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Springs Branch Railway
Started by: RPowell42 (5) Report abuse
I have been lurking on these boards for many years, but have only yesterday, been able to sign up (thanks Ron).

With my ancestors, during the Victorian age, living in New Springs (Woodfield Street) and me being a train enthusiast, I have been particularly interested in the old photos posted over the years relating to the Springs branch railway and the area that surrounded it.

I therefore decided to create a modest representation of the Springs Branch Railway by utilising the route builder from a computer game called Train Simulator. Within the program you can import the topographical data for the Wigan area to a bare "green field site" and by overlaying Google maps and referring to old maps, lay down the track and landmarks. From these basics I have been able to model and create the representation of the long gone Springs Branch Railway that ran behind Woodfield Street.

The following is a link to a video I have made about the line.


In my attempt at recreating the original line, I would like to thank you for the marvelous photos and scraps of information that have appeared over the years in various posts on this site. They have helped me enormously to create something that I hope resembles the line.

In my endeavour, I have learnt so much about the industry surrounding Wigan, particularly in the 19th century, that leaves me incredulous. As I mention in my video, I am sure that when the archaeologists explore the area in 2000 years time, they will come to the conclusion they have discovered the centre of the industrial age universe!

Posted by: Jumpin Jack Flash (153) Report abuse
fantastic well done

Posted by: blackrodweaver (579)  Report abuse
Excellent Robert The whelley loop line ran down the side of the 7 fairway of my Golf club WGC. great to see the history of Spring Branch lots of info.

Posted by: Axcroft (114) Report abuse
Many thanks for posting this. Glad I found it on here.
It's a terrific piece of work and an ingenious use of technology!
I walk past many of those bridges / remnants of bridges / landmarks week in week out, and will see them in a new light. Love the view of the Colliers as the train trundles across Wigan Road, over Shedfield Bridge and on to the Alexandra Pit / Whelley Loop junction.
Deserves a wider audience! Look forward to your next project!?

Posted by: cindy (5833)   Report abuse
Realy Enjoyed that.

Posted by: jarvo (29633)  Report abuse
Link, please?

Posted by: RPowell42 (5) Report abuse
jarvo - "Link, please?"

It's difficult for me to create a direct link on this forum.I did try.

In my original post I gave the url. If you copy then paste - enter the following into your browser then you will arrive at the video.


Posted by: priscus (8246) Report abuse
RPowell42's link

Posted by: Anne (3774)  Report abuse
The building shown as Saint Mary's church has been so messed about in this production it simply isn't. Can't really pass comment on anything else.

Posted by: jarvo (29633)  Report abuse
Very interesting. However, the period stated 1900-1945, simply isn't. The loco bears the prefix of 4 that indicates post nationalisation (after 1948).

Other than that, it is very well done. But I simply cannot make out any familiar scenes other than the opening sequence.

A Pemberton to Liverpool Exchange would be a challenge.

More please...

Posted by: RPowell42 (5) Report abuse
Jarvo, thanks for the comment. You are correct re the loco, although that particular "black 5" was built in 1937, I take your point. the assets in my program did not have a 0-6-0 tank engine that almost surely would have been plying the line. I also realised when I was steaming up to New Springs, the line has such a gradient, in reality I don't believe a "black 5" could have made it with any sort of load :).

To be honest most of what is shown in the video was long gone by 1945. For instance, I believe the Kirkless site was closed around 1932. I was really attempting to give an impression of just what had been and how much has changed.

Off and on it took me a couple of years to complete and now I am working on the Weymouth to Portland line which prob would not be of much interest to this community :). Maybe Pemberton to Liverpool in the future!!!!!

Posted by: tonker (21354)   Report abuse

Posted by: upthetims (6530) Report abuse

Magic place to work,bonhomie second to none,tremendous workmates on the whole

Posted by: Tommy Two Stroke (4772) Report abuse
Excellent recreation

In the early 1970s I went to an Open Day at Springs Branch, and they were running train rides on a Class 25 up that then closed line past St Mary's, which would have been about a half a mile long

Posted by: RPowell42 (5) Report abuse
This should interest you. It makes ref to the open day on the 2nd Aug 1970. Is that you in the picture :)


Posted by: Tommy Two Stroke (4772) Report abuse


I have only just seen your reply, and that picture of the Springs Branch Open Day has really got me thinking, in that it was the event I attended in 1973 because even though it says that it was in 1970 but that would have been impossible, because has you can see in the picture, the depot was already electrified, and the WCML was electrified in the early 1970s the first equipment appearing in Wigan in 1972 with the first electric hauled train starting in 1974 and also the Class 25 was in its pre TOPS numbering configuration, which was also carried out in the early 1970s and although I am not in the picture, I am pretty sure that was taken on the day I was there in 1973 and that was the loco I had a ride on

Thank you very much for sharing this

Posted by: Pewfall (18) Report abuse
I remember the last two last 25's at the branch. 2 were sat on the scrap line for about 3 years around 1987 - 25254 and 25907. i have photos somewhere.

Posted by: RPowell42 (5) Report abuse
Pewfall - If you enter the link provided by Tommy Two Stroke above and scroll to 1988, you will see a picture of those last 25's.

I still don't have a clue how to insert a picture on this site [:|]


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