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Sunday, 7 November 2010


In a previous post dated 17/10/2010 we mentioned the then forthcoming Tin Bath 'Extra' Railway Tour and detailed its scheduled itinery for Sunday 7th November, as posted by the Railway Touring Company, who organised the excursion.

News has reached us that all did not run to plan (well it is Sunday!) and some of you have been enquiring as to what exactly did take place and when?

The news I have (subject to verification) is that the original 10.15am scheduled start from Manchester Piccadilly was brought forward to 9.15am from Manchester Victoria. This was apparently because of engineering works at both Stalybridge and Stoke which prevented these alternative routes from being used.

Consequently, we believe the Tin Bath had to be re-directed via Crewe, which explains the added journey time.

Congratulations to those of you that managed to catch the train at the right time and location. Commiserations to anyone who found themselves flat-footed by the alternative arrangements (if our sources are correct).

Spare a thought too for what must have amounted to hundreds of train spotters and photographers along the scheduled route, who got up early, tripod in situ, in order to get some rare snaps and footage. I know for certain that there were several dozen at Hyde alone, who were bitterly disappointed that their dedication and enthusiam went unrewarded.

In our previous post we did make a jokey reference to the length of time it took the Tin Bath to navigate its course and mentioned that a fully functioning Woodhead Line would reduce the 'excessive time that it takes passengers along the route of the Manchester-Sheffield-Wath route to travel between two of Britain's major cities or between towns on the route' .

The diversion of the Tin Bath however, makes the point for us, albeit it in unhappy circumstances. Namely that were there a further direct route between Manchester and Sheffield, such as the Woodhead Line would provide, then there would still be a reliable inter-city route - whether that be for pleasure trips, commercial passengers or freight, should the unforseen (or in this case the forseen and presumably scheduled!) happen to occur.

Yes Minister, we do need to Re-open the Woodhead Line and sooner rather than later, if the situation is to improve for passengers and if once sleepy villages are to be relieved of ever larger and more menacing juggernauts speeding through their neighbourhoods.

Yes Minister, we do need to Re-open the Woodhead Line, regardless of your current indifference and general lack of foresight on this major transport issue.

P.S. - If any of our readers were passengers on the Tin Bath or have any further information about the event, for better or worse, please feel free to comment below or send us an e-mail at and we'll be glad to report.