Oldham Loop Line

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The Oldham Loop Line was a local railway route in Greater Manchester, England, used by trains that ran from Manchester Victoria station to Rochdale railway station. Services on the line at the time of its closure were operated by Northern Rail.

The line closed on 3 October 2009 for conversion during 2009-2012 to light rail use for Manchester Metrolink services.


The Oldham Loop diverged from the Caldervale Line at Thorpes Bridge Junction in Newton Heath, Manchester and re-joined it at Rochdale East Junction. The line was long, and was double-track from Thorpes Bridge Junction to Shaw and Crompton railway station, and single-line from Shaw and Crompton to Rochdale East Junction. There were two tunnels on the route between Oldham Werneth and Oldham Mumps railway stations. There were nine intermediate stations on the route.


The history of the Oldham Loop Line was intertwined with the early history of railways in the Manchester and Oldham area, and to some extent also with the geography of Oldham which meant that there was no direct Manchester to Oldham line until quite late in the 19th century.

The first railway line to be built in the area was the Manchester and Leeds Railway (M&LR) which opened on 4 July 1839 to Littleborough and throughout on 1 March 1841. Although this line ran...
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