19 Feb 13  Hot on the heels of the opening of the Metrolink East Manchester Line, testing
and driver training has begun on the latest extension of the Oldham-Rochdale line, between
Shaw and Rochdale. I took a walk along the route, staying as close to the line as I could. Sunny.
North from Beal Lane, Shaw.
North of Shaw a footbridge takes us to Dunwood park.
The line runs alongside the park, on the left here.
A sculpture to commemorate the park's centenery in 2012.
Some budding mountaineers on an artificial cliff.
At the north end of the park.
Which takes us back to the line.
Approaching Newhey with the Church of St. Thomas on the skyline.
Newhey stop with the Pennines in the background.
Between Newhey and Milnrow.
Nearing Rochdale now at the Kingsway Business Park stop.
A few snow patches still linger on the Pennine moors.
The old and the new - crossing the Rochdale Canal.
Approaching Rochdale railway station.
There's a short single track section where it goes over the former road bridge.
Approaching Rochdale Railway Station stop.
The temporary terminus at the Railway Station stop.
Behind is the church of St. John the Baptist.
Meanwhile work continues to take the line through to the town centre.
The future Rochdale stop. The grim looking building on the
left (car park and council offices) is due to be demolished.
But meanwhile the top storey of the car park makes a good viewpoint.
There's another short single track section near the town centre.
The new council offices and library nearing completion.
And the new 'transport interchange' - bus station to you and me.
The bus station will be powered from a small hydro-electric plant driven from the river Roch.
I took the train back to Manchester - this is the view from the railway station platform.
A tram crosses the Network Rail tracks. A curiosity here is that the trains heading for Manchester leave
Rochdale in the opposite direction to the trams. The rail tracks here are heading for Yorkshire.