Friends of Castleton Station

Football Special 1966

On 22 January 1966 Oldham Athletic were at home to West Ham United in the Third Round of the FA Cup. The

result was a 2-2 draw. West Ham won the replay two days later 2-1.

A special train was run from the London Area on Saturday 22 January. It was worked by an electric locomotive

from London but as the coaches were only steam heated, a steam heat boiler van converted from an old parcels van

was provided. The train ran Stockport where the electric loco was replaced by "Crab" number 42715 and "Black

Five" number 45046. The train continued via Denton and Droylsden to Oldham Werneth where the passengers

alighted. The two steam locomotives then took the stock to Castleton where the whole train, two locomotives,

heating van and coaches was turned to face Rochdale. They ran from Castleton East Junction to North, then

propelled from North to South Junction, finally crossing over from the up main to the down main to reach East

Junction. The train must have spent the afternoon in one of the loops at Rochdale until it was time to go to Werneth

for the returning West Ham supporters. "Crabs" were vey common from 1926 locally as Newton Heath, Rose

Grove, Agecroft, and latterly Bury all had allocations. However in 1965 the few remaining local members of the class

were transferred to Gorton and Birkenhead. This appearance of number 42715 was the last time that a "Crab"

worked locally in ordinary traffic.

A series of four photographs was taken at Castleton East Junction on 22 January 1966.

Photo 1. First we see a shot of the crew and the right hand side of the cab of Ivatt class 2MT number 46506 which was on

duty as Castleton CMD pilot on that day. The names of the driver and fireman are not known. The locomotive was

one of several of the class which came to the local area after the Cambrian Section of the Western Region closed the

previous year. Others included numbers 46523 and 46504, the latter being in BR green livery instead of black. I

think it is safe to say that the ex-Cambrian locomotives seemed to be in better condition than those based locally.

Photo 2. The second shot shows the special train in the middle distance between South and East Junctions. Visibility was so

poor that it is little more than a silhouette in the mist.

Photo 3. Next we have a closer shot of the two locomotives near East Junction signalbox with better detail.

Photo 4. Last is a going away shot of the two locomotives with front corner of the steam heat boiler van just visible.

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