Waiting for the Ghost Train
Originally uploaded by spinneyhead.
Inspired by the Play exhibition at Urbis and because I’ve been meaning to do it for a while, I went for a wander along some abandoned railway lines earlier today. I’d found a gate, just off Lapwing Lane, that would let me into the overgrown cutting I’ve often looked at from the bridge on Burton Road. I closed it behind me and carefully half slid, half walked down the embankment.
I found myself on an old platform, which research tells me was for the Albert Park station on the Manchester South District line. From here I headed west toward Chorlton. I’ve watched too much CSI, so it was quite eerie at first. This sort of slightly naughty wander is always interrupted by the discovery of a body. When none was forthcoming I became more confident and strode toward the Burton Road bridge.
Just before the bridge is a potential future archaeological site. Rubbish, old televisions and unwanted toys have all been thrown over the back fences of the houses on one side. It’s pathetic, really, but fascinating at the same time.
The wander in this direction didn’t get much further. The bottom of the cutting is a pond, from side to side. I got a short way in, but soon discovered that at least one of my boots is no longer waterproof. I headed back the other way.
There are some very large trees down in the cutting. I think the line was abandoned in the ’60s, so they’ve had long enough to grow. A fair few were blown over in the storms earlier this year and had to be clambered over. Close to the bridge under the Lapwing Lane/ Palatine Road junction, the cutting became a pond again. I’ll have to try this again in the summer. If it’s as hot as promised it may be dry down here. Alternatively, I guess I could find some wellingtons.
This part of my wander was a bit disappointing, being quite short, so I followed the alleys alongside the railway toward Chorlton and rejoined it on the far side of Princess Road. This section is open and even has a footpath along it, so wasn’t as much fun. I did discover a small BMX track, possibly abandoned given how overgrown it is, and joined the cycle path near St. Werburgh’s Road.
All in all, quite a pleasant morning out and about. There’s a set of photos up on Flickr.
Who needs a private jet when you can have a train that does 357.2mph. France’s TGVs have alway been impressive beasts, and now they’ve gone and souped one up. It could have done with a paintjob that was a bit more bling, though.