The 9½ mile Macclesfield Branch from Cheadle Hulme on the London & North Western Railway's main line to a connection with the North Staffordshire Railway at Macclesfield Central was originally projected by the Manchester & Birmingham Railway. The branch was included in the Manchester & Birmingham Railways original Act of 30 June 1837, but work proceeded slowly and the powers to build the Macclesfield Branch were renewed by an Act of 10 May 1844. The line opened for goods traffic as far as Poynton, and opened throughout to Macclesfield for both passenger and goods traffic on 24 November 1845. It had originally been planned for the railway to run through to Stoke-on-Trent, but under pressure from Parliament the increasingly impecunious Manchester & Birmingham Railway was forced to give up the Macclesfield to Stoke section to the North Staffordshire Railway. Under an Act of 16 July 1846 the Manchester & Birmingham, Grand Junction, Liverpool & Manchester and London & Birmingham Railways combined to form the London & North Western Railway.
The London & North Western and North Staffordshire Railways combined to run a number of joint services from London Euston via Norton Bridge, Stoke and Macclesfield to Manchester. This remains the shortest route from Euston to Manchester Piccadilly and the route is now serviced by Pendolino express electric trains. The North Staffordshire also exercised running rights over the L&NWR to run semifast trains from Stoke to Manchester.
Map of the Map of the Cheadle Hulme to Macclesfield branch of the London & North Western Railway
Ramsbottom "Special DX" Class 0-6-0 at Poynton with a load of timber in around 1905
L&NWR Cheadle Hulme Station in around 1900
Poynton Station L&NWR in around 1905. There was also a Poynton Station on the Macclesfield, Bollington & Marple Railway (Great Central/North Stafford Joint)