1953

SK0999 : Up mineral empties approaching Woodhead on the Manchester - Sheffield main line

taken 71 years ago, near to Woodhead Reservoir [water Feature], Derbyshire, Great Britain

Up mineral empties approaching Woodhead on the Manchester - Sheffield main line
Up mineral empties approaching Woodhead on the Manchester - Sheffield main line
View westward, over Woodhead Reservoir, towards Hadfield and eventually Manchester - to the left. This photograph was taken on the same day in 1953 as SK1099 : Eastbound freight train approaching Woodhead, with which relevant details are given. The locomotive is another ex-GC Class O4 2-8-0.
Woodhead Tunnel and Sheffield (Victoria) - Manchester railway

Shortly before World War Two, a start was made on the electrification of the LNER main line between Rotherwood Sidings (east of Sheffield Victoria) and from Wath Central via the Worsbrough Branch to Penistone and over the Woodhead route to Manchester London Road and other points off the main line including Glossop. The war interrupted the electrification for over 10 years, although the steel standards for the overhead catenary bordered the route over the intervening period.
After the war it was found that the two 3-mile single-line Woodhead Tunnels (now almost 100 years old and traversed latterly by 100 steam trains a day) were almost collapsing and beyond economic repair. Therefore before the electrification could be completed a new much larger double-track tunnel would have to be built, parallel to and on the south side of the old bores. Work began in August 1949 and was completed, along with the electrification (also new stations at Dunford Bridge and Woodhead and a new bridge over the River Etherow at Woodhead) in June 1954. However, the pre-war scheme to electrify the railways through to Manchester Central, the Docks and the Trafford Park industrial area had been abandoned, 'Motorway Madness' ensued, the M62 was built instead and the whole modernised railway was closed down and ripped up (between Hadfield and Penistone) in July 1981!
My brother-in-law, Andrew Sharman, was Chief Site Engineer for the Consultants, Sir William Halcrow & Partners, for the New Woodhead Tunnel (also the Thurgoland Tunnel near Sheffield). He and his family were provided with a bungalow at the Dunford Bridge temporary workers' camp, so I used to visit and was taken all over (and into) the construction works, and took photographs. (See e.g. SK1199, SE1502, SE1602. For a detailed description of the whole project, see E.M. Johnson, 'Woodhead: the Electric Railway', Foxline, Stockport 2001: ISBN 870119 81 9).


Creative Commons Licence [Some Rights Reserved]   © Copyright Ben Brooksbank and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.
This photo is linked from: Automatic Clusters: · View across Woodhead Reservoir [16] · Left [4] · Line [2] ·
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SK0999, 66 images   (more nearby 🔍)
Photographer
Ben Brooksbank   (more nearby)
Date Taken
14 August 1953   (more nearby)
Submitted
Friday, 17 June, 2011
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! SK 096 995 [100m precision]
WGS84: 53:29.5542N 1:51.3431W
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! SK 096 995
View Direction
West-northwest (about 292 degrees)
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Image classification(about): Geograph · First in 5 Years (TPoint) (about)
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