Oldham, Ashton & Guide Bridge Railway


Opened: c1879

Closed: 1967

Location code: LM121/10

Park Bridge box
Photograph 23/8/56 by Dr J W F Scrimgeour

The Oldham, Ashton & Guide Bridge Railway was originally conceived by the Manchester, Sheffield& Lincolnshire Railway, but they were unable to finance it alone and sought assistance from other companies. The L&Y initially showed an interest, but backed out when the L&NWR became involved owing to inter-company rivalry so the railway ultimately became MS&L (later GC) and L&NW Joint.

Little is known about the early signalling on the line, but it seems likely that key junctions were signalled in the early 1870s (see Crowthorn Junction) whilst full signalling and block working was added in the late 1870s. The contract for the latter work was let to McKenzie & Holland (a contractor not normally associated with either of the companies concerned) and all boxes built during this period were to McK&H's standard gabled design like those described at Bargoed Pits but all (as far as is known) were built entirely in brick up to the roof-line.

This timeless view is taken looking towards Oldham.

Interior of Park Bridge box
Photograph 23/8/56 by Dr J W F Scrimgeour

This interior view shows the McKenzie & Holland frame of 23 levers. Those on this line were of an interesting variation where the levers did not stand upright when in the normal position (compare with Stallington) on the NSR.

The signalling instruments are pure GCR - note particularly the top mounted catch on the pegging instruments and the offset tappers on the bell units.

The passenger service on this line was withdrawn in 1959, but the line soldiered on for freight traffic. Park bridge box closed when the route was shut down throughout, on 6th August 1967.

All photographs copyright © John Hinson unless otherwise stated