Guide Bridge railway station

Guide Bridge railway station serves Guide Bridge in Audenshaw, Greater Manchester, England, and is operated by Northern Trains. The station is 4+34 miles (7.6 km) east of Manchester Piccadilly on both the Rose Hill Marple and Glossop Lines.

Guide Bridge
National Rail
Guide Bridge railway station, geograph 3383925 by Nigel Thompson.jpg
Guide Bridge railway station in 2009.
LocationGuide Bridge, Tameside
Grid referenceSJ925975
Managed byNorthern Trains
Other information
Station codeGUI
ClassificationDfT category E
Original companySheffield, Ashton-under-Lyne and Manchester Railway
Pre-groupingGreat Central Railway
Post-groupingLondon and North Eastern Railway
2016/17Increase 0.338 million
2017/18Decrease 0.336 million
 Interchange Increase 7,088
2018/19Increase 0.383 million
 Interchange Increase 13,224
2019/20Increase 0.386 million
 Interchange Decrease 7,699
2020/21Decrease 75,418
 Interchange Decrease 1,533
Passenger statistics from the Office of Rail and Road


Guide Bridge junction in its 1912 context
Guide Bridge station in 1967

It was built by the Sheffield, Ashton-under-Lyne and Manchester Railway on its new line from Ardwick Junction, near to the Manchester and Birmingham Railway's terminus at Store Street, (now Piccadilly) to Sheffield and opened as Ashton and Hooley Hill on 11 November 1841 when the line opened as far as Godley Toll Bar. It was renamed Ashton in February 1842 and became Guide Bridge on 14 July 1845 when the line was extended to Sheffield.

The station originally had a 4 platform configuration with a large office on the southern side. However, the southern (former slow line) platforms were decommissioned and the tracks lifted in 1984–85 as part of layout alterations associated with the changeover from 1500 V DC to 25 kV AC working on the Hadfield line, with demolition of the buildings following a few years later.[1] The area has been covered, with a section forming part of the car park, but some evidence remains of the previous two tracks. The junction at the country end of the station was also remodelled in 2011 to allow Stalybridge line trains to cross the junction at 30 mph (max) rather than 15 mph as previously.

Tickets can be obtained at the ticket office on the former island platform (now platform 1).

With the electrification of the Manchester–Sheffield (via Woodhead) line in the early 1950s, Guide Bridge, already a major centre of railway operations, increased in importance. Express trains called here, as well as EMU trains between Manchester London Road and the north Derbyshire towns of Glossop and Hadfield. There were also Diesel Multiple Unit (DMU) services from Manchester London Road (Piccadilly) to Macclesfield (via Rose Hill Marple - closed in January 1970), Stockport Edgeley to Stalybridge and to Oldham (via the Oldham, Ashton & Guide Bridge Railway, which closed to passengers in 1959). The station was also where Express Trains to and from Manchester Central on the London Marylebone route, changed locomotive. Drawn by a Bo-Bo or Co-Co Electric Locomotive from Sheffield, a steam or in later years diesel Locomotive would take the train the final few miles to Manchester Central and vice versa. The Woodhead Line was busy with goods traffic, especially with coal traffic from South Yorkshire to Lancashire power stations. The station also accepted goods under British Railways "Passenger" freight service and had a licensed buffet.

There was a large marshalling yard about a mile east of Guide Bridge at Dewsnap. There was also a stabling point immediately to the east of Guide Bridge station where engines could be fuelled. Guide Bridge was also where the local Retail Coal Merchants transferred Coal from British Rail Coal wagons, carefully weighed into One Hundredweight sacks for delivery to homes around Ashton, Audenshaw and Denton. Express passenger trains via the Woodhead line ceased operation on 5 January 1970, but Dewsnap sidings and Guide Bridge stabling point were busy until the final closure of the Woodhead Line (east of Hadfield) on 20 July 1981. The Class 76 electric locomotives were a frequent sight here, along with Class 25, Class 40 and numerous others classes of diesels.

The former TransPennine Express operator, Arriva Trains Northern, had plans to establish Guide Bridge as a major interchange station, coupled with hopes that the Woodhead line might re-open. Such aspirations seem to have fallen by the wayside, however, since First TransPennine Express took over the franchise.

The now demolished southern platforms and station building in 1977.

On 22 October 2006, a fire gutted the waiting room, footbridge and ticket office.[2] The fire has subsequently been attributed to arson and caused around £1m of damage to the station,[3] necessitating the demolition of the footbridge. This has not been rebuilt, necessitating a lengthy walk out of the station and along the adjacent main road to change platforms. A new single-storey ticket office has though been provided as part of a £1.7million revamp of the station, along with improved lighting, an extended car park with 140 spaces, CCTV cameras and cycle storage lockers. The new facilities were commissioned in December 2014, with an official opening attended by the Minister of State for Transport Baroness Kramer.[4]

In January 2009, the previously free car parking was abolished, with a daily charge of £3 being introduced. As a result, the once busy car park largely fell quiet. A subsequent review was taken, following complaints from neighbouring residents, with backing of local councillors over the re-distribution of cars once parked on the ample station facility to the surrounding residential streets with charging dismissed soon afterwards.


This station was proposed as being a possible stop of the railway company Grand Central service running between London Euston and Bradford Interchange. However, due to the need to substantially rewrite the 2008 West Coast Main Line timetable, in order to accommodate the additional services, the application was withdrawn in August 2008.

The levels of service on the Trans-Pennine route are likely to decrease in the next few years for the new Northern Hub proposals, with most long distance services diverted to run via their pre-1989 route via Ashton-under-Lyne and Manchester Victoria and the Ordsall Chord to reach Manchester Piccadilly (or onwards to Liverpool Lime Street via Chat Moss). Some trains will though continue to run through Guide Bridge - these will serve the most local stations between Stalybridge and Manchester Piccadilly (calling at Guide Bridge, Gorton and/or Ashburys).


The current service at Guide Bridge consists of a half-hourly Manchester Piccadilly-Hadfield EMU service (increasing to every 20 minutes during weekday peak periods) and a half-hourly (DMU) service between Piccadilly and Rose Hill Marple (see Northern timetables 22 and 24 for details).[5][6] There is a limited service after 19:00 each evening to Rose Hill Marple, whilst the Glossop service drops to hourly after 21:00. Early morning, rush hour and late evening services start or terminate at Glossop.

On Sundays, there is a half-hourly service to Hadfield but no service on the Rose Hill Marple line.

The Stockport-Stalybridge Line DMU service, which had previously been an hourly operation, was almost entirely withdrawn when TransPennine services between Manchester and Leeds were re-routed from Manchester Victoria to serve Manchester Piccadilly in 1989. There was, for a time, a 16:08 Friday only "service" from Stalybridge to Guide Bridge whilst weekend engineering work was taking place in the Stockport area (in 2004).[7] Subsequent to this, the once-weekly parliamentary train on the route operated in the other direction (leaving Stockport at 9:22 and calling at 9:37, on Fridays only).[8] This train was also unusual in that it arrived at Guide Bridge on the Manchester-bound platform before changing tracks after departure. Since the start of the summer 2018 timetable on 20 May, the service on this route has operated on Saturdays instead of Fridays and now has a return working, with one train to Stockport at 08.51 and a return to Stalybridge just over an hour later at 10:01.[9][10] From the start of December 2019 timetable, it now departs Guide Bridge at 10:13 for Stockport and arrives back at 10:58 - it allows only 10 minutes in Stockport.

A limited number of peak hour only Northern service are routed through Guide Bridge between Manchester Piccadilly-Marsden/Huddersfield and call at the station following the May 2018 timetable.[dubious ]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "SJ9297 : Guide Bridge station - former main building". Retrieved 2 June 2014.
  2. ^ "Railway station damaged in blaze". BBC News. 22 October 2006. Retrieved 24 October 2006.
  3. ^ "Reward to catch station arsonists". BBC News. 21 November 2006. Retrieved 21 November 2006.
  4. ^ Cox, Charlotte (19 December 2014). "Guide Bridge train station's new look is unveiled after £1.7m revamp". Manchester Evening News. Retrieved 27 February 2016.
  5. ^ "Northern Rail Timetable 22, Manchester to New Mills Central/Rose Hill, December 2015 - May 2016" (PDF). Northern Rail. Archived from the original (PDF) on 7 March 2016. Retrieved 27 February 2016.
  6. ^ "Northern Rail Timetable 24, Manchester to Hadfield & Glossop, December 2015 - May 2016" (PDF). Northern Rail. Archived from the original (PDF) on 7 March 2016. Retrieved 27 February 2016.
  7. ^ "Ghost Train In Reverse Gear". Manchester Evening News. 28 May 2004. Retrieved 8 August 2008.
  8. ^ Table 78A National Rail timetable, May 2016
  9. ^ "2J44 0846 Stalybridge to Stockport, 26 May 2018". Realtime Trains. Archived from the original on 7 May 2018. Retrieved 7 May 2018.
  10. ^ "2J45 0945 Stockport to Stalybridge, 26 May 2018". Realtime Trains. Archived from the original on 7 May 2018. Retrieved 7 May 2018.
  • Radford, B. (1988). Midland Though The Peak. Unicorn Books.

External linksEdit

Preceding station     National Rail   Following station
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Northern Trains
Saturdays only

Coordinates: 07°54′40″N 02°54′10″W / 7.91111°N 2.90278°W / 7.91111; -2.90278