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Thursday, 18 November 2010

RE-OPEN the WOODHEAD LINE - Monthly Meeting - Labour Club in Chapel Street, Glossop, starting at 7.30 p.m.

A late reminder that today is the third Thursday in the month, 18/11/2010 which means that the Re-open Woodhead Line group meeting takes place this evening.

The venue is as per usual - the Labour Club in Chapel Street, Glossop, starting at 7.30 p.m.

The Labour Club, despite its name is politically unaffiliated.


Monday, 15 November 2010

Woodhead Tunnels Trilogy - The Chronological Chronicles

As promised, the letters are published again today, this time in sequence, just to tidy up the Tunnels Trilogy of correspondence between the DfT, Angela Smith MP and Friends of the Peak District. You dear reader are now as up to date with the current position on the state of play, viz a viz the tunnels, as we are.

You will need to



else you will lose us.

Thanks for taking the time to visit our site today.

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Woodhead's Tunnels Trilogy

In last weeks post from 4rth November entitled 'Has future maintainance of Woodhead Tunnels ceased?' we promised to bring you the Department for Transport reply to Angela Smith MP, who asked for a statement on the current position.

We are pleased to announce that we can now bring you the said letter which is reproduced above. This was the first of a trilogy of letters circulated between Angela Smith MP, the Department for Transport and Friends of the Peak District which have all now been published in recent posts.

Apologies for not reproducing them in sequential order but we have simply passed on to our readers the letters available to us, as and when we had sight of them. We'll tidy it all up by publishing the trilogy in some sort of chronological order in a subsequent post.

Sunday, 7 November 2010


In a previous post dated 17/10/2010 we mentioned the then forthcoming Tin Bath 'Extra' Railway Tour and detailed its scheduled itinery for Sunday 7th November, as posted by the Railway Touring Company, who organised the excursion.

News has reached us that all did not run to plan (well it is Sunday!) and some of you have been enquiring as to what exactly did take place and when?

The news I have (subject to verification) is that the original 10.15am scheduled start from Manchester Piccadilly was brought forward to 9.15am from Manchester Victoria. This was apparently because of engineering works at both Stalybridge and Stoke which prevented these alternative routes from being used.

Consequently, we believe the Tin Bath had to be re-directed via Crewe, which explains the added journey time.

Congratulations to those of you that managed to catch the train at the right time and location. Commiserations to anyone who found themselves flat-footed by the alternative arrangements (if our sources are correct).

Spare a thought too for what must have amounted to hundreds of train spotters and photographers along the scheduled route, who got up early, tripod in situ, in order to get some rare snaps and footage. I know for certain that there were several dozen at Hyde alone, who were bitterly disappointed that their dedication and enthusiam went unrewarded.

In our previous post we did make a jokey reference to the length of time it took the Tin Bath to navigate its course and mentioned that a fully functioning Woodhead Line would reduce the 'excessive time that it takes passengers along the route of the Manchester-Sheffield-Wath route to travel between two of Britain's major cities or between towns on the route' .

The diversion of the Tin Bath however, makes the point for us, albeit it in unhappy circumstances. Namely that were there a further direct route between Manchester and Sheffield, such as the Woodhead Line would provide, then there would still be a reliable inter-city route - whether that be for pleasure trips, commercial passengers or freight, should the unforseen (or in this case the forseen and presumably scheduled!) happen to occur.

Yes Minister, we do need to Re-open the Woodhead Line and sooner rather than later, if the situation is to improve for passengers and if once sleepy villages are to be relieved of ever larger and more menacing juggernauts speeding through their neighbourhoods.

Yes Minister, we do need to Re-open the Woodhead Line, regardless of your current indifference and general lack of foresight on this major transport issue.

P.S. - If any of our readers were passengers on the Tin Bath or have any further information about the event, for better or worse, please feel free to comment below or send us an e-mail at and we'll be glad to report.

Friday, 5 November 2010

Department for Transport reply to Woodhead Tunnels future maintainance question


Yesterday we posted a letter from Friends of the Peak District to the Rt Hon Theresa Villiers MP. This followed revelations in a letter from the Department for Transport to Angela Smith MP that the government were preparing to "put consultation on the future care and maintainance of the Victorian Woodhead tunnels into abeyance".

Today we publish the response from the Department for Transport, which comes not from Theresa Villiers herself but from the Cities and Regions Policy Manager, Brian Welch.

Your thoughts are of course always welcome and can be submitted using the comments box at the foot of the post.

Thursday, 4 November 2010


News has reached Re-open the Woodhead Line of triangular correspondence between the Secretary of State for Transport, Angela Smith MP and the Friends of the Peak District indicating that talks on future maintenance of the tunnels has ceased.

The correspondence has been prompted by a letter from the Secretary of State for Transport to Angela Smith MP which 'puts consultation on the future care and maintainance of the Victorian Woodhead tunnels into abeyance'. Whilst we do not have a copy of this letter at present, we do hope to be able to acquire such and publish it in due course.

What we do have however is evidence that Friends of the Peak District have seen the letter and have made a representation to the Secretary of State arguing quite rightly that the "Woodhead tunnels represent a massive investment of human and built capital that should not be condemned to decay because there is no immediate use for them".

The full text of their response to the Secretary of State for Transport is reproduced below. We also have a copy the DfT response to it, which makes interesting reading but rather than give readers an information overload I shall make that the subject of tomorrows blog:-