Here's a marvellously evocative photograph of a steam train entering the Middlewich loop on the 3rd July 1964. Railway enthusiasts will not need to be told that the engine is a Fowler 4F. This one is number 44079 and it's hauling a coal train from Silverdale colliery to Northwich. The area behind the signal and to the right of the train is the proposed site for the new Middlewich Station. Although the old station has gone and the old semaphore signals have been replaced by modern colour lights, the Middlewich loop, which enables two trains to pass on the otherwise single line between Sandbach and Northwich, is still very much in business.
On the skyline can be see the ghostly skeleton of part of ICI's alkali works in Brooks Lane. This closed in 1962 and was slowly dismantled over the next few years (some of the buildings survived to be used by Pochins when they took over most of the site in the late 60s/early 1970s) .
This photo is also featured in 'Railways Across Mid-Cheshire' by Alan Wilkinson (Foxline Publications Ltd) ISBN 1 870119 66 5