The Anonymous Widower

Beeching Reversal – East Didsbury – Stockport

This is one of the Beeching Reversal projects that the Government and Network Rail are proposing to reverse some of the Beeching cuts.

This project has been puzzling me.

Search Google for “East Didsbury and Stockport Rail Link” and all you find is grandiose plans for billion pound extensions to the Manchester Metrolink.

Having researched a lot of the proposed Beeching Reversal projects, it appears to me, that the ones likely to be built, will give a lot of benefit for millions, not billions of pounds.

I just wonder, if in this project, Manchester is stealing an idea from Birmingham – the four-poster station!

This Google Map shows Smethwick Galton Bridge station.

This extract from the Wikipedia entry, describes the station.

The station was opened in September 1995 as part of the Jewellery Line scheme to reopen the line between Smethwick and Birmingham Snow Hill station. It was built as an interchange station between two lines, and the platforms on both lines opened at the same time.


  1. The four lift towers with stairs, that connect the four platforms, have pyramid roofs.
  2. The station is fully step-free.
  3. The rail lines are at different levels.

These pictures show the station.

It is a very practical architectural idea and the world needs more four-poster stations to connect rail lines where they cross at different levels.

Could A Four-Poster Station Link East Didsbury And Stockport?

These are my thoughts.

The Location

This Google Map shows the general area, where the station could be built.

It is a spaghetti of motorways and rail lines with a lumpy sauce of new housing called Barnes Village in the middle.

Note, where the two rail lines cross in the South-West corner of the map.

This second Google Map, shows an enlarged image of the location, where the two rail lines cross.


  1. The Styal Line runs North-South.
  2. The line running East-West is the Mid-Cheshire Line between Altrincham and Stockport stations.

I suspect most travellers joining the rail network at this point, would walk or cycle in from nearby locations or turn up in a taxi.

The Styal Line

The Styal Line has the following characteristics.

  • It is an electrified double-track line.
  • It connects Manchester Piccadilly and Wilmslow stations.
  • There is a spur that serves Manchester Airport station.
  • East Didsbury station, is the station North of where the two lines cross.
  • Gatley station, is the station South of where the two lines cross.
  • It is the route of trains to and from Manchester Airport.

These trains go through East Didsbury and Gatley stations in trains per hour (tph)

  • 1 tph – Northern – Liverpool Lime Street and Crewe
  • 1 tph – Northern – Liverpool Lime Street and Manchester Airport
  • 1 tph – Northern – Manchester Airport and Blackpool North
  • 1 tph – Northern – Manchester Airport and Cumbria
  • 1 tph – Trains for Wales – Manchester Airport and Chester
  • 1 tph – TransPennine Express – Manchester Airport and Redcar Central
  • 1 tph – TransPennine Express – Manchester Airport and Newcastle
  • 1 tph – TransPennine Express – Manchester Airport and Glasgow Central or Edinburgh

Freight trains also use the route.

This means that currently, there are eight tph between the Castlefield Corridor (Deansgate, Manchester Oxford Road and Manchester Piccadilly) and Manchester Airport, all of which go through the location, where the four-poster station could possibly be built.

So could the new station, be used to take pressure off the overloaded Castlefield Corridor?

The Mid-Cheshire Line

The Mid-Cheshire Line has the following characteristics.

  • At this point it is a single-track without electrification.
  • It connects Stockport and Altrincham stations.

Re-Doubling Of The Mid Cheshire Line Between Stockport and Altrincham And Associated Station Reopenings is another of the Beeching Reversal projects and envisages the following.

  • Re-doubling the route.
  • Possible electrification
  • Reopening some stations.

This is the only passenger service that uses the route.

  • 1 tph – Northern – Manchester Piccadilly and Chester

Up to two-three freight tph, also use the route.

In the related post, I said this about the desired frequency of services between Manchester and Chester stations.

It could be argued that two tph between Manchester Piccadilly and Chester are needed now and that four tph should be the preferred frequency.

There certainly needs to be four tph going through the proposed four-poster station.


I am being drawn to the conclusion, that this station if it were to be built, would help a lot of problems with Manchester’s railways.

  • It would allow a sort out of train services to Manchester Airport.
  • It would connect Stockport and Manchester Airport.
  • It would connect Stockport and East Didsbury.
  • It could help a solution to the problem of the Castlefield Corridor.

The station should be built.

August 5, 2020 - Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , ,


  1. Barnes village is completely new build it used to be Barnes Hospital, which I think was mainly an older person place. It was supposedly going to be a nice village atmosphere with green space, children’s play areas etc. The residents are already unhappy about various things. And they are already concerned that house prices may fall.

    Best way to connect Stockport and East Didsbury is to run a tramline from East Didsbury up the road whose name am not sure of, but up through the Heatons, and down into the town centre. Assuming trams don’t have to be level as trains do. If they are wanting to put a train line, there is potentially the need to demolish a lot of housing and 2 school if they want a fairly straight line.

    On the whole transport within this area is pretty good – there are several buses an hour into the airport, dropping off near the relevant terminals, and taxi fares are very cheap as well. I don’t think local people would be in favour of more train lines.

    Comment by nosnikrapzil | August 5, 2020 | Reply

    • I don’t think that they wanto put in a new tram or train line, but the connection at Smethwick Galton Bridge appears to have been very successful. Passengers change there rather than going a long way round. The Stockport and Altrincham line was ruined by British Rail in a forlorn attempt to save money. Plans seem to be suggesting putting three or four stations between Stockport and Altrincham including one at the Alexandra hospital. It would also be connected to the Liverpool and Manchester Oxford Road Line to create a direct link between Stockport and Warrington and Liverpool. I think it’s being driven by one of the local MPs, as there is a lot of Beeching Reversal projects in South Manchester. See the index using the link at the top of the page.

      Comment by AnonW | August 5, 2020 | Reply

    • The road between East Didsbury and Stockport is Didsbury Road. However it is only a two lane road, not ideal for a tramline as it would have to be in mixed traffic.

      Comment by Long Branch Mike | August 10, 2020 | Reply

      • I didn’t think a tram was feasible, as the only things that I could find, were billion pound tram schemes. A four-poster station works well in Birmingham!

        Comment by AnonW | August 10, 2020

  2. The tram connection is either to reinstate, as far as practicable, the LMS alignement from East Didsbury tram stop (near East Didsbury rail station (but not a feasible “four poster” without relocating both) to Hazel Grove or alternatively the tram line could go to Stockport town centre partially along the same route and ideally also to its rail station or at least have an inclined lift to it from the proposed new bus terminus in the valley.

    Most of the former Tivot Dale alignment through the center of Stockport has been destroyed in recent decades.

    Comment by R. Mark Clayton | August 5, 2020 | Reply

  3. It does seem that British Rail and the local Councils have done a lot of damage!

    Comment by AnonW | August 5, 2020 | Reply

  4. […] South Fylde Line Passing Loop Kenyon Junction Station Reopening Golborne Railway Station Reinstatement of Bolton-Radcliffe / Bolton-Bury Reinstating Beeston Castle and Tarporley Railway Station Reopen Midge Hall Station Re-Doubling Of The Mid Cheshire Line Between Stockport And Altrincham And Associated Station Reopenings Stockport and Ashton Line Glazebrook Junction And Skelton Junction East Didsbury – Stockport […]

    Pingback by Beeching Reversal: Fifty Disused Rail Lines On Track To Reopen « The Anonymous Widower | August 6, 2020 | Reply

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