SD7919 : GWR Autotrain on the East Lancashire Railway

taken 4 years ago, near to Edenfield, Lancashire, Great Britain

GWR Autotrain on the East Lancashire Railway
GWR Autotrain on the East Lancashire Railway
At first glance, this looks like a single-carriage train being pulled by an Ex-GWR Pannier Tank 0-6-0 steam locomotive. However, the direction of the plume of smoke tells us that the train is actually travelling from left to right across the picture (ie south to north, towards Irwell Vale) and that the locomotive is pushing from behind the carriage which is an example of a GWR autocoach. The train driver is operating from a cab at the front of the coach, not from the locomotive.

The GWR autocoach (or auto-trailer) is a type of carriage that was used by the Great Western Railway for push-pull trains powered by a steam locomotive. The distinguishing design feature of an autocoach is the driving cab at one end, allowing the driver to control the train without needing to be located in the cab of the steam locomotive. This eliminates the need to run the engine round to the other end of the coach at the end of each journey; a precursor to the introduction to the extremely popular Diesel Multiple Units.
The East Lancashire Railway (ELR) :: SD8010
The East Lancashire Railway (ELR) is a heritage railway based in Bury. It is currently (as at August 2018) operating between Rawtenstall and Heywood, with intermediate stations at Bury Bolton Street, Summerseat, Ramsbottom and Irwell Vale, respectively.

The original East Lancashire Railway LinkExternal link opened in 1844, beginning as a railway from Clifton via Bury to Rawtenstall. It was later amalgamated with the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway. Parts of the network remain in use today, and the section of the original line between Bury and Rawtenstall is now operated by the heritage railway.

After formal closure by British Rail in 1982, the line between Bury and Ramsbottom, via Summerseat was reopened on 25 July 1987 as a new heritage railway. In 1991 the service was extended northwards from Ramsbottom to reach Rawtenstall, via Irwell Vale and in 2003 an eastbound extension from Bury to Heywood was re-opened. To reach Heywood the extension had to cross over the Metrolink line to Bury, at the site of the former Bury Knowsley Street station. This necessitated the construction of a new intersection bridge, with steeply graded approaches of 1 in 36 and 1 in 41 nicknamed 'The Ski Jump'. The heritage line is now just over 12 miles long, and has a mainline connection with the national railway network at Castleton, just beyond Heywood. The ELR plans to extend the running line further into Castleton in the future, to where a new (and separate) platform named "Castleton Village" will be constructed adjacent to the main station itself (LinkExternal link Manchester Evening News).

The railway is run by volunteer members from the East Lancashire Railway Preservation Society (ELRPS). The railway is well known for its collection of diesel locomotives which reside on the railway, along with over 140 carriages, wagons and utility vehicles. It is open every weekend of the year and holds a number of themed events and galas throughout the year which include steam and diesel events amongst others, and also offers driver experience courses.

LinkExternal link East Lancashire Railway Website
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SD7919, 188 images   (more nearby )
Photographer
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Date Taken
Sunday, 25 October, 2015   (more nearby)
Submitted
Sunday, 1 November, 2015
Geographical Context
Historic sites and artefacts  Village, Rural settlement  Railways 
Camera (from Tags)
Panasonic DMC-G3 
Image Buckets ?
Transport 
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! SD 790 196 [100m precision]
WGS84: 53:40.3629N 2:19.1608W
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! SD 790 196
View Direction
Southwest (about 225 degrees)
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