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Helsby railway station serves the village of Helsby in Cheshire, England. It is recorded in the National Heritage List for England as a Grade II listed building.[1]

Helsby National Rail
Helsby railway station 1.jpg
Local authorityCheshire West and Chester
Grid referenceSJ486756
Station codeHSB
Managed byTransport for Wales
Number of platforms4
DfT categoryF1
Live arrivals/departures, station information and onward connections
from National Rail Enquiries
Annual rail passenger usage*
2013/14Decrease 80,696
2014/15Decrease 80,436
2015/16Increase 83,890
2016/17Increase 84,986
2017/18Increase 89,568
Key datesOpened 1863 (1863)
National RailUK railway stations
* Annual estimated passenger usage based on sales of tickets in stated financial year(s) which end or originate at Helsby from Office of Rail and Road statistics. Methodology may vary year on year.



There is a BT Payphone on Platform 1. Limited seating exists on Platform 1 and 2.[2]

The station has won numerous Best Kept Station awards.[3][4][5] A Customer Information System has been installed and is operational, allowing passengers to view departures and their calling points. If a train service is delayed, the CIS automatically shows the expected arrival time.

There is no disabled access to trains calling at this station due to the low platforms. Platforms for the Manchester and Ellesmere Port services can also only be reached by using the footbridge.[6]


The station is on the Chester to Manchester Line between Manchester Piccadilly and Chester. It has been operated by Arriva Trains Wales since 2005, but is unstaffed[7] requiring passengers to purchase tickets from the TVM Iocated on Platform 1 or the conductor, on board the train. The nearest station with additional ticketing facilities is Chester. Penalty Fares do not operate here.

There is a basic hourly service in each direction. Most westbound trains towards Chester continue to Llandudno (although connections are available at Chester for Holyhead and London). There are two services that run to Holyhead rather than Llandudno on weekdays and one service on Saturdays runs to Bangor. Certain northbound trains are now extended through to Manchester Airport. On Sundays the service operates between Chester & Manchester Piccadilly only, although on the same hourly frequency as during the week.[8]

Ellesmere Port branch trains stand at platform 3 and 4

The station is also the junction of the branch line to Ellesmere Port. This service sees three trains daily in each direction, (Monday - Saturday) - two in the early morning and another in the early evening. Two of these trains continue to Warrington Bank Quay and beyond to Manchester and Leeds on weekdays only. Northern operates this service. (In the picture, the train on the right has arrived from Ellesmere Port). There is no Sunday service on this line.[9]

The summer Saturdays only Chester to Runcorn parliamentary train via the Halton Curve (operated by Northern) passed through the station but did not call when operating. A regular (hourly each way, seven days a week) service between Liverpool Lime Street and Chester on this route, calling here and serving Runcorn and Liverpool South Parkway commenced at the May 2019 timetable change.[10]

Liverpool City Region Combined Authority, Long Term Rail Strategy document of October 2017, page 37, states that a trial of new Merseyrail battery trains will be undertaken in 2020, in view to put Helsby onto the Merseyrail network. If successful, Helsby will be one of the terminals of the Wirral line giving direct services to Birkenhead and four underground station in Liverpool's city centre.[11]

Public transport interchangeEdit

Helsby has several bus links operated primarily by Arriva North West and Stagecoach Merseyside.

Route X30 operates between Chester and Warrington hourly.[2] (Arriva NW) (Monday - Saturday)
Route X2 operates between Runcorn and Chester via Ince & Elton, and Ellesmere Port, hourly.[12] (Stagecoach Merseyside) (Monday - Saturday)

*On Sundays, service 21 is operated on behalf of Cheshire West and Chester Council by Stagecoach Merseyside Limited service. Services terminate at Frodsham and do not serve Runcorn.



Transport for Wales operates Class 150, Class 153, Class 158 and Class 175 DMUs on its services, as the Chester to Warrington line is not electrified.

The services to and from Ellesmere Port are operated by Northern. Northern use various types of rolling stock, including Class 142, Class 150 and Class 156.

Preceding station   National Rail Following station
Chester   Transport for Wales
Chester to Manchester Line
Chester   Transport for Wales
Halton Curve
Ince and Elton   Northern
Ellesmere Port to Warrington Line
Mondays-Saturdays only


Occasional goods trains run through Helsby. Freight services used to operate to Stanlow Oil Refinery and Quinn Glass, but these services no longer run. Regular freight workings still operate to and from Ellesmere Port, along with periodic goods services towards Chester (and onwards to North Wales). These mostly run to/from the Kronospan chipboard plant at Chirk or the Tata Steel mill at Dee Marsh.


The North Cheshire Rail Users' Group has adopted this station and regularly ensure the station is clean and tidy. The station has won the "Best Kept Station[13]" six times, and the plaques commending this are fixed to the signal box located on the island platforms, (2 + 3).

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Historic England. "Former stationmaster's house and main railway station building, Helsby (1253460)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 18 August 2013.
  2. ^ a b National Rail Enquiries - Station Facilities for Helsby
  3. ^ Best Kept Stations - Helsby
  4. ^ Helsby Station has been named "The Best Kept Station in Cheshire" at a glitzy awards ceremony Chester Chronicle news article 20-01-2011
  5. ^
  6. ^ National Rail Enquiries - Station Facilities for Helsby
  7. ^ National Rail Enquiries - Station Facilities for Helsby
  8. ^ GB National Rail Timetable May 2019, Table 81
  9. ^ GB NRT May 2019, Table 109
  10. ^ "New Chester to Liverpool rail service - more details released Holmes, D, Cheshire Live news article 3 April 2019; Retrieved 10 April 2019
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^ Stations

Further readingEdit

External linksEdit

Coordinates: 53°16′30″N 2°46′16″W / 53.275°N 2.771°W / 53.275; -2.771