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Altrincham station, or Altrincham Interchange, serves the town of Altrinchammarker in Greater Manchestermarker in the United Kingdom. It was originally named Altrincham and Bowdon and is located on Stamford New Road, adjacent to the Altrincham Ice Domemarker—home to the Manchester Phoenix ice hockey team. The station also serves as the southern terminus of Manchester Metrolink to and from Manchester city centre.

The station has four platforms. Two bay platforms are used for Manchester Metrolink tram services. Two further through platforms serving the Mid-Cheshire Line are used for Northern Rail train services between Manchester Piccadilly stationmarker and Chester railway stationmarker via Stockport railway stationmarker. A bus station on the edge of the complex provides road-based interchange.

History

Wrought iron work at Altrincham station


The station was opened on 3 April 1881 as Altrincham & Bowdon by the Manchester South Junction and Altrincham Railway (MSJAR) to replace Altrincham railway stationmarker on Stockport Road and Bowdon stationmarker on Lloyd Street/Railway Street which both closed that day. All platforms were through, with Nos. 1 and 2 (nearest to the town) being used by the MSJAR.

The Cheshire Lines Committee (CLC) trains from Manchester Centralmarker to Northwichmarker and Chester Northgatemarker used platforms 3 and 4. The CLC also operated a service from Stockport Tiviot Dalemarker via Northendenmarker to Altrincham, latterly using Sentinel steam railcars, but this service ceased in late 1939.
The station became part of the London, Midland and Scottish Railway during the Grouping of 1923. The station then passed on to the London Midland Region of British Railways on nationalisation in 1948.

Since 6 May 1974, the station has been named Altrincham. In 1975 a new booking office was opened on platform 4 to serve the car park on the site of the former goods yard. Also in 1975 work, including the demolition of the glass covered canopy over the station entrance, began to convert the former station forecourt on Stamford New Road into a bus station which opened in November 1976. Thereafter the combined bus/rail station was referred to as Altrincham Interchange.

When Sectorisation was introduced in the 1980s, the station was served by Regional Railways under arrangement with the GMPTE until the Privatisation of British Railways.

British Rail electric trains between Manchester and Altrincham ceased serving the station on 24 December 1991. The former electric train platforms (1 and 2) reopened for use by Metrolink on 15 June 1992.

A new roof for platform 1 costing £180,000 was installed in 2006. This platform had been uncovered since glazed panels were removed in 2003 due to safety concerns. The new roof is made of coated steel with clear panels to let in the light.

The station clock tower on Stamford New Road is a Grade II listed structure.

Passenger numbers

Like most stations on the Mid-Cheshire line passenger numbers have risen over recent years. However, surprisingly Altrincham has lower rail passenger numbers than the nearby town of Knutsfordmarker, despite many leaving the National Rail Network at Altrincham to change to the Manchester Metrolink. In part, this can be attributed to the inter-availability of PTE tickets (System One,GM Rail Rangers,Wayfarers) and concessionary passes, which are not always accurately recorded within Lennon data statistics.

Rail and Metrolink services

There is a basic hourly service in each direction on the Mid-Cheshire line on Mondays to Saturdays with two peak extras to/from Stockportmarker. The through service to Blackpoolmarker ceased to run from 15 December 2008.

On Sundays there were five trains to and from Chester but these all terminated here prior to the timetable change, there being no service onwards to Stockport & Manchester. Through passengers had to use the Metrolink service to continue their journey (connections were advertised in the 2007-8 timetable and National Rail tickets were valid for through trips). From December 2008 however, the service frequency has been improved (to two-hourly each way) and through running to Stockport & Manchester reinstated for the first time since the early nineties. These services continue on to Boltonmarker and Southportmarker.

There is a frequent service to Manchester & Bury via Metrolink, with a tram every six minutes to Manchester for most of the day (alternate trams running to Bury, avoiding Piccadilly). On evenings & Sundays this drops to every fifteen minutes, when all trams run to Piccadilly.

Bus services

GMPTE own and maintain the bus station located on the former station forecourt, which consists of eleven stands lettered A to M. Stands F to K are located within a subsidiary traffic island that is only accessible via the marked pedestrian crossings over the main busway. There is a Travelshop, cafe and newsagents located adjoining the railway station.

Local bus services operate to locations within Traffordmarker. Buses also operate to Manchestermarker, Wythenshawemarker, Stockportmarker, Manchester Airportmarker, Wilmslowmarker, Knutsfordmarker, Warringtonmarker, The Trafford Centremarker and Ecclesmarker. The main bus operator is Arriva North West but other significant operators include Stagecoach Manchester, Warrington Borough Transport, Warrington Coachways and Vale Travel.

References

  1. "Station roof", This is Trafford - Retrieved November 28, 2006
  • Frank Dixon   The Manchester South Junction & Altrincham Railway   The Oakwood Press (1994) ISBN 0-85361-454-7


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