A Northern Class 195 DMU is seen heading towards Manchester on the Cheshire Lines Committee route, taken from the end of Sorby Road in Irlam. This is Manchester Ship Canal Railway Deviation No.5, the original pre-1893 route was on the far side of this alignment. Until 1998 there was a three-span lattice girder bridge at this point, crossing the original route of the River Irwell. When the Ship Canal was built, provision had to be made for the new and old alignments to allow the new route to be fully proven before the old one was removed, and that meant that the River Irwell had to remain on its original course here. To reduce maintenance costs the by-now-completely unnecessary viaduct was replaced by this embankment, reportedly using polystyrene blocks. These historical side-by-side maps make things clearer, showing the two parallel railway alignments, the old course of the River Irwell and the Ship Canal. Note also the River Mersey entering the Ship Canal nearby; the Mersey was also re-aligned here during Ship Canal construction, it used to merge with the Irwell just south of where this photo was taken from.