It is hard to believe but the photograph above shows the extent of Diggle railway station before it was axed in 1968 under Dr Beeching’s devasting plan for modernising the country’s railway network.

In addition, there is an indication of how small Diggle used to be. In the background, the fields below Harrop Edge are obviously used for farming. Today there are houses along Devon Close and Dorset Avenue.  Note also the chimney at Wharf mill.  The bridge crossing the railway is still in use today and a car has just turned round the corner at the top of Sam Road.  The fields to the right of the car are now occupied by houses on Clydesdale Rise.  Just to the right of the steam train is an expanse of water, which is the canal lagoon used for turning barges around.

The railway line was opened in 1849 and was known as the Huddersfield and Manchester Railway. Looking back from the bridge towards where the photograph above was taken there are two single bore tunnels.  They closed at the same time as Diggle station, but they were the original tunnels running alongside the canal tunnel.  In 1880 a double bore tunnel was excavated and this is the tunnel used for today’s Pennine express trains.

The nearest railway stations to Diggle going west towards Manchester is Greenfield going east towards Yorkshire is Marsden.   The Trans-Pennine trains rush through Diggle every fifteen minutes en route to far away places like Middlesbrough and Liverpool.  There is an ongoing campaign to re-open Diggle station and improve the local service between Manchester and Huddersfield.