SideTracked – (Gorton and) Openshaw
Flanders and Swann Slow Train event No 11
A geocaching meet-up between 2 and 2.30pm on Saturday 12th October, near Gorton station in Manchester.
This is the next in a series of SideTracked events based on the song Slow Train by Flanders and Swann. Written in 1963, the song laments the closure of many stations and railway lines under the Beeching cuts of that era.
"I'll travel no more from Littleton Badsey to Openshaw.
At Long Stanton I'll stand well clear of the doors no more..."
Gorton and Openshaw station.
Gorton and Openshaw station, now just called Gorton but referred to in the song as Openshaw, was opened in 1906 on the Woodhead Route, replacing an earlier one which had opened in 1842. The Woodhead Route was a railway line across the peak district linking Manchester and Sheffield, and was one of the first main line routes in Britain to be electrified, in 1953. One of the largest features on the line was the three mile long Woodhead Tunnel, which had a new double track tunnel built for electrification. However usage declined, and the line beyond Hadfield closed to passengers in 1970, and to freight in 1981.
In 1845, a large locomotive works was constructed in Gorton, building over 1,000 steam locomotives by 1951, followed by electric locomotives for the newly electrified Woodhead Route.
Although listed for closure as part of the Beeching cuts, Gorton and Openshaw, which was renamed Gorton in 1977, remains open as a commuter station on the line from Manchester Piccadilly to Hadfield, which is all that now remains open of the Manchester end of the former main line.
We will meet by the war memorial. The event will allow like-minded cachers to meet up to chat, discover and swap trackables.
Related web pages:
(Background images - Donald Swann and Michael Flanders in concert, 1966; disused track near Dunstable Town station in 2006, copyright Nigel Cox, CC-by-SA)