Mid Cheshire Rail Users Association

Your voice for the Manchester to Chester, Crewe to Liverpool and potentially Northwich to Crewe via Middlewich railway lines

Latest News & Events


    24th May 2018

    TransPennine Express has set up a new rover ticket, the North of England City Experience (4 in 8-day) Rover ....

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    1st May 2018

    The new timetable starting Sunday May 20th 2018 for the Mid Cheshire Line has been published ....

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    The RMT have announced a further two days of industrial action in May which will affect services on the Mid Cheshire Line ....

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    The Mid Cheshire Line Music Trains for 2018 have been announced .....

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    30th March 2018

    The CRP Marvellous Days Out mugs are now on sale at Knutsford Heritage Centre on King Street ....

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    27th March 2018

    The Mid Cheshire Community Rail Partnership has launched an imaginative booklet ‘Discover Amazing Women by Rail’ .....

    Read More


The 2018 season has started well - with good weather and good music from Steerage Class, Full House and Time Bandits on the Chester Folk Festival Music Train from Chester to Plumley and the Terry Burgin Blues Band on the daytime Music Train to Mobberley, arranged for Chester U3A.

In May and June we have four more public Music Trains and two more Music Trains for groups.

New Train times

Sunday 20 May will see significant changes to train timetables throughout the country. For the Mid Cheshire Line these changes are only a limited step towards delivery of the significant improvements which have been promised. Network Rail is behind with the electrification of the Manchester to Preston Line through Bolton on which these depend. It is hoped that the improvements will now be introduced in December.

The main change on 20 May is that trains from Manchester to Chester will be retimed and generally run 24 minutes later. From Chester to Manchester there are minor changes to the timings of most trains. 

The effect for Music Trains is more time in the pub! From Chester to Plumley and back Music Trains will leave Chester at 19:01. The return from Plumley will leave 20 minutes later than now at 22:29 and get into Chester at 23:14.

Music Trains from Altrincham will leave 10 minutes earlier at 18:36. The return from Chester will leave at 22:46 and be back in Altrincham at 23:49. As the 18:36 will have started from Stockport (rather than Manchester) we think it might be less crowded and so it will be easier for the band to start playing in the rear carriage on the way to Chester.

Wednesday 23 May – Deportees on the Music Train from Chester to Plumley and at the Golden Pheasant

The Deportees are Graham Bellinger, Mick Green and Adrian Dear. They play guitars, mandolin, mandocello, bouzouki and banjo as well as harmonica and melodeon. Most of all the Deportees sing - three voices finding unexpected harmonies in a mix of old and recent songs from both sides of the Atlantic, some written by themselves, others by their heroes - like Woody Guthrie, Richard Thompson, Hank Williams, John Martyn, Bob Dylan, Guy Clark, Robert Johnson, Buddy Holly, Tom Waits and good old Trad Arr. You'll hear songs to join in with, songs to make you think, songs to move you and songs to get you moving.

There is no charge for the Music Train, though there is a collection on the way back for the band and you will need a train ticket which you can buy from the conductor – except at Chester where you must buy your ticket from the station ticket office or the ticket machine before boarding the train. No need to book – just get into the rear carriage. (Music Train leaves Chester at 19:01 and return leaves Plumley for Chester at 22:29).

Wednesday 6 June – Loose Change Buskers on the Music Train from Altrincham to Chester and Dave Roberts Jazz at Alexanders

Loose Change Buskers are a group of volunteers who perform and collect for charity. They sing, dance and play a lively set of classic tracks ranging from ‘Brown Eyed Girl’ to ‘Country Road’. Loose Change Buskers have become a familiar part of local events such as the Greater Manchester Marathon, as well as performing their own impromptu gigs on the streets of Altrincham, Hale and beyond. The charity band started by two Altrincham musicians in 2010, has now raised over £350,000 collecting for Cancer Research UK.

You will need to book in advance. The package deal of music and food also includes taxis to and from the station at Chester. You need to book in advance at www.alexanderslive.com. (You can find and book the Music Trains under ‘Tickets’). On Music Train nights it’s bangers'n mash with sausages, peas and gravy. You'll need a train ticket as well. (Music Train leaves Altrincham at 18:36, return leaves Chester at 22:46).

Wednesday 13 June – Nelson Peach on the Music Train from Chester to Plumley and at the Golden Pheasant

Nelson Peach are Lesley Nelson, Richard Nelson and Richard Peach. They play flute, whistles, cittern, guitar, mandolin, violin and banjo. “The basis of our music is English Traditional, though we mix in contemporary folk and pop, and also some American versions of traditional songs”. Instrumental arrangements are lively and songs often complemented by two and three part harmonies. (Music Train leaves Chester at 19:01 and return leaves Plumley for Chester at 22:29).

Friday 22 June – Geoff Higginbottom and Rob Carroll on the Knutsford Music Festival Train to the Cross Keys at Knutsford

Geoff Higginbottom and Rob Carroll play 6 & 12 string guitars, bodhran and mandolin. They sing traditional songs – shanties, ballads and humorous ditties – and contemporary songs on a wide range of subjects and from a variety of different sources. Geoff’s whole act is spiced with a great sense of humour. The Cross Keys is on King Street in Knutsford about 400 yards from the station. It is Andy, the manager, and his team are looking forward to welcoming Knutsford’s first Music Train. He will be serving a special menu on the night. (Music Train leaves Chester at 19:01 and return leaves Knutsford for Chester at 22:24).

More music trains

Our programme of Music Trains from Chester to Plumley continues every month until October:

Wednesday 18 July – Fiddlestone
Wednesday 8 August – Terry Burgin Blues Band
Wednesday 5 September - Port Sunlight Sea Dogs
Wednesday 3 October - Time Bandits

Dates for more Music Trains to Alexanders are Wednesday 15 August and Wednesday 26 September.

Groups on Music Trains

Groups are welcome to join the Music Trains.

If you plan to bring a group of 10 or more people on a public Music Train from Chester to Plumley, please contact me in advance about your plans so that we can agree a date or dates. That way we can avoid having too many groups on one evening as well as the many people who come as individuals or in smaller groups – who can just turn up at a station on the night.

If you plan to bring a group on the Music Trains to Alexanders in Chester then just go ahead and book online with Alexanders. There is a maximum of 44 places available.

We can arrange a group Music Train for 30 or more people – either in the daytime or in the evening - from Monday to Thursday inclusive - in either direction.

Use the contact below to discuss a date and make the arrangements.

It might also be possible to arrange a group Music Train from Chester to Plumley or Mobberley by combining two groups, if between them they can bring 30 or more people.

More Music Train details

Watch this website for further details or contact musictrains@midcheshirerail.org.uk  for more information or to sign up to the Music Trains newsletter.

What is a Music Train?

Music Train Reports from the Blog?