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Photo © David Beilby. Please do not re-post without permission.

Trafford Park was a fascinating area from a transport point of view, served as it had been over the years by gas trams, electric trams, buses, main-line and industrial railways and canals (Bridgewater and Manchester Ship Canal).
One of the features that made it so interesting were the Trafford Park Estate lines. The whole estate had been built on the basis of rail access direct to each premises and this led to a very complex network of lines. This combined with another complex of railways associated with the Ship Canal. All these were worked by the locomotives of the Manchester Ship Canal Company, which had around seventy locomotives to deal with the traffic, although it should be noted some of the activity stretched beyond Warrington!


Inevitably, road took over from rail and the lines in Trafford Park gradually became disused. Some were lifted but even today there's quite a lot of railway track left. When I worked at GEC Alsthom in Trafford Park in the early 'nineties there was a single service left and some new track had even been laid to correspond with road layout changes. I'm not sure of the current status.


The attached photograph goes back to the 'seventies and shows the view from a special train that was touring the remnants of the rail system that existed at that date. From my open wagon I was able to photograph this former Salford PD2 3014 (WRJ163, new as Salford 163) at the Tenax Road terminus. In the foreground can be seen one of the many lifted lines. Notably, this bus still carries Salford green livery nearly five years after the formation of SELNEC. By this date vehicles in constituent liveries were becoming quite scarce.


Rail transport still exists in what were Manchester Docks, as the Metrolink route to MediaCityUK and Eccles passes through Salford Quays and across the end of the old No. 7 dock.

Photo taken by David Beilby, Saturday 22 June 1974, Trafford Park, Manchester
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Photo ref: sf163. Page and photo added September 2012
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