Fallowfield Loop

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For the former heavy railway, see Fallowfield Loop railway line.

The Fallowfield Loop is an off-road cycle path, pedestrian and horse riding route in Manchester, England, running approximately 8 miles, from Chorlton-cum-Hardy through Fallowfield and Levenshulme to Gorton and Fairfield.

Leafier at the Western end and more obviously an urban route at the Eastern end towards Debdale, it forms a green corridor in an arc around Manchester city centre through from the South West to the East, linking parks and open spaces. Its part of National Cycle Routes 6 and 60.[1]

It can be seen on Google Maps where it is marked in the same way as a railway line,[2] and passes a short way above the 'Fallowfield' marker.

History[edit]

The Fallowfield Loop railway line was a local railway route in Greater Manchester. Trains on the Manchester, Sheffield and Lincolnshire Railway line (later, the Great Central Railway line) from Sheffield Victoria and Guide Bridge used the 'Loop' to access Manchester Central railway station.

The line was fully opened in 1892 and remained in use until 1988, though the stations at Hyde Road, Levenshulme South, Fallowfield and Wilbraham Road closed in 1958 following the withdrawal of passenger services.

Reddish Depot was built adjacent to the line in 1954 to maintain the new fleet of electric trains for the Woodhead Line, and remained open until 1983.

Conversion to a Cycle Route[edit]

The line had lain derelict for many years until the late 1990s, when a group of cyclists started campaigning for its conversion to a traffic free 'greenway' across south Manchester. That group, together with supporters from local civic societies and other community groups, formally became the 'Friends of the Fallowfield Loop' in June 2001. The route is now mostly owned by Sustrans, a charity which specialises in building off road cycle routes.

The route is blocked in a number of places by large metal barriers which disrupts the ride for normal bikes, and larger cycles like tandems and trikes may need to be lifted.

Along The Route[edit]

The Fallowfield Loop intersects Gorton Heritage Trail. The Elizabeth Svendsen Trust Donkey Sanctuary is located on the line, at Abbey Hey. Chorlton-cum-Hardy station has reopened as a Metrolink station as part of the South Manchester Line extension, providing access to Manchester city centre.

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