This was not an area that I visited often, but I wish I had now. I remember looking out of a train window in the Ardwick/Ashburys area and thinking ‘this would make a wonderful backdrop for telephoto images’; there were sidings, wires, and catenary supports everywhere. However, apart from visits to Reddish shed, a trip around the Glossop/Hadfield route, and some time spent at Guide Bridge, I never did the area justice.

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76037 and 76038 share siding space with 40014 and a split headcode member of the class on April 21st 1981. The through Woodhead route had just 3 months left by this time, but coal was still being moved in large quantities.

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Although some websites have the later numbered 76s as officially withdrawn in July 1981 when the line over the Pennines closed, the truth was that most of the non-MU fitted examples were out of use many years before that. On a misty November 30th in 1977 76050 is one of the ‘stored’ examples alongside Reddish depot, but has obviously been out of use for a while. Most of the locos in the 50s were there at the time 76050/1/2/4/5/7 being the ones I noted.

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Happily, 76029 was still active, and is seen here with another class member in 1976.

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40148 passes through Guide Bridge eastbound with coal empties on 6th November 1981.

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Coming from the other direction 37001 and 37077 of Thornaby head a loaded coal train at Guide Bridge on 16th September 1981.100556 M59607M GODLEY 6.11.81 copy.jpg

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In a similar position to the above photo, 37104 is in charge of a PW train on 5th October 1983.

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40017 ‘whistles’ through the station, en-route to the stabling point at the eastern end on 18th September 1980.

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Engaged in track removal operations 25195 and 25143 head a westbound PW train on 6th November 1981, a few months after the closure of Woodhead. Redundant 76s still languish in the sidings on the right.

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Further east from Guide Bridge was Godley Junction, where the ex-CLC line from South Manchester joined the Woodhead route. A class 506 unit with M59607M leading, approaches the junction on its way to Manchester Piccadilly. The short distance to Hattersley station can be seen further up the line.

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Eventually, the remaining section of the line (to Glossop and Hadfield) was converted from 1500v DC to 25Kv AC, and the 506s were replaced by 303s from Glasgow. Here, 303041 awaits departure from Hadfield on 4th January 1995.