21 January 2016


and other Railway/Canal structures

between 13 & 24 February



Photos & Text courtesy Network Rail Media Centre

Network Rail is investing £17m to protect Cheshire's most iconic Railway Bridges for decades to come


The vital refurbishment will make the railway safer and more reliable

for passengers, motorists, pedestrians and canal users

but the scale of the work means the line from Crewe to Manchester and Sandbach to Northwich

will be closed between 13 and 24 February while the improvements are made.


As part of Network Rail's Railway Upgrade Plan the Grade-II listed viaducts

at Holmes Chapel and Peover – two of Cheshire's most well-known architectural landmarks –

are receiving a full makeover, including the removal of water stains on the walls, brickwork repairs and waterproofing.


At the same time, Network Rail engineers will undertake strengthening work

to the Hungerford Road bridge in Crewe, Shipbrook Road bridge in Rudheath

and to the Whatcroft underbridge and the Trent and Mersey Canal bridge in Davenham.


Network Rail and the train operators which run services on the line

– Arriva Trains Wales, Northern Rail, CrossCountry and Virgin Trains –

have all worked closely to run as many trains as possible during the work.

Some journeys will take longer than usual and some will be replaced by regular bus services.


Terry Strickland, Area Director for Network Rail said:

“While the work will cause some disruption to passengers' journeys for 11 days,

Network Rail has worked with the train operators to ensure all of this work can be conducted at the same time,

saving £500,000 of taxpayers' money and avoiding longer-term disruption.

“I'd like to thank passengers in advance for their patience while the work takes place.”


A spokesperson on behalf of Virgin Trains, Northern Rail, CrossCountry trains and Arriva Trains said:

"We understand that improvement works impact on passengers.

This investment is vital and will deliver real benefits in helping to provide customers with a more reliable railway.


All affected train operating companies are working closely with Network Rail

to ensure alternative travel arrangements are in place wherever possible

and to keep disruption to a minimum whilst this important work is carried out.


During the 11-day closure, services to Manchester from London and South Wales (and vice-versa)

will temporarily by-pass Crewe and be diverted via Macclesfield and Stockport.


Local rail services will also be affected between Wilmslow, Stockport and Crewe.


Replacement bus services will be provided

and alternative routes will be signposted for all passengers, who are affected.

(Full details are provided below.)


Passengers are advised to check before they travel with their train operator

or at www.nationalrail.co.uk .



Holmes Chapel Viaduct


The key schemes within this package of improvement works

that will take place from 13-24 February are as follows:

  • Holmes Chapel Viaduct
  • Peover Viaduct (subject to planning permission)
  • Hungerford Road bridge, Crewe
  • Wilmslow Station subway
  • Whatcroft underbridge
  • Trent & Mersey Canal Bridge
  • Shipbrook Road Bridge, Rudheath


These works will affect the following networks only:


Crewe North Junction – Cheadle Hulme and Northwich (Sandbach North Junction Branch Line.)

All Lines

  • 05 Sat – 05.45 Mon (13-15 February and 20- 22 February)


Sandbach North Junction – Alderley Edge (All lines)

  • 25 Mon 15 – 00.25 Sat 20 February 2016
  • 25 Mon 22 – 04.40 Wed 24 February 2016


To ensure that passengers can continue to travel during the 11 day closure in February 2016,

the affected train operating companies will be running the following amended services:


Northern Rail:

Monday 15 – Friday 19 February and Monday 22 -Tuesday 23 February

  • Train services to operate from Manchester Piccadilly – Alderley Edge via Stockport and via Manchester Airport.
  • Regular replacement buses to be provided between Wilmslow and Crewe calling at all stations.


Saturday Sunday (13-14 and 20-21 February)

  • Train services operate Manchester Piccadilly – Wilmslow via Manchester Airport.
  • Train services operate Manchester Piccadilly – Stockport
  • Regular replacement buses to be provided between Stockport and Crewe calling at all stations.


Virgin Trains:

Manchester Piccadilly – London Euston via Crewe services diverted

via Stoke and Macclesfield, and will not call at Wilmslow.


Arriva Trains Wales:

South Wales – Manchester services will be diverted via Warrington to terminate/start at Manchester Oxford Road.



Those services which normally operate via Crewe will be diverted via Stoke and Macclesfield.



Services to and from Trafford Park that normally operate via Holmes Chapel

will be diverted via Stoke and Macclesfield.


Return to Top of Page

Return to RVR Home Page