Last Days of Steam at Agecroft :: Shared Description

Agecroft Colliery was located between Agecroft Road (A6044), Dell Avenue and the Manchester to Bolton railway line. The colliery had first operated between 1844 and 1932 when the most accessible coal seams were exploited. It was redeveloped by the National Coal Board in the 1950s to access the deepest seams as the NCB became aware that coal reserves in its collieries were becoming exhausted. The colliery's main customer was the Central Electricity Generating Board’s Agecroft Power Station on the opposite side of Agecroft Road, close to the River Irwell. The power station had first opened in 1925 and was extended in the early 1960s (LinkExternal link Engineering Timelines).

Three 14-inch outside cylinder saddle tank steam locomotives were built by Robert Stephenson and Hawthorns in Newcastle upon Tyne in 1948 and purchased by the Salford Corporation Electricity Department to shunt coal wagons between the coal mines and the power station at Agecroft. These were all originally painted green with black lining edged with red on the outside and yellow on the inside. However, with the nationalisation of the UK's electric supply industry, the locomotives became effectively redundant when a conveyor belt was constructed to carry coal directly across Agecroft Road. The three locomotives were sold in 1980s. After being retired in 1980, Agecroft No 1 was saved from scrapping by being bought by a private owner. It was later purchased by the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester in a dismantled state in 2008, where it underwent a 3-year restoration and is now used to operate train rides at the former Liverpool Road Station site (SJ8397 : Museum of Science and Industry, RSH Steam Locomotive "Agecroft No 1") . Agecroft No 2 was bought by the Ribble Steam Railway LinkExternal link . As at March 2017, Agecroft No 3 is undergoingf full restoration at the Whitwell & Reepham railway station in Norfolk Archive LinkExternal link . Before disposing of the locomotives, an open day was held under the title “Agecroft’s Last Day of Steam” (or something similar) on 12 September 1981 when this small collection photographs was taken.

Agecroft Colliery closed in March 1991 and demolition began later that year. The power station closed in March 1993, and demolition commenced later that year. The cooling towers and two main stacks were demolished on 8 May 1994 (LinkExternal link flickr). The site now has a mixed development of housing, parklands and a prison, HMP Forest Bank which was opened in January 2000.

Peter Whatley’s photograph SD7901 : Agecroft CEGB sidings, shows one of the locomotives hauling coal wagons in 1976.
by David Dixon
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7 images use this description:

SD7901 : RSH Saddle Tank Locomotive at Agecroft Power Station by David Dixon
SD7901 : Steam Train Ride on the Agecroft Sidings by David Dixon
SD7901 : Railway Sidings at Agecroft Power Station by David Dixon
SD7901 : Steam Railway at Agecroft Power Station by David Dixon
SD7901 : Steam Locomotive at Agecroft Power Station by David Dixon
SD7901 : Last Day of Steam at Agecroft by David Dixon
SD7901 : RSH Saddle Tank Locomotive at Agecroft by David Dixon


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Created: Wed, 1 Mar 2017, Updated: Wed, 1 Mar 2017

The 'Shared Description' text on this page is Copyright 2017 David Dixon, however it is specifically licensed so that contributors can reuse it on their own images without restriction.

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