Reddish South to Denton - trip report

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Green Lane

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An enjoyable visit to the Stockport-Stalybridge line today.

Got up at 05:15, and out of the house by 05:40. Not bad going for me!

Walked down to Birkenhead Central where I got the 05:59 to Liverpool Lime Street. Was great to get a pristine Metro newspaper from pretty much the top of the pile at BKC.

Arrived at Lime Street main concourse at 06:11, around a good half an hour earlier than needed, but intending ultimately to catch the Reddish South service, I thought it better to be safe than sorry.

Having read the Metro at Lime Street concourse, taking me nicely up to 06:30 or so, I then strolled on over to platform 5 for the 06:47 EMT service to Norwich. My destination, Stockport, and it was my choice to board this particular train, avoiding the need for a change at Manchester Piccadilly.


Arrived bang on time at 07:53 at Stockport and after a toilet break, managed to leave the station at 08:00. My mission now, with just a Manchester A-Z street atlas in hand was to walk the two-and-a-bit miles to Reddish South, whilst grabbing as many photos as possible of Stockport etc.. for potential Wikipedia uploads.

Finally arrived on foot at Reddish South, sometime around 08:45, which was ideal as the sun was still out and it gave me a good 40 minutes or so to soak up the atmosphere of the station and also to eat some of my "packed breakfast" at Reddish South. Fortunately, I could sit on the grassy bank for a while.

I arrived, perhaps not unsurprisingly to a completely deserted station:-






Was nice to see a timetable here too (complete with reflection of me holding the camera!):-


Then around 9:00am or so, something unexpected happened, another passenger arrived at the station! After noticing the gentleman take a few photos of the station, it was apparent to me that he was another enthusiast.
So, I got talking to him and it turns out he was a retired railwayman in the area, mainly to visit the Metrolink tram system and new route extensions, but thought he'd do this line too whilst here.

On top of that there was another guy standing on the Reddish Road bridge with camera in hand, awaiting no doubt what was an excellent shot of the pacer arriving. Sure enough, once he'd got his shot, he was rapidly down onto the platform to catch the train. So, there were three of us boarding today at Reddish South.

Something else unexpected occured (well to me anyway) - around 09:07 a pacer on an apparent ECS move travelled through the station, alas I did not have my camera in hand at that exact moment - it caught me on the hop. Would've been nice to get a shot of that though!

Anyway, we stood chatting and 9:26 came and went and I mentioned to the gentleman that the train was due. Eventually he noticed it arriving in the distance around the bend sometime around 09:29 or so and I have to admit, we were quite relieved and happy that the train was running. We had no reason to believe that it wouldn't of course, but with only one service a week, there's a sense of dramatic tension until the train actually makes an appearance. :D

The train was formed of 142022 at the front, with 142014 at the rear. I think, going by where the train stopped and by where the guard was standing that only 142022 was open to passengers, with 142014 closed off, but I might be mistaken.




Imagine our further surprise when a group of three people alighted at Reddish South - or so we thought. In fact they were just getting off to photo the train at the station, and then getting back on again. They did the same again at Denton. They seemed to be enjoying the journey as much as I was!
Interior shot - taken during my five-minute journey. :D


Five minutes later, I alighted at Denton, and other passengers boarded there as I got off, one of whom greeted me. There seems to be a bit of camaraderie amongst users of this line! I was the only passenger to leave the train altogether at Denton. Fortunately, I managed to get some better shots of the train here:-








Finally, grabbed a few shots of Denton station itself. Good to see they have benches and planters. A good effort has really been made here:-










I've got loads more photos of the two stations of interest that I visited today, far too many to insert in this single post. I may post some more in the thread again at a later time.

Finally, I walked into Denton itself, for further photos including Denton Town Hall and Victoria Park. Although one small part of my mission failed. Whilst there, I attempted to locate the offices of "Tameside Insulation" (Just out of curiosity really) as they have been cold-calling us at home loads recently. They are meant to be based at Crossgate House, 53b Manchester Road, Denton, but I could only find a Co-op funeralcare centre at 53 Manchester Road, and no Crossgate House or 53b in sight!

But I digress, finally I walked the 5 miles or so back to Stockport via a place called "Dane Bank" which I'd never heard of before, and then back through Reddish proper this time. In the vicinity of Dane Bank, I crossed over another railway line on which a train to Sheffield was running. The driver had to sound the horn as there were a group of foxes on the track. I also have photos of this, but haven't uploaded them yet.

Finally arrived back at Stockport station around 12:08, which was quite handy as I boarded the 12:26 direct service back to LIV.
Eventually getting back home for around 2pm and eager to check out my photos!

I will certainly do the line again, but next time I'm going to travel the whole length by rail, as I'm currently in need of doing the bits at each end. That'll mean I can get up an hour later too! (since I won't be walking to an intermediate station). But I do like to actually visit the stations too on foot, to get a true feel of them and the areas that they serve. In that respect, I can now tick off Reddish South and Denton as done.



If any of you have read any of my previous trip reports, you might have seen the "A4 frame of obscure stations". Well, it now looks like this:-


It now contains tickets for, Ince & Elton, Hawarden Bridge, Stanlow & Thornton, and Finally Reddish South + Denton on the same ticket.

So four tickets down and five still to go to fill this frame up.

Have to admit with hindsight, Reddish South makes Ince & Elton seem like a commuter hub. :D

Still have to do Chester to Runcorn as I've not even done the Halton Curve yet. Can't do it tomorrow, but hopefully I can get it done sometime this summer.

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed reading. :D
 
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Lampshade

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That sign at the top of the stairs at Denton is new, it had no signage whatsoever when I went in early 2010 (not to travel, just to get a Photo of the Week candidate).

It remains the only parly/limited service I've done, 142057+063 doing the honours back in May 2009. Need to do a few more, Salwick is next on the list.
 

Green Lane

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That sign at the top of the stairs at Denton is new, it had no signage whatsoever when I went in early 2010 (not to travel, just to get a Photo of the Week candidate).

It remains the only parly/limited service I've done, 142057+063 doing the honours back in May 2009. Need to do a few more, Salwick is next on the list.
Thanks for the reply. Yes, I also noticed another sign directing pedestrians to Denton station, on the other side of the M67 motorway. At the junction of Oldham Street and Manchester Road South. That one also looked very new, although I didn't photograph it.

I've certainly enjoyed visiting (and using) a few stations with limited services recently, although at the moment I'm just concentrating on my own local/regional area. i.e. anywhere within easy reach on a day-trip, without getting back too late. That's not a bad thing though as there are many interesting stations I've never been to before within a couple of hours travel time. Salwick looks interesting!

Something I forgot to ask before, does anyone know which Northern Rail PDF timetable contains the Stockport-Stalybridge line? I presume it's in one of them, as the Chester-Runcorn service has a page of its own in one of the timetables I have. It's just that I can't find either Reddish South or Denton in the pop-up station list on the Northern timetable web-page. I was a little surprised they were missing from the list as Northern do serve those stations.

Another thing I forgot to mention was that the guard checked our tickets almost immediately, which was good.

Also, I may as well post some more photos from today. I get the impression these stations used to have four tracks going through them. Reddish South at least, as it clearly has two island platforms, of which only one side of one platform remains in use. Also it's not yet apparent to me why the track is singled at RDS, but still double at DTN, where both tracks are showing signs of still being in use.

Reddish South



























Denton












Outside Denton




 

gnolife

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Thanks for the reply. Yes, I also noticed another sign directing pedestrians to Denton station, on the other side of the M67 motorway. At the junction of Oldham Street and Manchester Road South. That one also looked very new, although I didn't photograph it.

I've certainly enjoyed visiting (and using) a few stations with limited services recently, although at the moment I'm just concentrating on my own local/regional area. i.e. anywhere within easy reach on a day-trip, without getting back too late. That's not a bad thing though as there are many interesting stations I've never been to before within a couple of hours travel time. Salwick looks interesting!

Something I forgot to ask before, does anyone know which Northern Rail PDF timetable contains the Stockport-Stalybridge line?
I presume it's in one of them, as the Chester-Runcorn service has a page of its own in one of the timetables I have. It's just that I can't find either Reddish South or Denton in the pop-up station list on the Northern timetable web-page. I was a little surprised they were missing from the list as Northern do serve those stations.

Another thing I forgot to mention was that the guard checked our tickets almost immediately, which was good.

Also, I may as well post some more photos from today. I get the impression these stations used to have four tracks going through them. Reddish South at least, as it clearly has two island platforms, of which only one side of one platform remains in use. Also it's not yet apparent to me why the track is singled at RDS, but still double at DTN, where both tracks are showing signs of still being in use.

Reddish South
There isn't one.
 

Green Lane

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I'm just sorry that it wasn't the one you were after :(
No worries at all, thanks anyway. As it happens, I found the service officially documented in that huge National Rail complete timetable of all routes. (eNRT)

But yes, it would have been nice if it was in one of those Northern PDFs too, as they are a bit less unwieldy. :D
 

Robinson

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It was in the Rose Hill/Marple timetables in the previous issues - has that changed now? It showed as a single stop at Guide Bridge, with the remainder of the service detailed in a footnote.
 

Welshman

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Thank you for your report and for the photos.

Being one of the "Ancient of Days" I can remember travelling on that line when it used to have a regular service, to avoid crossing from Exchange/Victoria to London Rd/Piccadilly stations in Manchester. That was on a journey from West Yorkshire to Mid-Wales, and I seem to remember it was a 2 car BRCW dmu then.
 

Masboroughlad

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Very interesting.

This line needs more services. What are the chances? Would have thought it was actually a useful route? I think it is Alliance Rail that want to use it more with West Yorks to Euston trains?
 

Welshman

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Would there be much local traffic into Stockport or Stalybridge?

I would have thought the demand for a connecting service to avoid the cross-Manchester transfer was removed with the concentration of more services on Piccadilly, hence its being drastically cut-back.
However, if and when some TPE services revert to using Victoria on a regular basis, there may be such a need again.
 

transportphoto

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Very nice trip report with some good photos :smile:

TP, from the eastern end of East Midlands Train's network :)
 

dzug2

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It was in the Rose Hill/Marple timetables in the previous issues - has that changed now? It showed as a single stop at Guide Bridge, with the remainder of the service detailed in a footnote.
Still is

I'm wondering (pure speculation) if the train in the other direction which OP missed was the empty stock?
 

tbtc

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Still is

I'm wondering (pure speculation) if the train in the other direction which OP missed was the empty stock?
I could be wrong, but AIUI on Monday to Thursday the unit that would run the Stockport - Staleybridge service on a Friday runs from Stockport via Denton and Ashton Moss North Junction to Newton Heath (so the line sees regular ECS work getting DMUs between Newton Heath and Stockport - presumably in both directions)
 

Welshman

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Still is

I'm wondering (pure speculation) if the train in the other direction which OP missed was the empty stock?

According to an article about Northern Fleet utilisation in May's "Today's Railways", the 0922 Fridays only from Stockport - Stalybridge [a pair of 142s]
comes off the 0715 Macclesfield-Manchester Piccadilly, which then head for Newton Heath.

On Mondays-Thursdays they go via Styal, Wilmslow[reverse], Stockport, Denton and direct to Ashton Moss, but on Fridays become the 0922 at Stockport, and reverse at Stalybridge to reach Newton Heath.
 

Green Lane

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Firstly, thanks all for the encouraging comments and for the further interesting and informative posts!

As for the price of the ticket, you are right tbtc, it does seem relatively expensive, especially when you consider that the anytime day single from Stockport to Stalybridge is cheaper at only £3.10. That allows travel either via the direct route along this whole line, or alternatively travel via Piccadilly and then tram to Victoria and on to Stalybridge from there. With hindsight I probably should have bought that cheaper and far more flexible ticket, which I think would also have been valid for the journey I made anyway. (Assuming break of journey is allowed) On the other hand, I suppose the one I bought is a memento of sorts and I presume adds to the exit/entrance stats of these stations!

I also agree that what's really killed this route is that it's not a radial route out of central Manchester. If I may take Merseyside as a similar example that I'm familiar with, generally speaking it's the routes which did not run directly towards Liverpool city centre which have been lost.

But yet, here we have the situation with the Stockport-Stalybridge line where it is useful for ECS moves and is I believe quite cheap to run this one train a week over this one remaining track. It would have been great to see this route in its heydey though. I certainly can see that these stations have seen better days. In fact at Denton, on the wall outside the station there are a few B&W photos of the station from back when it was really busy.

As for the empty train I saw run through Reddish South at around 09:07. It was just a single Pacer unit, although I did not get the number. Also, apologies I forgot to mention that it was travelling in the same direction as the later passenger service. Although, I can quite clearly see that the line does allow bi-directional working as I did notice a speed limit sign further down the track for trains going the other way.

Also, thanks very much for the timetable info. I've now downloaded Northern Rail timetable number 22 (Manchester-Rose Hill/New Mills Central) and I can confirm that on page 4 of the PDF, footnote Q states
Q From Stockport dep 0922, to Stalybridge arr 0949. Also stops on request at Reddish South 0926 and Denton 0931.
Perhaps the fact that it's just a footnote (as opposed to a whole page for Chester-Runcorn service) might explain why you can't use "Reddish South" or "Denton" on the timetable search page. Although I guess it wouldn't hurt to add them.
 
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142094

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When I did the service earlier in the year the empties came from the south (Edgeley Junction area IIRC). Was suprised to see it as a double 142 working as well.
 

Green Lane

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Thanks for identifying the move! Yes, I'd say that's almost certainly it. Although I remember looking at my watch and seeing the time 09:07, it's quite possible that a couple of minutes then elapsed after that, but before the train actually came through, as I was chatting at the time. So that particular time I stated might have been slightly inaccurate. It could have easily been 09:10 when it actually passed us.

When I did the service earlier in the year the empties came from the south (Edgeley Junction area IIRC). Was suprised to see it as a double 142 working as well.
Yes, that's the same as the empty 142 I saw, which was also from the south. You'd think they'd want all these trains back again! Presumably they must eventually return via a different route. :)
 

Green Lane

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Something I never noticed on a previous visit to the station that was apparent on your pictures is the lack of PTE logo on some of the signs.
Yes, at the time I was there, I didn't notice that either to be honest. But after checking back through my photos, I have found the following:-

Both stations have three white "lampposts" on the platform, each with the Northern Rail "blue ring" painted on them. None of these lampposts have actual lamps fitted though. I assume this is because no passenger service calls here at night.

For both stations, only the two lampposts nearest the steps have station signs fitted, with the third one having no sign.

Also for both stations, only the southern half of the platforms are in use, with the northern half partially partitioned off with a fence (which can be quite easily walked around).

Looking again at Reddish South, both station signs on the platform appear to have the GMPTE logo, but in the case of Denton the one nearest the steps does not have the logo:-



Also, in the case of both stations, the main station signs at street level, at the entrance do not have the GMPTE logo (photos previously posted).

One more unrelated thing I noticed today, on this page on the National Rail Enquiries website, the PDF rail map listed as Zoomable version showing Train Operators (all stations shown) does not show Reddish South or Denton. (direct link to PDF here). The map does have a key which includes a broken line to indicate "limited services", so I thought that might have been suitable to indicate this particular line.
 
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