The Railway between Navigation Road and Stockport 

This article by T. H. Appleby B. Sc. (Hons.), M. Sc., C. Eng., M. I. Struct. E. was written on
8th February 2013 and the photographs were taken on the same date.

For many years, I have been in favour of the construction of stations at Baguley and several other locations on the railway between Navigation Road and Stockport. (There used to be 12 stations, viz. Deansgate Lane, Moss Lane, Timperley, Brooklands Central, also referred to as "Hale Road" (on Brooks Drive), Butcher Lane, Roundthorn, Royalthorn, Sharston, Gatley, Cheadle, Adswood and Edgeley. In the 1960's, they were all closed. Brooklands Central had been an important transport node, served by buses and also by double decked electric trams which had run between Altrincham and Princess Parkway, along Stockport Road through Timperley Village.) The old railway map below shows the line and connecting lines. It probably dates from the late nineteenth century.

Old track of railway from Altrincham
The railway carried through trains, for passengers and goods respectively, from Hunts Cross and Garston Docks in Liverpool in the west to Hull in the east, via Warrington, Broadheath (Altrincham), Stockport and Sheffield.  Prior to the construction of the railways, travel between Liverpool and Hull or Grimsby had usually involved a sea voyage of about three days.

The site of the former Brooklands Central mainline station, viewed from the bridge on Shaftesbury Avenue, looking east, showing the bridge on Brooks Drive (Hale Road)

The Wythenshawe Railway Action Group, led by Mr. Eugene Ring, is campaigning for a railway station to be built at Baguley and, inter alia, the famous guitarist Johnny Marr and many pupils of local schools are supporting it.

The Metrolink line under construction between Chorlton-cum-Hardy and the airport crosses the railway in Baguley but no interchange is being built there.

The new bridge which will carry the Metrolink line over the railway, on the east side of Southmoor Road,
viewed from the south west. 

Note that there is no provision for an interchange.

Much more importantly,  the whole project is a fiasco. During the "consultation",
I submitted a statement to the effect that the money could be better spent on bus services and I do not know of anyone who disputed this. (However, I was in favour of the construction of the Metrolink line on the route of the former railway between Trafford Bar and Didsbury, through Chorlton-cum-Hardy.)

In early 2010 (shortly before the last General Election), the Labour Party published a leaflet ("Baguley Rose"), containing an article entitled "Campaign for Baguley Rail Halt Marches On". According to that article, the "campaign", by "your local Labour team", aimed to have (inter alia) a railway station built at Baguley. How could a Labour team have been campaigning for one to be built there when, for almost 13 years, all the powers necessary to have one built there (and to have appropriate related changes made to the signalling and timetables) had been held by Labour politicians? People other than Labour politicians really had been campaigning, for more than 13 years, for one to be built there! THE ARTICLE DID NOT EVEN PROMISE THAT A RAILWAY STATION WOULD BE BUILT THERE IF  THE LABOUR PARTY WERE TO WIN THE GENERAL ELECTION.

I am not a member of any political party and am not singling out the Labour Party for criticism. I have also been disappointed by the Conservative and Lib. Dem. Parties in relation to various issues. However, this nonsense from the Labour Party did not surprise me. For many years, Labour politicians had been making fatuous statements. I refer readers, for example, to Lord Irvine's statement quoted on in the article re: "scandalising the Court".

I hope that readers will campaign for an interchange to be built in Baguley, where the Metrolink crosses the railway, or at least a railway station connected by enclosed walkways/ramps to the nearest Metrolink stop (on the east side of Southmoor Road about 2 minutes' walk  from the railway), all with CCTV coverage.  

The Metrolink stop being built on the east side of Southmoor Road, near the junction of Floatshall Road,
viewed from the south east.

I hope that readers will also discuss possible sites for railway stations east and west of Baguley (not necessarily on the sites of former stations), especially ones on or near the boundary of the Broomwood Estate.



I asked Mr. Appleby to outline how, in his opinion, the Labour Government should have acted in relation to the construction of extra stations on existing railways in Greater Manchester and elsewhere.

He answered as follows:

Shortly after the 1997 General Election, it should have nationalised Railtrack plc and the franchised train operating companies but it spent money in other ways, for example on the Millenium Dome. (Incidentally, I am NOT in favour of widespread nationalisation of industries.) It should then have had plans drafted for general improvements to the infrastructure, incorporating many extra stations (mainly to provide interchanges with bus services) and published them for consultation. In due course, it should have introduced a Bill to enable compulsory purchase of the land necessary for the extra stations, access roads etc. and to make related provisions. It should have aimed to have the work done over a period of about 20 years. It could, instead, have nationalised only Railtrack plc and tried to negotiate revised contracts with the train operating companies (to have timetables amended and to compensate them for extra costs) but that would have been a poorer option.
Railtrack plc was, in effect, nationalised in 2002 but the Labour Government still failed to take appropriate action.

19th February 2013

Mr. Appleby is a retired Chartered Structural Engineer, with a degree in civil engineering from Nottingham University and a master's degree in structural engineering from Manchester University. He has been interested in railways since he was a boy.


Back to Home Page
Credits to the following links,_Broadheath_%26_Timperley_Apethorne,_Bredbury,_Brinnington,_Godley,_Marple_%26_Woodley_RJD_73.jpg

 Back to Home Page