Last “Hoppers” into Oakleigh Sidings ….

Posted on January 30th, 2014, by The Chairman

Thanks to Andrew Macfarlane for spotting this sad event.

There are no midweek afternoon workings this week and the final train into Oakleigh (Winnington) sidings is to be on Sunday 2 February.

So for those wanting that final picture of the “Hoppers” climbing over Leftwich (Northwich) Viaduct, next Sunday’s the day.

Thereafter, our understanding is that the “Hoppers” will be running around 5 times a week, and just to Lostock Works between Northwich and Lostock Gralam stations.

If someone reading this has more detail, please let us know through a “Comment”, and if you’ve got any “final” pictures, please send them in and we’ll add them to this post.

Please leave a comment

  1. Lord Harry of Sodor Says:

    Does anybody have the timings for the last hopper train into Oakleigh sidings or know where details can be found?
    Many thanks

  2. Vince Chadwick Says:

    I picked this up from Charlie Hulme’s excellent North Wales Coast railway website, and put an entry in my blog ( with some personal memories, and a copy of Charlie’s piece.

  3. Andrew Macfarlane Says:

    Lord Harry,

    I think the Sunday train is 14.12 from Tunstead but freight trains can run early or late. The following was posted on a web forum a few days ago and may be of interest:

    I spent a couple of hours around Oakleigh / Northwich earlier today chasing 6F02/6H03. Whilst standing on a bridge near to Northwich station I was approached by a chap who asked if anything special was coming. I told him what I was waiting for and it transpired he is employed at Oakleigh until next Tuesday then he retires!

    He stated that the Limestone will continue by Rail into Lostock works (17 wagon loads went there today) but Oakleigh will not receive any railborne traffic, the last being 6F05 on Sunday 02/02. (As stated)

    The chemical process that happens over at Oakleigh will transfer to Lostock and the Oakleigh branch will be mothballed. Oakleigh works itself is not closing , but it is being used to develop a new product which will take some time to evolve.

    The gentleman reckons the 60s will stay on the Limestone and it will continue to be a regular runner..!

    Here’s hoping so! (BTW the chap had worked at Oakleigh for 41 years! so I reckon he knows the score!!)

  4. Andrew Macfarlane Says:

    I’ve been told by a reliable source that the last limestone train into Oakleigh Sidings ran this morning (Friday). From now on trains will only go to Lostock three days a week.

  5. Jen Says:

    The afternoon Tunstead to Oakleigh working today (Sunday) is showing as cancelled. There is a Tunstead to Westbury Lafarge via Northwich and Middlewich working showing.

    Also, unrelated, I’ve noticed there is a Northern Rail ECS working from Chester to Newton Heath via Manchester Piccadilly at 22:50. Why can’t that run in passenger service, even if it just called at the main stations?

  6. Andrew Macfarlane Says:

    The limestone train ran on Saturday 1st February to Lostock (only) behind 60035. The train will be running to Lostock on Tuesday and Thursday mornings and on Saturday afternoons (presumably using the existing paths). They have presumably chosen Tuesday and Thursday because those are the days when the Warrington Arpley to Runcorn Folly Lane trip goes into Northwich to run round in both directions.

  7. Mike Battman Says:

    It looks like there is a possibility of the line gaining a biomass train. This is from the WNXX News Page…

    “66735 and 66741 were used for a trial 6H64 Tuebrook Sidings to Drax biomass working on the 1st which consisted 25 IIA Biomass hoppers. Of note this working was “the first GBRf operated daylight working through Altrincham. The scrap train from Cardiff has been through last year a couple of times but this ran during the night.”

    Because it is a trial it may not mean that all trains will use this line, but I suppose the paths freed up are now available.

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