25 06 IMAGE Bleeding Wolf 1

Altrincham to Chester line gets £800,000 upgrade

Network Rail will invest £800,000 in a section of track between Altrincham and Ashley, allowing faster journeys from Manchester to Chester via Northwich.

The major improvements, which will see 2,500 tonnes of railway stone and 700 sleepers replaced, along with new drainage works. This will allow a 20mph speed limit on the section of track to be lifted.

Improvement will take place on three consecutive Sundays – 30 June, 7 July and 14 July – along with a full weekend between 10 and 12 August. Following completion, trains will be able to run at up to 75mph through the section, which is the key route connecting Altrincham, Hale, Northwich, and Chester.

The section of track is known as the Bleeding Wolf, named after a folk legend from the 13th century where the Earl of Chester was attacked by an injured wolf, and was saved by local forester Adam De Lauton. The legend also leant its name to a pub on Ashley Road, which has since closed and has been converted into flats.

Chris Jackson, regional director at Northern, said: “This is vital improvement work which will protect the journeys of our customers in Cheshire for years to come. Whilst any disruption is regrettable, I hope our customers understand the importance of this work and I’d like to thank them in advance for their patience.

“This work, alongside our own introduction of improved trains in Cheshire, is proof that the Great North Rail Project is making a real difference for rail travellers across the region.”

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Absolutely ridiculous that a 20 mph speed limit was in force for so long and could be remedied for such a small sum of money (800k is peanuts in terms of railway infrastructure spend). This is not investment, this is not the ‘Great North Rail Project’ this is simply a minor piece of remedial works to bring the lines up to their normal operating speed. If 800k is being trumpeted as a major investment the North really is being ripped off.

By Unspun

The main stretch of track slowing down the journey between Manchester and Chester via Northwich is the section between the track before navigation rd station and Altrincham.
I’ve never observed any particular problem in the stretch between Altrincham and Ashley.
Nor have i heard other passengers negatively referring to the time it takes to travel between Altrincham and Ashley.
I would also be surprised to see any of the present modified or older rolling stock on this line achieve speeds exceeding 40mph let alone 75mph.

By Regular Commuter

I was hoping for the proposed link up between the track after Mobberley and Manchester Airport, hence removing the flow link around Manchester to Stockport.

By Darren Sellers

Absolutely agree with Unspun.
Privately owned ‘heritage railways’ have better infrastructure and rolling stock than this line. It is a disgrace.
I see the funny side when you see tourists mistakenly ending up on this route from Manchester to Chester.

By Optimist

Please can you change the headline from “upgrade” to “long overdue maintenance” This line is crying out for investment when our hapless government is still chucking money at the south east.

By Gene Walker

Fake news! Unspun is spot on – it’s repair work not improvements

By Regular traveller

Hopefully the trains and carriages will also be updated.

By Ronaldo

How do Unspun: Yes, how right you are. These overpaid propagandists (PR professionals) and their bosses know investigative journalism is dead, and that whatever ‘press release’ they issue will be copied and broadcast by the media. It is only thanks to readers letters like yours and others that we hear what is really going on. “Great North Rail Project”! I wish these blabbermouths would fade away.

By James Yates

Just need a train that can do 20+ mph now!

By .

A link to the Airport Station and upgrade to Crewe are the real investments needed

By Mid Cheshire Rail