Ashton to Oldham (via Park Bridge) Railway

Version2 Updated January 2007 - click here for the latest pictures.

During a very snowy and cold February I was not able (or willing!) to get on the bike very much. Also I had various time constraints. Anyway to get the point, when I was learning to drive (many years back), my driving instructor took me round his local area (Ashton-U-Lyne). I had noticed a couple of old railway bridges and old infrastructure.

Over the years I discovered this was part of the Ashton to Oldham (via Park Bridge) railway line which was long disused. Whenever I was in the area I tried to get a look at the old line and also started to read more in to the history of the line.

Last year myself and Duncan rode quite a lot of the route from Ashton to Park Bridge, however the majority is not good under foot and is certainly not a winter bike route. However in better weather we both hope to cover this route in more detail.

As a stopgap I thought I would explore some the route as it is today on foot and in the car. I hope you enjoy the first selection of photos, which I plan to add to in the very near future.

Ashton-U-Lyne, the original site of Ashton Oldham St Station

Looking back towards Ashton - I am standing on the bridge that carries Lordsfield Ave over the old line.

The station was situated near the industrial units that are on the left hand side of the picture.

There is not a lot left of the junction to the Manchester line. This has been built over and is now an industrial estate.

A close up of the bridge under Lordsfield Avenue. You can see that the bridge has been fenced up to make it safe, as it is quite a long bridge through to the other side.



Looking at the other side of the bridge. You can see how long this is, it could be classed as a mini tunnel. I didn't want to venture down for a closer look, it didn't look very inviting!


I am on the other side of the bridge looking towards Oldham. The original alignment is till very visable and unusually it has not been filled in. This is a good thing, as hopefully this line can be opened up as a Pathway / Cycleway.
Another shot looking towards Oldham. The 3 arched bridge ahead takes Cranbourne road over the old railway.
Coming in to Oldham

Honeywell Lane in Oldham. We are around 2 miles from Oldham own center. The line curved round Alexandra Park.

Another good example of the original railway infrastructure. still to be seen on this line.

Looking down the alignment back to Oldham. The alignment is quite untouched at this stage. However at Park Bridge the original stone viaduct was demolished in 1970. This line lasted till the late 1960s as it was used for a parcel service from Oldham. Unfortunately the traffic did not remain high enough for the lines survival.


Underneath the bridge at Honeywell Lane.
Another shot from underneath the bridge, looking out towards Oldham.
Looking back at the bridge, with my back to Oldham.

The alignment as of today. This part of the line has survived as a linear park. The area is very pleasant, there is a fantastic park and boating late across the road. I hope to explore this on my bike soon.

The line originally ran to Oldham Clegg street station, which is now an industrial estate.

At one time Oldham had 4 train stations in a very small area! Now 2 survive, not bad, but Oldham had a lot more railway activity back in the 1960s than it does now.

Well that's it for now. There is so much of this line to explore. I am waiting better weather so I can get the bike out and follow the line in more places. Park Bridge is a great area with a lot of history. Unfortunately the original brick viaduct that took the railway over the valley has long gone. However there is quite a lot of railway infrastructure. and history left in this area.

Keep checking the website for further updates.

Updated - January 2007

Following a recent news article about the conversion of this route in to a foot/cycle path I thought it was time to go and take a look at the route to see what's been done. Also on a recent trip to the new Ikea store in Ashton, I had seen the original bridge that took the line, so I thought I would get my camera and get on my bike.

Ikea Ashton - Here is where the Ashton to Oldham line split off the main line.

Taken from the Ikea loading bay - The main line runs from left to right. Centre of the picture is the now filled in bridge where the Oldham line once ran. Oldham road runs above.

From Oldham road, looking at the top of the bridge structure. The Ashton Ikea is in the background.



Same vantage point as above - but looking more to the left. You can see where the existing main line runs. (where the brick level is lower)


This is where the Oldham line curved off towards the site of Ashton Oldham street station.
Round the back of the garage. This is where the line would have run. Right through the centre of this building.

With my back to the Garage - here we can see where the line curved off to the left towards the short tunnel at Lordsfield Avenue.

January 2007 - View from Lordsfield Avenue.
Same view 2005.

January 2007 - The pathway I had read about is being constructed. This is looking towards Cranbourne Road. This was taken from Lordsfield Avenue.
2005 view.
A close up of the Cranbourne road bridge.
The pathway heading towards Parkbridge.

Left - The access point on Cranbourne road.

Below Left and Below- The access ramps down to the pathway. I will be keeping my eye on the route to see when it gets tarmaced. Its quite hard going (on a bike) at the moment as its pretty rough. However least it isn't muddy!

Left - Heading Towards Wilshaw Lane.

Below Left - Looking back down the route.

Below - Wilshaw Lane road bridge.

Left - The end of the new path way just behind the large housing estate near Limehurst farm. The path does continue towards Park Bridge, but its heavy going.

Below Left - Looking back towards Ashton.

Below - The access point to the estate - Camberwell drive. This takes you back to Oldham road.

The recent updates shows the work that has been undertaken on this route. Its great to see these routes being made official and paved. I saw plenty of people out and that can only be a good thing. I will keep my eye on this route to see when it get finished. This route can also be part of a nice loop that takes in the disused canal through Daisy Nook. A route we need to cover.

Anway - worth a look if in this area. And well done Tameside council for taking the initiative on this old route. Lets hope they do more of it towards Park Bridge and Oldham!

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