Nantwich railway station

Nantwich railway station serves the town of Nantwich, Cheshire, England. It is on the Crewe to Shrewsbury line 4 12 miles (7.2 km) south west of Crewe. Opened in 1858, it was the junction for the Great Western Railway route to Wellington via Market Drayton until 1963.

Nantwich National Rail
Nantwich Railway Station.jpg
Nantwich railway station
Local authorityCheshire East
Grid referenceSJ653519
Station codeNAN
Managed byTransport for Wales
Number of platforms2
DfT categoryF1
Live arrivals/departures, station information and onward connections
from National Rail Enquiries
Annual rail passenger usage*
2014/15Increase 168,550
2015/16Increase 183,814
2016/17Increase 216,292
2017/18Increase 237,480
2018/19Increase 240,334
National RailUK railway stations
* Annual estimated passenger usage based on sales of tickets in stated financial year(s) which end or originate at Nantwich from Office of Rail and Road statistics. Methodology may vary year on year.
Bank Holiday Special in 1962


The town was initially considered as potential calling point for the Grand Junction Railway route between London, Birmingham and Manchester/Liverpool, but opposition from coaching and canal interests therein led to the Grand Junction being routed through Crewe instead.[1] The Crewe and Shrewsbury Railway would end up being the first route into the town - authorised by parliament in 1852, it was eventually opened in September 1858 and was operated by the London and North Western Railway. This subsequently became part of a busy through route between the north west of England and South Wales (the modern day Welsh Marches Line). The Nantwich and Market Drayton Railway linking the titular towns opened five years later, making the station a junction in the process - known locally as the "Gingerbread Line" (Market Drayton being renown for the production of said confectionary), it was later extended to Wellington and officially became part of the Great Western Railway system in 1897. This line was a busy freight artery but in pre-grouping days was also used by the GWR to run expresses all the way to Manchester London Road (albeit using running rights over the LNWR north of Nantwich).

Passenger services over the Market Drayton line were withdrawn by the British Railways Board on 9 September 1963.[2] Freight continued to run for the next four years (the line was utilised as a diversionary route during the electrification of the West Coast Main Line), but it eventually closed completely in 1967 and was lifted by 1970.

There are three level crossings at or near to the station and until the late 1960s each had its own signal box; a fourth was also provided to the south to control the junction with the Market Drayton branch. All but the station box were removed in the 1970s when the crossings were automated, with the latter also succumbing when the line was re-signalled in late 2013 (the crossings are now remotely monitored from the South Wales Rail Operating Centre in Cardiff). After two years of disuse, the structure was dismantled by Network Rail in January 2016 for reuse at its training academy at Crewe.[1]


The station is now unstaffed but has a self-service ticket machine available, which can be used for pre-paid ticket collection and buying before travel. The main building on the northbound platform still stands, but has been converted for use as an Indian restaurant; shelters are located on each side for passenger use. Train running information is provided by CIS screens, customer help points and timetable poster boards. The footbridge linking the platforms has steps, but level access is possible via the crossing and ramps to each platform.[3]


The station is served by twice hourly services between Crewe and Shrewsbury. There are some longer distance services between Manchester Piccadilly and Cardiff Central (with some extensions further west to Swansea and Carmarthen and two trains to Swansea via the Heart of Wales Line) on Mondays to Fridays.[4]

There is an infrequent service (five trains northbound, six southbound) which runs on Sundays.


  1. ^ a b Nantwich and the Railways Nantwich History; Retrieved 3 August 2017
  2. ^ Market Drayton / Nantwich Branch John Speller's Web Pages; Retrieved 3 August 2017
  3. ^ Nantwich station facilities National Rail Enquiries
  4. ^ GB National Rail Timetable, December 2018; Table 131

Further readingEdit

  • Mitchell, Vic; Smith, Keith (2014). Branch Lines around Market Drayton. Middleton Press. pp. 45–52. ISBN 9781908174673. OCLC 913791564.
  • Mitchell, Vic; Smith, Keith (2013). Shrewsbury to Crewe. Middleton Press. pp. 70–79. ISBN 9781908174482. OCLC 880765045.

External linksEdit

Preceding station   National Rail Following station
Wrenbury   Transport for Wales
Welsh Marches Line
Disused railways
Terminus   Great Western Railway
Nantwich and Market Drayton Railway
  Coole Pilate Halt
Line and station closed
Line and station open
  London, Midland and Scottish Railway
Crewe and Shrewsbury Railway
  Newcastle Crossing
Line open, station closed

Coordinates: 53°03′47″N 2°31′08″W / 53.063°N 2.519°W / 53.063; -2.519