Radcliffe to Clifton Railway line.

The route is clearly marked as a green dotted line on the left hand side of the map, it is marked as the "Irwell Sculpture Trail" and is part of the National cycle network route 6.

Around the Clifton area you can then jump on the Manchester Bury and Bolton canal, to make it easy to follow we will link to our canal page at that point.

Image produced from the Ordnance Survey Get-a-map service. Image reproduced with kind permission of Ordnance Survey and Ordnance Survey of Northern Ireland.

Left - This is roughly where the line spilt into three at Radcliffe North junction back when the clifton line was running it was the straight line from Bury with Radcliffe central line to the left and the bradley fold line to the right. Now its just the Metrolink line and the remains of the Bradley Fold line.

Below Left - Looking towards what was Radcliffe goods yard.

Below - Maybe something from the goods yard?

Left - Maybe an old post from the goods yard?

Below Left - Old sleepers.

Below - What was Radcliffe goods yard or as it is now Coney Green School

Left - Taken from an old footbridge across the line looking back at Coney Green School.

Below Left - Picture taken from the same spot looking towards Radcliffe Bridge station.

Below - Looking back to the Radcliffe goods yard from Heap Street. The line here what underneath the Radcliffe to Bradley Fold line.

Radcliffe Town Centre.

Left - Taken from Spring Lane, looking towards Bury the line here went under the road than under the Radcliffe to Bradley fold line.

Below Left - Taken from about half way between Spring Lane and Pilkington Way looking towards Radcliffe.The railway here ran parallel with Darbyshire Street.

Below - Taken from the same place but looking towards Bury.

Above pictures taken from a bridge over Pilkington Way. Left your can see the line of trees next to Darbyshire Street where the line ran. Right looking down towards Radcliffe bridge Station.

This is a view of the railway viaduct taken from the Dale Street Industrial park (past the Asda store)

This picture doesn't do this wonderful structure justice.

Its been fully restored and is a great example of where railway heritage has been left for the enjoyment and use of others.

So many of these wonderful structures have been demolished, especially in the 1960s and 70s.

The view overlooking Radcliffe from the Clifton end of the viaduct.

Left - Lancashire and Yorkshires railway signpost.

Below Left - Looking towards Radcliffe.

Below - Looking towards Clifton.

The view back to Radcliffe. Note the old bridge abutment on the left. With use of the excellent maps from the railway history book there was a power station located not far from this location. There were some sidings for the Delivery of coal for the power station.

We think this bridge across the main line was a far a narrow gauge line that was used to tip blast furnace slag down the valley on the left hand side of the picture.

Ringley Road Station - The remains of the platform, which have been recently restored.

The station was built in 1847, but was in a remote location and was little used.

 

Left - Catch points sign. Here the line runs quite steep down towards Clifton Junction.

Below Left - Looking towards Bury

Below - Looking towards Clifton. The pathway here can be muddy.

This was the site of Molyneux Brow Station. Today this is where the path crosses the M60.

The original railway alignment and path continues on the other side of the motorway.

Left - The busy M60 motorway, taken from the bridge.

Below Left - The line ran from left to right. Left to Radcliffe, right towards Clifton.

Below - Looking back at the old Clifton 13 arch railway viaduct. This has been closed for safety reasons. However this structure still survives and it crosses the Irwell and the canal.

Left - Another view of the viaduct.

Below Left - This is the arch that spans the canal (you can just see the canal through the fencing)

Below - A close up of the viaduct - again, just as it runs over the canal.

Click here if you want to follow the Manchester Bury to Bolton canal.

Clifton Junction

The alignment at this stage is hidden away behind industrial units and works. We had a further walk on a public footpath (off Rake Lane) and we picked up the railway again on the Pendlebury side of Clifton Junction.

Eventually the alignment stopped - it crossed Lumns lane - We assume there used to be a bridge at this point. We are looking towards Clifton station.

 

Clifton Hall Colliery

Here we came across a clearing - we assume this was the yard for the colliery that used to be situated here. The sleepers were 3 or 4 wide, so it looked like quite a big yard.

Below Left - One of the original screws is still visible.

Below - A close up of a pair of the wooden sleepers.

Left - We followed the line towards Pendlebury to try and find the site of "Clifton Hall Tunnel" which we had read about. This tunnel collapsed in the 1950s and was then closed.

Below Left - Further on, the line of the old railway curved round to the right - this is towards the tunnel.

 

Below - A bit further on - the pathway marks the approximate line of the old railway. To the left was the old colliery.

Some old railway infrastructure?? Looks like a part of a support - possibly railway related? Answers on a post card please!

We were getting closer to the entrance of Clifton Hall Tunnel.

Through some trees and muddy ground, we came across what we think was the original north tunnel entrance.

Right in the middle of the picture is where we think the tunnel started.

We found some pictures of the tunnel as it was found in the mid 70s - (see here: http://mysite.wanadoo-members.co.uk/earlytrainpics/1970s/1975/1975_January.htm)

Above - Just to the left of the tunnel. Again not much to see in regards to old railway heritage.
Above - Could this be the original brickwork on top of the old tunnel??? We don't know, but it was half way up the embankment.

Well that marks the end of the route from Radcliffe to Clifton. As you may know the line used to continue towards Eccles after it had passed under the Clifton Hall tunnel. We would like to have a look at this route some time soon. I know on OS maps and Google earth you can clearly see the route. Watch this space. We hope you have enjoyed the route.

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