Chester to Manchester Line

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Chester-Manchester Line
Locale Greater Manchester
North West England
Owner Network Rail
Track gauge 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) standard gauge
Route map
Caldervale and Oldham
West Coast Main Line
Hope Valley Line
Huddersfield and Glossop
Manchester Mayfield
Manchester Metrolink
Manchester Victoria Manchester Metrolink
Manchester Piccadilly Manchester Metrolink
and Exchange (closed)
Manchester Oxford Road
Manchester Central
Salford Central
(Manchester Metrolink Deansgate-Castlefield)
Liverpool to
Windsor Link
Manchester Lines
Manchester Metrolink
Ordsall Lane
Cross Lane
to Wigan
Eccles Manchester Metrolink
to Bolton
Barton Moss 2nd
Barton Moss 1st
Lamb's Cottage
Flow Moss Cottage
Glazebury & Bury Lane
to Bolton
Kenyon Junction
to Wigan via Hindley
West Coast Main Line
to Glasgow
Parkside Junction
Golborne Jct / Lowton Jct
Newton-le-Willows Junction
Liverpool to
Manchester Lines
Warrington Central
High Level
Warrington Bank Quay
St Helens and
Runcorn Gap Railway
Low Level
Junction reversed
during rationalisation
Runcorn East
Sutton Tunnel
West Coast Main Line
to Liverpool
Weaver Junction
River Weaver
West Coast Main Line
to London
Ellesmere Port to
Warrington Line
To Northwich
Dunham Hill
Mid-Cheshire Line
Mickle Trafford
Chester-Crewe Line
Chester Merseyrail
Wirral Line
Chester Northgate
Chester and
Connah's Quay Railway
North Wales Coast Line

There are two Chester to Manchester Lines between the cities of Chester and Manchester in North West England.


Both routes to Manchester share the Chester to Crewe line for a short distance to Brook Lane Junction where the Manchester lines diverge to Mickle Trafford at which point the southern route of the Cheshire Lines Committee (see the Mid-Cheshire Line) diverges south-easterly to Mouldsworth whilst the considerably older route built by the London and North Western Railway continues to Helsby (junction from Ellesmere Port), Frodsham (nearest station to the junction for the Halton Curve), Runcorn East . Then through the Sutton Tunnel (over a mile long) and northwards alongside the West Coast Main Line into Warrington Bank Quay railway station.

From Warrington the route follows the original Grand Junction Railway route northwards through Winwick Junction to Earlestown where it joins George Stephenson's original Liverpool and Manchester Railway, which was the world's first inter-city railway, having opened in 1830. From here this venerable route is via Newton-le-Willows, Patricroft and Eccles and then either via the earlier route to Manchester Victoria station or, as at present, via Ordsall Lane and Castlefield junctions, joining the Manchester to Preston Line and on to Deansgate, Manchester Oxford Road and Manchester Piccadilly station at platforms 13 & 14.


Arriva Trains Wales operate an hourly service throughout between Manchester and Chester (no trains stop at Patricroft, Eccles or Deansgate, which are served by Liverpool to Manchester Lines) and onwards calling at all stations to Llandudno on the North Wales Coast Line (except Sundays, when trains terminate at Chester).

Class 175 units are primarily used for the services between Manchester and North Wales, although Class 158 units can appear; Class 142 Pacer and Class 156 Sprinter units are used on the infrequent service between Liverpool/Warrington B.Q and Ellesmere Port which share the line between Warrington and Helsby.

It is also used by the Freightliner Group for access to the rail-served maritime freight terminal at Ellesmere Port.

See also[edit]