main line between Manchester and Sheffield at Fairfield. The reason for the line was to give the MLSR access to Manchester Central Station.
|Notes: Originally called Levenshulme the station was opened by the Manchester, Sheffield & Lincolnshire Railway (MSLR) on the 2nd May 1892. The station was situated on the MSLR’ Fallowfield Loop line, a 7 mile double track route that linked the Midland Railway’s Manchester South District Line from a point just to the south of Chorlton-cum-Hardy to the MSL
The line opened in two stages the first section opening from Chorlton to Fallowfield in September 1891. The station was located on the eastern side of a road overbridge which carried the Stockport Road. Levenshulme Station was provided with a handsome red brick building, in a mock Tudor style that straddled the line at street level which had all of the usual facilities. Access to the stations two platforms which were originally provided with canopies was through the building which linked down to track level by covered steps.
Initially there were no goods facilities at Levenshulme although there was a signalbox at the east end of the westbound platform. By 1900 a goods yard had opened on the north side of the line at a higher level and on the east side of Broom Avenue, the line is at a cutting at this pont. The goods yard comprised five sidings and a large brick built goods shed. One of the sidings passed through the goods shed, another passed in front of it where there was a loading bank and an awning over the line. There was also a 5 ton crane.
The line followed and indirect route around the southern suburbs of Manchester and had difficulty competing for local commuter traffic. Passengers in the Grorton area found it quicker to use Bell Vue or Gorton & Openshaw rather than Hyde Road and passengers from Levenshulme saved time by using the LNWR station.
except Alexandra Park they were able to provide a more direct and quicker service into central Manchester which further depleted passenger numbers on the loop line.
||In 1897 the MSLR became the Great Central Railway (GCR). By this time Levenshulme was served by a local stopping service that ran between Manchester Central and Guide Bridge. In 1903 there were twenty one weekday trains in each direction and seven on a Sunday. When electric trams arrived in the early 20th century serving all intermediate stations
A steady stream of express services passed through the station. a few of them stopping at Fallowfield which was the most important station on the line.
In 1923 the line became part of the LNER. By the 1930s the LNER had reduced the local stopping service that served Levenshulme to seven trains in each direction on a weekday with no services at all on Sundays. The line itself continued to be very busy with express services which included the Liverpool Central to Harwich Parkston Quay Boat Train.
While the local passenger service on the Fallowfield loop line was in decline, goods traffic remained healthy with regular goods trains in both directions
Levenshulme Station and the Fallowfield Loop Line became part of the nationalised British Railways network in 1948 and the goods station was renamed Levenshulme South on 1st July 1950 followed by the passenger station on 15th September 1952.
This was to distinguish it from
only a short section of the line between Fairfield and Reddish, were a new Motive Power Depot was opened, was electrified and the wires never came close to Levenshulme South.
|the former LNWR station which was a short distance away and had the same name. In 1954 consideration was given to electrifying the line. At this time the former MSL Main line (The Woodhead Route) between Manchester and Sheffield had been electrified and it seemed sensible to continue the electrification through to Manchester Central. As things turned out
to a coal depot only. Regular passenger express services continued to use the line through Levenshulme South until the closure of Manchester Central in1969. By this date there was just one DMU a day from Liverpool to Guide Bridge and back. After that date it was only goods services passed through. The line to the east of Reddish Depot was singled in the 1970s and the last goods services used it in October 1988.
||By 1958 local stopping services which still ran between Manchester Central and Guide Bridge were down to three or four on week days only. On the 7th July 1958 the service was withdrawn and Levenshulme South Station closed to passenger services. Freight traffic continued to be handled until 19th June 1965 when the station was downgraded
The stations street level buildings still survive today but the cutting in which the platforms stood has been partly infilled.In 2001 the route of the Fallowfield Loop line was converted into a cycleway. In 2018 was in the processed of refurbishment as a cycle cafe. The new facility will include bike repair and bike hire.
Further reading: The Fallowfield Line, EM Johnson 2000 Foxline Publishing .ISBN187011969X
Other web sites: Closed South Manchester Railways, The Hyde & Peak Railtour & Levenshulme then and now. Tickets from Michael Stewart
Click here to see other stations on the Fallowfield Loop Line:
Chorlton-cum-Hardy, Wilbraham Road, Fallowfield,
Hyde Road & Fairfield. See also Debdale Park and Reddish Motive Power Depot