Photos of Wigan
Photos of Wigan

Wigan Album

M6 Motorway


28-03-1963-Winstanley Park Railway Bridge-No.5147
Photo: Barrie
Views: 1,837
Item #: 29052
The M6 crosses the Wigan-Liverpool rail line.Was working the morning in the area and took this shot as the train passes under the bridge.

Comment by: Jarvo on 17th February 2017 at 21:45

Interesting photograph. It looks like a Fairburn tank, and it is on the down Liverpool Exchange line. To the left of the engine is the down loop that stretched from Pemberton Winstanley Coll signal box to Orrell East. The up fast line and up loop are on the opposite side. During steam days the coal trains from Wakefield to Liverpool were stabled on the down loop; the return 'empties' occupied the up loop. These coal trains could spend hours waiting for the road until they were given the signal to take the Pemberton Loop and onwards toward Hindley.
Notice the clean embankments and tidy tracks: a task that was carried out by the proud permanent way gangs.

Comment by: Garry on 18th February 2017 at 09:23

Workers had pride in the jobs then. British Railways do I just love saying that word, so clean and no fence along the embankments.

Comment by: Peter on 18th February 2017 at 18:57

Fog hut on the down side ,a plate layer would tail lamp trains in thick fog.

Comment by: Jarvo on 19th February 2017 at 10:10

The hut is actually on the 'up' line.

Comment by: Garry on 19th February 2017 at 13:12

Forgive me Jarvo, but I need to ask, there's four sections of track, two up and two down. the train seems to be on the wrong track??

Comment by: Barry on 19th February 2017 at 15:36

Which way is this heading?

Comment by: Alan on 19th February 2017 at 18:28

The engine is in reverse.

Comment by: Jarvo on 19th February 2017 at 19:16

Please read my first post. It answers both your questions. The train is going west to Liverpool.

Comment by: . Ozymandias . on 19th February 2017 at 21:44

The engine is in reverse.........The engine is in reverse ?.........You haven't been giving Gazza a lift with that sherry by any chance have you Alan ?

Comment by: Garry on 20th February 2017 at 01:07

No not in reverse otherwise the smoke would be blowing the other way.

Comment by: Alex on 20th February 2017 at 09:01

Perhaps Barrie remembers which way it's travelling.Looking at the direction of smoke forward.

Comment by: Jarvo on 20th February 2017 at 11:33

It really surprises me that so many people posting on here don't read the other posts. Trust me, Alex, the train is heading westwards to Liverpool. If you look above the bridge and through the smoke, you can make out the trees on the Winstanley estate. The train, probably a local from Wigan Wallgate or beyond, should make its next stop at Orrell station a third of a mile or so further on. I rest my case.

Comment by: Alan on 20th February 2017 at 14:26

I think what people are saying apart from the direction the train is traveling, it must be shoving the rolling stock, because if the loco was going forward it's on the wrong track.

Comment by: John on 20th February 2017 at 14:46

That is correct jarvo the engine is on incline from Pem to Orrell.

Comment by: jack on 20th February 2017 at 17:53

A tank engine pushing the carriges in reverse. The train is going away from the camera. Tank locos are good in reverse.

Comment by: Jarvo on 20th February 2017 at 19:22

Alan: Read my first post, slowly...

Comment by: Alan on 20th February 2017 at 21:36

I have read it slowly, Jarvo. It still don't make sense.

Comment by: Barrie on 21st February 2017 at 11:02

According to my photographic record book the time was 10.32 am and it was the Wigan -Liverpool train -. I was standing at the top of the embankment looking towards Wigan. Hope this helps.

Comment by: Jarvo on 21st February 2017 at 19:10

Thak you, Barrie. Just to explain briefly again: the down lines (going to Liverpool) the one on the engine's left, is the down loop...On the opposite side, there is the up fast, and the up loop. The loops were for the slower goods trains that were stabled there giving way to the passenger trains. Is that clear enough?

Comment by: Jimmy on 21st February 2017 at 20:49

so in this instance the slow lines are on each side of the fast?

Comment by: Garry on 21st February 2017 at 21:08

Thank you Jarvo.

Comment by: Jarvo on 22nd February 2017 at 00:09

Jimmy: Yes.

Comment by: . Ozymandias . on 22nd February 2017 at 02:41

It's a bit complicated innit Jimmy? Up, down, slow , fast, in, out, ploop, scoop, it's just as well I never worked on the railway.

Comment by: Jarvo on 22nd February 2017 at 09:17

Today, the scene has altered slightly. The motorway bridge is still there, of course, but both loops have long been lifted. Funny enough, freight trains run again from the spur at Kirkby maybe twice a day. But the long coal trains from Wakefield have long gone, along with the mines that fed them.

Comment by: Howard P on 22nd February 2017 at 15:40

Bring freight back on our railways.

Comment by: Jarvo on 23rd February 2017 at 09:27

As a postscript to this, the quadrupled lines continued going west, after Upholland Tunnel and station, to Ditton; until joining the Liverpool system. Going east, they continued after Crow's Nest Junction at Atherton and on to Walkden and then Manchester. The trains would pass through Victoria and then be banked up Miles Platting to continue onwards over the pennines. Let's have more of these nostalgic photographs. They make this site great. Thank you.

Comment by: Garry on 23rd February 2017 at 12:32

Here here Jarvo.

Comment by: redsinrome on 8th October 2019 at 17:55

This train is travelling towards Wigan! Other points to note, there was no way a loco would have been allowed to 'push' a passenger train in service that has more than 3 carriages, and then they were limited to 35mph. The lines here are two loops either side with the running tracks in the centre. The loops were from Winstanley Colliery to Orrell East (just beyond the M6 bridge), and another pair of loops from Ditton Brook to Holland Moss. It was only the main running lines through Orrell, Upholland Tunnel, and Upholland Station

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