New book will make important contribution to local transport history


A NEW book is about to be published which will make an important contribution to local transport history – including in the Warrington area.

“Manchester to Liverpool” by Adrian Hartless tells the story of the Cheshire Lines Committee – a tripartite joint venture between the Great Central, Great Northern and Midland Railways which operated in the North-West of England and was the largest jointly owned railway in the UK.
Its main line between Manchester and Liverpool opened in 1873 and was an immediate success. The line was one of the first in the world to use a clock-face timetable with expresses departing in either direction every hour at 30 minutes past the hour throughout the day.
By 2023 most of the original intermediate stations still served their communities, while five extra stations had been added to the route since 1934 reflecting population growth. The Liverpool suburban section had been subsumed by Merseyrail. The line’s once heavy freight traffic had disappeared except for trains serving Trafford Park Container Terminal.
Warrington Central station was not part of the CLC’s original plan, which was for a straight line from Padgate to Sankey with a station for Warrington at Dallam. But the people of Warrington successfully appealed against this and a loop line was built with the station sited at the north end of Horsemarket Street.

Most of its original structures still stand although the main building has been leased to commercial users since a new entrance was built in 1983 facing Winwick Street.
The straight line from Padgate to Sankey was constructed in 1883 but was taken out of use at the end of the steam era in 1968.
The CLC became a significant employer in Warrington with workshops dealing with such matters as trackwork and sleepers, signalling, and even the printing of timetables and tickets.
“Manchester to Liverpool”, 96 pages with 120 black-and-white photographs, most not previously published, will be available from local bookshops or from the publisher, Middleton Press Ltd., 126A Camelsdale Road, Haslemere, Surrey, GU273RJ.


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