The route covered by this book dates from 1849 onwards. It ran from Manchester to Altrincham, utilising the infrastructure of the Manchester South Junction and Altrincham Railway, then to Knutsford by 1862, with extensions to Northwich and Mouldsworth, and a new terminus at Chester Northgate by 1874. Operated by the Cheshire Lines Committee, trains from Chester via Altrincham terminated at Manchester Central until its closure in 1969, with Northgate closing later in the same year. For many years the line had the reputation of being one of the busiest in the country and today serves many small rural communities in Cheshire.
The Mid Cheshire Line is essentially one of contrasts. From its beginning in the historic Roman city of Chester, this book details those differences: the farmland and villages of Mid Cheshire and the remaining industrial remnants of the salt and chemical industries around Northwich; the affluent outer suburbs of Greater Manchester; and the culturally and economically diverse city centre, with its rich heritage of Victorian railway infrastructure.
Steven John Dickens has a BA. Hons in History (Sheffield University) and an MA in Twentieth Century History (Liverpool University) and is a retired charge nurse and college lecturer. He has always had an interest in local history and social history and has also lectured on the history of the NHS. He has previously written for several local history publications, genealogy journals and magazines; including The Manchester Genealogist and The Journal of the Altrincham History Society.