Manchester to Preston Line

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Manchester-Preston Line
Principal stations

(West Coast Main Line)
Horwich Parkway
Moses Gate
Salford Crescent
Manchester Oxford Road
Manchester Piccadilly
(Trains to Manchester Airport)

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.

To its north, the line merges into the West Coast Main Line. To the south, many trains continue on the line to Manchester Airport. Some services also enter it from the Ribble Valley Line at Bolton.

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.

Railway lines in Northern England:
Main lines:  Cross-Country Route   East Coast Main Line   Midland Main Line   West Coast Main Line
 Chester-Manchester Line    Hope Valley Line   Liverpool-Manchester Line    Manchester-Preston Line   Settle-Carlisle Railway
Commuter lines:  Airedale Line Blackburn-Bolton Line   Caldervale Line   Mid-Cheshire Line   Dearne Valley Line  
 East Lancashire Line   Glossop Line   Hallam Line   Harrogate Line   Huddersfield Line Kirkby Branch Line  
 Lancaster-Heysham Line   Leeds-Bradford Lines   Liverpool-Wigan Line    Manchester Airport Line  
 Manchester-Southport Line   Northern Line   Oldham Loop Line   Northallerton-Eaglescliffe Line  
 Ormskirk Branch Line   Pontefract Line   Sheffield-Hull Line   Sheffield-Lincoln Line   Stockport-Stalybridge Line  
 Wakefield Line   Wharfedale Line   Wirral Line   York & Selby Lines  York-Scarborough Line
Rural lines:  Barton Line   Borderlands Line   Buxton Line   Cumbrian Coast Line   Doncaster-Lincoln Line  
 Durham Coast Line   Esk Valley Line   Tees Valley Line   Furness Line   Hull-York Line   
 Oxenholme-Windermere Line   Penistone Line   Ribble Valley Line   Newcastle and Carlisle Railway  
 Yorkshire Coast Line
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