The Oldham, Ashton and Guide Bridge Junction Railway
was an early British
railway company, which opened in 1861, connecting Oldham
and Guide Bridge
In 1847 the Manchester, Sheffield and Lincolnshire Railway
had submitted a scheme to Parliament, but it had been rejected in favour of a scheme for a small network of lines called the Oldham Alliance Railways which, in the end, was not built.
In 1856, a deputation from Oldham and Ashton approached the MS&LR for its support for the line, which would connect to the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway and the London and North Western Railway at Oldham Mumps.
Initially, the MS&LR had hoped that the other lines would support the scheme but they showed little interest, and the board members had to put up the finance privately. Once incorporated in 1857, the L&Y took an interest, but the MS&LR, wishing the line to be a three way venture, prevailed upon the LNWR to join in. Not wishing to be associated with the LNWR, the L&Y then withdrew, thus it was leased to the remaining two railways.
The section between Guide Bridge and the L&YR near Ashton was completed in March 1860. Wet weather hampered further work, for which a long cutting and an embankment, plus the nine-arch Park Bridge Viaduct was needed. However in August 1861, the first trains ran from London Road
through Guide Bridge to Clegg Street
, Oldham. The line connected end-on with the LNWR near Oldham Glodwick Road
. Other stations were at Park Bridge
and Ashton Oldham Rd
, with another at Ashton Moss
which closed in 1862.
Events since 1923
In 1923 the line became part of the London, Midland and Scottish Railway
under the Railways Act 1921
and, in 1948, the LMS became part of British Railways
The passenger service finally succumbed to the competition from road transport and was withdrawn in 1959. When the parcels depot at Oldham Clegg Street closed, the section to Ashton was closed completely in 1967. The remainder leading to Reddish and Stockport remains open for freight, though the connection to Guide Bridge has been severed.
- Dow, G., (1959) Great Central, Volume One: The Progenitors (1813-1863) , Shepperton: Ian Allan Ltd.
- An Illustrated History of Oldham's Railways by John Hooper (ISBN 1-871608-19-8)