Manchester to Preston Line
(West Coast Main Line)
The Manchester to Preston Line runs from the city of Manchester to Preston, Lancashire. It is largely used by commuters entering Manchester from surrounding suburbs and cities, but is also one of the main railway lines into Manchester from the north and Scotland.
It contains three principle train services:
- Those run by TransPennine Express. These stop at main stations only, coming from either Barrow-in-Furness on the Furness Line or Windermere on the Windermere Branch Line, both of which enter via Lancaster and the West Coast Main Line. They follow the line to Manchester Piccadilly and continue south to Manchester Airport.
- Those run by Northern Rail. These come from Blackpool North in the north and Manchester Airport or Buxton, and stop at the smaller suburban stations along the line. They also call at Manchester Piccadilly.
- Those run by Virgin Trains. These can be seen as a spur of the West Coast Main Line. These trains stop only in Preston, Bolton and Manchester Piccadilly. They come from Edinburgh or Glasgow Central in the north and only call at Preston, Bolton and Manchester Piccadilly with most terminate at Manchester Piccadilly with one terminating at Birmingham New Street.
Some freight still uses this line, but it is primarily a passenger service.