Station Name: DEAN LANE

[Source: Bevan Price & Paul Wright]

Date opened: 17.5.1880
Location: East side of Dean Lane
Company on opening: Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway
Date closed to passengers: 3.10.2009
Date closed completely: 3.10.2009
Company on closing: Network Rail
Present state: Demolished
County: Lancashire.
OS Grid Ref: SD879008
Date of visit: 17.9.2009, 14.5.2011 & 14.6.2012

Notes: Dean Lane (Newton Heath) station was opened by the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway (LYR) on 17 May 1880 as part of the Thorpes Bridge Junction to Oldham Werneth line. The purpose of the line was to provide a direct route from Manchester to Oldham avoiding the steep incline on the existing LYR line that provided a route to Oldham via Middleton. 

The Thorpes Bridge to Oldham Werneth line had originally been proposed in 1848. It was re-surveyed ten years later in 1858, but it was not until 13th January 1875 that the LYR authorised the funding of its construction. On 30 June 1875 a contract was let to a Mr Evans, and work commenced on 2nd of August 1876. Evans employed 450 men to construct the line
which was completed by 1880. It created a through route to Rochdale via Oldham which became known as the Oldham Loop.

Dean Lane station was 2 ¾ miles from Manchester Victoria; it was located on the east side of its namesake. As the line was double-track the station was provided with two platforms. It had a single storey brick-built booking office at street level on the south side of the line. Covered steps led down to the Manchester platform where there was a single storey building which contained waiting facilities and a ladies’ toilet. A covered footbridge crossed the line from the street level booking office and gave access to the Oldham platform, which also had brick-built waiting facilities. Extensive canopies were provided on both platforms. 

At the time of its opening Dean Lane was served by fifteen trains towards Oldham and the same number to Manchester Victoria. On 1 January 1922 the station became part of the London & North Western Railway (LNWR) when that company took over the LYR. However on 1st January 1923 the LNWR was in turn absorbed by the London Midland and Scottish Railway (LMS). By 1938 Dean Lane was still being served by fifteen local trains. On Friday evenings a train to Glasgow and Edinburgh via Rochdale called at the station. On Sundays-only a train that originated at Royton and ran on to Blackpool Central via Manchester Victoria served Dean Lane, as did another that started at Milnrow and ran to Southport via Manchester Victoria. 

On 1 January 1948 Dean Lane became part of the nationalised British Railways (London Midland Region). During the last year of fully steam-operated services in 1958 there were eighteen trains in each direction between Manchester and Rochdale. In June 1958 British Railways introduced Diesel Multiple Units (DMUs) on the Oldham Loop. A Cravens built type of
DMU (later known as class 104) which had twin power cars was used on the line as they were easily able to cope with the steep gradients. In both directions trains called at Dean Lane every twenty minutes. The northbound service destinations alternated between Rochdale and a Royton. In total there were twenty-nine trains running between Manchester and Rochdale and twenty-five between Manchester and Royton: this was Dean Lane’s highest-ever frequency of service.

In the 1950s the station canopies were shortened.

The Reshaping of British Railways (Beeching Report) of March 1963 recommended the closure of the Royton branch to passengers but made no reference to the Oldham Loop or any of its stations. Nevertheless, September 1964 saw a decline in services calling at Dean Lane. The service between Manchester and Rochdale became irregular, with trains calling at Dean

Lane about every 45 minutes in each direction. Trains between Royton and Manchester Victoria were reduced to seven on weekdays in each direction, eight on Saturdays, and there were none on Sundays. The goods yard was downgraded to a coal depot only (CDO) on 19 July 1965.

From April 1966 further changes took place, including the closure of the Royton Branch (as recommended by Beeching) but also Oldham Central station (which Beeching implied was to be retained). The service pattern was altered so that most trains serving Dean Lane ran between Manchester Victoria and Oldham Mumps, with fewer continuing onward to Rochdale. By 1968 the Dean Lane service had settled into a thirty minute frequency in each direction. Only alternate northbound trains continued beyond Oldham Mumps to Rochdale giving only an hourly frequency to that town (although services were also provided to and from Manchester Victoria via Castleton).  Dean Lane was unstaffed from 8 August 1969.

It escaped the attention of the Beeching Report. However the British Railways Network for Development map of March 1967, published when Stanley Raymond was Chairman of the British Railways Board and Barbara Castle the Secretary of State for Transport, showed that Oldham Mumps to Rochdale would not form part of the ‘basic railway network’. Subsequently a footnote in the May 1972 passenger timetable advised that the Secretary of State had given consent to the withdrawal of passenger services between Oldham Mumps and Rochdale. However, by this date, the South East Lancashire North East Cheshire (SELNEC) Passenger Transport Executive (Greater Manchester Passenger Transport Executive – GMPTE - from April 1974) had stepped in and agreed to fund the continuation of the service.

The buildings at Dean Lane were demolished in the 1970s, and simple bus shelters were provided. The suffix Newton Heath was removed from the name in 1973.

From the introduction of the May 1979 timetable trains that ran only as far as Oldham Mumps were extended to run further north to Shaw & Crompton. The thirty-minute interval service at Dean Lane was retained. In the May 1989 timetable a half-hourly service to Rochdale was introduced, with extra services at peak hours running to Shaw & Crompton.

From May 1995 Dean Lane was served by half-hourly Manchester Victoria - Shaw & Crompton trains in each direction;  Rochdale trains continued to run at a half-hour frequency, but they passed through Dean Lane without stopping. This was the last alteration to the train services that called at Dean Lane.

In the mid-1990s the GMPTE had been looking at extending its 1992-opened Metrolink tram system. One idea that had been considered as early as 1984 was to use the Oldham Loop as a means of extending tram services to Oldham and Rochdale. By the beginning of the 21st century plans had been drawn up, and a few years later funding was in place to carry out

carry out the required works. To enable these works to go ahead the Oldham Loop had to close. Dean Lane, along with all other stations on the line, closed on Saturday 3 October 2009. A number of special services, including steam-hauled trains, ran on the last day to celebrate the line and its history. Many local people turned out to watch the last trains run. The final train to depart from Dean Lane was the 23:25 Manchester Victoria to Rochdale service. Demolition of the station began almost immediately and by August 2010 only partly broken up sections of the former down platform could still be seen.

The railway through the site of Dean Lane remains open for freight services to the GMWDA Dean Lane Waste Transfer site just to the east of the former station. The section of line from Thorpes Bridge Junction to Dean Lane Waste Transfer site is the only part of the former route to Rochdale via Oldham to survive in operational use as a railway. It was singled during the summer of 2010 when the former 'up' (Manchester direction) line was lifted. The land formerly occupied by the up line became a bi-directional single track tramway as part of Metrolink opening on 13 June 2012. A tram stop called Newton Heath & Moston opened on the site of the 'up' platform.

Tickets from Michael Stewart, Route map drawn by Alan Young

Other web sites: Lost lines, a selection of pictures of the Oldham Loop line taken on 30th September 2009, shortly before closure. Class 25s and Much More web site has a feature called Farewell to the Oldham Loop with 51 pictures taken in August 2009. Sam Dixon's UK National Rail, Heritage Rail & Former Rail web site with 124 pictures of the Oldham loop line take two days before closure. Tom Fenton's web site also has a feature Farewell to the Oldham Loop with 27 pictures taken in August 2009. Alan Perryman's Thistle 5 web site includes 93 pictures from the last day of the Oldham Loop.

Sources: The Oldham Loop – Part One – Manchester Victoria to Shaw & Crompton, Jeffery Wells, Foxline Publishing ISBN 1870119681 and The Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway Volume 2, John Marshall, David & Charles. ISBN 0715349066. Additional Source Alan Young.

To see other stations on the Oldham Loop Line click on the station name:
Failsworth, Hollinwood, Oldham Werneth, Oldham Central, Oldham Mumps, Derker, Royton Junction, Shaw & Crompton, New Hey & Milnrow

See also Royton

Looking east along the eastbound (towards Oldham) platform at Dean Lane Station in c.1939. At this time the station still had full canopies on both platforms.
Photo from John Mann collection

1895 Ordnance Survey map showing Dean Lane station and the Newton Heath motive power depot.

An Oldham Loop stopping service bound for Rochdale arrives at Dean Lane Station in April 1957. At this time Dean Lane Station still had all of its original facilities although the canopies had been
cut back by this date.
Copyright photo by H C Casserley

By October 1977 Dean Lane station, in common with others on the Oldham Loop line, had been reduced to a very basic facility. This view looking west was taken from a similar position as the 1957 picture. The stations roadside building had gone along with all of the platform buildings. Ramps leading directly up to the street had replaced the steps and the footbridge.
Photo from John Mann collection

Looking east from a passing train at Dean Lane stations westbound (to Manchester) platform in July 1985. By this date the station was unstaffed and consisted of only very basic facilities.
hoto by Alan Young

A freight train of the Freightliner company heads east through Dean Lane station on its way to the Dean Lane Waste Transfer Site in September 2009. The train hauled by a class 66 locomotive was taking empty waste containers back to the Transfer site where they would have been loaded with domestic refuse. The train would then have returned back through Dean Lane station.
hoto by Bevan Price

A class 150 DMU departs from Dean Lane Station on route toward to Shaw and Crompton
in September 2009.
Photo by David Warby from his Lost Lines web site

Looking west at Dean Lane station in May 2010. The station was in the process of being demolished and the edge stones on the eastbound (to Oldham) platform had been partly removed. At this point the Oldham Loop line remains open as an operational railway line as just to the east of the station is the rail served Dean Lane Waste Transfer facility. This section of the Oldham Loop will not be converted into a Metrolink tram line.
hoto by Bevan Price

Looking west at the site of Dean Lane station in August 2010. The up (to Manchester) platform had been completely demolished and the up line lifted. The down platform still survived at this date but its edging flags had mostly been removed. The line remained open for freight traffic to the Dean Lane Household Waste facility a single track being quite adequate for the levels of traffic following withdrawal of passenger services.
hoto by Bevan Price

The site of Dean Lane station looking east on 14 June 2012. On the site of the former Manchester direction platform a bi-directional Metrolink Tram stop had been built, called Newton Heath & Moston, which opened to passengers on 13 June 2012. A tram is seen departing from the stop and heading towards Oldham. The line nearest to the photographer was still an operational railway line having also become bi-directional. It was in use by household waste trains.
hoto by Bevan Price

Last updated: Wednesday, 17-May-2017 09:59:56 CEST
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