Northenden station in 1954, looking east, showing the station building and signal box (in the background)
General information
LocationSharston, Manchester
Coordinates53°23′55″N 2°15′11″W / 53.3986°N 2.2531°W / 53.3986; -2.2531
Grid referenceSJ832891
Other information
Original companyStockport, Timperley and Altrincham Junction Railway
Pre-groupingCheshire Lines Committee
Post-groupingCheshire Lines Committee
Key dates
1 February 1866Opened
30 November 1964Closed

Northenden railway station in Sharston, Manchester, England, was built by the Stockport, Timperley and Altrincham Junction Railway (ST&AJ) and opened for passenger and goods traffic on 1 February 1866.[1]

On 15 August 1867 the ST&AJ became part of the Cheshire Lines Committee, from 1 January 1923 jointly owned by the London and North Eastern Railway and the London, Midland and Scottish Railway.[2]

Some railway timetables describe the station as Northenden for Wythenshawe because, lying between the road overbridges at Sharston Road and Longley Lane, it served the two districts.[1]

Station facilities

The main brick-built station building was constructed to a typical Cheshire Lines Committee design with steeply sloping roofs and decorative wooden barge boarding. It contained the booking office, passenger waiting room, parcels office, toilet facilities and the station master's accommodation. Until the 1890s a telegraph office, available to send public messages, was located in the station building.[3]

The main building was located on the north side of the line, and therefore was nearest to Northenden village and served passenger trains travelling eastwards from Liverpool and Warrington towards Stockport.

On the south side of the line was a smaller brick-built building containing a waiting room for passengers, and reached from the station's eastern end by a boarded railway crossing. This platform served passenger trains from Stockport travelling westwards towards Warrington and Liverpool.

Northenden Junction and signal box

Northenden Junction signal box in 1979 taken from Longley Lane over-bridge

Northenden Junction signal box is 200 yards (183 metres) to the east of where the main station buildings were, on the north side of the line, adjoining Longley Lane. The signal box was built using CLC's standard dark brick construction and utilised an unusually tall design, sufficiently high to enable the signalman on duty to readily see above Longley Lane road bridge over the line and on to Northenden Junction, 200 yards (183 m) away to the east, where the London & North Western Railway's line from Stockport (Edgeley) station joined the Cheshire Lines Committee line from Stockport Tiviot Dale. The signal box controlled sets of signals protecting the junction and also operated the powered railway switching points.

Passenger train service

From its opening in 1866, Northenden station was served by local CLC passenger trains from Stockport Tiviot Dale to Altrincham, Warrington Central and Liverpool Central stations.

The London and North Western Railway (LNWR) opened its line from Stockport Edgeley, via Cheadle LNW to Northenden on 1 August 1866.[4] Between that date and 1917, the LNWR operated a passenger train service from Stockport (Edgeley) and on to Broadheath and Warrington Arpley, thence to Liverpool Lime street.[5] These trains used the Northenden Line Junction to Cheadle Village Junction curve in Stockport to access the line to Northenden (see adjacent map).

During the late 19th century, the CLC operated five trains per day from Stockport Tiviot Dale, stopping at Northenden and continuing via Deansgate Junction near Broadheath to Altrincham. The trains were timed to connect at Altrincham with the CLC trains from Manchester Central to Northwich and Chester.[6]

Until 1939, some express trains running through Sheffield Victoria along the Woodhead Line used the route from Godley East through Northenden to bypass Manchester, including some LNER Hull to Liverpool trains.[7] These trains did not stop at the station.

Northenden Junction in 1979. Line from Stockport Tiviot Dale CLC on left (now singled). Line from Stockport LNW on right (now mostly singled). Photo taken looking east from Longley Lane over-bridge with 35028 "Clan Line" heading west.

The weekday westbound CLC local train service in July 1922 comprised four trains to Warrington or Liverpool and five to Altrincham.[8] By August 1946, the service to Altrincham had ceased and just four passenger trains per weekday ran to Warrington Central and Liverpool Central. The January 1956 passenger service was at the same sparse level.[9]

For most of the station's existence, the passenger trains were hauled by steam locomotives, but for some years leading up to the second World War, some services from Stockport via Northenden to Altrincham were operated by the CLC's own fleet of Sentinel steam railcars. Northenden station was closed on 30 November 1964 [1] when passenger trains were withdrawn by British Railways and the buildings were later demolished. Passenger trains using Diesel multiple units still operate through the disused site, but these are now from Manchester Piccadilly via Stockport, then travelling non-stop to Navigation Road and onwards to Altrincham, Northwich and Chester.

Freight services

A two-line goods siding was located to the south of the westbound platform. This was served by local freight trains, which shunted the sidings each day. The goods facilities at Northenden were withdrawn on 19 June 1965. The sidings remained in use for various cement manufacturing companies over the years including Blue Circle Cement and later Lafarge.[10]

Northenden Junction looking southeast towards Stockport in 2016 showing also (right) the two-line waste disposal siding and processing facilities

Until the early 1960s there was a very intensive service of freight trains through Northenden, with trains heading from Yorkshire and the North Midlands to Liverpool Docks and Birkenhead Docks and elsewhere. Local freight trains stopped at Northenden each day, with goods wagons containing coal and other materials being shunted into the sidings for unloading by local merchants and businesses.

A large waste disposal terminal was constructed to the south of the junction in the mid-1970s. This being the property of Greater Manchester County Council (until 1986; since 1986 GMW). This two-line siding continues in use for the dispatch of container trains carrying landfill refuse. The destination for these being Roxby Gullet near Scunthorpe, North Lincolnshire

Diesel-hauled freight trains still run through Northenden. These include heavy block trains carrying limestone from quarries at Tunstead (near Buxton) Derbyshire to the alkali works located near Northwich, Cheshire.

Railway diagram showing Northenden station and junction

1903 Railway Clearing House diagram of railways in southern Manchester showing Northenden station and junction with the CLC line (top) running towards Stockport (Tiviot Dale) and the LNWR line (bottom) running towards Stockport (Edgeley) station

See also


  1. ^ a b c Butt 1995, p. 173
  2. ^ Awdry 1990, p. 238
  3. ^ Bradshaws Guide 1895, p. xxxviii
  4. ^ Fox 1986, p. 2
  5. ^ Dyckhoff 1999, p. 65
  6. ^ Bradshaws Guide 1895, p. 456
  7. ^ Rose 1987, p. 119
  8. ^ Bradshaw's July 1922 Railway Guide 1985, pp. 720–722
  9. ^ Bradshaw 1956, p. 128
  10. ^ Fox 1986, p. 23
  • Awdry, Christopher (1990), Encyclopedia of British Railway Companies, Guild Publishing, CN 8986
  • Bradshaw-Mitchell, Vic, ed. (2011), Bradshaw's December 1895 Railway Guide, Middleton Press, ISBN 978-1-908174-11-6
  • St John Thomas, David, ed. (1985), Bradshaw's July 1922 Railway Guide, Guild Publishing
  • Bradshaw, N.A. (1956), Bradshaw's Manchester ABC Railway Guide January 1956, Henry Blacklock & Co Ltd
  • Butt, R.V.J. (1995), The Directory of Railway Stations, Patrick Stephens, ISBN 1-85260-508-1
  • Bolger, Paul (1984), The Cheshire Lines Committee, Heyday Publishing, ISBN 0-947562-00-1
  • Dyckhoff, Nigel (1999), Portrait of the Cheshire Lines Committee, Ian Allan Ltd, ISBN 0-7110-2521-5
  • Griffiths, R.P. (1978), The Cheshire Lines Railway, The Oakwood Press
  • Fox, Gregory K. (1986), Scenes from the Past:1 The Railways around Stockport, Foxline Publications, ISBN 1-870119-00-2
  • Rose, R.E. (1987), The LMS & LNER in Manchester, Ian Allan Ltd, ISBN 0-7110-1708-5

Preceding station   Disused railways   Following station
Line open, station closed
  Cheshire Lines Committee
Stockport, Timperley and Altrincham Junction Railway
  Cheadle (CLC)
Line and station closed
  London and North Western Railway
Warrington and Stockport Railway
  Cheadle (LNW)
Line open, station closed