Are you sure about that Tony? Oldham (Werneth) was at the top of the 1:37 and Chadderton was at the bottom
To be honest, Howard, no, I'm not sure. Coal to this area seems to have come from the west of the country as well as the east. We know plenty of coal came round the loop from the Rochdale direction with wagons being dropped off at various locations such as Milnrow, Shaw, Royton Jct and Oldham (various sites). Some may even have travelled further afield through Clegg Street and down the OA&GB. There is evidence that, certainly in the 60's, loaded coal trains were taken up the gradient through Hollinwood to Werneth. Presumably this coal must have come from the Lancashire coalfield. With this alternative route it wouldn't have made sense for trains to use the Werneth Incline unless they were travelling to Chadderton.
The movement of goods in this area would make a fascinating study in itself but for the time being suffice it to say we still need more minerals for Slattocks!!