North West Branch


Counties of Cumbria and Lancashire, the unitary authorities of Blackburn with Darwen, Blackpool, Cheshire East, Cheshire West & Chester, Halton, and Warrington, and the Metropolitan Districts of Bolton, Bury, Knowsley, Liverpool, Manchester, Oldham, Rochdale, St. Helens, Salford, Sefton, Stockport, Tameside, Trafford, Wigan, and Wirral

Forthcoming Railfuture joint branch webinar:

Saturday 27th February 2021 @ 14:00 Phil Smart, Railfuture Freight Group - "Freeing Up Castlefield Paths - New Freight Routes Around Manchester"

Places are limited, please email Andrew Dyson in the Yorkshire branch to reserve your place andrew.dyson at railfuture.org.uk.

Due to the ongoing pandemic we don't expect to hold any face to face branch meetings for the first half of this year, however we are hoping to be able to resume them in the autumn, with the first planned for September 11th at our usual time of 1300 venue tba, do please check again here nearer the time.

For further details of meetings, please contact either the chair, vice chair or secretary of Railfuture North West through the shared email address northwest at railfuture.org.uk.

Current campaigns

Castlefield Corridor Recovery

Railfuture North West and Yorkshire branches will be responding jointly to the proposals to reduce the overall number of services that use the Castlefield corridor between Manchester Piccadilly and Deansgate stations, this is supposed to improve reliability in the area after the problems in 2018 when new services were introduced that if delayed even slightly, caused much disruption. The consultation can be found here, if you have any comments, please contact the branch chair at northwest at railfuture.org.uk.

Railfuture have launched a Northern Powerhouse campaign for improved services that can be achieved now within current constraints, and that can be achieved in future through a coordinated investment programme, to turn the great Northern cities of Liverpool, Preston, Manchester, Sheffield, Bradford, Leeds and Hull into a single strategic economic entity linked by a fast high capacity rail network to realise the economic potential of the region as a global powerhouse.

Specific local campaigns include:
  • Two trains per hour on the Mid-Cheshire line
  • Re-opening the line between Skipton and Colne  SELRAP. Also note the ne|ws here regarding the Governments announcement of study into re-opening.
  • Re-opening of the Keswick Railway between Penrith and Keswick
  • A new line and station to get the town of Skelmersdale back on the rail network
  • A reliable enhanced service on the Wrexham-Bidston Line, a new station serving Deeside Industrial Park and the introduction of through trains to Liverpool as soon as suitable rolling stock becomes available.
  • Daily passenger services between Clitheroe and Hellifield, probably to be achieved by the introduction of through services to Manchester that the Friends of the Settle Carlisle Line group wants to see
  • Re-opening of the current freight only Northwich - Sandbach line, to include a new station at Middlewich. Following much hard work by Mid Cheshire Rail Users Association (MCRUA) and others, the Department for Transport is set to examine reopening the Mid Cheshire Rail Link (the current freight-only line from Sandbach to Northwich) with business leaders, following pressure from the Government’s deputy chief whip. A working group is set to be formed by the Cheshire and Warrington Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and officials from the DfT at the request of Paul Maynard, (previously rail minister), after lobbying from Tatton MP Esther McVey.

Branch Newsletter

Latest Rail North West view or download PDF 0.9MB]

(Previous newsletters)

Rail user groups

Rail user groups in the North West are also shown on Railfuture's Regional List of Rail User Groups. The Regional List can be viewed or downloaded in PDF format here.


Railfuture and other regional and national events, including conferences and key campaign dates.

Branch contacts


Trevor Bishop, Branch Chairman
4,Butterfield Close
Cheadle Hulme
Tel. 0161 485 8426. Email: trevor.bishop at railfuture.org.uk

Malcolm Conway, Vice Chairman
58, Greengate Lane
Tel: 01539 725995. Email: malcolm.conway at railfuture.org.uk

Neighbouring branches


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