Wednesday, November 17, 2010
R is for Reddish South Station
Originally Reddish South station consisted of two island platforms with four tracks. One of these track beds has been sold off, while another has been filled in. The second island is now inaccessible as there are no longer steps down to it. According to the 2007/8 National rail figures, Reddish South had only 47 entries and exits in a 12 month period, making it the UK's least used railway station.
Reddish South together with Denton railway station on the Stockport to Stalybridge line are famous for having one train a week (the "Denton flyer") in one direction only. This means they are technically still open.
Most maps of the Greater Manchester Rail Network do not include Reddish South and Denton.
The "Denton flyer" is what is known as a "Parliamentary ghost", a train that operates a Parliamentary service - that is to say a token service to a given station, thus maintaining a legal fiction that either the station in question is in fact open, whereas in reality the train operating company in question has almost completely abandoned the station. These services run at all only because rail transport is heavily regulated in the United Kingdom and it is therefore considerably cheaper for a train operating company to run a parliamentary service than it is to go through the full legal process of applying for a station or line to be permanently closed.
Network Rail, in their Route Utilisation Strategy (RUS) for the North West, were proposing closure of Reddish South and Denton stations and withdrawal of the remaining passenger service. The line itself would remain open for freight and diverted passenger workings. However, a new open-access operator called Grand Union had proposed using the line for services between London and Bradford via the West Coast Main Line, using Guide Bridge station as a stop. This proposal has since been dropped.
Friends of Reddish South Station have been running a campaign to bring more passenger trains onto this line since 2008. The object of the campaign is to secure a frequent service running between Stockport and Manchester Victoria.
For more R posts visit ABC Wednesday.