No weekend trains in February

Network Rail announcement: (check before travelling!)

Passengers who travel between Crewe and Manchester are being advised to plan ahead as work to replace a bridge over the West Coast main line will ramp up in early 2019.

For four consecutive weekends, from Saturday 2 to Sunday 24 February, Network Rail will carry out work to replace the Sydney Road bridge in Crewe.

Rail disruption Feb 2019The project is being delivered by Network Rail on behalf of Cheshire East Council and includes replacing the existing single-lane road bridge with a structure wide enough to accommodate two-way traffic and safer routes for cyclists and pedestrians.

A closure of the railway is needed to safely remove the existing bridge structure and lift the new, wider bridge into place using a giant crane.

Passengers can plan and check their journeys at

Chris Atkins, project manager for Network Rail, said: “We are working closely with the train operators to minimise the disruption to passengers and raise awareness of these changes to weekend services between Crewe and Manchester in February.

“We understand that this work also affects our lineside neighbours and have written to residents who live near to where our work is taking place.

“There is never a good time to impact journeys but we have planned the work to affect the fewest number of passengers over the shortest period of time. This is essential work and I’d like to thank passengers in advance for their understanding.”

During the closures, Virgin Trains and CrossCountry services to and from Manchester will not call at Crewe or Wilmslow and be diverted via Stoke-on-Trent. Northern’s train services will start and terminate at Alderley Edge, with bus replacement services operating between Wilmslow and Crewe.

Work to replace the Sydney Road bridge began in October and has required a closure of the road, which will remain in place until the end of May 2019. A clearly sign-posted diversion route remains in place and a temporary footbridge has been installed for pedestrians.

For travel information visit

Delay to Station Bridge

Update on Goostrey station bridge from the Parish Council:

Cheshire East Highways have informed us that the scheme to install a safe area for pedestrians to cross the Station Bridge and traffic lights is on hold.  We received the following explanation directly from Cheshire East Highways last week.

“The scheme was programmed in to commence on site in March 2019, however after meeting with the Contractors on site to discuss the buildability aspects of the scheme, it became apparent that it would not be possible to implement the scheme as per the original design.  This is mainly down to the complexities of the site in terms of the highway boundary extents.

Goostrey station

Station bridge

We have therefore had no option but to place the scheme on hold while we investigate other options in order to ensure that we design and deliver a workable solution that is safe for all road users.

I appreciate this is not the news you wanted to hear, however I can assure you that we are working hard to explore other options to enable the scheme to be constructed”. Highways


We are extremely disappointed in this new delay, however we are in regular contact with Cheshire East Highways to establish when a “buildable” scheme can be implemented.’  Goostrey Parish Council. 

Traffic Lights scheduled at the rail bridge

Cheshire East are to install traffic lights on the railway station bridge in the new year.

****(January 2019 update: plans currently on hold “mainly down to the complexities of the site in terms of the highway boundary extents”.)

It is anticipated that Station Road will be closed from 4th February to 3rd March 2019 (the dates are only provisional at the moment).

Residents seem to be split in their views on the lights; some strongly in favour, due to safety reasons, and others less so. Will it complicate things at the entrance to the Station and nearby resident’s driveways?  One resident said “I worry it will actually cause drivers entering the village to speed if they’ve been held up on red, especially as many seem to think they don’t need to slow until near the Red Lion, maybe another 30 sign could be put up on the village side of the Station”.  (Highways state that additional signage is not necessary as the presence of street lights indicate a speed limit of 30mph.)

The Parish Council’s preferred solution was a footbridge, but I believe this was ruled out by CEC/Railtrack due to insufficient space on the platform and issues with the overhead wires.

CEC/Railtrack decided that, as their risk assessment showed there is also a danger of cars leaving the road and going down onto the rail track, a traffic light scheme is needed – as well as a footway to address the safety of people crossing the bridge to the southbound track on foot.

Station lights

Station bridge closure


Displays at the Station

It’s worth a trip to the station just to see the lovely Remembrance display by Goostrey School…see photos below.

…and now there is an electronic display of train times too (don’t mention Saturdays); fortunately the chap who’d fitted it was still there when the photographs were taken  – as it was reading a fault immediately after he’d packed up!

The lovely old Station Building was being closely inspected today; presumably work to restore the exterior is imminent following the £40,000 grant to Network Rail from the Heritage Railway Trust….great news!  The station opened on 1st Sept 1891, initially with buildings on both side.  The remaining Victorian modular railway building is of a type built between 1860 and 1920 and only a handful remain according to The London Midland Railway Society.


Current train times

A reminder of train times; to avoid “a heart-attack inducing dash for a train” such as one resident recently had to endure!
Worth checking times before you travel as the drivers are working to rule due to their dispute with RMT; along with the problem of there not being enough drivers to service the new timetable.

Apparently the situation could last for months!

Most trains to Manchester from Goostrey leave at 3 minutes past the hour
Goostrey to Manchester:
0600, 0703, 0729, 0803 (exc. Saturdays), then hourly to 2103, 2204, 2327.
Sundays Goostrey to Manchester:
0910, 1010, 1108, 1212, 1311, 1510 then hourly to 2010, 2109, 2209, 2310.
Goostrey to Crewe: Monday-Friday
Saturdays Goostrey to Crewe:
Sundays Goostrey to Crewe:
0931,1031,1233,1340, 1440, 1540, 1640, 1742, 1842,1940,2041,2145,2247
Most Goostrey-bound trains now depart from Manchester at one minute past the hour.
Link to full time-table:  Train Times

Goostrey FoGS win award

Goostrey FoGS win award

Congratulations to all involved in Friends of Goostrey Station (FoGS) for winning The Diversity Award; the award for involving people with different cultures, abilities and backgrounds.


Frodsham was the overall winner.  Cheshire is unique in that it is the only county to have a Best Kept Stations award.  Their aims are :

To promote, publicise and encourage community involvement to improve railway stations by holding an annual competition, and by other means, to find the Best Kept Station in Cheshire and other examples of good practice
To hold an annual event to support this aim by recognising and publicising such activities by giving Awards and to promote these stations and the railway industry in Cheshire.
To encourage community involvement and recognition of the significance of their railway stations, particularly by young persons, through conservation, environmental projects and associated education, artworks, at the stations and their environs.
To work in partnership with the railway industry, Local Authorities, Parish and Town Councils and other relevant stakeholders to achieve these aims.

Well done Goostrey…..and don’t forget FoGS are always looking for more volunteers.  Working party mornings are on second Sundays.