Services that ran direct from Hindley South to Bryn

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Bevan Price

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What services would have used this route in past times?

Which Hindley ? Hindley Green or Hindley South ?
(Hindley North to Bryn was not feasible without reversal)

In either case, the only likely traffic would be freight.
 

Bevan Price

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My apologies, I meant Hindley South.

I have amended the thread title/
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---


What would the main freight be that was carried?


Not sure, but coal is most probable - the entire area was full of coal mines until the 1950s. When I used to watch trains at Thatto Heath in the early to mid 1950s, there were sometimes up to 3 coal trains heading towards Liverpool between about 18:30 and 20:30.
However, most of this would not be from the line through Hindley South. The connections at Hindley / Amberswood were mainly to link the Wigan Central branch to the WCML and other ex-LNWR lines in the Wigan area. You would need to find a freight WTT to see what (if anything) was regularly routed from Hindley South through to the Bryn / St. Hlens line.

The main purpose of the line between Ince Moss & Amberswood West Jns was to give access from the St. Helens line to the Whelley line, so that freight could avoid Wigan NW.
 
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For the curve between Hindley South and the Lancashire Union (Whelley) line at Amberswood West Jn, I agree that coal was most probable, with possibly occasional local mixed freight. I doubt this curve ever saw any regular medium or longer distance goods traffic.

The original construction of the Wigan Junction Railway to the location which eventually became Hindley South, and its connections to LNWR lines in the area, was heavily wrapped up with the interests of local coal mine owners. According to Dennis Sweeney's book The Wigan Junction Railway, the earthworks & trackbed for the Amberswood South curve were constructed by Crompton & Shawcross (owners of the adjacent Strangeways Hall colliery) with the track being laid by the Wigan Junction Company. Ordnance Survey maps dated 1888 and 1907 reproduced in Sweeney's book show significant sidings and connections from this curve to the Stangeways Hall colliery and onwards to the network of private industrial railways in the Amberswood, Ince and Hindley coalfield.

Another of Sweeney's publications, The Lancashire Union Railway mentions that in the early 20th century, local mine operators had agreements with the LNWR and the Great Central to run their colliery locomotives on the lines around Amberswood West Jn, Amberswood East Jn and Hindley South to access their various mines in the area.

This all points to coal traffic being of highest importance.

As for other goods traffic over the Hindley South/Amberswood West curve, I have access to a WTT and a list of train movements in the area, both from the 1950s. Neither show any movements over this curve.

I've also seen a photograph dated around 1960 taken at Hindley South station, showing that by this time the junction signal for the route to Amberswood West had a small semaphore arm, compared to full size arms for the Wigan Central and Amberswood East (for Standish) routes. This suggests the Amberswood South curve had been downgraded to "through siding" status. Not surprising, since most of the smaller, shallow coal mines which had been the motivation for Wigan's dense network of colliery railways had become exhausted or uneconomic by the period between World Wars 1 and 2.

If I had to hazard a guess (although I have no primary evidence to demonstrate this) I'd say much of the traffic would have been local trip workings (not specifically timed in WTTs) between local collierys and the sorting sidings at Bamfurlong and Ince Moss. Bamfurlong Sorting Sidings was a busy place, specifically built by the LNWR for re-marshalling of local goods trains for onward dispatch, and in the opposite direction for sorting empty private wagons for return to their owners.

As Bevan Price has commented, the section of the Lancashire Union line between Amberswood, Ince Moss and Bryn carried quite varied traffic, including heavy longer-distance freights such as the famous Long Meg-Widnes anhydrite trains (which were often photographed on the S&C in later days of steam, but strangely not very often in the Wigan Alps!)
 

Bevan Price

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I think that my first trip via the Strangeways south curve was on a diverted Liverpool Lime St. to Manchester passenger services in the early to mid 1960s. After Newton Le Willows, we went via Parkside West Curve. Golborne Jn, Bamfurlong Jn, Amberswood West Jn. Hindley South, Strangeways East Jn, Bickershaw West Jn, then to Hindley Green, Tyldesley, Eccles & Manchester. I was on a dmu. but I think that Liverpool - Newcastle services were using the same route (which avoided reversals).

Some years later, that route was unavailable, and a diverted Newcastle service ran via Bamfurlong Jn, De Trafford Jn (reverse / loco change), curve to l&YR route via Hindley North & Atherton.
 

Pyreneenguy

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Not entirely relevant, but I noticed the other day whilst scanning a timetable for another thread a Manchester Victoria to Blackpool North routed via Atherton and Daisy Hill. The said train was summer Saturdays only, departing Manchester at 10.55. This ran until at least 1970. I presume it was routed via the Whelley Loop.

If I remember correctly the route from Hindley to Standish was taken out of use in 1972 ? I did have a most useful list of all line / junction closures but have mislaid it. I asked on another thread if anyone had the said list or link to it, but as yet no replies.


Browsing a little further I found this :

http://www.wiganworld.co.uk/album/photo.php?opt=3&id=5216&gallery=Railways&offset=100
 
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Not entirely relevant, but I noticed the other day whilst scanning a timetable for another thread a Manchester Victoria to Blackpool North routed via Atherton and Daisy Hill. The said train was summer Saturdays only, departing Manchester at 10.55. This ran until at least 1970. I presume it was routed via the Whelley Loop.

If I remember correctly the route from Hindley to Standish was taken out of use in 1972 ? I did have a most useful list of all line / junction closures but have mislaid it. I asked on another thread if anyone had the said list or link to it, but as yet no replies.

Always glad of an excuse to browse through my old WTTs from that era .....

Up until summer 1968 the 10.55 SO from Manchester Victoria stopped at all stations between Pendleton Broad St and Daisy Hill, then used the line between Dobbs Brow Jn and Horwich Fork Junction.

The Dobbs Brow/Horwich Fork line closed in September 1968, and for the next few summers this train (2P65 to Blackpool N, 2J65 return) continued a bit further along the L&Y line to Hindley No.2 Jn, then via De Trafford Jn and the Whelley line to the WCML at Standish.

The last summer of operation was summer 1971, by which time the train was advertised as starting from Pendleton at 10.45 rather than Manchester Vic. It still stopped at all Atherton line stations between Pendleton & Daisy Hill, but didn't stop at Hindley despite passing through here on the way to/from the Whelley loop.

The Whelley line and the Hindley No.2/De Trafford Jn curve closed the following year in October 1972 with the commissioning of the Warrington power signalling scheme.
 
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