Trafford Park/Barton Dock

Discussion in 'Railway History & Nostalgia' started by HullSimplibus, 7 Nov 2018.

  1. HullSimplibus

    HullSimplibus Member

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    It seems sad that most of the railway in Trafford Park has been disused and/or lifted. There seems to be about a million level crossings and even a streetrunning line, (well, running on the pavement practically).

    But again, i'm really curious. I'm sorry if I ask a lot of questions, I just was not born in the time period/era trains ran to these areas more consistently.

    When was the last train that ran along these lines, is there any photos if so? One that really got me curious too is the level crossings.

    Thanks alot,
    Matt
     
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  3. furnessvale

    furnessvale Established Member

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    Parts of the Trafford Park system were refurbished in the 1980s and, for a time traffic ran to and from Cerestar, Nortons scrapyard and possibly one or two other sites. The closure of wagonload was the death knell for Cerestar etc. Nortons and others could have continued with trainloads but the costings weren't in favour of rail.

    There is a peculiarity about the road and rail system in Trafford Park. The roads are maintained by the Trafford Parks Estate Company, not at public expense. The cost of this is a charge within the rent structure of tenants. Everyone pays, even Nortons etc who used railfreight for a fair percentage of their scrap.

    The rail system was also maintained by the Trafford Parks Estate Company. However, the cost of maintaining the railway was only charged to those companies using it. Thus the like of Nortons paid twice. It worked out much cheaper to stop using rail and send everything by road because the extra traffic they put on road incurred no extra charges.
     
  4. Bevan Price

    Bevan Price Established Member

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    I think the final traffic was GBRf trips along Barton Dock Road, which ceased in about 2012. They were worked by Class 09 shunters.
     

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    Last edited: 8 Nov 2018
  5. HullSimplibus

    HullSimplibus Member

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    Its quite sad really. Rail wasted for damn road transport. Sounds like there is not much chance of it being reinstated either.
     
  6. HullSimplibus

    HullSimplibus Member

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    Nice photos. Do you know where I can find anymore? I'm absolutely fascinated!
     
  7. Bevan Price

    Bevan Price Established Member

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    There have been one or two books about the Manchester Ship Canal railway system that contain some photos. You might find second hand copies somewhere, or a reference copy in libraries in the Manchester area, e.g.

    "The Railways of the Manchester Ship Canal" by Don Thorpe (Oxford Publishing Co., ISBN 0 86093 288 5)

    Includes photos & maps of the system which served both the Trafford Park Estate and the Ship Canal/Docks; part of the system reached the edge of Warrington.
     
  8. HullSimplibus

    HullSimplibus Member

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    Thanks mate. I will have a look at that.

    As far as Warrington? Pretty far out.
     
  9. Bevan Price

    Bevan Price Established Member

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    And there was also an unconnected section at Ellesmere Port, plus a large fleet of their own locos.
     
  10. HullSimplibus

    HullSimplibus Member

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    Sounds interesting! Think I will have a look around.
     
  11. Chester1

    Chester1 Established Member

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    Its not so much that rail was replaced by road transport but the loss of heavy industry on the park and the switch to containers and "intermodal" freight. Its much cheaper and easier to put a container on a lorry and take it to a nearby freight terminal. The shift is beneficial to the railway network as a whole. There is an hourly freight train to and from the freight terminal near to Old Trafford and its often the maximum length (I think about 700m long). There has been a push for a second path but the current mess at Piccadilly's through platforms rules it out for the forseeable future.

    The Metrolink line through the Park seems to be on course for completion in 2020. Contary to popular belief it does not use any old railway alignments. I walked along the Barton Road branch earlier this year and despite being on railmap online modern railways layer (unlike some out of use track), significant chunks have been lifted.
     
  12. Richard P

    Richard P Member

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    A really interesting topic for me as I live within a couple of miles of this area and as I have grown up I have seen its demise as changes in approach to transporting goods and the loss of manufacturing in the area have taken hold. I always really consider it as three different sections:

    Manchester Ship Canal Railway:
    I remember this running to the north of the ship canal, the docks in Manchester had a spider’s web of lines running through them and indeed close to the Lowry Theatre you can still see a steel swing bridge in situ, just about the last remaining relic of a bygone age. So much development has gone in Salford Quays and Media City since the docks closed that it’s almost impossible to imagine a line ran there but it did and as a previous correspondent commented it ran parallel to the ship canal almost to Warrington. From memory there were links to the national rail network near Weaste (this link is still there to the cement works albeit I haven’t seen any use of this line since the summer of 2017) and also near to Glazebrook. I’m not sure when the last trains ran but the track which has all now been lifted was still in existence and had limited use in the mid 1980’s around the area of Barton Locks as I saw rolling stock on the lines there then

    Trafford Park Railway:
    As a youngster Trafford Park was somewhere you rarely went largely as the road infrastructure took you away from that area heading in to Manchester but with the opening of the Centenary Bridge and road improvement it’s now an arterial route to the cities of both Manchester and Salford from the M60 motorway and the Trafford Centre. When I did go through there though the railway lines were full of freight wagons mostly moved by shunters, the lines were often double track and one of the biggest areas of movement was coal wagons to the (now demolished) Barton Power Station. I can recall the sidings there being full of wagons and shunting going on; these were situated on what is now the B&Q car park close the Trafford Centre. Except for a few level crossings presumably not removed in order to avoid traffic disruption virtually all the tracks have been either lifted or tarmacked over in the last few years. The last line to be used was that originating from Cerestar (now Cargills) which ran from under Centenary Way and along Trafford Park Road before crossing Village Circle, going down Europa Way and joining the Manchester International Freight Terminal (MIFT) line at this point. Nortons had a siding on Mellors Road and another business on Moseley Road occasionally had wagons on a short spur there too but the last movement I saw was in early 1996. This was a handful of tankers being moved by (I think) a class 08 shunter from Cerestar towards MIFT. Progress was painfully slow, no more than 5mph due to the poor state of the track and because the line was used so infrequently by then people had a habit of parking their cars on the tracks! I don’t know the last time the tracks were used but ii wouldn’t be much after then. A couple of shunters were stabled at Cargills and a few tankers too but they were rarely used and eventually the link was cut by work completed on a junction on Trafford Park Road resulting in the tracks being tarmacked over

    Freightliner Railway:
    This ran from the Containerbase site adjacent to the Trafford Centre, under Parkway (where it was double track), parallel to Barton Dock Road and then across Park Road alongside Kellogg’s and via a link joined the other line previously mentioned in to the MIFT. Forty years or so ago Kellogg’s also used this line and I can remember Railfreight wagons in sidings alongside Kellogg’s Barton Dock Road plant. In later years it was solely container freight that used the line. Usage went in peaks and troughs but typically there were two trains, one in a morning and one around 6.00pm in an evening fully loaded from the Containerbase and a couple of “empty” trains went back, one at night and the other normally late morning. The main feature of these trains was their length and how slowly they moved, again no doubt due to the poor state of the track. If you got caught at the level crossing at Park Road you could literally sit there for 15 minutes whilst the train crossed! Until the last few years of operation the trains were moved by old Manchester Ship Canal diesels that were stabled by Kellogg’s with one unit at the front and one to the rear. Latterly I saw what were, (again I think), class 08 shunters doing the work. The Containerbase has gone through many changes of ownership in recent times and whilst it’s still operating clearly it became uneconomical to maintain the track for what became no more than ad hoc movements of trains and a decision was taken to move everything by road. I stand corrected but I think the last trains ran in 2013 and in recent times much of the track has been lifted. Ironically for a long time this line was promoted as the ideal way to get shoppers to the Trafford Centre from the national rail network, now it’s gone and £millions are being spent building the Metrolink line instead!

    I hope this at least provides a bit more background for you?
     
  13. Richard P

    Richard P Member

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    Just as an update to this the Containerbase on Barton Dock Road has now been demolished and a car showroom is being built on the site
     
  14. Altfish

    Altfish Member

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    I suppose one consolation is that we will soon have trams running through Trafford Park
     

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