Station Name: CHORLTON-CUM-HARDY

[Source: Paul Wright & Bevan Price]


Date opened: 1.1.1880
Location: North side of Wilbraham Road (A6010)
Company on opening: Midland Railway
Date closed to passengers: 2.1.1967
Date closed completely: 2.1.1967
Company on closing: British Railways (London Midland Region)
Present state: Demolished. Part of site is now occupied by a Morrisons supermarket, the trackbed through the station site is is now being used for St. Werburgh’s Road extension to Manchester's Metrolink network.
County: Lancashire
OS Grid Ref: SJ811941
Date of visit: 2.8.2006 & 2.4.2010

Notes: Chorlton-cum-Hardy station was opened by the Midland Railway on 1st October 1880 as part of the Manchester South District Railway that connected Manchester Central to Stockport Tiviot Dale.

From as early as 1864 a number of schemes had been proposed to create a line from Manchester through Didsbury and down towards Stockport. In 1873 that the Manchester South District Railway (MSDR) obtained an Act to create a line from Manchester via Didsbury to Alderley.  A year later, on 30th June 1874, the MDSR obtained a variation Act which
proposed that the line would make a connection with the Cheshire Lines Railway’s (CLC) route between Woodley and Skelton Junction at Heaton Mersey. However, despite obtaining the Act, the MDSR was unable to start work on the construction of the line owing to financial difficulties. At this point the CLC became interested in purchasing the MDSR as they saw value in the projected route to Manchester. Unfortunately one of the CLC partners, the Great Northern Railway (GNR), did not see any value in the route, so the CLC was not able to proceed with its idea.

The other two CLC partners, the Manchester, Sheffield, & Lincolnshire Railway (MSLR) and the Midland Railway (MR), decided to press ahead and purchase the MSDR. The MR in particular wanted a route of its own into Manchester so that it was not beholden to other companies. Since 1867 its train services from the south had had to use Manchester
London Road Station which was a joint London and North Western Railway (LNWR) and MSLR station. A bill was granted by Parliament on 11th August 1876 which authorised the MR and MSLR to take over the MSDR and build the line from Heaton Mersey to Manchester. Within a month of the Act being signed the MSLR got cold feet and decided that they did not want to proceed. The MR was desperate to create a route of its own to Manchester. To make matters worse it had been given notice to quit operating to London Road Station. The MR went back to Parliament and on 12th July 1877 they were given authority to take over the MSDR and build the line.



Work began on the line in 1878. Chorlton-cum-Hardy was the first intermediate station on the line from Manchester Central.

Chorlton-cum-Hardy was provided with two platforms. The northbound (Manchester Central) platform was provided with a substantial brick building that included a two storey station master’s house. It was built to a design that had been used by the CLC on its main line between Manchester and Liverpool The southbound platform was provided with a large
wooden waiting shelter.At the time of the station’s opening a footbridge was provided as a link between the platforms. The bridge was later removed, and passengers had to use ramps up to the Wilbraham Road to cross over the line.

The station also had extensive goods facilities which were located on the west side of the main line to the north of the station. These included a brick goods shed and a 5-ton crane.

On 1st October 1891 the station was transferred to the ownership of the CLC, and it would remain with them until nationalisation in 1948. From the beginning the station was served by local services running from Manchester Central to Stockport Tiviot Dale and by services running to Buxton. The former services were known as the South District trains, and by the early
20th century they ran to a very frequent schedule.  Express services to London and other cities on the Midland network passed through the station.


From 2nd May 1892 Chorlton-cum Hardy Station was also served by trains that ran between Manchester Central and Guide Bridge. This service commenced with the opening of the Fallowfield Loop line which had been built by the Manchester, Sheffield and Lincolnshire Railway (MSLR) so that trains from their main line between Manchester and Sheffield, via
Woodhead, could access Manchester Central Station.

On 1st October 1901 the MR opened part of a new line between Heaton Mersey and New Mills, and from this date half of the South District services began to run to a new station at Cheadle Heath. The new line was built to provide a faster route to the south for express services. Cheadle Heath was provided as an interchange station so that passengers could transfer
between long distance and local trains. Express services were using the new route by July 1902.

In 1923 Chorlton-cum-Hardy station became part of the London Midland and Scottish Railway. By 1939 there were up to forty South District trains per day in each direction on weekdays.

In 1948 Chorlton-cum-Hardy became part of the nationalised British Railways network. By the 1950s the South District services had gone into serious decline. Trains that had consisted of seven coaches were reduced to four. By 1956 the service was reduced to sixteen trains a day in each direction, only two more than had run at the time of the station’s
opening in 1880. However there was no reduction in express services. From 1958 work began on the electrification of the former LNWR route from Manchester to London, and as a result even more traffic was routed along the former MR line. On 7th July 1958 Chorlton-cum-Hardy station lost its services between Manchester Central and Guide Bridge.


Early in 1961 Diesel Multiple Units (DMUs) were introduced onto the South District locals between Manchester Central and Cheadle Heath, and between Manchester Central and Stockport Tiviot Dale. The goods yard closed on 30th November 1964 although a private siding remained open after that date. The South District local services continued to operate until 2nd
January 1967.

By this time the electrification of the LNWR route to London was complete and traffic was concentrated onto that route.

The last express service along the South District line ran on 1st January 1968. From this date only two passenger trains per week were scheduled to run through the site of Chorlton-cum-Hardy, and they finished on Sunday 4th May 1969, when the very last train services operated out of Manchester Central. Freight trains continued to pass through the station site,
but after 17th August 1969 they could only use the route towards Guide Bridge as the former MR route was closed and lifted in 1970. Trains continued to pass through the station site until 1989 after which the line was closed and lifted.

On 7 July 2011 the section of line through the site of Chorlton-cum-Hardy station re-opened as part of a new Metrolink Tram route. A tram stop was built on southern end of the station site that was named Chorlton.


Artists impression of the new Metrolink extension at the site of Chorlton-cum-Hardy Station
Sources: . Lost Railways of Merseyside and Greater Manchester by Gordon Suggitt. Published 2004 by Countryside Books ISBN 13: 978-1853068690 The Midland Route from Manchester Part one – Central to New Mills by E M Johnson Foxline Publications ISBN 1 870119 20 7, Manchester (Rail Centres) by Stanley Hall 2008 Booklaw Publications ISBN 1 901945 29 4 , The Railways Around Stockport by Gregory K.Fox, Foxline Publications ISBN 1 870119 00 2

Other web sites:Closed South Manchester Railways, The Hyde & Peak Railtour, Bike rides around the Greater Manchester area & Levenshulme then and now. David Hey's Collection - Transition from BR steam. Includes railway photographer ER Morten's photographic tour from Buxton - Derby.

Eight and a half miles of the Matlock - Buxton line now forms the Monsal Trail starting at Coombs Road Viaduct, one mile southeast of Bakewell and finishing at the head of Chee Dale, about three miles east of Buxton. There is a diversion round the tunnels.

Further reading. The Fallowfield Line, EM Johnson 2000 Foxline Pub.ISBN187011969X

Tickets from Michael Stewart, route map drawn by Alan Young

To see other stations between Manchester Central & Matlock click on the station name: Manchester Central, Chorlton-cum-Hardy, Withington & West Didsbury, Didsbury, Heaton Mersey, Cheadle Heath, Hazel Grove (Midland), Buxworth, Chinley (2nd site) STILLOPEN, Chinley (1st site), Chapel-en-le-Frith Central, Peak Forest, Cheedale Halt, Buxton (Midland), Blackwell Mill Halt, Millers Dale, Monsal Dale, Great Longstone, Hassop, Bakewell, Rowsley (Second site), Rowsley (First site), Rowsley South PEAK RAIL, Darley Dale, Matlock Riverside PEAK RAIL & Matlock STILL OPEN.
See also Stockport Tiviot Dale & Stockport Portwood


Chorlton-cum-Hardy station forecourt in 1890





Chorlton-cum-Hardy Station looking south in the early 20th Century

A southbound special at Chorlton-cum-Hardy station during the WW2 evacuation. Wilbraham Road bridge in background.

A local train pulls into Chorlton cum Hardy station on its way south in June 1960. Many local services served the station at this time. Most frequently services operated to
Cheadle Heath and to Stockport Tiviot Dale.
Copyright photo by W A Brown from Tony Harden collection

Looking towards the north from Wilbraham Road at Chorlton-cum-Hardy Station in 1962. The picture gives a good overall view of the station and its goods yard which can be seen on the far left.
Copyright photo by H C Casserley


Chorlton-cum-Hardy Station looking north in January 1992. What appears to be the end of the northbound platform can be seen in the background.
P
hoto by Martin Potter

Looking north towards Manchester from Wilbraham Road bridge. The trackbed and much of the station site are heavily overgrown by trees The building on the left is a supermarket, built on the station
forecourt and west side of the station site
P
hoto by Bevan Price

The site of Chorlton-cum-Hardy station looking north in April 2010. The station site was being developed as a Metrolink tram stop as part of a new route that uses a section of the former Midland Railway South District Line. Tram lines can be seen just beyond the pile of earth in the middle distance.
P
hoto by Paul Wright


Looking south at the site of Chorlton-cum-Hardy station on 2 June 2012. The route of the former Midland Railway through Chorlton had become a Metrolink tram line and a stop had been created where the station had once been.
Photo by Paul Wright


Last updated: Sunday, 03-Jun-2012 17:34:22 BST
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