Wednesday, 16 July 2014


Voyager meets Voyager in the Middlewich loop, May 2014. The train on the left is heading for Euston via Crewe and, as can be seen, has a green light to proceed. The other train is heading for Holyhead via Chester and will also have a green light from  the signal on the right as the line via Northwich West Junction and Chester will be clear, at least as far as Northwich. These trains are 'crossing' in Middlewich, to use the correct railway term, with the Holyhead train being held at a red light until the Euston train arrives. In practice, as Charlie Hulme points out on his website, trains were arriving fifteen minutes early at this point, leading many to believe that some, at least, of the speed restrictions on the line are somewhat redundant. There have been a lot of improvements to both track and signalling in recent years. Just beyond the green light, which stands on the same spot as the old Middlewich signal box, is the site of the  LNWR Middlewich Station with the Holmes Chapel Road Bridge (or 'Station Bridge') at the top of the picture.
Photo: North Wales Coast Railway website/Greg Mape

 This sign is one of several placed on  the old Down platform at Middlewich by a former campaign member and catches the eye of many a passenger on diverted trains running via Middlewich. Sadly the website address is no longer valid although, obviously, anyone interested can always use Google to access the site you're looking at now and find out more about the Middlewich Rail Link Campaign. Significantly, although Network Rail track maintenance workers are frequently on site (they have an access staircase from Holmes Chapel Road leading down to the Up Platform), no one has seen fit to remove these signs as yet.
Photo: North Wales Coast Railway website/Simon Barber

Back in May 2014 many trains were diverted through Middlewich while engineering work took place on the Chester line.
As always Charlie Hulme and his excellent North Wales Coast Railway website were on the case and featured photographs of some of the diverted trains, including several taken at the Northwich end of our line.

You can see these photos at:


(scroll down to 'Middlewich Diversions')

And while you're there take a look at some of the other 'Noticeboards' which, week after week, chronicle the news and events relating to the Crewe-Holyhead and related routes.

See also:


Sunday, 6 July 2014


CAMPAIGN UPDATE: Things have been quiet on the MRLC front lately, but as always there is much going on behind the scenes. We're in the process of updating our website and have re-registered the URL which will (we fervently hope) soon be back in action. Please note that the is no longer valid (although it still appears on the signs on the old LNWR station site which were put there by a former campaign member). Go to that website now, and you'll find advice on losing weight. Perhaps they're trying to tell (some of) us something? At present we find ourselves unable to buy the name back at a reasonable cost. Meanwhile we are writing several important letters to various key players and hope to get things moving again soon. Make no mistake, we are still very much in the business of getting this railway line re-opened to passenger trains and getting a new station built in Middlewich. This is not just a matter of local concern - we are promoting a scheme which will bring immense benefits to Middlewich, to the Weaver Valley, to the County of Cheshire and the North-West region in general. By no means the least of these benefits will be a new direct route to Crewe for passengers on the Chester-Manchester line, particularly those living east of Northwich, who will for the first time in many years be able to travel to this important railway hub without first having to go to Manchester or Chester.

Dave Roberts
7th July 2014