Notes: Derker station was located just over half-a-mile north of the centre of Oldham on what had become known as the Oldham Loop Line. This section of line had originally opened from Oldham to Rochdale, initially to goods traffic on 12th August 1863, then to passengers on 2nd November 1863.
Derker had by far the better service of the two. In summer 1986 daytime off-peak hours only alternate trains called at Derker, giving the station an hourly service in each direction, whilst no trains called at Royton. From May 1987 all off-peak trains called at Derker, providing a half-hourly service in each direction, and only four northbound and three southbound peak-hour trains supplied a token service at Royton instead of calling at Derker.
Derker station opened on 30th August 1985 in a housing area which lacked rail services. A short distance to the north was Royton Junction station, which was poorly situated for passengers; it was located where a branch diverted from the Oldham to Rochdale line and ran to Royton. The Royton branch had closed on 18th April 1966 leaving Royton Junction with little business.
Derker station consisted of two timber-built platforms, each of which connected up to Yates Street by means of sloping paths. Simple ‘bus shelters’ provided the only passenger facilities.
In 1986-7 Derker appeared in the passenger timetable as ‘Royton-Derker’, presumably indicating British Rail’s intention of replacing Royton with Derker once the legal closure process was complete. Most trains called at either Derker or at Royton, but not both:
After Royton closed, on 8th May 1987, all trains called at Derker.From the May 1989 timetable a half -hourly service to both Manchester and Rochdale was introduced, with extra services at peak hours running to Shaw & Crompton
In May 1995 further alterations were made to the train services that called at Derker. From this date the station was served by a half-hourly train in each direction that ran to Manchester Victoria and by a half hour frequency service that between Manchester Victoria and Rochdale with no stops between Oldham Mumps and Victoria.
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 the required works. To enable these works to go ahead the Oldham Loop had to close. Derker station, along with all of the others on the line, closed on Saturday 3rd 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 last train to depart from Derker station was the 23:25 Manchester Victoria to Rochdale service. Demolition began almost immediately, and by May 2010 there was nothing left of the station.
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. Additional source Alan Young.
To see other stations on the Oldham Loop Line click on the station name:
Dean Lane, Failsworth, Hollinwood, Oldham Werneth, Oldham Central, Oldham Mumps, Royton Junction, Shaw & Crompton, New Hey & Milnrow.
See also Royton