Author Topic: East Lancs Railway ride 20-11-11.  (Read 968 times)

East Lancs Railway ride 20-11-11.
« on: October 09, 2011, 05:12:48 pm »
I've posted this as a ride for my local bike group but I think it might have some appeal as a forum ride:-

"Anyone up for a ride that involves bikes, chocolate, beer and steam
trains ?
The plan is to ride to Rawtenstall using, where possible, off-road
routes (canal and river banks, NCN 6) but no "rough stuff". There will
be some, potentially busy, A roads as well.

Start Chorlton, head to Ramsbottom for lunch in the Chocolate Cafe
(there are alternatives if the Choco Cafe can't accommodate all of us)
then on to Rawtenstall.
Return will be on the East Lancashire Railway to Bury on a train,
probably steam, with the bikes in the guard's van.
There is the chance to drink beer at the ELR Bury station.
From Bury we'll ride back to Manchester using part of the outward
route (gradual climb on the A56 to Prestwich).

The route, while off-road is quite smooth. There are some long,
gradual climbs and two short and steep ones. The hardest climb is from
Irwell Vale up to Rossendale Golf Club, about 3 miles from
Rawtenstall. There is a glorious descent into Ramsbottom (just before

We'll see the Irwell a lot. Most of the climbs are up the sides of its

Please let me know if you are interested. We might be limited in
numbers since ELR say that 12 bikes is the maximum that they can carry
safely. I think that it's a few more, depending on how we arrange
the bikes, and there is also the possibility to have part of the group
return on a later train (rendezvous at the bar in Bury ?).

The adult, one-way fare from Rawtenstall to Bury is, currently, £6.50.
The guard on the train that I took also said that there was a discount
fare for groups of 10.

If you're interested, please let me know asap since numbers might be

Bail out points are Ramsbottom and Irwell Vale but you're on your own
to get back to Manchester, especially if you have a major mechanical.
Actually, this applies to the whole ride since we shall be riding to a
(train) timetable so we'll need to keep moving.
You will need to be self-sufficient.
Please note that you can't get you and your bike back from Bury to
Manchester on public transport unless you sneak it onto a tram or
sweet talk a bus driver. Neither option is likely.

ELR info here:-


The total cycling distance is about 40 miles.
The ride starts in Chorlton (Cum* Hardy) but I can arrange to swing by either of Manchester's stations to collect out of towners since we'll be riding into town anyway.
I'm anticipating a 10.00 start from Chorlton and I expect to get the 15.40 ELR train from Rawtenstall. It gets into Bury at 16.15 and from there it's less than an hour by bike back to MCR stations.
If we overwhelm the bike space, I'll ask ELR to put on an extra guards van (I can ask  ;) ), we can split the return over two trains or I can run a forum only ride next year  :thumbsup:.

Please let me know if you're interested or have any questions.

Have a look here for my reccy ride comments:- and here:- for some railway piccies.

* Leave it Roger  :hand:

Re: East Lancs Railway ride 20-11-11.
« Reply #1 on: October 11, 2011, 10:55:23 am »
Andrew, this looks like a great idea.  I'm in Rochdale, so the ELR is well known to me, as are its guest beers at Bolton Street.  I'm not sure yet how much of the route I'd do - more likely to join you somewhere like Bolton Street.  I'll keep my eye on the thread but put me down as possible!

Re: East Lancs Railway ride 20-11-11.
« Reply #2 on: October 11, 2011, 12:10:27 pm »
It would be great if you could join us Peter but the outward route doesn't take us into Bury.
Once we leave Chorlton we'll be heading into Salford (I might do a "scenic" loop around the Quays and up the Ship Canal) and then through Lower Kersal to Prestwich Forest Park on NCN6.
At Prestwich we'll climb out of the Irwell Valley to the A56*, over the M60 and then down to Radcliffe to pick up NCN6 again along the Manchester-Bolton canal which we'll follow to Elton and Bolton Road. From there we'll leave NCN6 to head west of Bury town centre then up towards Tottington, Greenmount and Holcombe Brook.
From what I can see the best place to meet us would be on Bolton Road round about here:-  (I've thoughtfully found a cafe for you  ;) ).

I'm not sure of timings yet. There are 15 confirmed so far from Chorlton including some of the slow group (no need for inverted commas, they really are slow) and, currently, there are 5 "maybes". I'm planning to ride the route slowly so that I get a better idea of when we'll get to places.
If there are 20 of us, we'll have to find 2 places for lunch (easy enough in Ramsbottom) and we might have to get 2 trains back from Rawtenstall.

* I'd like to stay down on NCN6 but the surface north of the M60 is dreadful, even after a prolonged dry spell. Pity.

Re: East Lancs Railway ride 20-11-11.
« Reply #3 on: October 11, 2011, 02:32:08 pm »
Ok, Andrew.  My arrangements are up in the air at the moment: I know I'm out on the Saturday night but would still hope to be able to "intersect" with you all somewhere on the Sunday.  I'll get my maps out and bear in mind what you say about the route.  I probably wouldn't come back on the train but would ride down to Bolton Street from Rawtenstall in time for a pint with you all.