The Anonymous Widower

Beeching Reversal – Reinstatement of Bolton-Radcliffe / Bolton – Bury

This is one of the Beeching Reversal projects that the Government and Network Rail are proposing to reverse some of the Beeching cuts.

This article in the Bury Times is entitled Plans For Bolton Metrolink Route To Radcliffe See New Bid Submitted. This is the introductory paragraphs.

A bid to secure funding for a tram link between Bolton and Radcliffe has been submitted to the government.

Mark Logan, the MP for Bolton North East, hopes to secure part of the Department for Transport’s £500m Restoring Your Railway Ideas Fund to connect the town to the major public transport network.

The proposal submitted shows Metrolink connecting Bolton, Radcliffe and Bury by reviving an existing disused track bed; bridging the gap between some of the more deprived areas along the route.

This Google Map shows the triangular area between Bolton, Radcliffe and Bury.

Note.

  1. Bolton is just off the Western edge of the map.
  2. Bury is in the North East corner of the map.
  3. Radcliffe is at the Southern edge of the map, close to the point of the triangular green space.
  4. There is already a Metrolink line between Bury and Radcliffe.

If you look at this map on a larger scale, you can see the scars of old railway lines between Bolton and Bury and Bolton and Radcliffe.

I will take a more detailed look at this proposal.

Bolton

This Google Map shows the Western point of the triangle, where it connects towards Bolton.

Note.

  1. The disused railway appears to run South of the Bradley Fold Trading Estate.
  2. It then split into two branches in the middle of the map.
  3. The Northern branch goes off in a North-Easterly direction to Bury.
  4. The Southern branch goes off in a South-Easterly direction to Radcliffe.

I’ve followed the route of the disused railway to the West and it goes all the way to the centre of Bolton.

This Google Map shows between Bolton and Bradley Fold.

This railway used to be part of the Liverpool and Bury Railway. This map, which has been clipped from Wikipedia, shows the route.

This information came in a comment from FS (Thanks!) and there are some interesting bridges and viaducts on the route.

Looking at the route from my virtual helicopter, much of the route between Bolton and Radcliffe, is now a walking and cycle route, so there will have to be some careful design to get shared use right.

Radcliffe

This Google Map shows the Radcliffe point of the triangle.

Note.

  1. The Bury Line of the Manchester Metrolink runs down the Eastern side of the map.
  2. The Radcliffe tram stop, with its Park-and-Ride is in the South-East corner of the map.
  3. The disused railway from Bolton joins the map in the North-West corner.

This Google Map avows the Radcliffe tram stop.

I don’t think it would be the most challenging of projects to connect the Radcliffe tram stop to a tram branch to and from Bolton.

  • There seems to be plenty of space on both sides of the main road.
  • Extra platforms could probably be added for Bolton trams if required.

Although, there could be problems threading the route, through the new housing and over the viaducts and bridges.

Bury

This Google Map shows the South-West approaches to Bury.

Note.

  1. Bury Interchange is in the North-East corner of the map.
  2. The tracks and sidings of the East Lancashire Railway can be seen running South-West from the centre of Bury.
  3. The proposed line from Bolton enters the map in the South West corner.

Where will the new line terminate, as getting across the town might be expensive?

New Tram Stops

There is a Wikipedia entry, which is entitled Proposed Developments Of Manchester Metrolink, which says nothing about the Bolton – Radcliffe and Bolton – Bury Lines.

But it does indicate, there may be two new stops between Bury Interchange and Radcliffe tram stop.

Buckley Wells

The Wikipedia entry for Buckley Wells tram stop says this.

Buckley Wells is a proposed tram stop on the Bury Line of Greater Manchester’s Metrolink light rail system. It is to be between Bury Interchange and Radcliffe Metrolink station, in the Buckley Wells area of Bury, north of Fishpool and south of Bury town centre.

The proposed site of Buckley Wells stop, by the A56 road, is owned by Transport for Greater Manchester, was proposed in 2003, offering (in addition to the Metrolink stop and services for southern Bury) a park and ride facility, and opportunity to provide an interchange with the East Lancashire Railway.

This Google Map shows the wider area of the site.

Note.

  1. The Bury Line of the Manchester Metrolink runs SW-NE across the map.
  2. The A56 Manchester Road runs roughly North-South and crosses over the Bury Line.
  3. The tracks and sidings of the East Lancashire Railway, can be seen in the North-West corner of the map.
  4. The main route of the East Lancashire Railway can be seen crossing the Bury Line in the North-East corner of the map.

If you follow the Bury Line back towards Manchester, there is a connection between the Manchester Methrolink and the East Lancashire Railway.

Elton Reservoir

The Wikipedia entry for Elton Reservoir tram stop says this.

Elton Reservoir, also known as Warth, is a proposed tram stop on the Bury Line of Greater Manchester’s Metrolink light rail system. It is to be located between Bury Interchange and Radcliffe Metrolink station, southeast of Elton Reservoir and south of Bury town centre.

This Google map shows the wider area of the site.

Note.

  1. The Bury Line runs North-South from the North-East corner of the map.
  2. The stop is being proposed for new housing, that might be built in the area.

It should be noted that the proposed Bolton – Bury tram line would run on the reservoir side of the houses in the North-West corner of the map.

Infrastructure

On a quick look, the two new lines and the two new tram stops, don’t appear to be too challenging.

The only parts that appear difficult might be.

  • Running the trams between Bolton Town Centre and Bradley Fold.
  • Running the trams into Bury Town Centre.
  • Some of the Radcliffe route seems to have been built on.

But there doesn’t seem to be any bridges over major roads or waterways.

Conclusion

There is a lot to like about these two new tram routes.

August 10, 2020 - Posted by | Transport | , , , ,

4 Comments »

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    Pingback by Beeching Reversal: Fifty Disused Rail Lines On Track To Reopen « The Anonymous Widower | August 10, 2020 | Reply

  2. Ah this one is close to my heart. As a {much} younger man I lived a stone’s throw from the track bed.

    It is a scheme that rears it’s head every few years and gets rejected on grounds of Darcy Lever viaduct (?strength and repurposed as bike trail), housing development on line and massive infilling of cuttings and bridges along route. Some rather old images of the closed line are available here.

    http://bikerides.dsracing.me.uk/railway/fold.htm

    with in text links to the Bolton to Radcliffe line.

    The impressive viaduct can be viewed here

    http://www.forgottenrelics.co.uk/bridges/gallery/darcylever.html#null

    and the cycleway / bridleway conversion here

    https://www.28dayslater.co.uk/threads/darcy-lever-burnden-viaducts-bolton.95331/

    I have long wondered if diversion to street running around obstructions would be feasible and benefit the local populace but frankly I’m not holding my breath.

    It also strikes me that if some of these reinstatements were to be examined in combination rather than on an individual basis a very strategic route could be created, something like……..

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liverpool_and_Bury_Railway

    Ah the good old days!

    Comment by Fenline scouser | August 11, 2020 | Reply


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