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1960s mystery location.


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32 minutes ago, LMS2968 said:

The most obvious place would be the Lower Ince area of Wigan, with the L&YR Pemberton Loop (Pemberton - Hindley bypassing Wallgate station) on the bridge, or just possibly the same area with the Whelley Line on the bridge. There was a plethora of colliery lines there at ground level, and these were laid, shifted or lifted fairly frequently as the coalfield developed, but I don't recognise the bridge from any photos of the area.

 

As you say the bridge(s) are pretty distinctive and don't match anything in the immediate Wigan area as far as I can tell.

 

Looking at the image there appears to be a bracketed signal with only one doll, suggesting a defunct junction. The line to the left of the picture curves out of sight, possibly serving some sort of business whilst the two lines passing beneath the shorter bridge span appear to be dropping down a gradient (there seems to be some sort of stone retaining wall visible to the left).

 

Another possible clue is the stock pile of coal which may be for use on goods brake vans, thus suggesting some sort of signing on point (the oil barrels may also be linked to this). One final point is that some sort of road access has been installed crossing from left to right and would appear to be a relatively new feature.

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5 hours ago, SP Steve said:

Looking at the image there appears to be a bracketed signal with only one doll, suggesting a defunct junction.

 

Looks like a right hand bracket signal to me, for sighting - it looks to be two lines converging from the right, somewhere off scene to the left.

The straight post signal (the one off) looks to be *possibly* either an ex LNWR post with an U/Q arm and the ladder refitted to the back or maybe just a wooden post LMS signal.

 

The low level looks as though it once contained running lines / junctions but these are now closed / hand worked so no longer running lines but treated as sidings.

Edited by beast66606
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2 hours ago, Michael Delamar said:

The lower level reminds me of somewhere that was once a passenger station in its early years but became a goods yard later on?

 

1 hour ago, beast66606 said:

 

Looks like a right hand bracket signal to me, for sighting - it looks to be two lines converging from the right, somewhere off scene to the left.

The straight post signal (the one off) looks to be *possibly* either an ex LNWR post with an U/Q arm and the ladder refitted to the back or maybe just a wooden post LMS signal.

 

The low level looks as though it once contained running lines / junctions but these are now closed / hand worked so no longer running lines but treated as sidings.

The lack of any catch or trap points leads me to believe it was never a through line nor a station which is why I am thinking Lancashire mineral line.  I doubt they would have performed any complex remodelling of a defunct line in the 1960s especially to remove any S&T, all the points look hand switched.

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12 hours ago, beast66606 said:

 

Looks like a right hand bracket signal to me, for sighting - it looks to be two lines converging from the right, somewhere off scene to the left.

The straight post signal (the one off) looks to be *possibly* either an ex LNWR post with an U/Q arm and the ladder refitted to the back or maybe just a wooden post LMS signal.

 

The low level looks as though it once contained running lines / junctions but these are now closed / hand worked so no longer running lines but treated as sidings.

An LMS right hand bracket. The straight post looks like standard LMS when i messed with the exposure. Both have Fireman's Call Plunger plates so probably junction Home signals for two lines converging to the left of the bridges.

 

10 hours ago, woodenhead said:

 

The lack of any catch or trap points leads me to believe it was never a through line nor a station which is why I am thinking Lancashire mineral line.  I doubt they would have performed any complex remodelling of a defunct line in the 1960s especially to remove any S&T, all the points look hand switched.

To the bottom left there is the remains of a wooden signal post lying on the ground. I think there is an old S&T cupboard under the bridge and possibly a section of redundant rodding to the bottom right.

 

The line where I grew up in Birmingham lost its passenger service in 1934. The line retained its goods yard until 1963. Minimal signalling was retained at the box at the end of the line. Intermediate sidings were locked by the train staff. 

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Well Michael you have set us a difficult one!  A few thoughts :

 

1  The LMS locomotive on the bridge would appear to have its top headlamp halfway down on the smokebox door - a position used for lamps after the 25kv electrification.  This would suggest the location is somewhere off the West Coast Main Line, and at time in the 1960's where 25kv overhead lines were being installed.

 

2  The top headlamp would be used on a Class 2 train - Ordinary stopping passenger or a Class 3 - Empty Stock.

 

3  The mixture of passenger stock of ex LMS and ex LNE would reflect this to be a Class 2 / 3 train.  Note that the stock is not made up of Mark 1 coaches which would have been then used on principal passenger traffic.  So perhaps it is stock for an excursion train?

 

4   The Jinty seems to be on a headshunt, but the wagons appear to be between the engine and the buffer stops. Maybe the headshunt was part of a much larger yard located behind the photographer?   

 

5  The coal stacks on the right hand side of the picture suggest a coal merchant's yard with the stacks of bagged coal, and old oil drums being used as supports for the filled bags.    The coal yard appears to have a run round to allow the filled wagons to be emptied in the coal mercahnt's own time. 

 

6  There is no point rodding to any of the yard points, which suggests this is a yard away from the main running lines.

 

7  And no Jinties were shedded in north of Carlisle - according to my 1962 Locoshed Book - which reduces the search area.  

 

8  I thought it might be Connah's Quay near Flint on the North Wales Coast line where a mineral line from Wrexham ran at right angles under the main line - which would have had excursion traffic - but looking at Vic Mitchell and Keith Smith's book 'Wrexham to New Brighton' the bridges are of different construction.

 

The mystery continues... (AM)

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So assuming somewhere in Lancashire, and the 4 track mainline, then I'm thinking somewhere on the Atherton line from Man Vic to Wigan, it was 4 track from the Pemberton loop all the way through to Manchester and there were plenty of other lines that crossed it, so possibly around Walkden. But I haven't found anything that matches yet on the NLS Old Maps site.

 

Regards,

 

John P

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2 hours ago, jpendle said:

So assuming somewhere in Lancashire, and the 4 track mainline, then I'm thinking somewhere on the Atherton line from Man Vic to Wigan, it was 4 track from the Pemberton loop all the way through to Manchester and there were plenty of other lines that crossed it, so possibly around Walkden. But I haven't found anything that matches yet on the NLS Old Maps site.

 

Regards,

 

John P

 

The angle of the signals suggests a converging junction to me, rather than 4 tracks.

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1 minute ago, beast66606 said:

 

The angle of the signals suggests a converging junction to me, rather than 4 tracks.

Or 2 x 2 tracks converging to a 4 track, at least for a short distance, as the viaduct seems to be two separate ones, side by side

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2 minutes ago, melmerby said:

Or 2 x 2 tracks converging to a 4 track, at least for a short distance, as the viaduct seems to be two separate ones, side by side

 

hence my comment about the convergence being off to the left, which SE agrees with - the angle of the signals looks to be correct for (approach to) the vee of a junction.

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19 hours ago, woodenhead said:

 

The lack of any catch or trap points leads me to believe it was never a through line nor a station which is why I am thinking Lancashire mineral line.  I doubt they would have performed any complex remodelling of a defunct line in the 1960s especially to remove any S&T, all the points look hand switched.

 

Wouldn't need traps if it was a passenger line(s) at some stage or goods only

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Could this possibly be Saltney, west of Chester where the North Wales coast line crosses a number of lines leading to wharfs on the River Dee, The view seems to be looking north towards the river.

 

In “Railways Around Saltney a Pictorial Record” photos appear on pages 99, 100 and 102 which appear to show this location. The photo on page 99 shows Jinty 47673 at what appears to be the identical location. Does anyone agree?

 

Sandra

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18 minutes ago, sandra said:

Could this possibly be Saltney, west of Chester where the North Wales coast line crosses a number of lines leading to wharfs on the River Dee, The view seems to be looking north towards the river.

 

In “Railways Around Saltney a Pictorial Record” photos appear on pages 99, 100 and 102 which appear to show this location. The photo on page 99 shows Jinty 47673 at what appears to be the identical location. Does anyone agree?

 

Sandra


NLS maps would seem to agree.

 

Cheers

 

Darius

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1 hour ago, sandra said:

Could this possibly be Saltney, west of Chester where the North Wales coast line crosses a number of lines leading to wharfs on the River Dee, The view seems to be looking north towards the river.

 

In “Railways Around Saltney a Pictorial Record” photos appear on pages 99, 100 and 102 which appear to show this location. The photo on page 99 shows Jinty 47673 at what appears to be the identical location. Does anyone agree?

 

Sandra

Thought we were never going to get this one, not helped that we all had become biased towards Lancashire, I did wander down the WCML this afternoon into Cheshire on NLS and then headed east towards Northwich.  If only I had borne west from Warrington.

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1 hour ago, sandra said:

Could this possibly be Saltney, west of Chester where the North Wales coast line crosses a number of lines leading to wharfs on the River Dee, The view seems to be looking north towards the river.

 

In “Railways Around Saltney a Pictorial Record” photos appear on pages 99, 100 and 102 which appear to show this location. The photo on page 99 shows Jinty 47673 at what appears to be the identical location. Does anyone agree?

 

Sandra

Looks spot on. GWR Saltney Docks branch taken from the footbridge over the level crossing at the High Street. This is the Google Earth view of the bridge from the other side where the span from the four tracking is still there. When that was done two single track spans were added either side of the original bridge which has since been replaced.

image.png.ff1c0d09a47573adb6da7217e91fd841.png

 

These pages have aerial shots showing the area as it was in 1926.

https://www.britainfromabove.org.uk/en/image/WPW014982

https://britainfromabove.org.uk/en/image/WPW014985

 

There is a signal protectiing the crossing in the place where the piece of signal post is lying on the floor in the original picture and besides the bridge being correct some of the buildings also match up.

 

 

Edited by TheSignalEngineer
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However the track diverging to the right on the original view is something of a mystery, as it doesn't appear on the aerials or Rail Map Online.  The tracks are actually a better match looking from the other side of the bridge, but then the bridge itself is wrong.  NLS is having problems so I can't check that.  

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Well there we go.

A lot of extensive lines to nowhere.

 

looking at NLS it connects to the GW line, but its LNW overhead.

I did pause on that thinking originally the bridge looked a bit GWIsh.
 

perhaps the extravagance of sidings was to be a railhead next to the canal ?

..

 

once you know where it is, its easy...

 

here is a picture on disused stations..

http://www.disused-stations.org.uk/s/saltney/index.shtml

 

Edited by adb968008
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27 minutes ago, Edwin_m said:

However the track diverging to the right on the original view is something of a mystery, as it doesn't appear on the aerials or Rail Map Online.  The tracks are actually a better match looking from the other side of the bridge, but then the bridge itself is wrong.  NLS is having problems so I can't check that.  

This is the link to the NLS map showing Saltney Stage, the moorings along the river and several private sidings at factories.

https://maps.nls.uk/geo/explore/#zoom=16&lat=53.18233&lon=-2.92412&layers=168&b=1

 

There were other lines under the LNWR going down to the Dee at Queensferry and Connah's Quay.

 

The line to the left in the original picture is the one to the industrial sites. Straight on through where the stop block is went to Saltney Stage and the line to the right went to the quays upstream towards Chester.

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12 minutes ago, melmerby said:

So no converging junction at all!

We all saw what we wanted to see:

  • Some saw Widnes or St Helens
  • Some saw Lancashire (me included)
  • Some saw 4 lines
  • some saw diverging junctions

I've just been doing some studying on unconscious bias and our approaches to this image demonstrated perhaps that we all jump to conclusions and then look for the evidence to support it.  I never strayed for example far from the Lancashire coal field, I was very close to the true location but then veered back north and back to Ince.

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2 hours ago, woodenhead said:

We all saw what we wanted to see:

  • Some saw Widnes or St Helens
  • Some saw Lancashire (me included)
  • Some saw 4 lines
  • some saw diverging junctions

I've just been doing some studying on unconscious bias and our approaches to this image demonstrated perhaps that we all jump to conclusions and then look for the evidence to support it.  I never strayed for example far from the Lancashire coal field, I was very close to the true location but then veered back north and back to Ince.

Which it was

https://maps.nls.uk/view/114583693

Strangely I had looked at that particular NLS map a few days ago for a totally different reason and it didn't register at all as the unknown location!

I was looking where the Welsh/English border was following a news report about a pub (The Anchor) that was right on the Welsh border and the different lockdown rules.

(Did you know Chester's Football ground is in Wales but some of the car park is in England?)

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