Destination Manchester

Destination Manchester

As a progressive rail operator we’re always looking to develop our services and timetables to provide a better travelling experience for our customers. We are ambitious and our team seek innovative solutions to create new journey opportunities.

That's why we have developed proposals for our trains to begin serving Manchester for the first time. Under the plans, our existing hourly service between Crewe and London Euston would be extended to Manchester city centre from summer 2026.

Following the cancellation of the northern leg of HS2, these proposals will provide much-needed connectivity between Manchester, the West Midlands and London, with thousands of extra seats every day.

The plan will create:

  • Additional capacity and comfortable, affordable journeys to and from Manchester city centre
  • A great alternative to car and coach travel, with fares up to 50% cheaper than the main intercity train operator
  • New regular direct services to Warrington for passengers at Milton Keynes, Rugby and Lichfield
  • New regular direct services to Manchester for passengers at Rugeley, Lichfield, Tamworth and Atherstone

If approved, we’ll run the service into Manchester Victoria via Warrington Bank Quay using our brand new Class 730 electric trains with a total journey time to London of 3 hours 10 minutes. Our modern trains feature comfortable seats, on-board WiFi, ample luggage space and at-seat power points. Manufactured in the Midlands, the trains can carry more than 1,200 passengers when running with the maximum 10 carriages, bringing much-needed extra capacity to Manchester.

Why London Northwestern Railway?

We are aware of other proposals to bring additional capacity to Manchester. However, with platform space at London Euston in short supply, we believe the common sense solution is to extend our existing services between Crewe and London Euston, rather than adding more trains onto the busy West Coast Main Line. Unlike the Open Access model, the extra revenue generated should our plans get the go-ahead will be returned to the taxpayer, creating a win-win for passengers.

Our plans are also designed to protect performance along the West Coast Main Line by providing longer station stops on the way, preventing the spread of delays into and out of Manchester and ensuring passengers both on this service and across the network will have more reliable journeys.

What happens next?

We will submit our detailed proposals to the Office for Rail and Road for consideration in the second half of 2024. In the meantime we will work closely with other train operators, Network Rail and partners in the Manchester area to iron out the finer details of the proposal. If approval is granted we will begin training our drivers and senior conductors on the new route - and appoint some new ones – as soon as possible so we are ready to begin running trains from summer 2026.

Anything else?

As well as the proposal to extend our London Euston-Crewe services to Manchester Victoria, we are also proposing to begin running trains to Manchester Airport. This will involve extending our existing service between Stafford and Crewe, providing direct connectivity to the airport from Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire. More details on this proposal will be announced in due course.

In the meantime, great value tickets are already available for travel with London Northwestern Railway and connections from Crewe to Manchester, with walk-up tickets available every day from £42.10 return, allowing passengers to save £66 on an equivalent walk-up fare for the faster intercity operator.

How can I help?

If you would like to show support for our proposals or have feedback for us, you can email [email protected]