Manchester–Southport line

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Manchester–Southport line
Appley Bridge railway station (geograph 4531272).jpg
A Northern Class 150 at Appley Bridge railway station
System National Rail
Status Operational

Greater Manchester

North West England
Opened 1855/1888
Owner Network Rail
Operator(s) Northern Rail
Line length 35.75 miles
Track gauge 1,435 mm
(4 ft 8 12 in)
standard gauge
Route map
  Merseyrail Northern Line
St Luke's
  to Preston
Meols Cop
Butts Lane Haltclosed 1938
  to Altcar
Bescar Lane
New Lane
Burscough Bridge
  Burscough Curves
Burscough Jct  Preston–Ormskirk
Appley Bridge
  Manchester–Kirkby line
  West Coast Main Line
Wigan North Western
Wigan Wallgate
Crossovers between
WCML and Wallgate lines
  Liverpool–Wigan line
  West Coast Main Line
  to Bolton via Westhoughton
  to Blackrod
Daisy Hill
Hag Fold
Irlams o' th' Height
  to Bolton
Salford Crescent
  to Liverpool
Oldfield Road
Salford Central
Deansgate (Manchester Metrolink Deansgate-Castlefield)
Manchester Oxford Road
Manchester Piccadilly Manchester Metrolink
Manchester Victoria Manchester Metrolink
    & Manchester Exchange(closed)
  Calder Valley & Huddersfield
  WCML, Hope Valley & Glossop

The Manchester–Southport line is a railway line in the north-west of England, operated by Northern. It was originally built as the Manchester and Southport Railway.

Starting at the city centre stations of Manchester Victoria (also serving Salford Central on the fringe of the city centre) and Manchester Piccadilly (also serving Manchester Oxford Road and Deansgate), it runs in a north-westerly direction through the suburbs and centres of Salford and Wigan. It then proceeds in the same direction through the small rural villages of West Lancashire, before ending on the Irish Sea coast at the resort town of Southport.

Services on the line use Class 142, Class 150 and Class 156 DMUs. Class 153 DMUs are banned from operating on this route because the steps below the doors on these units foul the platform coping stones at Wigan Wallgate station.


There is ongoing feasibility into the conversion of parts of this line (Wigan–Atherton–Manchester) to operate as a Manchester Metrolink service[1] with a higher frequency metro service for the Greater Manchester Boroughs of Wigan and Salford into the city centre. In November 2013, the Greater Manchester Combined Authority approved a recommended strategy for reconfiguring existing commuter services into tram-train operation, identifying the Atherton line as providing an opportunity for extending potential tram-train services from the south-east (Marple, Glossop) across the city centre and outwards to the north west.[2] Southport and Kirkby services on this line would be diverted to operate via Bolton. Additionally, Network Rail has identified electrification of Wigan to Southport, together with the Ormskirk–Preston line and the Burscough Curves as a possible source of new services.[3]


  1. ^
  2. ^ "Network RUS Electrification" (PDF). October 2009. Archived from the original (PDF) on 12 October 2014. Retrieved 20 October 2013. 

External links[edit]

Manchester Metrolink extension & conversion proposals