Oldham Loop Closure Events
To commemorate the closure of the Rochdale, Oldham and Manchester railway line on 3rd October a number of events were organised.
The railway has served the local communities for over 140 years and has survived the threat of closure more times than the members of STORM care to remember. The line will reopen as a Metrolink tram route in summer 2012.
A local diesel unit,156466, was named “Gracie Fields”, in line with Northern Rail's Great Northerners policy.
The naming ceremony, a civic ceremony with three mayors present, was at Victoria Station at 1600 and the newly refurbished unit from Newton Heath Depot provided services around the loop for the rest of the evening.
The last scheduled steam-hauled passenger train around the Oldham Loop was hauled by Stanier Mickey 45231, departing from Victoria at 1820 and running clockwise. Arrival back at Victoria was scheduled for 1915. Many people turned out to watch the spectacle all along the route.
The last scheduled diesel-hauled passenger train around the Oldham Loop departed from Victoria at 1941 and ran anti-clockwise, arriving back at Victoria at 2037.
An extra train service from Manchester Victoria to Rochdale departed at 2317 and called at Oldham Mumps, Shaw and Crompton, New Hey, Milnrow and Rochdale. The last ever scheduled Manchester Victoria-Rochdale via Oldham passenger train was the 2324 departure. This called at all stations and returned from Rochdale at 0004 Sunday via Castleton to return 'last trainers' back to Manchester Victoria.
A brass ensemble was playing on the platform as the final Oldham Loop train left Manchester Victoria.