Days out from the Mid Cheshire Line - ON the train

 

There are many places to visit where your train journey is part of the trip

These webpages explain the ticket(s) you need for each trip and outline the way to make the journey. 

You will need to look at the railway websites to find out the train times that suit you best.  

 

SETTLE CARLISLE LINE

Mid Cheshire Line-Manchester-Leeds-Carlisle and return

This trip does not work well on Sundays as the earliest you can get to Leeds is 11:45 to catch the 13:55 to Carlisle. 

On Saturdays the fares are slightly cheaper than Mondays to Fridays. 

The most scenic railway journey in England.  The line is engineered to follow the natural pathways through the hills of the Pennines.  In the 72 miles between Settle and Carlisle there are 14 tunnels and over 20 viaducts.

The passenger service today comprises modern diesel trains with occasional steam and diesel charter trains. 

Tickets 

From the Mid Cheshire Line you will need two tickets:

1, Off-Peak Return from your station to Leeds.  

In spite of its name this ticket is valid all day without time restrictions in either direction if you start from Mouldsworth to Plumley inclusive.

From Knutsford there is a restriction which means you will need a Day Return from Knutsford to Mobberley and then an Off Peak Return from Mobberley to Leeds. Available at ticket offices, from ticket machines and from the conductor on the train.

From Mouldsworth:

£48.00, Senior, Disabled or Family Railcard £31.70, Child £24.00 (it’s cheaper to take a return to Delamere and then a second return ticket from Delamere to Leeds).

From Delamere, Cuddington, Greenbank, Northwich, Lostock Gralam and Plumley:

Monday to Friday £36.30, Senior Railcard, Disabled or Family Railcard £23.95, Child £18.15
Saturdays and Bank Holidays Adult £28.40, Senior, Disabled or Family Railcard £18.75, Child £14.20

From Knutsford:

Buy a Day Return to Mobberley and then an Off Peak Return from Mobberley to Leeds as the Off Peak Return from Knutsford to Mobberley is not valid before 07:45

From Mobberley, Ashley, Hale, Altrincham and Navigation Road:

Monday to Friday Adult £23.50, Senior, Disabled or Family Railcard £15.50, Child £11.75 (not valid before 07:45)

Saturday Adult £21.50, Senior, Disabled or Family Railcard £14.20, Child £10.75.


2. Settle-Carlisle Day Ranger or Off Peak Day Return. 

The Day Ranger allows multiple trips on the Settle-Carlisle Line between Leeds and Carlisle. An Off-Peak Day Return to Appleby (or another station on the Line) gives only two journeys across the high part of the Line but is cheaper.

The tickets are available from ticket offices, some ticket machines and sometimes on the train. They can be bought on arrival at Leeds from the station ticket office.
Settle-Carlisle Day Ranger Adult £30.00, Senior, Disabled or Family Railcard £19.80, Child £15.00.

Railcard discounts apply to both tickets.

If you book a return to Carlisle from your station it will not cover the Settle-Carlisle route.

Your ticket to Leeds allows you to change trains where necessary.

The Settle-Carlisle Day Ranger covers the whole line from Leeds to Carlisle and allows unlimited journeys on the Line for that day.

If booking Leeds-Carlisle online make sure that you book a Settle-Carlisle Day Ranger or an Off Peak Day Return.

Cheaper Advance fares are offered on websites from Leeds to Carlisle but these mainly run to Carlisle via Manchester and are not valid on the Settle-Carlisle Line.
On the National Rail website you can spot these tickets because the journey involves changes.

Northern do offer Leeds-Carlisle Advance fares along the Settle-Carlisle Line on some trains and some dates.

These are cheaper than the Anytime Day return and have to be booked in advance. They do not allow you to break your journey in either direction and require you to take a specific seat on a specific train.

From the Mid Cheshire Line it is possible to use the Settle-Carlisle Day Ranger, with careful reading of the timetable, to travel three times across the highest section of the Line in the day and get back to Mid Cheshire as well – thus travelling the mountain section of the Line three times but missing out the northern section and Carlisle.

Times 

The train to catch on the Mid Cheshire Line is the 0659 from Chester (Monday to Saturday), in order to reach Leeds in time for the 1049 for Carlisle. 

The Settle-Carlisle timetable is available on the Settle-Carlisle website. 

Links 

The Settle-Carlisle Line website has extensive information on the Line, its history and the towns it serves.

For further details visit www.settle-carlisle.co.uk

 

EAST LANCASHIRE RAILWAY AND BURY TRANSPORT MUSEUM

Mid Cheshire Line to Altrincham + Metrolink to Bury Metrolink stop + walk to Bury Bolton Street Station on the East Lancashire Railway - and return 

The East Lancashire Heritage Railway is now just over 12 miles (19 km) long and the journey last an hour in each direction.  The heritage line is open every weekend of the year, and also some weekdays during the summer. 

Most trains are steam powered.  It holds a number of themed events and galas throughout the year which include steam and diesel events amongst others, and also offers driver experience courses. The ‘Day out with Thomas’ events are very popular. 

The railway is run by volunteer members from the East Lancashire Railway Preservation Society (ELRPS). The railway is well known for its collection of diesel locomotives which reside on the railway, along with over 140 carriages, wagons and utility vehicles.  

Bury Transport Museum is a modern family friendly attraction. It tells the story of the history of transport in the North West and is full of exciting exhibits and interactive hands-on galleries to keep both adults and children entertained.  Visitors can learn all about the people who worked at Castlecroft Goods Shed and the jobs they did in the recreated Goods Manager’s Office. The collection of exhibits includes a wide range of vintage buses, a tram, tractors, road transport vehicles and a goods train headed by a historic steam locomotive, we have many fascinating exhibits on display. 

Tickets

Buy a Wayfarer.  It covers the whole journey if you start from Northwich or stations east of Northwich – both the train to Altrincham and the direct tram from Altrincham to Bury. 

You need to start after 09:30 from Monday to Friday on weekdays or at any time at weekends or on public holidays. 

If you start from a station west of Northwich (Chester, Mouldsworth, Delamere, Cuddington or Greenbank) you will also need a return to Northwich.

Times 

Metrolink from Altrincham runs some direct services to Bury station or you may have to change in Manchester city centre.

Apart from the section through Manchester city centre it runs on the route of former railway lines - an interesting journey in itself across Greater Manchester. 

The direct journey takes 55 minutes.  Bury station on the East Lancashire Railway is a short walk from Bury station stop on Metrolink. 

Services on the East Lancashire Railway vary.  They operate at weekends all year. 

From April to September (plus school holidays in October and at Christmas) there are extra days and extra services. 

Check the East Lancashire Railway website for details.  

Tips and Links 

On the TfGM Metrolink website (www.metrolink.co.uk) you can find a map of the centre of Bury showing the tram stop, rail station and transport Museum. 

The East Lancs Railway and Transport Museum website is www.eastlancsrailway.org.uk 

 

FFESTINIOG RAILWAY CIRCULAR

Chester-Shrewsbury-Porthmadog-Blaenau Ffestiniog-Llandudno Junction-Chester

Arriva Trains Wales and the Ffestiniog Railway and offer a Ffestiniog Round Robin ticket, which is excellent value for a superb day out on Wales’s scenic routes and including the Ffestiniog Railway. 

There is an excellent guide to using the ticket on the MCRUA Chairman’s blog at

www.mcrua.org.uk/chairmansblog/2012/05/15/ffestiniog-round-robin-valid-from-the-mid-cheshire-line/

The circular means an early start and a long day.  It is only practicable from Monday to Saturday and when the Ffestiniog Railway timetable allows. 

Ticket 

Ffestiniog Round Robin - covers the whole trip starting from your station on the Mid Cheshire Line.

Prices are: Adult £44.00, Railcard £29.05 (16-25, Senior, Disabled, Two Together), Child £22.00, Family £75.00 (2 adults + 2 children).

The ticket covers the circular route in either direction including a single journey on the Ffestiniog Railway plus your journey to and from Chester on the Mid Cheshire Line.  It is an anytime day ticket, valid all day with no time restrictions except that travel must be completed by midnight on the day of travel – which covers the last Mid Chehsire Line train (22:48) from Chester. 

The Ffestiniog Round Robin can be bought at ticket offices, from ticket machines and from conductors on the Mid Cheshire Line.   The ticket may show Manchester as the starting point.  This is to fit in with the way the ticket machine works – the fare is the same.  Full details including a map are on the Arriva Trains Wales website.

Times 

The journey normally has five legs:

1          Chester-Shrewsbury
2          Shrewsbury -Porthmadog
3          Porthmadog-Blaenau Ffestiniog (Ffestiniog Railway)
4          Blaenau Ffestiniog-Llandudno Junction
5          Llandudno Junction to Chester

At Porthmadog there is a 1000 yard walk between the Arriva Trains Wales station and the Ffestiniog railway station. 

Times for the Round Robin can be found from the National Rail website and the Ffestiniog Railway website. 

Services on the Ffestiniog Railway vary.  They operate every day of the week until the end of October then less frequently through the winter months with extra days around Christmas  

The service varies from day to day and from week to week – study the Ffestiniog Railway website for details.

For further information about the Ffestiniog Railway visit www.ffestiniograilway.co.uk.

 

WELSH HIGHLAND AND FFESTINIOG RAILWAYS CIRCULAR

Chester-Blaenau Ffestiniog-Porthmadog-Caernarfon-bus to Bangor-Chester or vice versa

This circular journey combines the two finest steam railway journeys in Wales. 

It means an early start and a long day. 

It is only possible from Monday to Saturday and when the Ffestiniog Railway or Welsh Highland Railway timetable allows.

Tickets 

You will need to buy three tickets. 

1          Anytime Day Return from Mid Cheshire Line station to Chester
2          All Zones North Wales Rover
3          Snowdonia ticket (single journey on both Ffestiniog Railway and Welsh Highland Railway)
            (with 50% North Wales Rover discount)

The All Zones North Wales Rover covers the Arriva Trains Wales sections from Chester back to Chester and the bus and gives a 50% discount on the Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland railways.

The All Zones North Wales Rover is available from ticket offices on the Mid Cheshire Line, but not from ticket machines or from conductors. 

If you start from an unstaffed station on the Mid Cheshire Line you will need to buy the North Wales Rover at Chester Station ticket office.   

You need an All Zones North Wales Rover for this circular trip. 

It is an anytime day ticket, with no time restrictions. North Wales Rovers cannot be bought by phone or online.

You buy your Snowdonia ticket (Ffestiniog Railway and Welsh Highland Railway combined) at your starting station on both those lines ie at Caernarfon or at Blaenau Ffestiniog.  You cannot buy Third Class Snowdonia tickets in advance. 

NB  Be careful not to confuse the Welsh Highland Railway with the (much shorter) Welsh Highland Heritage Railway which runs from Porthmadog. 

Fares for 2017 

All Zones North Wales Rover
Adult £38.00, Child £19.00 Railcard (Two Together Railcard, Senior Railcard, Disabled Railcard, 16-25 Railcard) £25.30.

Snowdonia (with 50% All Zones North Wales Rover discount).
Single - Blaenau Ffestiniog to Caernarfon via Porthmadog or vice versa. Adult £20.00, Concessions £18.00 (65+, disabled). All children under 3 travel free.

All children 3 years and over require a ticket. One child under 16 years travels free with each adult or senior citizen paying ordinary 3rd class fare. Additional children travel at half fare.

A flat rate first class supplement applies. No national railcard discounts.

Times 

Times for the round trip can be found from the National Rail website and the Ffestiniog Railway website, which also covers the Welsh Highland Railway. 

For the Caernarfon-Bangor section you will need to take the bus, which is covered by the All Zones North Wales Rover.  The bus journey takes 30 minutes and buses run three or four times an hour between Bangor and Caernarfon bus stations.  There is a walk between bus and rail stations in both towns.    

This trip needs an early start and is only possible from Monday to Saturday and when the Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland Railway timetables allow.

Services on the Welsh Highland Railway and the Ffestiniog Railway vary. 

They operate every day of the week until the end of October then less frequently through the winter months with extra days around Christmas.

The service varies from day to day and from week to week – study the Ffestiniog Railway and Welsh Highland Railway website for details.

Maps

Click here to view the North Wales Rover Map 

Rail lines are shown in red, white lines are bus routes

Click here to download the North Wales Rover leaflet 

For further information about the Ffestiniog Railway and Welsh Highland Railway visit www.ffestiniograilway.co.uk.

 

FFESTINIOG RAILWAY DAY TRIP
WELSH HIGHLAND RAILWAY DAY TRIP

From the Mid Cheshire Line it is possible to make a day trip to Porthmadog either by the Ffestiniog Railway via Blaenau Ffestiniog or by the Welsh Highland Railway via Caernarfon. 

These trips mean an early start and a long day.  They are only possible from Monday to Saturday and when the Ffestiniog Railway or Welsh Highland Railway timetable allows. 

Tickets

You will need to buy three tickets.

1          Anytime Day Return from Mid Cheshire Line station to Chester
2          All Zones North Wales Rover
3          Ffestiniog Railway Day ticket or Welsh Highland Railway Return
            (50% All Zones North Wales Rover discount applies to both)

The All Zones North Wales Rover covers the Arriva Trains Wales sections from Chester back to Chester and the Bangor-Caernarfon bus.  

The All Zones North Wales Rover is available from ticket offices on the Mid Cheshire Line, but not from ticket machines or from conductors.  If you start from an unstaffed station on the Mid Cheshire Line you will need to buy the North Wales Rover at Chester Station ticket office.  

You need an All Zones North Wales Rover for this circular trip. 

It is an anytime day ticket, with no time restrictions. North Wales Rovers cannot be bought by phone or online. 

You buy your Ffestiniog Railway and Welsh Highland Railway tickets at your starting station on those lines ie at Blaenau Ffestiniog or Caernarfon.

The Ffestiniog ticket is a day ticket for the line, as you can make more than one return journey in the day (with careful reading of the timetable). 

The Welsh Highland Railway ticket is a straightforward day return as that is all that is possible in a day. You cannot buy Third Class tickets in advance.

NB Be careful not to confuse the Welsh Highland Railway with the (much shorter) Welsh Highland Heritage Railway which runs from Porthmadog

Fares for 2017

All Zones North Wales Rover 

Adult £38.00, Child £19.00 Railcard (Two Together Railcard, Senior Railcard, Disabled Railcard, 16-25 Railcard) £25.30.

Ffestiniog Railway Day Ticket

Adult £12.00, Concessions £10.80 (65+, disabled) (including 50% All Zones North Wales Rover discount).

All children under 3 travel free.  All children 3 years and over require a ticket.  One child under 16 years travels free with each adult or senior citizen paying ordinary 3rd class fare.  Additional children travel at half fare.

A flat rate first class supplement applies.  No national railcard discounts.

Welsh Highland Railway Return

Caernarfon to Porthmadog Adult £19.90, Concessions £17.95 (65+, disabled) (including 50% All Zones North Wales Rover discount).

All children under 3 travel free.  All children 3 years and over require a ticket.  One child under 16 years travels free with each adult or senior citizen paying ordinary 3rd class fare.  Additional children travel at half fare.

A flat rate first class supplement applies.  No national railcard discounts.

Times 

Times can be found from the National Rail website and the Ffestiniog Railway website, which also covers the Welsh Highland Railway. 

For the Caernarfon-Bangor section you will need to take the bus, which is covered by the All Zones North Wales Rover.  The bus journey takes 30 minutes and buses run three or four times an hour between the bus stations. 

There is a walk between bus and rail stations in both towns. 

This trip needs an early start and is only possible from Monday to Saturday and when the Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland Railway timetables allow.

Services on the Ffestiniog and West Highland Railways vary.

They operate every day of the week until the end of October then less frequently through the winter months with extra days around Christmas. 

The service varies from day to day and from week to week – study the Ffestiniog Railway website for details.

Maps

Click here to view the North Wales Rover Map  

Rail lines are shown in red, white lines are bus routes

Click here to download the North Wales Rover leaflet 

For further information about the Ffestiniog Railway and Welsh Highland Railway visit www.ffestiniograilway.co.uk

 

Click below for how to the Take the Train on the Mid Cheshire Line  

 

This information is about the Mid Cheshire Line and its services (which run from Chester to Manchester via Altrincham and Stockport). 
It has been prepared by members of MCRUA (Mid Cheshire Rail Users Association) for the Community Rail Partnership.
There is much more information about Northern’s services on their website www.northernrailway.co.uk
Timetables for the Line are available at station dispensers, ticket offices and for download from Northern. 
The Mid Cheshire Line leaflet gives details about places to visit along the Line and is available at ticket offices and to download.

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