Narrowboat Tacet

Silent Movement - Our gap year travelling the inland waterways

Saturday, 23 July 2011

Trains and tunnels by the Tame

The view from my window this morning, overlooking the River Tame with the railway viaduct and chimney in the distance.
Then there was a flurry of activity along the towpath, well, 1 man with camera and some dog walkers with news of a steam train approaching. And here it is...
I'm afraid I can't give you any details about the locomotive but it certainly adds something to the picture! (Think it may possibly have been the Cotton Mill Express)

And there it is again over the canal just in front of us.
As we pulled away there came along a 'train' of geese. Goose families often travel in a line formation, but I think this must have been several families!
Looking out at Portland Basin Wharf buildings where you turn left to
Manchester on the Ashton Canal, past the big chimney or right to
Huddersfield, on the Huddersfied Narrow Canal through the Asda tunnel.

The Huddersfield Narrow is the shortest route across the Pennines at just under 20 miles long but with 74 locks and a 3 mile tunnel at the highest point. So it is a steep climb up and back down. At Lock no.2, the men from BW were there waiting to put the stop planks in at the top of the lock to repair a broken paddle gear. They let us through first then we came back to take a look at what they were doing.
First you put the stop planks in above the lock then open the paddles at both ends of the lock to drain the lock and the space between the top of the lock and the stop planks. This lowers the level of the water to enable access to the ground paddle gear.
The planks were quite leaky!
Now you can see a bolt is missing at the top of the paddle.
So on go the waders and in goes the man with a bolt and in a few minutes he'd fixed it!  Well done.
In Stalybridge town centre the re-opening of the canal 10 years ago has meant a lot of regeneration work has gone on in the town. A local resident told me 'Best thing to happen to the town, this canal is.' Which is nice to hear. I love the view looking out from the town centre to the hills.
A metal lock gate sculpture at the lock side.
Beyond Stalybridge the canal passes through wooded area and steep hills, with the River Tame running close by, it is very pretty. There is evidence of old industry close to the canal, mostly coal mining.  At Terrace Lock you can see a sharp bend ahead entering into Scout tunnel.
The tunnel is cut out from rock for about halfway and then it is part lined with brick and stone.
We moored at Roaches Lock where there is a pub which served a very good meal. Another lovely day.
6 miles, 14 locks, 1 tunnel

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