After its completion in 1910 the Rochdale to Bacup tram service, a distance of six and three-quarter miles, became one of the busiest among the ten routes operated by Rochdale Corporation Tramways, and a special feature of the route was that for six miles the run out from Rochdale was a continuous climb. The roadway in Rochdale Town Centre is 390 feet above sea level and at the boundary, at Healey, it has risen to 686 feet.
The rise through Whitworth, although not very noticeable, is maintained and becomes more pronounced when one reaches Facit, from whence there is a continual rise to Shawforth and the highest point on the road near its junction with the New Line. This is shown on the Ordnance survey as being outside the house No. 300, Rochdale Road, Bacup, as being 981 feet above sea level, a rise of almost 600 from Rochdale Town Centre.
Situated as they are, almost hemmed in by open Pennine moors, the villages along the route usually have to cope with traffic difficulties as a major problem during severe winter weather, and the scene depicted was once a fairly familiar one.
It seems somehow rather significant that Rochdale’s tramway system came to an end in 1932 – on the 11th November.