A Virtual Stroll Along the Mickle Trafford-Shotton Railway

A photograph of the Mickle Trafford- Shotton Railway
Here we see a young family
enjoying some winter sunshine and peace and quiet, photographed in December 1997.

Just past Newton Lane Bridge, we see the fine avenue of trees bordering the sports ground to our left, while on our right runs Elmwood Avenue.

Such groups are becoming more common as concern grows over the future of the old railway, and many people are making the effort to explore it for themselves while they still can.

As more and more of Chester becomes the domain of the developer and the boy-racer, even in the condition it was in at this time the old railway was valued by families as a safe and peaceful recreational asset.

The same area photographed two and a half years later, on a sunny afternoon in July 2000, showing the superb new SUSTRANS cycletrack and footpath just a month after its official opening.

Notice also the narrow green area running along the side of the path, 'set aside' to accomodate the council's planned two-lane concrete 'guided busway'. But go here if you need a reminder of just how much space two buses side-by-side actually take!

How this is supposed to fit into this narrow space without obliterating the cycletrack remains somewhat of a mystery.

Understandably, the many enthusiastic users of this car-free highway are outraged that such a splendid asset could be needlessly destroyed so soon after being completed.

Newton Lane Bridge may be seen in the background, currently temporarily propped up- a recent test found the bridge to be showing signs of weakening and remedial work is apparently due to take place in the near future.

On the right is a fascinating photograph of this stretch of the line, viewed from Newton Lane Bridge on a snowy day back in February 1955.

(Thanks to Ralph Hodgkinson- who drove trains on this route throughout his career and still lives in one of the houses on the right- for the picture).

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