Rose Grove to Padiham singled, but when.

Andy873

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Hi,

Well I think I am getting towards the end of my search for questions about the Great Harwood loop line (Lancashire) and really only have this one final question regarding the track - does anyone know when the line from Rose Grove down to Padiham was singled?

I know Padiham signal box was closed June 1969, and Rose Grove West closed October 1973, but other than that I can't find out anything...

Anyone of you wonderful people know, or know someone who would probably know?

Thanks,
Andy.
 
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Efini92

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Would it have been around the time Preston PSB opened? I think that was around the time darwen-Blackburn was single lined.
 

Andy873

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Thanks for that,

I just don't know. All I can say are the closing dates for the above signal boxes.

Also, there is a photo of a coal train that crashed July 1971 at Padiham.

From the view of the crash it looks like the front end has come over where the other line would have been. The back end still on the track in the far distance.

What date was Preston power box opened?

Andy.
 

Efini92

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Preston opened in sections from 1972. If Rose Grove West closed in 1973 my guess would be it coincided with that.

9924DA6C-ADBF-40CD-9C7F-16D544602E84.jpeg
I found this picture of padiham, unfortunately it doesn’t show the year, but it shows that it was singled a long time ago.
 

Andy873

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Hi,

Thanks, yes no date - shame!, I have the L & Y society book about the line which shows the same photo.

It crossed Pendle St apparently.

Andy.
 
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I can't help with the OP's question directly, but I do have a LMR Sectional Appendix for the area dated 1969.

The Sectional Appendix showed Padiham and Rose Grove West signal boxes still open, double-track Absolute Block working in place between them, together with the location of uncontrolled catch points on the Down line on the 1-in-40 bank. The maximum permissible speed on the Padiham branch at the time was 30 mph, with a 25 mph restriction around the curves at Padiham.

The line west of the Padiham power station access point was obviously closed by this stage.

Based on what BR did when rationalising similar industrial lines in the north-west around that time, I'd guess the line would have been singled when Padiham signal box closed in June 1969, with a remote ground frame & single-line staff/tokens replacing signal box & Absolute / Permissive Block working. But I have no evidence for this.

The Signalling Record Society's on-line archive has a publicly-available pdf Notice covering the 1973 East Lancs Resignalling Scheme, showing layout of track & signals at Rose Grove and the Padiham (single track) branch when Preston PSB took over in October 1973.
https://www.s-r-s.org.uk/pullfree.asp?FilePath=ArchiveSignals\Downloads\brmr&FileName=1973-1330g.pdf

Another on-line resource, www.signalbox.org, has very recently uploaded a March 1961 track layout diagram for Padiham Signal Box at this link.
(diagram prepared by & copyright of C.J. Littleworth)
 
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Efini92

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Thanks for the link to srs, there’s a trove of information on there.
I wonder why daisyfield jn didn’t close as originally planned?
 
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Thanks for the link to srs, there’s a trove of information on there.
I wonder why daisyfield jn didn’t close as originally planned?
As I understand it, before commissioning Preston power box, there were two different signalboxes in close proximity (couple of hundred yards) at Daisyfield.
- Daisyfield Junction, controlling the actual junction of the Rose Grove & Hellifield lines - this box was abolished as planned per the Signalling Notice.
- Daisyfield Station - now named just Daisyfield (but signals plated DS) which is the fringe box to PN on the Clitheroe line and also controls the adjacent Moss St level crossing.

The story I've seen is that none of the Clitheroe line was resignalled in the 1973 East Lancs scheme because, at that time, it was expected that both the through line to Hellifield, plus the Settle & Carlisle would soon be closed (apart from the section as far as Horrocksford cement works, which would become an unsignalled single track goods branch à la Padiham).

Getting a bit OT, but a similar thing happened at the same time at Carnforth, where mechanical signalling was retained as soon as you left the WCML - to avoid wasting money on any new signalling involving the "soon-to-be-closed" Wennington line. I suspect the plan was once the Little North-Western was out of the way, Preston PSB control could be extended along the Furness line.
 

Andy873

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Thanks for the 1969 sectional details, that's interesting.

The SRS does seem to have a lot of information, but it all seems to be for members only and I have not yet found much for free?

The PDF is a lovely find - thanks!

The signal box diagrams were kindly drawn by Chris Littleworth and placed on the signalbox.org site after I asked them if anyone had the signal box diagrams for Gt. Hawrood East, West & Padiham.

What I can tell you:

1. I have a copy of a meeting between BR management, the NUR, and the staff working on the Gt. Harwood loop line dated 13th March 1964. In it BR are stating that the line will be closed that year and what will remain will be 1 mile, 55 chains for the down line, 1 mile 71 chains for the up line, measured from the Rose Grove end.

2. The down line was lifted Sept 1965 as above.
3. The up line was lifted Aug / Sept 1967 as above.
4. Padiham station was the last to go, in fact it was 19/8/1967.

With the closure of Padiham signal box in June 1969, and the need to ensure Padiham power station was kept supplied with coal I would suggest (but can't prove it either) that the final part of the down line to Rose Grove was singled probably around August 1969.

You would want to do this around August time as this is the time when electricity demand is at its lowest, hence less coal trains which has been calculated to have been 1 to 2 trains per day.

The following link shows a photo / article about one train that derailed near what was Padiham station July 1971.

Not sure, but what I seem to be looking at (at the far end back of the train) but that part of the train is still on the track and is way over to the right of the front end of the train.

That is, the front end seems to be on open ground where the down line ran?


If that is the case, we can certainly place the singling down to between June 1969 & July 1971.

But only if I am seeing things correctly?

The destruction of the line seemed to come in spurts every two years:

1965 Down line removed.
1967 Up line removed.
1969 Padiham signal box closed.

Logic would dictate it was 1969 but who knows?

Thanks,
Andy.
 
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Andy873

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I do!

And you are about right. Rose Grove to Padiham was singled 28/6/69.

John
John,

That's great!

Do you have any paperwork from BR / documents on that, it would be very nice to see something if you are able share or elaborate on this?

Thanks,
Andy.
 

thesignalman

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No documents, just my records. All I can additionally tell you is that the transition took place over two consecuitive weekends and that was the date the single line was formally commissioned. It was probably worked by pilotman during the intermediate week.

John
 

Andy873

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No documents, just my records. All I can additionally tell you is that the transition took place over two consecuitive weekends and that was the date the single line was formally commissioned. It was probably worked by pilotman during the intermediate week.

John
John,

Many thanks!

It was more or less what I had come to realise / worked out.
It's been five long years delving into this line, and really, unless anyone can tell me different it just about wraps it up for me.

Many many thanks to you & everyone,
Andy.
 

EveningStar

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The following link shows a photo / article about one train that derailed near what was Padiham station July 1971.

Not sure, but what I seem to be looking at (at the far end back of the train) but that part of the train is still on the track and is way over to the right of the front end of the train.

That is, the front end seems to be on open ground where the down line ran?

From the link, "... diesel No. D7654 of the VB(LQ) class made in Manchester in 1956 ..." :s !
 

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