited to J.W. Sutherland. Source is http://sutherland.davenportstation.org.uk/aaprint/man.html#60-01

Finally, this question was a great excuse to browse through my copy of Britain’s New Railway by O.S. Nock. This gives some interesting snippets on the happenings during that year (e.g. that some trains from the Ashburys direction were terminated at Ardwick – bet that was popular!).

In Chapter 8, Nock is talking about the electrification and re-building at Piccadilly ….
O.S. Nock, Britain’s New Railway pp.86-87
….. The building of the new signal box was carried out during Stage Two of the reconstruction of the station – the stage that included rebuilding of the MSJ&A station on the new Fairfield Street viaduct. This second stage was completed in December 1959 and at that time the first stage of the new signaling at Piccadilly was brought into operation. So far as the signalling was concerned this stage consisted of transferring to the new signal box (i.e. Piccadilly Power Box) the controls of the outlying sections covering Longsight, Slade Lane Junction and the Styal line to Mauldeth Road and East Didsbury.

The Third Stage of the main construction work covered alterations to the running lines and connections used by the Eastern Region D.C. electric trains (i.e. to Glossop/Hadfield and Sheffield Victoria via Woodhead). This was an extensive change because alterations to the track layout involved re-positioning many of the supporting structures for the (1500V D.C.) overhead line equipment, and the entire track between Piccadilly station and Ardwick Junction was relaid. When this stage was completed in April 1960, the control of train movements in this area and in Piccadilly station itself, except for platforms 5 to 10 was transferred to the new signal box.

At one time it was hoped that services could be carried on as normal during the alteration periods, but unless the transition was to be prolonged beyond what was desired it became clear that some interruption to normal services would have to be made in order to give the civil engineers the necessary freedom to carry on with the reconstruction work with a minimum of restriction. During Stage Three therefore, some of the electrified services from the Eastern Region were terminated at Ardwick and some London Midland services were diverted to Mayfield.

The fourth and final stage involved the western side of the station and was carried out during the late spring and summer of 1960. During this time normal working was resumed of the Eastern Region D.C. electric trains, but continuing use was made of Mayfield for terminating London Midland suburban trains. Main line trains were in general re-routed so as to terminate at other stations in Manchester. Inevitably there was some delay to long distance traffic during this period; in the circumstances it was very small, and this diversion of long distance express trains had the effect of greatly speeding up the work of reconstruction in Piccadilly station itself.

The work was completed and the remaining controls transferred to the new signal box in August 1960 and the electrified service between Manchester Piccadilly and Crewe was inaugurated on 12th September 1960.
 

Bevan Price

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A detailed reply, for which I thank you. It was interesting to read...

On the final day of operation (passenger-wise that is), would it have been an otherwise normal running service day for Mayfield? Also, would the Mayfield station staff simply have walked over the road to London Road and took duty there?

No need to walk over the road - the footbridge at Piccadilly used to extend across Fairfield Street into Mayfield Station - the route used by many passengers, including me on my only arrival at Mayfield. It tended to be used more as a sort of appendix to Piccadilly (then called London Road) rather than as a completely separate station.
 

HMS Ark Royal

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No need to walk over the road - the footbridge at Piccadilly used to extend across Fairfield Street into Mayfield Station - the route used by many passengers, including me on my only arrival at Mayfield. It tended to be used more as a sort of appendix to Piccadilly (then called London Road) rather than as a completely separate station.

Technically "over the road" like I postulated?
 

HMS Ark Royal

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"Technically", yes, I had read your post as implying they would have to leave Mayfield and walk over the road at ground level.

Its a figure of speech...

I find it odd that there is not much information on the last day of operations in passenger use - normally there is a picture or two of the last day
 

kevconnor

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What strikes me about this is that as an example of a pre-Beeching timetable there are are not more examples of lines and services no longer running. I guess as Manchester services were spread out over multiple termini then it is less noticeable when only looking at one.
 

Bevan Price

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What strikes me about this is that as an example of a pre-Beeching timetable there are are not more examples of lines and services no longer running. I guess as Manchester services were spread out over multiple termini then it is less noticeable when only looking at one.

All the lines served in the 1950s by Manchester Piccadilly (London Road) / Mayfield are still open, at least in part. (Woodhead route is now closed beyond Hadfield, Macclesfield Central trains now finish at Rose Hill Marple), and Mayfield mostly served the ex-LMSR suburban services, which consisted only of Buxton line, Crewe via Stockport line, Macclesfield (Hibel Road), and Styal route to Wilmslow. There was no access to Mayfield for ex-LNER routes - certainly not for Woodhead electrics.

A very different situation applies if you look at some other "important" stations such as Leeds City, Nottingham Midland, Carlisle, etc.
 
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