John Speller's Web Pages Northwich Branch

John Speller's Web Pages - L&NWR

Northwich Branch LNWR Untitled
The 9-mile Sandbach to Northwich Branch Line (L&NWR) opened for goods traffic in November 1867 and to passengers on 1 July 1868. Two halts at Cledford Bridge Halt and Billinge Green Halt were added in 1911 and 1915 but closed 2 March 1942. The branch closed to passengers 4 January 1960 but is still open to goods traffic. In 1885, the L&NWR initiated a through carriage on weekdays from Manchester Oxford Road via Northwich to Middlewich and on to London Euston. The July 1922 railway timetable shows this departing Manchester at 10.30 am and picking passengers up at major stations to Northwich, calling at Middlewich at 11.30 am. The carriage reached Crewe at 11.50 am, where the carriage was attached to a Liverpool to Euston express, reaching the capital at 3.10 pm. The northbound service left Euston at 2.30 pm, reaching Middlewich at 6.10 pm. The service to Euston ceased before the Second World War. The stations were Sandbach, Cledford Bridge Halt, Middlewich, Billinge Green Halt and Northwich. In 1921 the basic L&NWR passenger service was ten trains each way daily between Crewe and Northwich. In 1907 the North Staffordshire Railway was running two goods trains each way daily between Northwich and Stoke via Sandbach. The North Staffordshire Railway's Trent & Mersey Canal, incidentally, passed through Northwich and Middlewich. The district was rich in rock salt, and the mining of this commodity provided much of the mineral traffic in the neighborhood. The official statistics show that 7,509 tons of rock salt were shipped from Northwich by the L&NWR in 1898. The line closed to passenger traffic on 4 January 1960, but remains open to the occasional freight train.
L&NWR system map showing the location of the Northwich branch
The site of Billinge Green Halt on 22 May 1961. Photograph Copyright Ben Brooksbank and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence
Northwich station, used by both the L&NWR and Cheshire Line Committee trains, shown here on a postcard of around 1905
Facade of Northwich Station, 2007. Courtesy of Wikipedia Commons
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