© Geoff’s Rail Diaries 2011
During the summer of 1984, the LNWR "Coal
Tank" no 1054 ran a series of short excursions
in the Manchester, running to the Wilson's
brewery, which was celebrating its 100th
anniversary (it closed a year or two later!). We
decided a day out was in order.
We started on Miles Platting bank, less than a
mile from Victoria station, and about half-way to
the Brewery, and were rewarded with several trains, before no
1054 passed with its train - the ex-Caledonian Railway (I think - I
stand to be corrected...) observation saloon.
With a fair bit of time to spare now, we spent a few minutes at
Miles Platting station, an interesting triangular layout at the top
of the bank. Sadly, this station has since been closed and
Much was changing at Guide Bridge too. We thought it was worth
a last look here, where the old 1500v DC EMUs would be
replaced in the near future by 25kv AC units. Already, much work
had been done - the new service would be using the formerly
disused platforms, and new trackwork and wiring were in place,
but not yet connected. The class 40 illustrated,
working in with an engineer's train, was the last I
photographed in BR service.
We returned to Manchester Victoria, and spent a
little while studying the fine old station.
Illustrated below are: the main station front; the
map of the L&Y system, and the "Refreshment
Room 1st Class"
Back to the trains: no 1054 is seen running bunker first with a
return trip from the brewery, then running through the station
again on its last trip. Also illustrated below - a class 110 DMU
(one of the Calder Valley sets); 47 555 "The Commonwealth
Spirit" on the Glasgow - Harwich boat train, and 31 113 standing
in the banker's spot, ready to assist an eastbound train, if
necessary, up the 1 in 59 / 47 Miles Platting bank.
And that was it - an interesting day out, and one which recorded
a number of things that have long since gone - the class 40s and
45s, the loco-hauled trans-pennine services, 1500v DC overhead
electrics, Miles Platting station, and a fair part of Manchester