Ellesmere Port to Warrington Line

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Ellesmere Port to Warrington Line
Ellesmere Port branch trains stand at platform 3 and 4 at Helsby.
System National Rail
Status Operational
Locale Cheshire
North West England
Owner Network Rail
Operator(s) Northern Rail
Track gauge 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) standard gauge
Ellesmere Port to Warrington line
0:00 Ellesmere PortMerseyrail
0:02 to Ellesmere Port East Sidings
0:04 Stanlow & Thornton
0:07 Ince & Elton
to Chester to Manchester Line
0:10 Helsby
0:15 FrodshamLimited Service
the Halton Curve to Runcorn
Sutton Tunnel1 mile 125yrd
0:20 Runcorn EastLimited Service
to West Coast Main Line
0:28 Warrington Bank QuayTwo services per day

Timings are from Ellesmere Port

The Ellesmere Port to Warrington Line operates between the towns of Ellesmere Port and Warrington in the north-west of England.

The line previously used to operate from Hooton to Helsby. This service was relatively frequent (every half hour until 1993), operating via Ellesmere Port. It was withdrawn after the line was electrified west of Ellesmere Port. Station signs at Ince and Elton railway station still display signage relating to services to/from Hooton.


The route follows the Birkenhead Joint (LNWR & GWR) Ellesmere Port branch with stations at Stanlow and Thornton and Ince and Elton to the village and junction station at Helsby where it joins the Chester to Manchester Line through to Warrington Bank Quay railway station.


Northern Rail currently, (April 2012), operates a Department for Transport set minimum service[1] of four trains daily in each direction between Ellesmere Port and Helsby, Cheshire.

There are currently 8 passenger services each day (except Sunday):[2]

2F10 05:49 Warrington Bank Quay to Ellesmere Port
2F12 06:33 Helsby to Ellesmere Port
2F14 15:17 Helsby to Ellesmere Port
2F16 15:48 Helsby to Ellesmere Port

2F11 06:19 Ellesmere Port to Helsby
2F13 06:53 Ellesmere Port to Warrington Bank Quay
2F15 15:34 Ellesmere Port to Helsby
2F17 16:04 Ellesmere Port to Warrington Bank Quay

In previous years, services have operated towards Hooton via Ellesmere Port and Liverpool Lime Street via Warrington Bank Quay.


There are 4 stations on the Helsby to Ellesmere Port line, 3 of which are unstaffed.

  • Helsby, Change here for services to Chester, North Wales and Manchester
  • Ince and Elton
  • Stanlow and Thornton
  • Ellesmere Port, Change here for services to Hooton, Birkenhead and Liverpool (staffed)

Facilities at Ince and Elton and Stanlow and Thornton are basic, compromising of little more than covered waiting areas and timetable information. Ellesmere Port has full ticket selling capabilities, including a Ticket Vending Machine and a staffed ticket office, along with real-time information displays and help points. Helsby has real time information displays, but no ticket selling facilities.

Only Ellesmere Port and Ince and Elton are accessible for those in wheelchairs. Stanlow and Thornton and Helsby both have footbridges as their only means of exit.


Quinn Glass is located in Elton, and in 2008 was planning expansion near the Ince & Elton railway station. Network Rail Route Strategy states that Quinn Glass is interested in additional passenger and freight services on this line. It is also thought that planning permission requires Quinn Glass to maximise upon existing public transport links.[3] As of 2012, no rail based enhancements have occurred as a result of any expansion.