http://myweb.tiscali.co.uk/tapptoons A Ex-White Van Man`s Travels

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No longer the white van man but still mooching about now as white car man, mostly on old railway tracks and canal pathways.

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September 2017.. a day trip to look at the old railway line from Prestatyn to Dyserth. I started walking about half way along the route at Meliden. Below is a view from the railway track which is now a walkway and cyclepath.....

The platform is long gone but the old Meliden goods shed survives and is evidently going to be restored.....

More info about Meliden Station... HERE

The photo below is of what I believe is a railway loading gauge at Meliden.....

Just passed Meliden station there`s a footpath up to Craig Fawr from where you can get spectacular views over to Llandudno, weather permitting....

The weather this day was mighty fine. Below is a view of Dyserth....

As is often the case with these old railway lines there was an awful lot of time, money and hard work involved in building the tracks. The photo below shows an impressive cutting....

There are several old bridges along the route...

As you arrive at the site of the old Dyserth station there`s a restored goods crane. The station area is being redeveloped as retirement flats...

More info about Dyserth Station... HERE

The waterfall at Dyserth has been a tourist attraction for many years...

Next to the waterfall are two stone walls which some suggest may have supported a waterwheel to power the nearby mill...

That was a pleasant walk. Below is a photo of Dyserth church...

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September 2017.. a day trip to Ravenscar and Whitby. As ever the main focus is on old railway lines. Ravenscar was a stop on the old Scarborough to Whitby route which closed in 1965. Below is a view towards Robin Hood`s Bay from Ravenscar......

More info about Ravenscar... HERE

Even more info about Ravenscar... HERE

More info about the Scarborough and Whitby Railway... HERE

Below is a photo of Station Square at Ravenscar......

All that remains of the railway station itself is one of the platforms......

More info about Ravenscar Railway Station.. HERE

A few hundred yards north of the station there is a tunnel. The photo below shows the exit portal north of Raven Hall Road......

More info about the Ravenscar Tunnel... HERE

A bit further on an old bridge still remains. The old trackway is now part of the Scarborough to Whitby Cinder Track for walkers and cyclists.....

A footpath nearby leads to the remains of the old Alum works......

More info about the Ravenscar Alum works... HERE

Over in Whitby later in the day to have a look at the Cinder Track. Below is one of the access points......

Heading back towards Ravenscar and the Larpool Viaduct......

Below is the top view of the Larpool Viaduct......

Finished in 1884. The viaduct crosses the river Esk......

View from the viaduct towards Whitby Abbey......

More info about the Larpool Viaduct... HERE

New housing below the viaduct......

Just beyond the viaduct......

Back towards Whitby is what remains of the Whitby West Cliff station. The buildings are now residential homes......

A few hundred yards north of the West Cliff station is a surviving railway bridge which seems to be topped by an assortment of sheds......

Totally unrelated image but found in someone`s nearby garden. Flowers they are, so they are....Pink daisies, I think..

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August 2017 : A flutterby sat on the Himalayan Balsam (I think) near Irwell Vale......

May 2017 : An excellent spring time view of Uppermill from Dobcross. The house on the left, halfway up the picture, is the old Uppermill railway station which is now a private residence......

Nearer home, another spring time shot my local park`s boating lake.......

below, another wildlife shot from the local park. This squirrel not so wild and obviously expecting to be fed.......

This is from last summer but a lovely image. Butterfly on a sunflower near Todmorden.......

End of May 2017. Took a walk along the Leeds and Liverpool canal from Wigan to Parbold.......

Duck family looking for lunch......

Just passed Gathurst. One of the less attractive views on the canal.......

Here`s a much nicer country view near Appley Bridge.......

The railway and canal follow pretty much the same route to Parbold from Wigan.......

Originally the Leeds and Liverpool canal was planned to head North from Parbold up to Preston but later it was decided to access the Wigan coalfields instead. The picture below shows the sudden turn to the right at Parbold.......

The Windmill Gallery at Parbold. A pleasant little village......

October 2016 : Lucky bit of wildlife photography here at Summerseat.......

September-October 2016. This section covers the route of the Rochdale-Bacup-Rawtenstall railway. There`s very little left to see in Rochdale centre. The line left Rochdale station along an embankment then a viaduct followed by an iron bridge over Yorkshire Street close to where you still find a pub called The Railway.........if it`s gone by the time you read this, I wouldn`t be surprised, given the rate that pubs are closing........

More info about the Rochdale-Facit branch line HERE

More info about the Rochdale Viaduct HERE

You can pick up the course of the railway line at the top of Regent Street. This footpath takes you up to Fieldhouse Road........

The path then runs alongside Joy Street for a few hundred yards before curving round to the bridge at Whitworth Road.........

The following stretch is a very pleasant walk which cuts between recent housing developments and a few factories until you reach Shawclough Road.........

If you turn right at Shawclough Road and walk a short way you will find Campion Way, a fairly recent housing development. It`s a cul-de-sac but the railway footpath continues at the far end of the road. The first feature you`ll come to is the bridge shown below.......

The photo below shows the twin railway bridges nearby. The lower bridge proved unstable and had to be replaced.....

More info about bridges on the Rochdale-Facit branch line HERE

The most impressive feature still extant on the line is the Healey Dell viaduct.....

Healey Dell viaduct top view.....

Almost immediately after the viaduct you reach Broadley station.....

I presume this footbridge was erected by the local council in recent times.....

Approaching Whitworth station. This old bridge near Eastgate.....

Whitworth station site. The Hall Street bridge has either been filled in or removed at the junction of Massey Croft. It`s not so easy to follow the route after this section because of building since the closure of the line. Cowm Park Way now covers the route.....

You can rejoin the route at Oak Street, Shawforth.....

The picture below shows a large retaining wall in Cowm Street, Shawforth.....

From the street there`s a footpath up to the railway route.....

I don`t know what purpose the path had originally. It wasn`t a route to the station which is a few hundred yards further on.....

Back in the 1960s the old access subway to Shawforth Station was preserved, in part. It creates a pathway to Knowsley Crescent....

From Knowsley Crescent you can rejoin the railway route.....

A few yards on and a rather redundant relic in the shape of rusting footbridge is still extant.....

If you leave the route here to walk a little way up Market Street you`ll find this curious little door in the railway`s retaining wall....

Coming up to the left turn on to Newline, the A6066. The line to Bacup heads left as well.....

A couple of old bridges remain....

Below is an image of the Newline Tunnel portal. It looks as if it`s being used by a company on the industrial estate that now surrounds it...

Almost nothing remains of Bacup`s railway station so I`ll skip to the Eastern portal of the Stubbylee tunnel on the line heading toward Stacksteads. The local council use the tunnel as a storage facility...

More info about Bacup station HERE

Some bridge abutments still survive as you enter Stacksteads. This site is just off Newchurch Road near Blackwood Road...

More info about Stacksteads station HERE

A lot has changed in Stacksteads since the railway closed, of course, but you can rejoin the route at the end of Railway Street, near the Bacup Shoe Factory...

Closely following the original route the cyclepath/footpath continues on to Rakehead Lane....

...where you find a filled-in road bridge..

...crossing the road and continuing on behind a housing development..

...you eventually reach the twin tunnels. The one on the left is the later Thrutch tunnel. The one on the right is the Newchurch No2 tunnel which is now part of the cyclepath.

The Newchurch No2 tunnel doesn`t run all the way to Waterfoot. There`s a short break at The Glen before the line enters the now-sealed Newchurch No1 tunnel.

Below is the entrance to the sealed-up Newchurch No1 tunnel...

Below is a more general view of the location on the A681 Bacup Road...

Thrutch tunnel by-passes The Glen and reaches Waterfoot alongside the Newchurch No1. The twin sealed exits are obscured by bushes and trees for most of the spring and summer. The photo below was taken in November.

The view below of Waterfoot taken from above the tunnel exits shows the general location of the station.

Little survives of the station except this approach road shown below which leads to the old coal depot area.

More info about Waterfoot Station HERE

To rejoin the railway route after Waterfoot you need to follow the A681 Bacup Road toward Rawtenstall until you see this industrial building shown below. Go down through the arch in the Gemini building and you get back on to the pathway.....

Almost invisible when all the trees are in leaf, you are actually walking over a viaduct at this point.....

Below is a non-too-clear side view.....

This is last walkable section of the line before you reach Bocholt Way, a by-pass road built over the original railway route.....

A little pedestrian tunnel under Bocholt Way, looks as if it might have been there when the railway was, but I`m not sure.....

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August 2016. The last gasp of summer in Scarborough. Starting out, of course, on an old railway track. This section is at Scalby, just off Station Road where Chichester Close covers the site of the old railway station just after the viaduct shown below.....

If you head North you`ll eventually reach Robin Hood`s Bay and Whitby but this day I went South to the centre of Scarborough......

More info about Scalby Station and the Scarborough to Whitby line HERE

There are still a few bridges remaining on the way. The first, shown below, is just a footpath bridge.....

The next one is a road bridge that looks as if it`s been widened at some point......

Near the centre of the town you find the route has been covered by a Sainsbury`s Supermarket and a play area.....

Leaving the track by stairs on to the road bridge, look to your left and there`s a windmill, the last remaining windmill in Scarborough, evidently, and now part of a bed & breakfast establishment......

The most recognisable of all Scarborough`s buildings is probably the Grand Hotel shown below, with the famous pedestrian bridge.....

A general view below of the the south bay showing the castle, sea front and harbour......

A view of the castle on the North bay side......

More info about Scarborough Castle HERE

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August 2016. Uppermill today, excellent walking weather, in search of the Butterhouse Tunnel portal on the old Micklehurst Loop railway line. .....You can see the East Portal of the tunnel from up on Sandy Lane..........

Started out walking along the canal at Wool Road in Uppermill, heading East towards Diggle.....

It`s only a short walk to bridge 69.

At bridge 69 there`s a public footpath sign directing you to a tunnel under the railway line.....

It`s dark and muddy, of course. Turn right as you exit the tunnel. There`s a wall on your right which is breached in several places. Climb over it and you`ll find a trackway which is the old railway line. Heading West you`ll follow an slightly overgrown pathway (quite well trodden) leading to the Butterhouse Tunnel East portal.....

I didn`t venture inside, having no torch or courage, but click on the link below created by intrepid explorers who did dare....

More info about the Butterhouse Tunnel HERE

More info about the Micklehurst Loop HERE

Having returned to the canal footpath I walked a little further towards Ward Lane where there is a footbridge over the railway line.....

Nearby I found the entrance to a tunnel under the canal. The view below is looking down on to the path.....

Again it`s dark and uninviting so I went down to the road bridge at Ward Lane and sought out the other portal on the opposite side of the canal. Although obviously not much used, the tunnel isn`t walled up so I presume it`s safe.....Surprising what you find when you`re wandering about.

If you were to venture further along the canal you will eventually arrive at the entrance to the Standedge Canal Tunnel at Diggle....

.. and only a short walk further at you`ll find the three railway tunnel entrances. Only the tunnel on the left is now used, partially hidden by the bushes on the right of the picture you can just about see the two older single-line tunnels....

..below is a closer view of the older tunnels....

..below is the other end of the canal tunnel at Marsden....

..and below is the other end of the railway tunnel at Marsden....

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August 2016. The Kirklees Trail from Greenmount follows the old Bury to Holcombe Brook railway line which closed to passengers in 1952 and to freight in 1960 to Holcombe Brook and 1963 to Tottington, before the Beeching cuts. The line from Greenmount to Holcombe Brook has been obliterated by housing development but the track bed from Greenmount to Bury is now an excellent cycleway and footpath.....

More info about the Holcombe Brook line CLICK HERE

The walk starts here. Brandlesholme Road, Greenmount

Heading toward Tottington on your left is Tower Farm, an unmistakeable local landmark.

Not much further on is a railway viaduct next to a popular fishing lodge.....

Quite busy on a summer`s day.

Not a lot of fishing going on today, though.....

This seems to be the only road bridge left on the line. Kirklees Street, Tottington

Further down the line, looking back towards Tottington....

A new bridge constructed for the trail over Kirklees Brook at Woolfold.

Another viaduct just before reaching Bury.

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August 2016. Rishworth to Sowerby Bridge, walking along the old railway track (for the most part). Closed in 1929 but quite a number of old bridges survive and provided you don`t fear a bit of mud, it`s a good walk. Originally the line was planned as a shorter route to Littleborough but it didn`t get any further than Rishworth. Starting at the site of the old Rishworth station....

To the right the commemorative bench seat shown above is a track leading down to a bridge. In front of you is a detached house and in the garden you will see the remains of one of the supports for the trestle bridge mentioned on the blue plaque..........

Below is a photo of what remains of the station platform at Rishworth. Very much overgrown now of course........

Starting from the bridge there`s a riverside walk toward Ripponden. If you follow the path a short distance you`ll come to a signpost shown below.......

Turn right and you almost immediately come upon a railway relic in the the shape of an old footbridge.......

Wander a little further along and you find the first of several road or track bridges over the railway track.......

The bridge below is where the Ripponden station was situated.......

The track shown below leads up from Elland Road.......

On Elland Road you can see the remains of the railway bridge that used to cross the road.......

Nice little town, Ripponden.......

Because the old trackbed after Ripponden station has been built on you need to get down on to Hanging Stones Lane and carry towards Sowerby Bridge. Some way along you`ll find access back on to the old railway trackbed near another road bridge.......

As you walk along the trackbed you`ll find some quite impressive cuttings were created during the construction of the line.......

More old bridges.......

More old bridges.......

More old bridges.......

More old bridges.......

More old bridges.......

Until you come to a place where the Gas Distribution network have an installation. Perhaps they`ve used the old railway route for a supply line. If you continue further along you come to a locked gate. I couldn`t find a way round it so I returned to the footbridge and took a pathway through a re-cycling plant (It`s a legal public footpath) and on to the main road, almost in the centre of Sowerby Bridge........

Not quite finished yet because there is a tunnel just before Sowerby Bridge station. Below is a photo of the tunnel entrance now enclosed within a factory grounds and being used by the company concerned. I don`t know what they use it for but it would make a very secure storage facility. The other end of the tunnel just before the station is also in use by a different company.......

More info about the Sowerby Bridge and Rishworth line CLICK HERE

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August 2016. Accrington once had a railway link to Manchester via Baxenden, Haslingden and Bury. The route closed in 1966 and the stretch between Accrington and Baxenden is now a footpath/cycleway called the Hyndburn Greenway. The path starts at the back of the Council Building on Ormerod Street where you`ll find a lodge and the remains of a railway bridge as shown below.....

Walking further on you`ll cross a road. The path continues under a rustic wooden archway, below....

This is the first of two remaining road bridges over the old line....

It looks as if the dip in the path shown in the photo below may well have been the site of a railway bridge over the river....

There`s a river in the valley the other side of this long supporting wall....

This area almost certainly was the site of a railway bridge....

Second of the remaining road bridges over the old line....

Getting close to the end of the pathway at Baxenden....

An ignominious end to the journey at the periphery of the Hollands Meat Pie & Pudding factory at Baxenden.

Originally the line went on to Haslingden, Helmshore and Bury from this point but the building of the Haslingden by-pass (the A56) partially covered the old line although remnants of the embankment remain along St Crispin Way, off Grane Road, Haslingden. Below is a photo of an old bridge in the embankment which seems to have been used as a goods entrance to a nearby chemical works in recent times.

You can continue along the old railway route from St Crispin Way along to Helmshore and then to Ramsbottom. If you cross Grane Road and walk along the narrow lane toward Swinnel Brook Residential Park there`s a footpath leading off to the right which brings you on to the old railway track again. You can follow this track to the Helmshore Mills Textile Museum. Near the Community Allotments on Holcombe Road is a bridge through the railway embankment giving access to fields the other side................

Further along the way you will be walking along railway viaduct, though you may not realise it at the time. This shot below shows the viaduct in February when it`s not hidden by lots of leaves and tree branches ...............

The photo below is looking back along the track from near the museum

Below is the Museum photographed from the railway.

Below is the railway viaduct alongside the museum.

Just after the Museum is what seems to be the remains of a railway bridge re-configured to be an access point for the footpath...

The next section of the line has been redeveloped for residential use and the footpath re-routed around until you reach Station Road, the name of which is a clue as to what was there. At the end of Station Road is Helmshore Road. Turn left and walk a few hundred yards uphill. The station house building still is there, but converted for residential use....

... and across what was the old railway track is a small residential building resembling the signal box that was originally there....

There was a level crossing at this point on Station Road and nearby there still is a pub called "The Station".

More info about Helmshore station CLICK HERE

To continue to follow the old railway line you need to head back down to Station Road. Directly opposite Station Road is a narrow road, sign-posted as Holme Vale (Snig Hole), which seems to be a private road but is also a public footpath. Walk down there, passing a childrens` playground on the right, down to a row of cottages where you`ll see a sign post indicating a choice of two pathways to Irwell Vale.

If you take the left hand turn down along the front of the cottages you will eventually come to the first of two railway viaducts on the route from Helmshore to Ramsbottom......

I couldn`t see a way to get up to the viaduct from the river but I know from approaching the viaduct from the Irwell Vale end of the route that it`s quite overgrown and very muddy if there`s been a significant downpour. The photo below shows the trackbed just before the viaduct when walking from Irwell Vale.....

Heading toward Ramsbottom again you`ll eventually reach the Lumb viaduct which has been cleared and renovated as if it`s going to be part of a cycle route some time in the future, but at present is fenced off. Walkers can get through easily enough.

The top of the viaduct gives great views of the surrounding area...........

This is a view of the viaduct from the road below, showing what an impressive structure it is...........

Walking further down the pathway towards Stubbins there`s another railway bridge from which you can see the East Lancashire Railway track...........