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Former Stockport Canal, Gorton boat dock

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While reading about the former railway works and loco sheds at Gorton, Manchester, was interested to read that a canal branch

and its boat depot and dry dock co-existed in the midst of the expanded loco works and loco shed area, until canal branch, loco works closed 1962.


As there are what appear to be locally supplied photos of the canal installations, posting them here for your interest, lest you

not find them in what is a railway-focused website. Link to Stockport canal website added for context.


Stockport canal website; canal depot; canal depot pictures ; map relating canal to railway works








Edited by Southdowner

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I enjoyed reading about the Stockport Canal. Wharf Street and Sheffield Street still exist where the canal basin was but there is no sign of the old wharves and basins.

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Fascinating stuff. Railway and canals were so intertwined as to have much in common despite the one predating the other, and I cannot imagine anyone being interested in the one, and not the other.

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The Stockport Branch was open as far as Gorton Workshops which we still in partial use as late as 1965 despite the fact that the main line Ashton Canal was by then not navigable.CKP

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Managed to scringe a few pics from the wayback machine as sadly this site / information has vanished. Posting for posterity - hopefully not stepping on anyones toes.


First link: https://web.archive.org/web/20160324021919/http://homepage.ntlworld.com/nb.jemsabi/index.html

Some good info and small pictures still remain.




A very interesting photograph - Taken from the canal wall of the canal tow path (behind the photographer). The main view is of the reservoir with the three settleing ponds in the foreground. The buildings to the right are part of the canal depot and appear derelict at this point in time. The clock tower of the locomotive works can clearly be seen as well as the chimney stack of the main boiler house. Immediately in front of the tower is the main office complex. The people fishing are probably members of the Railway Staff Association.




From the works being completed in1848 it expanded quite rapidly in size. By the end of the 1800s the works had more or less assumed the size that was to see it through to it's closure in 1963. By the end of the 1800s it was becoming obvious that it was too small and could not expand anymore as it was now 'hemmed' in on all sides. As a result of this a completely new carriage and wagon works had to be built at Dukinfield about half a mile to the East of Guide Bridge. In effect, the carriage and wagon works had gone full circle as Dukinfield was very close to the site of the S.A&M Rly Companies original workshops at  Hyde in Cheshire. The new C & W works at Dukinfield were purpose built  and, in addition to plant and machinary being transferred from Gorton, the latest machine tools of the day were also installed, in all, a tribute to the GCR.


The [above] sketch sketch shows a ground plan of the works. The area lined out in solid green or green and red dotted indicate Peacock's works of 1848. The remainder in solid red is the final works area..   

Part of this sketch is based from a plan in George Dow's classic book  " Great Central  Vol 1 - The    Pregoniters"

A/     Engine shed or roundhouse The two tracked turntable was 40ft. in Dia. with 17 roads.
B/     Locomotive workshops comprising of a nine road erecting shop,  blacksmith's shop and machine shops etc.
C/     Carriage and wagon shops. A two story building with carriages being dealt with on the upper floor and wagons  on lower.
D/     Paint shop, The MS&L Rly main line being to the South of the shop.
E/     Main offices and stores.
F/     Coke stage, coal was not used as a fuel in the first few years.  ( coal had to wait until firebox development improved ).
G/    Traverser. The traverser was 20 feet long ( a loco uncoupled from it's tender in the mid 50s had wheel bases of 16 ft max ) H/    Aqueduct: The Stockport canal passes over the railway. This was renewed in 1905 when the track was quadrupled.
I/      Northern border of the railway cottages, later to become Ogden Lane.  
J/     Western boundary of the railway works. This  became Bessemer Street and bordered with  'Armstrong Whitworths'.   
K/    Northern boundary of the works,  Whitworth Street. Terraced houses to the north of the street and Ashton old Road.
L/     North Easterly boundary of the works,  Walton Street., later Press Street., later Princess Street .
M/   Easterly boundery,  Lawton Street. The main entrance was situated here..
N/    Wellington Street, later Widnes Street, almost cutting the works and shed in half. This joined the 'Bird cage' over bridge..
O/    A narrow strip of land between the railway cottages and the railway , later to become Cornwall Street.
P/    The Birdcage, The overhead foot bridge that Joined Widnes Street to Railway Street South of the MS&L Rly lines.
        The other places shown on the plan are the canal, employees cottages and reservoir




The [above] drawing is from a British Railways publicity brochure of about 1959 / 60..and is how the works layout was in it's final 20 years.In the next page or so I will try to explain how the works developed from Peacock's works (top picture) to the above and important dates of the development.



The above information is archived information quoted from OP & www.gorton-tank.com. Sadly a few pictures have been lost from the archive.




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