Manchester to Rochdale via Oldham line or
Oldham Loop Line was a local railway route in
Manchester, England, used by trains that ran from Manchester
Victoria station to Rochdale railway station and back to Manchester Victoria.
the line at the time of its closure were operated by Northern Rail
The line closed on 3 October 2009, pending conversion during
2009-2012 to light rail
use for Manchester Metrolink
The Oldham Loop was a branch of the Caldervale Line
, diverging from that route
at Thorpes Bridge Junction in Newton Heath, Manchester, and
re-joining it, facing in the opposite direction at Rochdale East
Junction, just north of Rochdale. Trains could, therefore, run from
Manchester to Rochdale and back without reversing by utilising the
Oldham Loop, and this is what many services did during the
were timetabled to connect with the Caldervale Line services to
Leeds via and Bradford Interchange.
was long, and was double-track from Thorpes Bridge Junction to
Crompton railway station, and single-line from Shaw and Crompton to Rochdale
East Junction. There were two tunnels on the route between
Werneth and Oldham Mumps railway stations.
The stretch of line near Werneth, with its
gradient of 1 in 27, contributed to the Oldham Loop being the
steepest regular passenger line in the country.
There were nine intermediate stations on the route. All stations
and all scheduled train services were operated by Northern Rail.
During the week, trains ran every 15 minutes on the route, with
express trains leaving Manchester at 00 and 30 minutes past the
hour calling at Oldham Mumps, Shaw and Crompton and all stations to
Rochdale, and stopping trains calling at all stations between
Manchester and Shaw and Crompton, leaving at 15 and 45 minutes past
the hour. During the evenings and on Sundays services were less
frequent with an hourly service calling at all stations.
The most common types of trains were Class 142
and Class 150
with occasional Class 153
and Class 156
Freight trains continue to use the extreme southern end of the
line, with a waste management facility handling approximately one
train per day.
The Oldham loop line was included in proposals in 1984 for
conversion to light rail
proposed Light Rapid Transit
system was intended to run
from Rochdale via Oldham through Manchester Victoria and across
Manchester City Centre via on-street tram lines. The system
eventually came into operation in 1992 as Manchester Metrolink
. While the Oldham
loop line was not included in the first phase of Metrolink, the
line is currently being converted to Metrolink operation as part of
the Manchester Metrolink
Work started on the conversion in 2009, after the heavy rail
services ceased on 3 October 2009. Replacement bus services will
operate until the trams are fully operating; Metrolink services are
expected to operate between Manchester and Oldham by late 2011 and
the whole route by spring 2012.
Phase 3B of the expansion project envisages constructing a branch
between Werneth and Oldham Mumps into Oldham town centre.
The places served by the route were as follows:
- - publicity brochure