A journey across rural and industrial north west England in part using one of Britain's first ever railways
Operater Arriva Trains Wales
Journey time approx 1 hour
We are taking the Manchester to Chester line through Warrington Bank Quay. From Manchester as far as Earlstown we will be using one of Britain's first ever railways the Manchester to Liverpool Railway.
There is a train once an hour in each direction on this route between Manchester and Chester throughout the day
Click here to download the current Cardiff Central Shrewsbury Birmingham Telford London Euston Crewe Manchester Warrington to Chester Flint Prestatyn Rhyl Abergele Colwyn bay Llandudno Junction Llandudno Bangor and Holyhead train timetable in pdf format
Please note download was correct on the date shown on timetable if in doubt visit
Spending any time in Manchester
why not visit
View of the main Dead end part of Manchester Piccadilly as we make our way onto the footbridge that will take us onto platform 13 and 14 Piccadilly's 2 through platforms
Boarded at Manchester Piccadilly
Awaiting departure on platform 14 Manchester Piccadilly's westbound through platform. This train starts at Manchester and Bangor in North Wales is its final destination
as far as Deansgate we follow the same route as my
train ride from Manchester to Liverpool via Warrington and Widnes
To see this train parked outside Manchester Piccadilly waiting to start this service see my
train ride from Sheffield to Manchester stopping style
and to see where it goes beyond Chester see my
train ride from Chester to Holyhead
Pulling away from Manchester Piccadilly
As we leave Piccadilly we cross London Road the A6
We are now running along a high double track railway embankment through Manchester city centre that will take us to Manchester Oxford Road Station
As we travel along this line you soon realise how unique it feels
We are right up against the buildings looking through the windows
Although it is only a short distance from Manchester Piccadilly and Manchester Oxford Road this really is a unique section of track and well worth a journey in its own right. It is also very heavily used with a train every few minutes in each direction
We then cross Oxford Road
This bridge is passed under in my
bus ride from Macclesfield to Manchester
Arrived at Oxford Road station. When we leave here our next stop will be Newton Le Willows
Between Oxford Road and Deansgate we are still on that high embankment. In this shot we can see the Beetham Tower also known as the Hilton Tower. At 551 feet high this is the 9th tallest building in the UK and the tallest outside London. It is used as part office part hotel and part residential. The skyscraper is visible from ten English counties on a clear day. The top floor penthouse offers views of Greater Manchester, the Cheshire Plain, Pennines, Peak District and Snowdonia
We then pass the Gmex centre. This was the former Manchester Central station built by the Chesire lines committee. It was also the Manchester Terminus for the Midland Mainline from London St Pancras. In 1968 the line theough Bakewell and Millers Dale was shut so trains from St Pancras no longer ran to Manchester Central it then just took some trains from Chester and Chesire the station was then closed in 1969. It was opened as the Gmex exhibition centre in 1986
To see more on the now dissused Midland Mainline through Bakewell and Millers Dale see my
Walk from Millers Dale to Bakewell
We then pass through Deansgate Station
We then cross Deansgate. The foot of the Beetham Tower can be seen in this shot. So can a Manchester tram using what used to be the line out of Manchester Central
A Manchester tram Metro Link running parallel to us just after Deansgate on what used to be the trackbed out of Manchester Central
As we head to the west from Deansgate we are surrounded by railway Arches and viaducts this shot barely shows it but in days gone by this would have been the Spaghetti junction of railways
We are also above the Bridgewater Canal the wharfs we can see in this shot at Castlefield is the home of City Centre Cruises
In this shot we can see the murals celebrating the Liverpool to Manchester railway these are at the Museum of Science and Industry which is on the site of the Liverpool Rd station the original Manchester terminus of the Manchester to Liverpool Railway
Another good view of the Beetham Tower
Then the Buildings of the Original Liverpool Rd station Manchester come into view. Here lies some real railway History.
The station opened on the 15th September 1830. This was the terminus of the Liverpool to Manchester Railway Britain's and indeed the worlds first twin line inter city railway line with proper timetabled trains steam hauled throughout. It has to be said though Britain's and the Worlds first public railway was the Stockton to Darlington Railway opened in 1825.
For more information on the Stockton and Darlington railway see my
train ride from Darlington to Middlesbrough
When the Manchester to Liverpool line opened in 1830 it was taking about 1 and a half hours to two hours to make the journey from Manchester to Liverpool but quite soon after it was taking not much over an hour. The Stagecoach before the railway was opened used to take about 4 hours. The railway was a huge sucsess for both passengers and frieght and railway mania took over which was to change the face of the country forever. I wonder what the passengers entering Liverpool Rd Station in 1830 would have made of the Arriva Trains Wales this shot was taken off passing this site 183 years later if they could have seen it. Its proof that a form of transport the best part of 200 years old is totally enduring and indeed still been developed and is still as important today as it was then
A painting of the inaugural journey of the Liverpool and Manchester Railway, by A.B. Clayton.
Looking back into the station and goods yard this is now the Museum of Science and Industry. It is a fascinating place to visit
For more information visit thier
or my webpage
The Museum of Science and Industry lunatictravel.com style
We then pass the entrance to Liverpool Rd station we are now joining the route of the Liverpool to Manchester Railway which we will be following as far as Earlstown Liverpool Rd station closed to passengers in 1844 when Manchester Victoria became the new station when the line was extended to Leeds. It shut as a goods yard in 1975
We then pass through Ordsall Lane Junction where the line out of Manchester Victoria joins we are looking towards Victoria in this shot
Then the line to Bolton and Preston almost immediately leave us
We then start to head away from Manchester along a very historical strech of railway
We then start to run alongside the M602. The 1830 traveller would most certainly never have seen this
We run alongside the motorway for some distance
Speeding through Eccles
Speeding through Patricroft.
This is where Edwin Alliott Verdon Roe was born, who built the first British flying machine visit the
Museum of Science and Industry Manchester lunatictravel.com style
for more information
We then cross the M60 Manchester ring road
Part of the M60 is used my
journey from Sheffield to Sheffield via the Yorkshire Dales and the Lake District
bus ride from Manchester to Burnley
The M60 can also be seen being crossed in my
bus ride from Manchester to Huddersfield
bus ride from Manchester to Rochdale
bus ride from Manchester to Bolton
bus ride from Derby to Manchester
train ride from Sheffield to Manchester via New Mills stopping style
Shortly after this we cross the M62 Motorway.
At this point we are now crossing Chat Moss pherhaps to most people with little understanding of history or geography this means nothing understandably why should it but in the 1820's Chat Moss was formidable a large area of peat bog that nearly stopped construction of this line.
Chat moss is a basin dug out by a glacier during the ice age and then over thousands of years has been filled by vegetation rotting eventually turning to peat causing a dome it covers a large area that can be 24 to 30 foot deep in 1820 trying to cross on foot you would drowned, nowadays it is well drained and mostly agricultural land although a small area has been designated a area of special scientific interest. Although without proper drainage that has been created over the last 180 years it would soon revert back to how it was in the 1820's.
George Stephenson managed to use heather and branches covered with tar and then rubble to float the railway across the bog. Incredibly his engineering still carries many trains across Chat Moss today including ours.
In the 1970's when the M62 was built over Chat Moss peat had to be removed up to a depth of 20 feet to the underlaying clay and the had to investigate whether water would drain away, they did find it would drain into the Manchester Ship Canal so Chat Moss was still a Challenge for the road builders of more modern times.
The M62 is used in my
bus ride from Leeds to Hull
It is seen to be crossed in my
train ride from Sheffield to Leeds
bus ride from Goole to Hull
bus ride from Doncaster to Goole
bus ride from Manchester to Rochdale
bus ride from Leeds to Huddersfield
bus ride from Wakefield to Leeds
bus ride from Halifax to Huddersfield
As we cross Chat Moss it looks very different to how it would have done 180 years ago
How the railway looked across Chat Moss in the 1830's
We cross Rindle Rd on a level crossing there is jus a house and signal box here and even today must be a bleak place
A farm track using a level crossing as we head a little further across Chat Moss
Still looks different to 1830
Getting nearer to Newton Le Willows
Just before we get to Newton Le Willows the line leaving us heads of to join the West Coast Main Line northbound this is used by trains from Manchester making their way to Wigan, Preston, Cumbria and Scotland that have used the alternative route rather than the route via Bolton
Just before entering Newton Le Willows we cross the West Coast Main Line which is in the cutting below us. The West Coast Main Line is the main line from London Euston to Glasgow Central.
It is used further north in my
train ride from Carlisle to Preston
We then arrive at Newton Le Willows. We are now in Merseyside by whom this station is maintained. The board we can see in this shot.on the opposite platform gives a brief history on th Liverpool to Manchester railway
As we leave Newton Le Willows station we cross the A49
A few minutes after we leave the Liverpool to Manchester railway and immediately pull up at the Warrington bound platform of Earlstown. The Liverpool Manchester continues to Rainhill and Liverpool. The fast trains from Manchester to Liverpool now use a different route through Warrington Central and Widnes and use Manchester Piccadilly as their main station but there is a local service from Manchester Victoria to Liverpool that still uses the entire route of the Liverpool to Manchester Railway. As our train has done other trains to and from other places use bits of the of the route.
As we we leave the Liverpool to Manchester Railway it has to be remembered how that bit of line we have just traveled on and the men who built it changed the face of Britain and the world forever. As the railways grew journeys that took all day or days became hours. It even meant the standardisation of time as before the railways each town had its own local time but with the arrival of the railway it was soon realised time had to be standard across the country. It should also be remembered that the turnpike builders and engineer's sowed the seeds of the transport revolution the canal builders then made it possible to move heavy loads easily and gave birth to the engineering technology of bridges tunnels etc and the inventors who invented the stationery steam engines gave birth to the mechanical age and this was all started in the century before the railway and then the railway engineers brought the construction methods used in canal building to railway building and inventors turned stationery steam engines into moving engines thus the ability to move heavy goods and people easily at speed.
To my mind the birth of the railway was the start of the modern age with the advancements in roads and the building of canals alongside the invention of the steam engine in the previous century and the continued development into 1800's all knitting together to give birth to the railway age .
I wonder what George Stephenson the chief engineer of the Liverpool to Manchester would think if he could see how important and well used the railway is today something he started nearly 200 years ago.
By the way after my little speech apologies if I bored you, Earlstown Station is also in Merseyside by whom it is maintained
To see more on the Liverpool to Manchester Railway see my
train ride from Manchester to Liverpool
Leaving Earlstown for Warrington Bank Quay we cross into Chesire between the two stations
Shortly after Earlstown we join the West Coast Mainline heading in a southerly direction which we are on now passing a place where cars go to die
The outskirts of Warrington
As we Approach Warrington Bank Quay we are overshadowed by the Unilever Factory that makes laundry Detergent
Arrived at Warrington Bank Quay
Warrington boasts two stations there is Warrington Central to see Warrington Central see my
train ride from Manchester to Liverpool
Pulling away from Warrington Bank Quay the Unilever factory is still there in fact it overshadows the whole station
As we head south along the West Coast Mainline away from Warrington we cross the River Mersey
We then leave the West Coast Main Line on the left hand side and seem to gently head away from it a caravan site appears between us and the main line we are also climbing
We then swing to the right and cross the mainline as we head towards Runcorn East
We then cross the Bridgewater Canal
We then arrive at Runcorn East
Not long after we go onto a high embankment and then viaduct crossing the River Weaver at this point the river has two courses an we are crossing onto an island
We are now crossing an island in the River Weaver. This is a massive viaduct we are on
We then cross the second course of the River Weaver
Approaching Frodsham. Note the Red Rock in the cutting that seems common to this area
Arrived at Frodsham station
As we pull out of Frodsham station we cross Church St
Between Frodsham and Helsby
Approaching Helsby the line leaving us on the right is the little used line to Ellesmere Port it has a very limited service. Most of the time passengers making the journey from Helsby to Ellesmere Port have to change at Chester and Hooton the journey takes about 50 minutes a rare direct train takes about 10 minutes
Helsby signal box
Lots of Helsby's
The station building Helsby
This is an unusual station it even has a garden that somebody goes to a great deal of trouble to maintain. It certainly makes for a very attractive station.
Heading away from Helsby
Speeding towards Chester
On the outskirts of Chester
Heading towards Chester station
Chester station comes into view
The platforms we can see in this shot as we enter the station are often used by the trains that come from Manchester using a different route to us via knutsford and Northwich
Arriving in Chester.
This train then carries on to Bangor.
To see the route to Bangor and beyond see my
train ride from Chester to Holyhead
also see my
train ride from Chester to Liverpool
Return to the last bus stop
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