Warrington Bank Quay railway station

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Warrington Bank Quay National Rail
Platform 2, Warrington Bank Quay railway station (geograph 4019990).jpg
Warrington Bank Quay Station in 2014
Place Warrington
Local authority Borough of Warrington
Grid reference SJ599878
Station code WBQ
Managed by Virgin Trains
Number of platforms 4
DfT category B
Live arrivals/departures, station information and onward connections
from National Rail Enquiries
Annual rail passenger usage*
2004/05  1.055 million
2005/06 Increase 1.262 million
2006/07 Decrease 0.830 million
2007/08 Decrease 1.043 million
2008/09 Increase 1.121 million
2009/10 Decrease 1.074 million
2010/11 Decrease 0.879 million
2011/12 Increase 0.895 million
2012/13 Increase 0.923 million
2013/14 Increase 1.011 million
Key dates Opened 1868 (1868)
Original company London & North Western Railway
National RailUK railway stations
* Annual estimated passenger usage based on sales of tickets in stated financial year(s) which end or originate at Warrington Bank Quay from Office of Rail and Road statistics. Methodology may vary year on year.
UK Railways portal

Warrington Bank Quay railway station is one of two railway stations serving the town of Warrington in Cheshire, England. Warrington Bank Quay is a mainline station on one side of the main shopping area, with Warrington Central on the other side operating a more frequent service to the neighbouring cities of Liverpool and Manchester. A bus shuttle service operates every 20 minutes Monday to Friday daytime between the two, also linking the offices of the North West Development Agency on the Centre Park business park. Nevertheless Bank Quay suffers from a lack of bus links to other parts of Warrington. It does, however, have a large car park and a taxi rank. In 2009 the station was identified as one of the ten worst category B interchange stations for mystery shopper assessment of fabric and environment, and is set to receive a share of £50m funding for improvements.[1]


The station consists of two island platforms. The easternmost one has 19th century buildings, but the western platform has buildings dating from the 1950s. Passengers enter the station at street level through a functional modern entrance containing an information office and ticket office, and proceed through a subway, reaching the elevated platforms by stairs or a lift. There is a buffet on the eastern platform.

Platform 1 is used for arrivals from, and departures to, Liverpool (these trains terminate at the platform), and occasionally for North Wales services. Platform 2 is generally used for North Wales services, and for southbound intercity services to Birmingham New Street and London Euston. Platform 3 is used for northbound intercity services to Edinburgh and Glasgow Central, and platform 4 for services from North Wales to Manchester. The platforms are not bi-directional, except that the up slow line is bi-directional between the station and Winwick Junction, some 2.5 miles (4.0 km) to the north, and this allows northbound (down) departures from platform 1, using the reversible up slow as far as Winwick. The present platform 4 was numbered 5 for many years, because there used to be a north-facing bay platform in the west island which was numbered 4, but this saw no passenger use after electrification in 1972 and was removed later.

The station's best known landmark is the huge Unilever detergent manufacturing plant which stands overlooking the site.

The station suffered from years of neglect and, because of this, Virgin Trains announced improvements to the station. In 2009, an extension to the existing car park and a new taxi rank were built, along with improvements to the platforms and a new ticket office and travel centre.[2][3] The new entrance hall is now complete, with ticket office and newsagent. The buffet on the London bound platforms has been modernised, however a first class lounge is yet to materialise.

Low Level[edit]

Until 1965 additional platforms 6 and 7 (53°23′09″N 2°36′08″W / 53.3857°N 2.6023°W / 53.3857; -2.6023 (Bank Quay Low Level railway station)) were situated on what had been the St Helens Railway lines which pass beneath the WCML here (although upon the opening of the eastern extension towards Arpley in 1854, they had crossed the main line on the level - the WCML was elevated when the current station was opened in 1868). Although not the official name, this part of the station was referred to as Bank Quay Low Level. The line here remains, albeit for freight use only.[4]


The station lies on the West Coast Main Line, operated by Virgin Trains, with regular services to London, Birmingham, and Scotland. A regular regional express service operates between Manchester, Chester and North Wales operated by Arriva Trains Wales. There are also local services to Liverpool operated by Northern Rail and one early morning service per day to Ellesmere Port via Helsby.

A Virgin Pendolino, at platform 2, waiting to head south

Normal weekday service consists of:

London Euston only.
Crewe, Wolverhampton, Sandwell and Dudley, Birmingham New Street, Birmingham International, Coventry, Milton Keynes Central and London Euston.
A Virgin Voyager, at platform 3, with a service to Scotland
Wigan North Western, Preston, Lancaster, Oxenholme Lake District, Penrith, Carlisle and Glasgow Central.
Additional peak services operate between Birmingham New Street-Glasgow Central/Edinburgh/Preston/Carlisle/Lancaster.
  • Two-hourly to Edinburgh Waverley, operated by either a Virgin Pendolino or a Virgin Voyager, calling at:
Wigan North Western, Preston, Lancaster, Oxenholme Lake District, Penrith, Carlisle, Haymarket and Edinburgh Waverley.
  • Two-hourly to Glasgow Central, operated by either a Virgin Pendolino or a Virgin Voyager, calling at:
Wigan North Western, Preston, Lancaster, Oxenholme Lake District, Penrith, Carlisle and Glasgow Central.
An Arriva Trains Wales Class 175, at platform 3, with the service to Manchester Piccadilly
Earlestown, Newton-le-Willows, Manchester Oxford Road and Manchester Piccadilly.
  • Hourly to Llandudno, operated by Arriva Trains Wales, calling at:
Runcorn East, Frodsham, Helsby, Chester, Shotton, Flint, Prestatyn, Rhyl, Abergele and Pensarn, Colwyn Bay, Llandudno Junction, Deganwy and Llandudno.
Earlestown, St Helens Junction, Lea Green, Rainhill, Whiston, Huyton, Roby, Broad Green, Wavertree Tech Park, Edge Hill and Liverpool Lime Street.
  • Hourly operated by Northern Rail terminates here from Liverpool Lime Street.

There is also a limited service:

  • Once daily to Ellesmere Port operated by Northern Rail calling at:
Helsby, Ince & Elton, Stanlow & Thornton and Ellesmere Port.


Kissing ban[edit]

The station received media coverage in February 2009 due to a sign recently erected prohibiting kissing from its drop-off point. The reason stated is to avoid queues as the station becomes busier. Colin Daniels, chief executive of the Warrington Chamber of Commerce originally suggested the idea light-heartedly, but Virgin Trains have included it as part of their regeneration of the station.[5] The signs were removed three weeks later and sold to raise money for Comic Relief[6] with Virgin spokesman Ken Gibbs admitting that the idea was just a bit of fun.[7]


  1. ^ "£50m revamp for 'worst stations'". BBC News. 2009-11-17. Retrieved 2009-11-17. 
  2. ^ "Warrington Guardian article". Warrington Guardian. 2006. Retrieved 2008-03-01. 
  3. ^ "Improvements arriving soon at Warrington Bank Quay station". Virgin Trains. 2007. Retrieved 2008-03-29. 
  4. ^ "Warrington Bank Quay(Low Level)". Disused Stations. 2006. Retrieved 2009-01-02. 
  5. ^ Stokes, Paul (2009-02-16). "Kissing banned at railway station". The Daily Telegraph (London). Retrieved 2010-05-27. 
  6. ^ "Comic Relief: Warrington station kissing ban takes a Comic turn". Liverpool Daily Post. 2009-03-10. Retrieved 2012-04-18. 
  7. ^ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iFIaedny3Vs

External links[edit]

Preceding station National Rail National Rail Following station
Runcorn East   Arriva Trains Wales
Chester to Manchester Line
Runcorn East   Northern Rail
Ellesmere Port to Warrington Line
Mondays-Saturdays only
Earlestown   Northern Rail
Liverpool to Manchester Line
Wigan North Western   Virgin Trains
London-Scotland/North West
  London Euston
or Crewe
Wigan North Western   Virgin Trains
  Crewe or
Nuneaton or
London Euston
Historical railways
Daresbury   Birkenhead Joint Railway   Terminus
Disused railways
Cuerdley   St Helens Railway   Warrington Arpley

Coordinates: 53°23′10″N 2°36′11″W / 53.386°N 2.603°W / 53.386; -2.603