Glossop and Hadfield (Day Return) or A Trip in the Eighties…

or “All Stations to Hadfield”…

I like wikipedia. Sometimes it isn’t correct though. Another problem is that it always sounds authoritative. But sometimes it is mistaken.

Like the information about the trains to Glossop in the 1980s. So here are some extra facts:-

  • The service with the Class 506 units was very good. Towards the end there might have been reduced maintenance but I never heard of any flats on the wheels, for example.
  • The Class 506 trains were fast. They were regular. They ran on time. They were warm in the winter. They were also comfortable with deep sprung moquette seating in the saloons. (The seats in the motor carriage were the best).
  • The noise of the motors was most distinctive. Each start began with a low growl which became a light hum. The contactors were numerous and extremely smooth. On coasting, the sound of motor disengagement was also characteristic.
  • The Guard controlled the doors. The doors were sometimes but not at all often, problematic. Problems might necessitate the Guard having to try to open carriage doors using a supplementary valve located on the waisted side of the trains.
  • The trains were speedy. Acceleration was lively. The journey was lively. On the UP journey into Manchester there was a decided jerk in the track at Hyde Junction. If you sat in the end carriage (usually the smoker) the swing as the train hit the points was quite violent.
  • The trains then (as now) were excellently well patronised.
  • Stations (ex-Piccadilly) were Ardwick; Ashburys for Belle Vue; Gorton; Fairfield for Droylsden; Guide Bridge; Newton for Hyde; Godley; Hattersley; Broadbottom; Dinting; Glossop Central; Hadfield
  • The service to Glossop was busy and frequent. Mostly it was a half-hourly service. Contrary to wikipedia, in the 1980s and before that, there were several more trains than that article would have you believe, for example, weekdays ex-Piccadilly 5pm; 5.15pm; 5.30pm; 5.45pm; 6pm; 6.30pm. There might also have been a 4.45pm.
  • The 5.15pm ex-Piccadilly was always six carriages. That is, two Class 506 units coupled. The 5.15pm ex-Piccadilly was the last remnant of the old steam-hauled 5.17pm Manchester London Road to Glossop, first stop Broadbottom (5.35pm), arrive Glossop (5.43pm) and known as the “Glossop Express” (that was Piccadilly to Glossop in 26 minutes with one stop). This train ran on weekdays only, as did the six-carriage Class 506 EMU 5.15pm. The 5.15pm ex-Piccadilly did not stop at Ardwick, nor did it stop at Ashburys, Gorton or Fairfield and that made that train run express to Guide Bridge. After Guide Bridge it was all stations to Hadfield.
  • Most trains ex-Piccadilly or ex-Glossop or Hadfield, did not stop at Ardwick.
  • The pantographs of the Class 506 EMUs were almost fully extended at the Glossop terminus. The pantographs were almost completely depressed at Dinting.
  • Each unit had a deep toned bell with which the guard signalled the start to the motorman.
  • At peak times, some trains returning from Hadfield did not run to Glossop. If in the evening peak, you wished to travel to stations to Manchester from Glossop then you boarded the train to Hadfield and reached Manchester ex-Hadfield, next station: Dinting; next station: Broadbottom.
  • The last train from Manchester in the evening went directly to Hadfield, making Glossop the last stop, and then ran empty ex-Glossop to either Manchester Piccadilly or Reddish stabling.
  • During the night, trains would be heard using the line. It is believed that this was for motorman-training purposes.
  • Whilst not disagreeing completely with the wiki article, it has some faults. Thus I hope that this information will be of help to the enthusiast and modelling communities, who do so much to help us get the history of our railways and transport correct.

Now: does anybody want to send a picture?


3 thoughts on “Glossop and Hadfield (Day Return) or A Trip in the Eighties…

  1. How interesting. I would like to see what deep sprung moquette seating looks like. Now I know what a pantograph is. I wonder where the name Broadbottom comes from…I hope it is in reference to terrain. (chuckle)

    1. I always meant to illustrate these articles – but time is never on my side! Yes, Broadbottom is a geographical feature on the River Etherow rather than a corporeal challenge to the deep sprung moquette…

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