Tuesday, 11 October 2011

THE SALT SIDING 1970

Two diesel locos, looking every bit as old-fashioned as the steam engines they had recently replaced, haul a goods train past some almost derelict looking sidings near the old ICI works. The track immediately to the left of the train is the 'salt siding' which was built in 1918 and ran in the direction of Sandbach from Middlewich Station to serve Seddon's salt works in Brooks Lane, the ICI soda ash works and Cerebos Salt (the former Middlewich Salt Company). This kept the numerous freight workings clear of the main running line.
The salt siding disappeared in 1980 and replacing it would be a problem, as new signals have been placed on the trackbed on the approach to Middlewich.
British Salt is now the only company on the Middlewich Branch served by rail (although the stub of a siding which once led to Murgatroyd's chemical works (later B.P Chemicals,  Hays Chemicals and then Brenntag) is still in place at the Sandbach end of the line.
On the left can be seen the end of a train parked on one of the sidings, with that once familiar sight on the railways, a guard's van, coupled to it. Improvements in train brakes mean that these vans are mostly no longer necessary, though they are used on nuclear flask workings and  other special trains.

SEE ALSO: THE SALT SIDING (2)

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