Widnes railway station

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Widnes National Rail
Widnes railway station
Place Farnworth
Local authority Halton
Coordinates 53°22′43″N 2°44′01″W / 53.37867°N 2.73374°W / 53.37867; -2.73374Coordinates: 53°22′43″N 2°44′01″W / 53.37867°N 2.73374°W / 53.37867; -2.73374
Grid reference SJ512871
Station code WID
Managed by Northern Rail
Number of platforms 2
Live arrivals/departures, station information and onward connections
from National Rail Enquiries
Annual rail passenger usage*
2004/05  0.217 million
2005/06 Increase 0.251 million
2006/07 Increase 0.265 million
2007/08 Increase 0.272 million
2008/09 Increase 0.298 million
2009/10 Increase 0.300 million
2010/11 Increase 0.333 million
2011/12 Increase 0.366 million
2012/13 Increase 0.374 million
2013/14 Increase 0.417 million
Original company Cheshire Lines Committee
Pre-grouping Cheshire Lines Committee
Post-grouping Cheshire Lines Committee
1 August 1873 Opened as Farnworth (Widnes)
5 January 1959 Renamed Widnes North
6 May 1968 Renamed Widnes
National RailUK railway stations
* Annual estimated passenger usage based on sales of tickets in stated financial year(s) which end or originate at Widnes from Office of Rail Regulation statistics. Methodology may vary year on year.
UK Railways portal

Widnes railway station (formerly known as Widnes North) is a railway station in the town of Widnes, in the Halton unitary authority, in the county of Cheshire in North West England. It has been designated by English Heritage as a Grade II listed building.[1] The station is operated by Northern Rail.


The station, opened by the CLC on 1 August 1873, was originally known as Farnworth (Widnes),[2] Farnworth being at the time a village north of Widnes, but is now a northern suburb of the town. The station was renamed Widnes North on 5 January 1959,[2][3] and finally Widnes on 6 May 1968[3] (Widnes Central and Widnes South, on other lines, having closed to passengers in 1964 and 1962 respectively).[4][5]


Widnes Railway Station is one of two stations where Paul Simon reputedly composed the song "Homeward Bound", the other being Ditton railway station. It is uncertain exactly where the song was written: in an interview with Paul Zollo for SongTalk Magazine, Art Garfunkel says that Simon wrote the song in a railway station "around Manchester"[6] while in an earlier interview for Playboy Magazine Simon himself mentioned the train station was at Liverpool.[7] It is likely, however, that it was written at one of the two Widnes stations during a long wait for a train, as Simon was travelling back from Widnes, where he had been playing.[8] A plaque commemorating this claim to fame is displayed on the Liverpool bound platform of Widnes railway station.[9] Simon is quoted as saying "[i]f you'd ever seen Widnes, then you'd know why I was keen to get back to London as quickly as possible."[10]


The railway station is of the standard Cheshire Lines Committee (CLC) style. A footbridge connects the two platforms. The station is staffed, but only until 14:00. There is a car park outside. The station was refurbished in 2009 and as of 2010 houses a station shop and a beauty parlour, though there are still no toilet or waiting facilities for passengers other than the already existent shelter on the Manchester-bound platform. The platforms and footbridge have recently been refurbished. A ticket machine has been installed on the Manchester-bound platform.

The ticket office is staffed on a part-time bases between the hours of (06:00 and 14:00 Mon-Sat).


There are generally two local trains (operated by Northern Rail) per hour in each direction, to Manchester Oxford Road to the east and Liverpool Lime Street to the west. Journey times from Widnes to Manchester on these local trains are around 45–50 minutes, depending on the number of stops. Journey time to Liverpool is around 25–30 minutes, again depending on stops.

An express service also operates hourly in each direction (run by East Midlands Trains), continuing beyond Manchester Piccadilly towards Nottingham and Norwich. The journey time on most of these trains to Manchester is 30 minutes, whilst Liverpool can be reached in 18 minutes.

Widnes is also served by one service to Scarborough on Mondays to Saturdays (run by First Transpennine Express).

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Historic England. "Widnes North Railway Station (1106340)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 24 April 2011. 
  2. ^ a b Butt, R.V.J. (1995). The Directory of Railway Stations. Yeovil: Patrick Stephens Ltd. p. 94. ISBN 1-85260-508-1. R508. 
  3. ^ a b Butt 1995, p. 250
  4. ^ "Disused Stations Site Record: Widnes Central". Retrieved 26 April 2011. 
  5. ^ "Disused Stations Site Record: Widnes South". Retrieved 26 April 2011. 
  6. ^ Zollo, Paul (1990). SongTalk Magazine http://www.artgarfunkel.com/articles/songtalk.html. Retrieved 27 September 2012.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  7. ^ "'Paul Simon immortalised Widnes Station'". Cheshire Magazine (Cheshire, England: C.C. Publishing). Retrieved 27 September 2012. 
  8. ^ Just ask Sunday Mail (Glasgow); 24 December 2006; MARGRET CAMPBELL; p. 38
  9. ^ GADFLY - Paul's fair deal for Scarborough Northern Echo (Darlington); 7 June 2006; MIKE AMOS; p. 11
  10. ^ Backtrack - BACKTRACK BRIEFS . . . Northern Echo (Darlington); 21 November 2008; Mike Amos; p. 11

External links[edit]

Preceding station National Rail National Rail Following station
Hough Green   Northern Rail
Manchester to Liverpool Line
Liverpool South Parkway
or Hunts Cross
  East Midlands Trains
Liverpool - Norwich
  Warrington Central
Liverpool South Parkway   First TransPennine Express
North TransPennine Limited Service
  Warrington Central