Notes: Stockport Portwood opened as a terminus station at the western end of the Stockport & Woodley Junction Railway’s (S&WJR) Woodley to Stockport line on 12th January 1863. The line connected into the Manchester, Sheffield & Lincolnshire Railway’s (MSLR) Hyde Junction line, which in turn gave access to Manchester via the MSLR main line between Manchester and Sheffield.
From the opening of the line trains ran to Woodley and onwards to Manchester London Road.
It was never the intention that Stockport Portwood would remain as a terminus, and plans were drawn up by the Stockport, Timperley & Altrincham Railway (ST&AR) as early as 1860 to build a line from Portwood to a connection with the Cheshire Midlands & Northwich Junction line at what became Skelton Junction.
On 18th July 1865, whilst the new line was under construction, both the ST&AJR and the S&WJR along with a number of other small independent lines in the area were formerly absorbed into the Cheshire Lines Committee (CLC). The CLC was initially made up from the Manchester, Sheffield & Lincolnshire Railway (MSLR) and the Great Northern Railway (GNR). On 18th July 1866 the Midland Railway (MR) also joined the group as an equal partner.
The westward extension opened on 1st.December1865 and Portwood became a through station.
When it opened, Stockport Portwood had a single platform located on the south side of the line. The platform was connected to Marsland Street by a sloping path. At street level there was a booking office. A small building, which probably provided waiting facilities, was located on the platform. There is no evidence that an extra platform was added to the station after the line was extended westwards, which is unusual as the line was a double track railway. An 1872 map shows only the one platform adjacent to the westbound line. It is possible that a simple area of cinders or crushed stone sufficed for the eastbound platform.
A large station opened at Stockport Tiviot Dale in 1865 with the western extension. It was only about half a mile away from Portwood, and it was probably for this reason that Portwood closed on 1st September 1875.
This was not the end of Portwood as a railway location as it developed into a large goods depot, complete with goods shed and a large warehouse. Coal unloading facilities were also provided. The goods depot remained open until 25th April 1966.
In 1966, although passenger trains had ceased, the line through Stockport Portwood was an important route for freight trains travelling between the Woodhead route and Liverpool, so it remained open throughout the 1970s and into the 1980s. Among the busiest freight services were the coal trains from South Yorkshire to Fiddlers Ferry Power Station near Warrington. With the closure of the Woodhead route in 1981 the line lost most of its traffic. In 1980 works in connection with the construction of the M63 motorway (later to become the M60 ring road) damaged a tunnel that passed under Lancashire Hill by Stockport Tiviot Dale station. The line was closed temporarily as a safety measure. By 1982 British Rail came to the conclusion that having managed without the line for two years they could dispense with it. The line from Heaton Mersey to Bredbury, including the section running through Stockport Portwood, closed completely in 1982 and was lifted in 1986.
Source: Scenes from the Past: 13A Stockport Tiviot Dale by Gregory K Fox. Pub 1991 by Foxline Publications. Illustrated History of The Cheshire Lines Committee by Paul Bolger. Pub 1984 by Hayday. ISBN 0947562001
Other web sites:Closed South Manchester Railways, The Hyde & Peak Railtour, Bike rides around the Greater Manchester area & Levenshulme then and now.
Further reading. The Fallowfield Line, EM Johnson 2000 Foxline Pub.ISBN187011969X
Tickets from Michael Stewart, route maps drawn by Alan Young
To see other stations between Manchester Central & Cheadle Heath click on the station name: Manchester Central, Chorlton-cum-Hardy, Withington & West Didsbury, Didsbury, Heaton Mersey, Cheadle Heath
To see the other
stations on the Woodley - Glazebrook line click on the station
name: Stockport Tiviot Dale, Cheadle (Cheshire) , Northenden, Baguley, West Timperley, Partington (1st), Partington (2nd), Cadishead (1st) & Cadishead (2nd)