Volume 1 Electric Trains to Manchester
In 1990, Altrincham celebrated 700 years of its Royal Charter. The achievements and developments of this Cheshire town were marked by both events and publications that recorded its rise to importance in the South Manchester conurbation. That growth was largely due to the coming of the railway to the town in 1849 under the control of the Manchester South Junction & Altrincham Railway Company. This programme, with archive film and historical material follows that development and, in particular, features the 1,500 volts DC pioneering electric railway system introduced in 1931. The memories of those who remember the unique features of the ‘old leccies’ are aired, together with tales of their introduction and demise.
Engineers and enthusiasts alike recount both the first day of electric train working in May 1931, and the dramatic scenes at Altrincham some 40 years later when, as the oldest stock of its type then in use on BR tracks rattled away into the night adorned with commemorative headboard and wreath In l 971 the line was re-electrified to complement the national network at 25KV, and in the late 1980s is changed yet again with the introduction of the Metrolink Light Rapid Transit system. Once again, pioneering electric trains to Manchester.
‘This video is well produced and must be regarded as a standard work on the line for the period covered.’ (K&WVR Magazine) ‘A very well produced video – superb aerial sequences.’ (Railway Magazine)
Volume 2 Electric Trains to Manchester
This second volume features the changeover to Metrolink services on the Bury and Altrincham lines. Prior to that changeover, sequences record the last days of the 504 units out of Bury and 304 units into Altrincham. Dramatic ‘last night’ scenes capture the end of an era. The programme follows the countdown to the commencement of Metrolink services, featuring the biggest upheaval in any UK city’s transport system for decades. Also included is archive film of the 506 units which ran from Manchester to Glossop and Hadfield and that ended their days in December 1984. Additional rare archive film looks back at the old MSJ and AR between the 1930s and 1971, including a 1969 cab ride!
News footage covers the planning and implementation of Metrolink’s Phase 1, including many of the changes, the arrival of the first unit (1001), street testing, ‘first day’ services in the city centre and out to Altrincham, and the official opening ceremony of the network by Her Majesty the Queen. Supporting interviews with Metrolink and PTE staff together with specially filmed sequences make this programme an ideal companion to Volume l and a concise record of Manchester’s pioneering electric railway’s past, present and future.
‘A wealth of detail and statistics that demand repeat viewing.’ (Rail)