Jump to content

Manchester ship canal railway


Recommended Posts

I had a conversation back in the 80;s about fish in the canal with MSC employees as we were working with them in early Salford Quays development. They said there were “plenty Salford Kippers” which turned out to be used Condoms ! It’s a lot cleaner now , and they do have course fish and may indeed get Salmon in time, but suggest the Weaver is a lot cleaner than the Islam or Mersey for them. I am from Yorkshire and my memory of the MSC from late 60,s -70,s when I was 10 was limited to trips to airport ( I remember Barton bridge being built) and the last of the small Manchester Liners small container ships. The water never looked clean to me.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I went for a walk yesterday down to Rixton Junction, and took a few photos of surviving bits of the MSC Railway.

Here are some shots of the railway bridge across the Mersey:

Rixton Bridge Rixton Bridge Rixton Bridge

Also I photographed some more MSC Railway telegraph poles as I'll need to model some of these:

Old MSC Pole Old MSC Pole

I also saw a great variety of water birds, including some unusual ducks:

Waterfowl Shelduck

I can't imagine that the 1960s busy polluted canal of the 1960s would have been an attractive feeding ground for a Shelduck!

  • Like 5
Link to post
Share on other sites
12 minutes ago, Michael Hodgson said:

I didn't know Hornby had produced Mallard In MSC livery!  

Well on my walk along the canal yesterday, I spotted 4466, 4467, 4468, 4469, 4485 and 4499, amongst others. There are some 4499s in the other bird picture above.

 

One of the MSC locos did get close to a Gresley Pacific when it was used to marshal exhibits at Liverpool Road station: here is MSC D6 having its moment of fame:

c.09/1980 - Liverpool Road station, Manchester.

 

One decision I will need to make soon is how to represent this livery. Hudswell Clarke called it 'Sheffield Green' and it is similar in tone to LNER 'Doncaster Green' but a bit darker. I suspect mixing 'Doncaster Green' with a bit of 'Brunswick Green' might be the answer?

 

  • Like 4
  • Funny 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Here's a still from a 1960s cine file (by Richard Greenwood) showing the Rixton bridge from a train about to cross it; compared with a present-day photo I took this week.

Rixton_bridge.jpg.a27f5a27e234d02cd6c51d409a3b7904.jpg

 

Rixton Bridge

 

In both cases we're looking west, with the Ship Canal off to the left, and the Mersey flowing underneath towards the right.

I think the little cabin contained a telephone for train control purposes.

 

 

  • Like 4
Link to post
Share on other sites

Here are a couple more canalside details from this morning’s walk. I’m not sure what these are/were so if anyone knows, please tell me. 

 

These were on the north bank of the canal, between the railway trackbed and the water, but facing the water so probably more to do with ships than trains. 

 

This one was a couple of hundred yards below Warburton Bridge:

8EF4DE52-98D7-4DFB-8BBA-BA40A113FDAE.jpeg.2a1ea5a4a12abf89bfcb13e46d8352a0.jpeg

A wooden board a couple of feet long, with the numbers 1300 engraved in it, mounted on a post of flat-bottom rail. Painted yellow with black lettering. 

 

 

Then, about 50 yards further downstream, this iron ‘lollipop’ which looks like it might once have had a plate attached to its face:

3152D194-3C33-4830-8CD2-25001476666E.jpeg.a12bcd5aba3e110c6240b83a04e8d6d8.jpeg

To me this has the look of a milepost, bigger than a railway one as its face is nearly 2 feet across. 

 

Any ideas?

cheers,

Mol

 

 

 

 

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

Yesterday evening I walked out to Cadishead in the hope of photographing a couple of ships coming up the canal. Unfortunately they were making slow progress and by they turned up it was too dark for photos.

While I was waiting in vain, I walked a circuit of the Lancashire Tar Distillers site and found some surviving rails embedded in the concrete:

 

LTD_Cadishead.jpg.621968eba52abfa93575a6391ccf4259.jpg

As well as the obvious track in the centre of the picture, there's part of another one just visible to the top right of the photo.

 

This was a surprise because I had assumed that all the tracks in this area had been covered by the A57, but it appears not.

I think the line just visible in the photo above is the remains of the siding full of open wagons in this photo; there was another siding behind that:

Cadishead_1969.jpg.dc2cf245a6d299b43fb283dab2aa33e9.jpg

 

I eventually walked back to Irlam and photographed the two ships there, in the dark...

Arklow Flair, Irlam Locks Deo Gloria, Irlam

 

  • Like 9
Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Mol_PMB said:

I eventually walked back to Irlam and photographed the two ships there, in the dark...

Arklow Flair, Irlam Locks Deo Gloria, Irlam

 

 

Interesting that it was at the cement terminal. It seems that the rail replacement on the branch was a Weaste of money.

  • Funny 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

This is all third-hand and I cannot vouch for any of it...

The Oxwellmains cement factory and Premier Cement in Weaste are owned by the same company

Another cement distribution centre owned by that company has recently closed, so there is a surplus of production at Oxwellmains.

It therefore makes more sense to supply Weaste from Oxwellmains than to buy cement in from a third party in Ireland. Post-Brexit tariffs may also have influenced this decision.

Although the Oxwellmains cement plant is very close to the coast, it doesn't have a quay. However, it is rail-connected.

Apparently a 5-year contract has been signed. I'm not sure by whom, but the implication was that it was for rail transport from Oxwellmains to Weaste.

 

This is my take:

So, the resumption in cement by ship may be short-lived, while the rail operation's bugs are ironed out.

There are some challenges with the route used, where there are very few freight paths over Standedge and limited capacity for run-rounds at Eccles. I suspect it would have to run at night when/if it becomes regular.

To bring the same amount of cement by train as came by ship last year would require about 2 trains a week.

 

 

  • Like 1
  • Informative/Useful 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Just to add, it's likely that the regular trains will be at least twice as long as the trial train. They will take much longer to unload, and will need to be split for unloading. Also they two halves will need to be shunted up and down for all the wagons to reach the unloader. Will the operator want to leave a main-line loco at Weaste for 24 hours just to shunt, or might there be an opportunity for a little diesel shunter here...?

Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, montyburns56 said:

Is Port Salford still a thing? I've been hearing about this mystical rail connection for years with very little progress it seems.

Well for once a pair of bridge abutments are there because the railway was removed but because one day it will be there.

 

This is another small step in that direction, Peel play a long game

Link to post
Share on other sites
18 hours ago, woodenhead said:

Well for once a pair of bridge abutments are there because the railway was removed but because one day it will be there.

 

This is another small step in that direction, Peel play a long game

 

Yeah, I think they built that when they reworked the road layout in 2017??, but they don't seem to have got any further than that.

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 03/03/2021 at 18:24, montyburns56 said:

 

Yeah, I think they built that when they reworked the road layout in 2017??, but they don't seem to have got any further than that.

Are these the abutments by the side of Barton viaduct? I thought that was for a new road, only the span collapsed.

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
11 minutes ago, 62613 said:

Are these the abutments by the side of Barton viaduct? I thought that was for a new road, only the span collapsed.

 

That span did fall down, but was repaired and the bridge and road are now open.

The abutments for the railway bridge are a little further west. See the Google maps image below, I have highlighted the proposed route of the railway in red where it passes over the A57 via the new abutments.

 

image.png.cb38ea534f2bf02c6a546f4d107c1526.png

Edited by Mol_PMB
swapped under for over as I got it wrong!
Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, 62613 said:

Are these the abutments by the side of Barton viaduct? I thought that was for a new road, only the span collapsed.

 

No, that's the lifting bridge, it's all done and there's even agreement over upkeep between Peel, Salford Council and Trafford Council which is why Peel are now ploughing on with other works.

 

The lifting bridge saga and the subsequent argument over who pays for upkeep rather soured the relationship between the three parties, but now it's resolved there's more activity again in developing the port.  As you go along the new link road, just after the junction with the old a57 route, the new route to the lifting bridge and the rugby ground there are two new concrete bridge abutments.  This is where the railway will cross the A57.

Link to post
Share on other sites

The old outlet of Salteye Brook into the canal just below Barton Locks is one of the features I'm modelling. I've had to apply for some modeller's licence to shift it half a mile downstream.

Brook.jpg.8fddaf3d72c2ad080f464ee5fe571c46.jpgBrook.jpg.10823c629b272cf4dda2a78f7e096f5b.jpg

  • Like 5
  • Craftsmanship/clever 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

Here's 'Arkonia' passing the future location of the container terminal:

Arkonia, 'Port Salford'

Tomorrow I am going to go and walk this section again with the camera; you never know when it will be fenced off and never accessible again.

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Mol_PMB said:

The old outlet of Salteye Brook into the canal just below Barton Locks is one of the features I'm modelling. I've had to apply for some modeller's licence to shift it half a mile downstream.

 

So did the application have to go to the Environment Agency or to SWMBO ?   :scratchhead:

  • Funny 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

There has been some pretty dramatic vegetation clearance on the Port Salford site, both along the canal and by Salteye Brook. I guess it’s been done now before nesting season. I was still able to walk through from Irlam to Barton along the railway trackbed, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the site gets fenced off soon. 

84A1935E-5F57-402B-B670-21DBED2E8BEE.jpeg

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.