Cheshire Day Ranger
Cheshire Lines revisited
© Geoff’s Rail Diaries 2017
Geoff’s Rail Diaries
16 November 2017
The Cheshire Lines Committee’s network was jointly owned /operated by the Great Northern, the Great Central (MS&LR when the CLC first came into being) and Midland railways. Curiously, more than 50% of its route mileage was in Lancashire. Fittingly, our day out on a “Cheshire Day Ranger” would take us along a variety of railways (some formerly CLC), not only in Cheshire, but also in Lancashire and Staffordshire - and Wales. We could have visited Derbyshire, and a more southerly start would have been possible - in Shropshire, at Whitchurch (noted, of course, for its Cheshire cheese production). In the event, our travels began at Nantwich, the 9.17 being the first service available on the ticket. Changing at Crewe, we made our way to Chester, where we would have a few minutes to wait for our next train (I wonder if those old tram lines are still in place near the station?). We left Chester on a west-bound “stopper” - as far as Shotton. We’d never changed trains at Shotton before... ...onto a Wrexham to Bidston service. From Bidston, a Merseyrail EMU took us to James St in Liverpool, for a brief leg stretch.
We took a ride along a CLC route next, via Warrington Central to Manchester Piccadilly*. “It could be worth spending a few minutes at Warrington - the station there is reasonably original”. It was - as were the CLC warehouses and buildings nearby. From Piccadilly, we headed for Stoke-on-Trent, on a Paignton- bound Voyager. It would be little short of a 5-hour journey for those unfortunate souls travelling all the way! Can there be a less pleasant way of travelling a long distance by rail? The contrast between the cramped claustrophobic interior of this train, and our next one, a class 350 EMU nearing the end of its Euston - Crewe run, couldn’t have been greater. Airy, light, quiet, spacious, comfortable seats and a chance of seeing out of the window - what more can one ask? The sun was getting low in the sky as we arrived at Crewe, but there’s still enough light for a few photos before boarding our last train of the day, back to the car at Nantwich. What a great day out! Link: Cheshire Day Ranger *in CLC days, the journey would have been from Liverpool Central to Manchester Central
A remnant of Chester trams Autumn sunshine at Shotton Shotton: up the hill to Wrexham Liverpool Lime Street Needs no caption East Midlands 158 at Warrington Central CLC warehouses and a Pacer, Warrington CLC warehouse - a closer look Cheshire Lines Arrival at Piccadilly Front ends at Piccadilly Train shed Stoke station - sunny side Stoke - under the roof Passing trains at Crewe Pendolino departure Snaking away Light's going - Crewe Voyager Last of the light at Crewe