Altrincham Interchange

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Altrincham Interchange is a transport hub in Altrincham, Greater Manchester, England. It consists of a bus station on Stamford New Road, a Northern-operated heavy rail station on the Mid-Cheshire Line, and a light rail stop which forms the terminus of Manchester Metrolink's Altrincham line. The original heavy rail element of the station was opened by the Manchester, South Junction and Altrincham Railway as Altrincham and Bowdon railway station in April 1881, changing to Altrincham railway station in May 1974. The Metrolink element opened in June 1992. The Interchange underwent a complete redevelopment, at a cost of £19 million, starting in mid-July 2013. The new bus station opened officially on 7 December 2014.

Altrincham National Rail Manchester Metrolink
Altrincham Station - - 1749635.jpg
Altrincham Interchange; the railway platforms to the left, and the tram platforms to the right.
Local authorityTrafford
Coordinates53°23′15″N 2°20′50″W / 53.3875°N 2.3472°W / 53.3875; -2.3472Coordinates: 53°23′15″N 2°20′50″W / 53.3875°N 2.3472°W / 53.3875; -2.3472
Grid referenceSJ770879
Station codeALT
Managed byNorthern
Number of platforms4 (2 for National Rail, 2 for Metrolink)
DfT categoryC2
Live arrivals/departures, station information and onward connections
from National Rail Enquiries
Annual rail passenger usage*
2014/15Decrease 0.408 million
2015/16Increase 0.508 million
2016/17Increase 0.569 million
2017/18Decrease 0.458 million
2018/19Decrease 0.397 million
Passenger Transport Executive
PTETransport for Greater Manchester
20 July 1849Original MSJA railway station opens
3 April 1881MSJA station replaced on current site
6 May 1974Name changed form Altrincham and Bowdon to Altrincham
15 June 1992Metrolink service starts
National RailUK railway stations
* Annual estimated passenger usage based on sales of tickets in stated financial year(s) which end or originate at Altrincham from Office of Rail and Road statistics. Methodology may vary year on year.


A British Rail Class 304 at Altrincham in 1990
A Manchester Metrolink M5000 tram on Platform 1

The station was opened on 3 April 1881 as Altrincham & Bowdon by the Manchester, South Junction and Altrincham Railway (MSJAR) to replace Altrincham (1st) railway station on Stockport Road and Bowdon station on Lloyd Street/Railway Street which both closed that day. All platforms were through, with Nos. 1 and 2 (nearest to the town) being used by the MSJAR.

The Cheshire Lines Committee (CLC) trains from Manchester Central to Northwich and Chester Northgate used platforms 3 and 4. The CLC also operated a service from Stockport Tiviot Dale via Northenden to Altrincham, latterly using Sentinel steam railcars, but this service ceased in late 1939.

The station became part of the London, Midland and Scottish Railway during the Grouping of 1923. The station then passed on to the London Midland Region of British Railways on nationalisation in 1948.

Since 6 May 1974, the station has been named Altrincham.[1] In 1975 a new booking office was opened on platform 4 to serve the car park on the site of the former goods yard. Also in 1975 work, including the demolition of the glass covered canopy over the station entrance, began to convert the former station forecourt on Stamford New Road into a bus station which opened in November 1976. Thereafter the combined bus/rail station was referred to as Altrincham Interchange.

When Sectorisation was introduced in the 1980s, the station was served by Regional Railways under arrangement with the Greater Manchester Passenger Transport Executive until the privatisation of British Rail.

Regional Railways electric trains between Manchester and Altrincham ceased serving the station on 24 December 1991.[2] The former electric train platforms (1 and 2) reopened for use by Metrolink on 15 June 1992.[3]

A new roof for platform 1 costing £180,000 was installed in 2006. This platform had been uncovered since glazed panels were removed in 2003 due to safety concerns. The new roof is made of coated steel with clear panels to let in the light.[4]

The station clock tower on Stamford New Road is a Grade II listed structure.[5]


The Interchange was redeveloped in 2013-15 by Laing O'Rourke. The project was partly funded by the Local Sustainable Transport Fund.[6]

The interchange reopened on 7 December 2014, integrating Bus, Rail and Metrolink services again, although the lifts and some roofing in the railway station was not completed until 2015.[7][8]


Altrincham Interchange has four platforms. Two bay platforms are used for Metrolink services. Two further through platforms accommodate train services on the line between Manchester Piccadilly and Chester via Stockport.[9] A bus station on the edge of the complex provides road-based interchange, and there is also a taxi rank.[10]

Car accessEdit

There is provision for private cars to pick up and drop off passengers on the south side of the station (by Platform 4) off Oldfield Street; the two lane, six space bay marked "Passenger Drop-off" next to the car-park, with its own disabled wheelchair ramp and parking arrangements.[citation needed]



There is a basic hourly service in each direction on the Mid-Cheshire line on Mondays to Saturdays with two peak extras to/from Stockport. The through service to Blackpool North ceased to run from 15 December 2008.

On Sundays there were five trains to and from Chester but these all terminated here prior to the timetable change, there being no service onwards to Stockport and Manchester. Through passengers had to use the Metrolink service to continue their journey (connections were advertised in the 2007-8 timetable and National Rail tickets were valid for through trips). From December 2008 however, the service frequency has been improved (to two-hourly each way) and through running to Stockport & Manchester reinstated for the first time since the early nineties. These services continue on to Wigan Wallgate and Southport.[11]


A M5000 at Altrincham Interchange in Jan 2017.
Location of Altrincham in Greater Manchester
Local authorityTrafford
Coordinates53°23′15″N 2°20′50″W / 53.38750°N 2.34722°W / 53.38750; -2.34722
Fare zone information
Metrolink Zone4
Present statusIn operation
Original operatorManchester, South Junction and Altrincham Railway
Pre-grouping companyManchester, South Junction and Altrincham Railway
Post-grouping companyManchester, South Junction and Altrincham Railway
Conversion to Metrolink operation1992

There is a frequent Metrolink service to Manchester and Bury, with a tram every six minutes to Manchester for most of the day (alternate trams running to Bury, avoiding Piccadilly). Monday-Saturday evening and Sunday journeys run every 12 minutes to Piccadilly, with journeys to Bury requiring a change of trams at Piccadilly Gardens.[12]

Altrincham is in Metrolink fare zone 4.[13]

Service patternEdit

  • 5 trams per hour to Piccadilly via Sale
  • 5 trams per hour to Bury (peak only)
  • 1 train per hour to Piccadilly via Stockport
  • 1 train per hour to Chester
Preceding station     Manchester Metrolink   Following station
TerminusAltrincham – Bury Line
towards Bury
Altrincham – Piccadilly Line
towards Piccadilly
  National Rail
Hale   Northern
Mid-Cheshire Line
  Navigation Road
  Historical railways  
Line and station open
  Cheshire Lines Committee
Mid-Cheshire Line
Line and station open
Disused railways
Baguley   Cheshire Lines Committee
Stockport, Timperley and Altrincham Junction Railway

Bus servicesEdit

Transport for Greater Manchester own and maintain the bus station located on the former station forecourt.

Local bus services operate to locations within Trafford. Buses also operate to Manchester, Wythenshawe, Stockport, Manchester Airport, Wilmslow, Knutsford, Warrington, The Trafford Centre and Eccles. The main bus operator is Arriva North West but other significant operators include Stagecoach Manchester, Warrington's Own Buses, Warrington Coachways and Vale Travel.


  1. ^ Slater, J.N., ed. (July 1974). "Notes and News: Stations renamed by LMR". Railway Magazine. London: IPC Transport Press Ltd. 120 (879): 363. ISSN 0033-8923.
  2. ^ "Altrincham Interchange". Retrieved 28 November 2018.
  3. ^ "Altrincham Metrolink stop : Metrolink". Retrieved 28 November 2018.
  4. ^ "Station roof" Archived 16 June 2008 at the Wayback Machine, This is Trafford - Retrieved 28 November 2006
  5. ^ "Redevelopment of Altrincham Interchange (C) David Dixon :: Geograph Britain and Ireland". 19 November 2014. Retrieved 28 November 2018.
  6. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 8 December 2014. Retrieved 8 December 2014.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  7. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 8 December 2014. Retrieved 8 December 2014.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  8. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 8 December 2014. Retrieved 8 December 2014.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  9. ^ "Altincham-layout". Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 11 December 2016.
  10. ^ "Altrincham [ALT]". Retrieved 11 December 2016.
  11. ^ GB National Rail Timetable 2013-14, Table 88
  12. ^ "Metrolink - Tram Times - Altrincham". Metrolink / Transport for Greater Manchester. Retrieved 13 February 2013.
  13. ^ "Metrolink ticket zones map". TfGM. Retrieved 5 December 2018.
  • Butt, R. V. J. (1995). The Directory of Railway Stations: details every public and private passenger station, halt, platform and stopping place, past and present (1st ed.). Sparkford: Patrick Stephens Ltd. ISBN 978-1-85260-508-7. OCLC 60251199.
  • Dixon, Frank (1994). The Manchester South Junction & Altrincham Railway. Headington: Oakwood Press. ISBN 0-85361-454-7.
  • Jowett, Alan (2000). Jowett's Nationalised Railway Atlas (1st ed.). Penryn, Cornwall: Atlantic Transport Publishers. ISBN 978-0-906899-99-1. OCLC 228266687.

Further readingEdit

External linksEdit