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Main Line Operations Around Manchester and the MSW Electrification (Hardback)

Local History Transport Photographic Books Trains and Railways

By Robert P Pixton
Imprint: Pen & Sword Transport
Series: Great Central Railway
Pages: 272
Illustrations: 350
ISBN: 9781526735911
Published: 3rd February 2020

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This book illustrates one of the country’s best loved railway companies in the days of steam. Maps, charts, timetables and photographs are used to give the reader a sense of a journey from the compact terminus in Manchester to Godley, the limits of the system, at first opening. The reader is transported back to the original London Road station, using maps, and is walked through the small station to notice the variety of engines, signals and trains that operated there. Gorton, the company’s shed and locomotive works as well as its across the track rivals of Beyer, Peacock, are studied. The railway cross-road at Guide Bridge is given due importance and readers may well ponder on the contrast of ruralness of Ardwick, Fairfield and Fallowfield, then, and now.

Connections at the joint stations of Stalybridge and Manchester Central station are explored. The latter is expanded to include Old Trafford shed as well as the links to Trafford Park Estate.

Included is a review of the impact of electrification on the system, especially the exchanges taking place where the two systems interact.

The numerous Joint Lines in this district (to Oldham, Altrincham, Hayfield and Macclesfield) are looked at in a subsequent volume.

Pictures, and extensive captions, have been selected to show the variety of engines used and facets of stations or procedures.

Even for experts of this much-missed line, this work is bound to offer some new insights.

Rail Express, August 2020

The many photographs in the book give a clear picture of how the railways around Manchester used to look. It was interesting to see the maps, particularly to see how some of the yards and stations were before. The addition of some timetables, posters and adverts creates a comprehensive historical archive, almost like having a museum in your hands.

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Rail Advent

Another gem of the Great Central Railway for our railway library.

Read the full Spanish review here

Miniaturas JM

This book is highly recommended. It was deeply nostalgic and was effortless to read. This book should be viewed as a worthwhile addition to the bookshelf of any self-respecting railway enthusiast or social historian.

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Donnas Book Blog
 Robert P Pixton

About Robert P Pixton

Robert Pixton is a retired teacher who lives in Swindon in Wiltshire, he was originally from the Manchester area and has always had an interest in the railways of Lancashire and Yorkshire.


He has been researching and collecting material about the lines that ran across the Pennines for many years, with a view to writing a series of books about the railways that criss crossed this once heavily industrialised part of Britain.


The author is also a railway modeller with an interest in constructing layouts, which have a slant towards freight operation, producing a miniature copy of his favourite areas of railway research, railways that serve industry.

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Sheffield Main Line Services From the M S & L R Period to British Railways (Hardback)

A volume of a new and exciting series illustrating one of the country’s best loved railway companies in the days of steam.It consists of maps, charts, timetables and photographs are used to give the reader a sense of a journey in time along the various lines that the GCR controlled. One main theme is passenger traffic via Penistone, down to Sheffield and east to Retford. The movement of coal is another of the dominant themes in South Yorkshire centred on Wath marshalling yard, wagons went west, up the notorious Worsborough incline to Penistone and then via the Woodhead tunnel, Mottram Yard to…

By Robert P Pixton

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