The Anonymous Widower

Capacity Crunch At Chester – Sandbach To Northwich

The Capacity Crunch At Chester article in the July 2017 Edition of Modern Railways talks about reopening passenger services between Sandbach and Northwich stations on an existing freight-only line to serve Middlewich.

This is said.

The principal demand would be for travel to Manchester, but campaigners say an additional service from Middlewich to Chester would relieve the A556 of peak traffic congestion and serve tourists, including people who hire canal boats in Middlewich.

The proposal would also involve a new station at Gadbrook Park, a Business Improvement District near Northwich, where increasing numbers of people are employed.

In Looking For Holmes Chapel Road Station, I talked about a proposed Middlewich station.

Three factors will increase the chances of this route being reopened.

  • Class 769 trains (formerly Class 319 Flex trains) would be ideal for this route.
  • Track and signalling appear to be ready.
  • If the Mid-Cheshire Line is improved, this route could join it to Crewe.
  • The arrival of HS2 at Crewe in 2027.

This short route has a lot going for it.


I think this will be opened before 2027.


July 16, 2017 Posted by | Travel | , , | 2 Comments

Looking For Holmes Chapel Road Station

In my list of stations, there is a Holmes Chapel Road station, which try as I could, I couldn’t find.

In the UK, there are two types of enthusiastic amateurs, who get involved with trains.

The first group are those, who want to drive, repair, rebuild and clean old engines and other rolling stock.  Now I’m not against looking and riding behind old steam engines, but getting my hands dirty is not for me anymore. If it ever was!

The second group are in some ways the more interesting and are epitomised by those, who fought for the rebuilding of the Borders Railway, where through their efforts, cynical politicians and civil servants were convinced to rebuild a railway from Edinburgh to the Borders, that has been to the benefit of residents, visitors and business between Edinburgh and the Borders.

Another campaigning group is the Mid Cheshire Rail Users Association, which I discovered by finding their web site by accident.

One of their ambitions is to reopen The Sandbach – Middlewich – Northwich Railway Line. this page on their web site explains their aims.

The re-opening of this railway line to passenger traffic and construction of a new station has been a long-standing ambition of Middlewich residents, Middlewich Town Council, the Mid Cheshire Rail Link Campaign and the Mid Cheshire Rail Users’ Association.

Middlewich (population 13,600) is the largest town in Cheshire without a railway station. More than 50% of the working population of the town commute out of Middlewich by car and the majority of these work in Greater Manchester.

Back in November 2008 the Middlewich Railway Steering Group engaged The Railway Consultancy to investigate the costs and benefits of reopening the line to passengers along with the building of a new station in Middlewich. The recently published report findings show that the industry threshold required to take the project further have been achieved.

My elusive station is actually Middlewich station.

This Google Map shows, what I take to be the site of the station, which was closed in 1960.


Note that the station is on Holmes Chapel Road.

There’s more about the project under Proposed Services  in the Wikipedia entry for the Mid-Cheshire Line.

I wish the group lots of luck in getting their dreams fulfilled.

February 4, 2017 Posted by | Travel | , , | 4 Comments