Guide Bridge railway station
|Number of platforms||2|
|Live arrivals/departures, station information and onward connections|
from National Rail Enquiries
|Annual rail passenger usage*|
|Key dates||Opened 1841|
|National Rail – UK railway stations|
|* Annual estimated passenger usage based on sales of tickets in stated financial year(s) which end or originate at Guide Bridge from Office of Rail and Road statistics. Methodology may vary year on year.|
|UK Railways portal|
It was built by the Sheffield, Ashton-under-Lyne and Manchester Railway on its new line from Ardwick Junction, near to the Manchester and Birmingham Railway's terminus at Store Street, (now Piccadilly) to Sheffield and opened as Ashton and Hooley Hill on 11 November 1841 when the line opened as far as Godley Toll Bar. It was renamed Ashton in February 1842 and became Guide Bridge on 14 July 1845 when the line was extended to Sheffield.
The station originally had a 4 platform configuration with a large office on the southern side. However, the southern (former slow line) platforms were decommissioned and the tracks lifted in 1984-85 as part of layout alterations associated with the changeover from 1500 V DC to 25 kV AC working on the Hadfield line, with demolition of the buildings following a few years later. The area has been covered, with a section forming part of the car park, but some evidence remains of the previous two tracks. The junction at the country end of the station was also remodelled in 2011 to allow Stalybridge line trains to cross the junction at 30 mph (max) rather than 15 mph as previously.
Tickets can be obtained at the ticket office on the former island platform (now platform 1).
With the electrification of the Manchester–Sheffield (via Woodhead) line in the early 1950s, Guide Bridge, already a major centre of railway operations, increased in importance. Express trains called here, as well as EMU trains between Manchester London Road and the north Derbyshire towns of Glossop and Hadfield. There were also Diesel Multiple Unit (DMU) services from Manchester London Road (Piccadilly) to Macclesfield (via Rose Hill Marple - closed in January 1970), Stockport Edgeley to Stalybridge and to Oldham (via the Oldham, Ashton & Guide Bridge Railway, which closed to passengers in 1959). The station was also where Express Trains to and from Manchester Central on the London Marylebone route, changed locomotive. Drawn by a Bo-Bo or Co-Co Electric Locomotive from Sheffield, a steam or in later years diesel Locomotive would take the train the final few miles to Manchester Central and vice versa. The Woodhead Line was busy with goods traffic, especially with coal traffic from South Yorkshire to Lancashire power stations. The station also accepted goods under British Railways "Passenger" freight service and had a licensed Buffet.
There was a large marshalling yard about a mile east of Guide Bridge at Dewsnap. There was also a stabling point immediately to the east of Guide Bridge station where engines could be fuelled. Guide Bridge was also where the local Retail Coal Merchants transferred Coal from British Rail Coal wagons, carefully weighed into One Hundredweight sacks for delivery to homes around Ashton, Audenshaw and Denton. Express passenger trains via the Woodhead line ceased operation on 5 January 1970, but Dewsnap sidings and Guide Bridge stabling point were busy until the final closure of the Woodhead Line (east of Hadfield) on 20 July 1981. The Class 76 electric locomotives were a frequent sight here, along with Class 25, Class 40 and numerous others classes of diesels.
The former TransPennine Express operator, Arriva Trains Northern, had plans to establish Guide Bridge as a major interchange station, coupled with hopes that the Woodhead line might re-open. Such aspirations seem to have fallen by the wayside, however, since First TransPennine Express took over the franchise.
On 22 October 2006, a fire gutted the waiting room, footbridge and ticket office. The fire has subsequently been attributed to arson and caused around £1m of damage to the station, necessitating the demolition of the footbridge. This has not been rebuilt, necessitating a lengthy walk out of the station and along the adjacent main road to change platforms. A new single-storey ticket office has though been provided as part of a £1.7million revamp of the station, along with improved lighting, an extended car park with 140 spaces, CCTV cameras and cycle storage lockers. The new facilities were commissioned in December 2014, with an official opening attended by the Minister of State for Transport Baroness Kramer.
In January 2009, the previously free car parking was abolished, with a daily charge of £3 being introduced. As a result, the once busy car park largely fell quiet. A subsequent review was taken, following complaints from neighbouring residents, with backing of local councillors over the re-distribution of cars once parked on the ample station facility to the surrounding residential streets with charging dismissed soon afterwards.
This station was proposed as being a possible stop of the railway company Grand Central service running between London Euston and Bradford Interchange. However, due to the need to substantially rewrite the 2008 West Coast Main Line timetable, in order to accommodate the additional services, the application was withdrawn in August 2008.
The levels of service on the Trans-Pennine route are likely to decrease in the next few years for the new Northern Hub proposals, with most long distance services diverted to run via their pre-1989 route via Ashton-under-Lyne and Manchester Victoria and the planned Ordsall Chord to reach Manchester Piccadilly (or onwards to Liverpool Lime Street via Chat Moss). Some trains will though continue to run through Guide Bridge - these will serve the most local stations between Stalybridge and Manchester Piccadilly (calling at Guide Bridge, Gorton and/or Ashburys).
The current service at Guide Bridge consists of a half-hourly Manchester Piccadilly-Hadfield EMU service (increasing to every 20 minutes during weekday peak periods) and a half-hourly (DMU) service between Piccadilly and Rose Hill Marple (see Northern timetables 22 and 24 for details). There is a limited service after 19:00 each evening to Rose Hill, whilst the Glossop service drops to hourly after 21:00. Early morning, rush hour and late evening services start or terminate at Glossop.
On Sundays, there is a half-hourly service to Hadfield but no service on the Rose Hill line.
The Stockport-Stalybridge Line DMU service, which had been an hourly operation, was almost entirely withdrawn when TransPennine services between Manchester and Leeds were re-routed from Manchester Victoria to serve Manchester Piccadilly in 1989. There was for a time a 16:08 Friday only "service" from Stalybridge to Guide Bridge whilst weekend engineering work was taking place in the Stockport area (in 2004), but currently the once-weekly "parliamentary" service on the route operates in the other direction (leaving Stockport at 9:22 and calling at 9:37, on Fridays only). This train is also unusual in that it arrives at Guide Bridge on the Manchester-bound platform before changing tracks after departure. From the start of the summer 2018 timetable on 20 May, the service on this route will operate on Saturdays instead of Fridays and double in frequency, with one train to Stockport at 08.51 and a return to Stalybridge just over an hour later at 10:01.
TransPennine Express services are routed through Guide Bridge and will begin stopping there from May 2018.
- Radford, B., (1988) Midland Though The Peak Unicorn Books
- Guide Bridge Station in 1989, showing disused southern platforms & buildings Whatley, Peter, Geograph.org; Retrieved 2014-06-02
- "Railway station damaged in blaze". BBC News. 2006-10-22. Retrieved 2006-10-24.
- "Reward to catch station arsonists". BBC News. 21 November 2006. Retrieved 2006-11-21.
- "Guide Bridge train station's new look is unveiled after £1.7m revamp" Cox, Charlotte; Manchester Evening News article 19 December 2014, Retrieved 27 February 2016
- Northern Rail Timetable 22, Manchester to New Mills Central/Rose Hill, December 2015 - May 2016 Northern Rail website Accessed 27-02-2016
- Northern Rail Timetable 24, Manchester to Hadfield & Glossop, December 2015 - May 2016Northern Rail; Retrieved 27-02-2016
- "Ghost Train In Reverse Gear". Manchester Evening News. 28 May 2004. Retrieved 2008-08-08.
- Table 78A National Rail timetable, May 2016
- 2J44 0846 Stalybridge to Stockport, 26 May 2018Realtime Trains website; Retrieved 7 May 2018
- 2J45 0945 Stockport to Stalybridge, 26 May 2018Realtime Trains website; Retrieved 7 May 2018
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Guide Bridge railway station.|
- Train times and station information for Guide Bridge railway station from National Rail
- British Railways in 1960: Dunford Bridge to Manchester
|Preceding station||National Rail||Following station|