Friday, 7 April 2017

Snaps of Chorlton No 7, a lost railway scene

An occasional series featuring private and personal photographs of Chorlton.

I think we are sometime in the middle of 1960s and we are looking  towards the Wilbraham Road bridge, beyond which is the station and off to our right Adastral House.  

Now someone out there will be much better informed than I about the loco and what it is pulling.  

My knowledge stops at being able to say it is a British Rail locomotive, when we still had a nationalized railway company.

Picture; from the Lloyd collection 


  1. I like a challenge. At risk of sounding like a trainspotter, that's a class 47 loco in BR rail blue livery, which would date it from the mid 1960s onwards. The two lights on the front are in place of the headcode / train reporting number panel. The requirement to display a headcode ended 1st Jan 1976 so think it would 1976 or later, rather than the mid 60s. The line was open for freight until 1988 - I can remember hearing the regular daily rumble of a train passing through just before 4pm until the closure of the line. Of course a real enthusiast could tell you where those containers were going to and from - but I can't

  2. Well I think that is a pretty comprehensive answer thank you

  3. No problem. A shot from almost the same location in 2009:

  4. I note from the interwebs that Adastral House was built c1979 originally being sheltered housing for ex-servicemen - hence the name, based on the RAF motto Per ardua ad astra. So that would push the date into the 1980s.

  5. Now that is very interesting, and is very exciting in that it pushes the date on quite some what. Thank you. I had a friend who was living there circa 1979 and I thought that they were purpose built for sale. Another wonderful little addition to the story thanks again, keep digging

  6. I may be wrong about having been built 'for ex servicemen'. Johnnie Johnson Housing Trust was set up in 1969 by a former Spitfire ace and mainly provides retirement properties, but doesn't limit tenants to that background. The trust still runs Adastral House.

  7. The loco is a class 47 in a livery which was used from the 70s through to the early 90s. The thing which marks it out as a mid to late 80s loco is the single high intensity headlamp situated below the two marker lights. These were fitted from around 1984 onwards to 47s. I would say that this photo was taken between 1985 and 1988. The container traffic could be going anywhere in Manchester. Did this line link up with Trafford park industrial estate (which had a wide rail infrastructure?)

    1. Thanks Dan, this story has come back out of the shadows, just love the way people are taking it further

  8. I agree with class 47. It will have come from Trafford container depot...on the site of Trafford Park steam shed. It will be off round the Fallowfield Loop to Guide Bridge t5hen probably over the Pennines. My wife's Uncle Jack Woolley of Edgeley may have been the driver. Ina few yards it will be passing the end of my garden here on Egerton Road South. Jack used to play Ilkley Moor on the loco's horn for use when he passed ! I thought Adastral House was built in the sixties. It was the scene of a fatal fire in a flat on the top floor facing Wilbraham Road. You can still see where the smoke damage on the balcony was painted over with light green paint.