SJ6467 : Whitegate Way looking east at Catsclough

taken 2 years ago, near to Wharton, Cheshire, Great Britain

Whitegate Way looking east at Catsclough
Whitegate Way looking east at Catsclough
Note the telephone pole. Given that virtually all other traces of the railway have vanished in the last 50 years, this is probably a later BT pole making use of the alignment rather than an original railway "telegraph pole".
The Whitegate Way, Cheshire
The Whitegate Way is a 10km long traffic-free cycle route using the trackbed of the former Winsford branch of the Cheshire Lines railway which ran from a junction on the Chester to Manchester line near Cuddington, to Winsford and Over, with a single stop at Whitegate, hence the name.

The line opened on 1 July 1870 and was principally used for freight to and from the numerous salt works in the Winsford area. There was only ever a limited passenger service, which ceased on 1 January 1931. Whitegate station closed to all traffic in November 1963, and the whole line in February 1968.

Unlike many 1960s branch line closures, local people were quick to reclaim the route as a footpath, so although some of the bridges have been dismantled the line did not get built on until the last few hundred metres at the Winsford end. The site of Winsford and Over station at SJ653664 has only recently (2016) been occupied by a new housing development. There is a photo of the station after closure on Flickr at LinkExternal link

The trackbed is now open with "permitted bridleway" status from close to the original junction near Cuddington SJ591711 to the site of the Winsford and Over terminus near the River Weaver SJ653664. The eastern section, from the site of the former Whitegate Station at SJ614679 to Bradford Road north of Winsford at SJ652678, forms part of National Cycle Network route 71. The former station building at Whitegate is now a cafe, and there is a public car park at the terminus of the route in Winsford at SJ651667.

The LMS's terminal station in Winsford, called Over and Wharton, lasted longer as a passenger station (until 1947) and the branch off the West Coast Main Line was still in industrial use until 1991, but its route is now part of the town's ring road. The town is still served by rail, but only by a station on the West Coast Main Line a mile away where local trains from Crewe to Liverpool still call.
National Cycle Network Route 71
This 100km cycle route is classed as a regional one, being entirely within the ceremonial county of Cheshire. The eastern end is at Tegg's Nose country park on the edge of the Peak District, while the western end is at Neston on the Dee estuary. The route passes through Chester but is otherwise mostly on rural roads and bridleways.
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SJ6467, 16 images   (more nearby )
Photographer
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Date Taken
Saturday, 18 November, 2017   (more nearby)
Submitted
Sunday, 19 November, 2017
Geographical Context
Paths 
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! SJ 6491 6771 [10m precision]
WGS84: 53:12.3176N 2:31.6085W
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! SJ 6488 6771
View Direction
EAST (about 90 degrees)
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Other Tags
Cycle Trail  Course of Former Railway  National Cycle Network Route 71  Telephone Pole 

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