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Written by Andy Slater - 14 Jan 2004
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Location notes
Lancashire (or Technically just into Greater Manchester)
Irwell Vale is between Rawtenstall (the northern most point of the ELR) and Ramsbottom (the mid point on the ELR) trains take about 5 minutes to reach there from Rawtenstall (Southbound) or Ramsbottom (Northbound).
Railway type and traffic
The East Lancashire Railway is a Heritage line. Most traffic is confined to Saturday and Sunday although the line does operate a summer timetable which includes running on some weekdays. For timetable and special events details look at the ELR Website.
Irwell Vale is a picturesque village with a Station (or halt to be specific). The enhabitants are used to Railway enthusiasts with cameras and suchlike but should also be treated with respect - it’s a quiet village so no tearing through there at breakneck speed to catch a minus 2 connection!
Road directions
From Irwell Vale Station carpark turn left and left again and follow the road for about ½ a mile - if you drive there are annoying speed bumps. There are large houses to your left and the river to your right. Before the road crosses the river the road widens and you can park there. On the railway / houses side of the river bridge there is a small gate onto a path that follows the river. Follow this for probably ¼ mile or so where the path splits, one going under the railway, one climbing above on above the railway and up onto the disused Accrington line trackbed which is walkable all the way to Strongstry (1 mile from Stubbins). It can be muddy so take care!

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ELR, Irwell Vale South map co-ordinates
See road directions, but if you have time it is only about a 10 minute walk (just consider that if you are photographing a Southbound (To Bury) train you might have to walk swifly back to the station if you plan to film the next Northbound (To Rawtenstall) train – You have about 15-20 minutes when a 50 minute timetable is in operation.
Public transport
Click here to set up your location for directions to this location
There is a tea room in the village open on Summer weekends but I’m not sure where it is (it may well be in the church which hosts the Irwell Vale Photographers’ slideshows). No other shops or amenities so take some supplies with you!
Sun Compass
Sun Compass using Suncalc by brought to you by Vladimir Agafonkin:
It might be necessary to adjust the time to suit your visit, this link should open with the current day.
ELR, Irwell Vale South

Googly map
Streetmap links
ELR, Irwell Vale South general view map
ELR, Irwell Vale South close up map

Windows Local Live Link - image quality may vary
ELR, Irwell Vale South

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Photographic notes
This is a good location for photographing or videoing Southbound (to Bury) trains as at Irwell Vale station they are preparing to stop and therefore not under power. If you cross under the Railway you can climb up onto the hillside and get an impressive long shot of the train in the station - good for video. Northbound (To Rawtenstall) trains are best seen at Irwell Vale Station.
Some good shots are possible from the trackside at the south (Bury) end of the station (see photo of 40135 & 40145 below) - if you’re going to go trackside wear high visibility clothing, keep your wits about you and acknowledge the train.

Accessing trackside is technically trespass and therefore done at your own risk. Neither Trainspots or the author accept responsibility for your actions or the consequences of them.
Links to photographs at this location

The BR Diesel Web
Rail-net - ELR EE Event

General views - All photographs © Andy Slater unless otherwise stated
Fig 1 - Looking north

Fig 1 - Looking north

Fig 2 - Looking north

Fig 2 - Looking north

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