West Coast Main Line

West Coast Main Line
WCML and M1.jpg
The WCML running alongside the M1 at Watford Gap
OwnerNetwork Rail
TerminiLondon Euston
Glasgow Central
SystemNational Rail
Line length399 mi (642 km)[1]
Number of tracks
  • Double track
  • Quadruple track
  • Sextuple track
Track gauge1,435 mm (4 ft 8+12 in)
Loading gaugeW10
Electrification25 kV 50 Hz AC OHLE
Operating speed
  • 125 mph (201 km/h) for tilting trains[2]
  • 110 mph (177 km/h) for standard trains
Route map
West Coast Main Line Map.png
(c) Peter Christener, CC BY 3.0

(Click to expandInteractive map)
West Coast Main Line
All WCML services & branches
Edinburgh Waverley (Edinburgh Trams St Andrew Sq.)
Haymarket Edinburgh Trams
Glasgow Central (Glasgow Subway St Enoch)
Carstairs South Junction
Oxenholme Lake District
for Windermere
for Blackpool North
Euxton Junction
Wigan North Western
Warrington Bank Quay
Liverpool Lime Street Merseyrail
Liverpool South Parkway Merseyrail
Weaver Junction
Manchester Piccadilly Manchester Metrolink
for Dublin Ferry Port
ferry/water interchange
Chester Merseyrail
Cheadle Hulme Junction
Crewe North Junction
North Wales Coast Line
Stone Junction
Norton Bridge Junction
Stafford South Junction
Colwich Junction
Lichfield Trent Valley
Cross-City Line
Birmingham New Street Midland Metro
Cross Country Route
Birmingham International Birmingham Airport
Rugby Trent Valley Junction
Hillmorton Junction
Hanslope Junction
Milton Keynes Central
Watford Junction London Overground
London Euston London Underground London Overground
All WCML routes shown.
A detailed diagram of the core route can be
found at West Coast Main Line diagram.

The West Coast Main Line (WCML) is one of the most important railway corridors in the United Kingdom, connecting the major cities of London and Glasgow with branches to Birmingham, Liverpool, Manchester and Edinburgh. It is one of the busiest mixed-traffic railway routes in Europe, carrying a mixture of intercity rail, regional rail, commuter rail and rail freight traffic. The core route of the WCML runs from London to Glasgow for 399 miles (642 km) and was opened from 1837 to 1869. With additional lines deviating to Northampton, Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool and Edinburgh, this totals a route mileage of 700 miles (1,127 km).[3][4] The Glasgow–Edinburgh via Carstairs line connects the WCML to Edinburgh, however the main London–Edinburgh route is the East Coast Main Line. Several sections of the WCML form part of the suburban railway systems in London, Coventry, Birmingham, Liverpool, Manchester and Glasgow, with many more smaller commuter stations, as well as providing links to more rural towns.

It is one of the busiest freight routes in Europe, carrying 40% of all UK rail freight traffic. The line is the principal rail freight corridor linking the European mainland (via the Channel Tunnel) through London and South East England to the West Midlands, North West England and Scotland.[5] The line has been declared a strategic European route and designated a priority Trans-European Networks (TENS) route.

Much of the line has a maximum speed of 125 mph (201 km/h), meeting the European Union's definition of an upgraded high-speed line,[6] although only Class 390 Pendolinos and Class 221 Super Voyagers with tilting mechanisms operated by Avanti West Coast travel at that speed. Other traffic is limited to 110 mph (177 km/h).


(c) Don Burgess, CC BY-SA 2.0
The northern WCML as it weaves through the Lune Gorge in Cumbria alongside the M6

The core section between London Euston and Glasgow Central is 399 miles (642 km) long,[1] with principal InterCity stations at Watford Junction, Milton Keynes Central, Rugby, Stafford, Crewe, Warrington Bank Quay, Wigan North Western, Preston, Lancaster, Oxenholme Lake District, Penrith and Carlisle.

The central core[7] has branches serving the major towns and cities of Northampton, Coventry, Birmingham, Wolverhampton, Stoke-on-Trent, Macclesfield, Stockport, Manchester, Runcorn, and Liverpool; there is also a link to Edinburgh, but this is not the direct route between London and Edinburgh.[8]

Originally the lines between Rugby, Birmingham and Stafford were part of the main route until the Trent Valley Line was built in 1847 forming a direct connection between Rugby and Stafford. South of Rugby there is a loop that serves Northampton, and there is also a branch north of Crewe to Liverpool which is notable since Weaver Junction on this branch is the oldest flyover-type junction in use. A loop branches off to serve Manchester, another between Colwich Junction in the Trent Valley south of Stafford via Stoke-on-Trent, one north of Stafford also via Stoke-on-Trent, and one via Crewe and Wilmslow. A further branch at Carstairs links Edinburgh to the WCML, providing a direct connection between the WCML and the East Coast Main Line.

The geography of the route was determined by avoiding large estates, and hilly areas, such as the Chilterns (Tring cutting), the Watford Gap and Northampton uplands followed by the Trent Valley, the mountains of Cumbria with a summit at Shap, and Beattock Summit in South Lanarkshire. This legacy means the WCML has limitations as a long-distance main line, with lower maximum speeds than the East Coast Main Line (ECML) route, the other major main line between London and Scotland. The principal solution has been the adoption of tilting trains, initially with British Rail's APT, and latterly the Class 390 Pendolino trains constructed by Alstom and introduced by Virgin Trains in 2003. A 'conventional' attempt to raise line speeds as part of the InterCity 250 upgrade in the 1990s would have relaxed maximum cant levels on curves and seen some track realignments; this scheme faltered for lack of funding in the economic climate of the time.


Early history

The WCML was not originally conceived as a single trunk route, but was a number of separate lines built by different companies between the 1830s and the 1880s. After the completion of the successful Liverpool and Manchester Railway in 1830, schemes were mooted to build more inter-city lines. The business practice of the early railway era was for companies to promote individual lines between two destinations, rather than to plan grand networks of lines, as it was considered easier to obtain backing from investors. And so this is how the early stages of the WCML evolved.

The first stretch of what is now the WCML was the Grand Junction Railway connecting Liverpool and Manchester to Birmingham, via Crewe, Stafford and Wolverhampton, opening in 1837. The following year the London and Birmingham Railway was completed, connecting to the capital via Coventry, Rugby and the Watford Gap. The Grand Junction and London and Birmingham railways shared a Birmingham terminus at Curzon Street station, so that it was now possible to travel by train between London, Birmingham, Manchester and Liverpool.[9][10]

3020 Cornwall, an early LNWR express locomotive (built 1847, as running circa 1890)

These lines, together with the Trent Valley Railway (between Rugby and Stafford, avoiding Birmingham) and the Manchester and Birmingham Railway (Crewe–Manchester), amalgamated operations in 1846 to form the London and North Western Railway (LNWR). Three other sections, the North Union Railway (Wigan–Preston), the Lancaster and Preston Junction Railway and the Lancaster and Carlisle Railway, were later absorbed by the LNWR.

North of Carlisle, the Caledonian Railway remained independent, and opened its main line from Carlisle to Beattock on 10 September 1847, connecting to Edinburgh in February 1848, and to Glasgow in November 1849.[11]

Another important section, the North Staffordshire Railway (NSR), which opened its route in 1848 from Macclesfield (connecting with the LNWR from Manchester) to Stafford and Colwich via Stoke-on-Trent, also remained independent. Poor relations between the LNWR and the NSR meant that through trains did not run until 1867.[12]

The route to Scotland was marketed by the LNWR as The Premier Line. Because the cross-border trains ran over the LNWR and Caledonian Railway, through trains consisted of jointly owned "West Coast Joint Stock" to simplify operations.[13] The first direct London to Glasgow trains in the 1850s took 12.5 hours to complete the 400-mile (640 km) journey.[14]

The final sections of what is now the WCML were put in place over the following decades by the LNWR. A direct branch to Liverpool, bypassing the earlier Liverpool and Manchester line, was opened in 1869, from Weaver Junction north of Crewe to Ditton Junction via the Runcorn Railway Bridge over the River Mersey.[15]

To expand capacity, the line between London and Rugby was widened to four tracks in the 1870s. As part of this work, a new line, the Northampton Loop, was built, opening in 1881, connecting Northampton before rejoining the main line at Rugby.[10]

The worst-ever rail accident in UK history, the Quintinshill rail disaster, occurred on the WCML during World War I, on 22 May 1915, between Glasgow Central and Carlisle, in which 227 were killed and 246 injured.

LMS era

The Coronation Scot in 1937, hauled by a streamlined Coronation Class locomotive

The route came under the control of the London, Midland and Scottish Railway (LMS) on 1 January 1923 when railway companies were grouped, under the Railways Act 1921.

The LMS competed fiercely with the rival LNER's East Coast Main Line for London to Scotland traffic (see Race to the North). Attempts were made to minimise end-to-end journey times for a small number of powerful lightweight trains that could be marketed as glamorous premium crack expresses, especially between London and Glasgow, such as the 1937–39 Coronation Scot, hauled by streamlined Princess Coronation Class locomotives, which made the journey in 6 hours 30 minutes,[16] making it competitive with the rival East Coast Flying Scotsman (British Railways in the 1950s could not match this, but did achieve a London-Glasgow timing of 7 hours 15 minutes in the 1959–60 timetable by strictly limiting the number of coaches to eight and not stopping between London and Carlisle.[17]).

British Rail era

In 1948, following nationalisation, the line came under the control of British Railways' London Midland and Scottish Regions, when the term "West Coast Main Line" came into use officially, although it had been used informally since at least 1912.[18]

Modernisation by British Rail

(c) Alan Murray Rust, CC BY-SA 2.0
A train headed by a Class 85 electric locomotive at Euston in 1966, shortly after the introduction of electric train services on the WCML

As part of the 1955 modernisation plan, the line was modernised and electrified in stages between 1959 and 1974. The first stretch to be electrified was Crewe to Manchester, completed on 12 September 1960. This was followed by Crewe to Liverpool, completed on 1 January 1962. Electrification was then extended south to London. The first electric trains from London ran on 12 November 1965, with full public service from 18 April 1966. Electrification of the Birmingham line was completed on 6 March 1967. In March 1970 the government approved electrification between Weaver Junction (where the route to Liverpool diverges) and Glasgow, and this was completed on 6 May 1974.[7][19] The announcement, after five years of uncertainty, was made 48 hours before the writ was issued for a by-election in South Ayrshire.[20] The Observer commented that, if the £25 million decision was politically rather than financially motivated, it would have the makings of a major political scandal.[20]

A new set of high-speed long-distance services was introduced in 1966, launching British Rail's highly successful "Inter-City" brand[21] (the hyphen was later dropped) and offering journey times as London to Manchester or Liverpool in 2 hours 40 minutes (and even 2 hours 30 minutes for the twice-daily Manchester Pullman).[22] A new feature was that these fast trains were offered on a regular-interval service throughout the day: hourly to Birmingham, two-hourly to Manchester, and so on.[23] With the completion of the northern electrification in 1974, London to Glasgow journey times were reduced to 5 hours.[7]

BR Class 87 electric locomotive, 87020 in BR blue livery with a train of Mark 2 coaches. These, along with the similar Class 86 formed the backbone of express passenger services on the WCML from the 1970s until the 2000s.

Along with electrification came modern coaches such as the Mark 2 and from 1974 the fully integral, air-conditioned Mark 3 design. These remained the mainstay of express services until the early 2000s. Line speeds were raised to a maximum 110 miles per hour (180 km/h), and these trains, hauled by Class 86 and Class 87 electric locomotives, came to be seen as BR's flagship passenger product. Passenger traffic on the WCML doubled between 1962 and 1975.[24]

The modernisation also saw the demolition and redevelopment of several of the key stations on the line: BR was keen to symbolise the coming of the "electric age" by replacing the Victorian-era buildings with new structures built from glass and concrete. Notable examples were Birmingham New Street, Manchester Piccadilly, Stafford, Coventry and London Euston. To enable the latter, the famous Doric Arch portal into the original Philip Hardwick-designed terminus was demolished in 1962 amid much public outcry.[25]

Electrification of the Edinburgh branch was carried out in the late 1980s as part of the East Coast Main Line electrification project in order to allow InterCity 225 sets to access Glasgow via Carstairs Junction.[26]

The Advanced Passenger Train, British Rail's ill-fated tilting train, seen here next to the WCML at Crewe Heritage Centre

Modernisation brought great improvements in speed and frequency. However some locations and lines were no longer served by through trains or through coaches from London, such as: Windermere; Barrow-in-Furness, Whitehaven and Workington; Huddersfield, Bradford Interchange, Leeds and Halifax (via Stockport); Blackpool South; Colne (via Stockport); Morecambe and Heysham; Southport (via Edge Hill); Blackburn and Stranraer Harbour. Notable also is the loss of through services between Liverpool and Scotland; these were due to be reinstated in December 2018 but have now been further delayed until at least May 2019.[27][28]

British Rail introduced the Advanced Passenger Train APT project, which proved that London–Glasgow WCML journey times of less than 4 hours were achievable and paved the way for the later tilting Virgin Pendolino trains.[29]

In the late 1980s British Rail put forward a track realignment scheme to raise speeds on the WCML; a proposed project called InterCity 250, which entailed realigning parts of the line in order to increase curve radii and smooth gradients in order to facilitate higher-speed running. The scheme, which would have seen the introduction of new rolling stock derived from that developed for the East Coast electrification, was scrapped in 1992.

Modernisation by Network Rail

A tilting Class 390 Pendolino on the WCML (introduced since 2002)

By the dawn of the 1990s, it was clear that further modernisation was required. Initially this took the form of the InterCity 250 project. But then the privatisation of BR intervened, under which Virgin Trains won a 15-year franchise in 1996 for the running of long-distance express services on the line. The modernisation plan unveiled by Virgin and the new infrastructure owner Railtrack involved the upgrade and renewal of the line to allow the use of tilting Pendolino trains with a maximum line speed of 140 mph (225 km/h), in place of the previous maximum of 110 mph (177 km/h). Railtrack estimated that this upgrade would cost £2 billion, be ready by 2005, and cut journey times to 1 hour for London to Birmingham and 1 hr 45 mins for London to Manchester.

However, these plans proved too ambitious and were subsequently cancelled. Central to the implementation of the plan was the adoption of moving block signalling, which had never been proven on anything more than simple metro lines and light rail systems – not on a complex high-speed heavy-rail network such as the WCML. Despite this, Railtrack made what would prove to be the fatal mistake of not properly assessing the technical viability and cost of implementing moving block prior to promising the speed increase to Virgin and the government. By 1999, with little headway on the modernisation project made, it became apparent to engineers that the technology was not mature enough to be used on the line.[30] The bankruptcy of Railtrack in 2001 and its replacement by Network Rail following the Hatfield crash brought a reappraisal of the plans, while the cost of the upgrade soared. Following fears that cost overruns on the project would push the final price tag to £13 billion, the plans were scaled down, bringing the cost down to between £8 billion and £10 billion, to be ready by 2008, with a maximum speed for tilting trains of a more modest 125 mph (201 km/h) – equalling the speeds available on the East Coast route, but some way short of the original target, and even further behind BR's original vision of 155 mph (250 km/h) speeds planned and achieved with the APT.

A Virgin Pendolino and EWS Class 66 freight train on the WCML

The first phase of the upgrade, south of Manchester, opened on 27 September 2004 with journey times of 1 hour 21 minutes for London to Birmingham and 2 hours 6 minutes for London to Manchester. The final phase, introducing 125 mph (201 km/h) running along most of the line, was announced as opening on 12 December 2005, bringing the fastest journey between London and Glasgow to 4 hours 25 mins (down from 5 hours 10 minutes).[2] However, considerable work remained, such as the quadrupling of the track in the Trent Valley, upgrading the slow lines, the second phase of remodelling Nuneaton, and the remodelling of Stafford, Rugby, Milton Keynes and Coventry stations, and these were completed in late 2008. The upgrading of the Crewe–Manchester line via Wilmslow was completed in summer 2006.

In September 2006, a new speed record was set on the WCML – a Pendolino train completed the 401-mile (645 km) Glasgow Central – London Euston run in a record 3 hours 55 minutes, beating the APT's record of 4 hours 15 minutes, although the APT still holds the overall record on the northbound run.

The decade-long modernisation project was finally completed in December 2008.[31] This allowed Virgin's VHF (very high frequency) timetable to be progressively introduced through early 2009, the highlights of which are a three-trains-per-hour service to both Birmingham and Manchester during off-peak periods, and nearly all London-Scottish timings brought under the 4 hours 30 minutes barrier – with one service (calling only at Preston) achieving a London–Glasgow time of 4 hours 8 minutes.

Some projects that were removed from the modernisation as a result of the de-scoping, such as a flyover at Norton Bridge station, were later restarted. A £250 million project to grade-separate the tracks at Norton Bridge that allowed for increased service frequency as well as improved line-speeds was completed in spring 2016.[32] Other projects such as the replacement of a weak bridge in Watford allowed line-speeds to be increased from 90 mph (145 km/h) to 125 mph (201 km/h) decreasing journey times.[33]



Quadruple track section of line at Roade cutting in Northamptonshire – lines have already divided south of here and diverge a little further north

The main spine of the WCML is quadruple track almost all of the route from London to Weaver junction, south east of Runcorn. At Hanslope Junction (near Milton Keynes), the line divides with one pair going direct to Rugby and the other pair diverting via Northampton to rejoin at Rugby. The spine continues north in quadruple track until Winsford, where it reduces to double track through the town, reverting to quadruple track thereafter. The spine reduces to double track at Weaver junction (where a double track spur to Liverpool branches off). After Weaver junction the line continues north to Scotland in double track.[34] There is a busy section around Glasgow in quadruple track.

The WCML is noted for the diversity of branches served from the spine, notably those to/from the West Midlands and North Wales, Greater Manchester, and Liverpool. These are detailed in the route diagram.

The complete route has been cleared for W10 loading gauge freight traffic, allowing use of higher 9 ft 6 in (2,896 mm) hi-cube shipping containers.[35][36]


Nearly all of the WCML is electrified with overhead wires at 25 kV AC.[37] Several of the formerly unelectrified branches of the WCML in the North West have recently been electrified such as the Preston to Blackpool North Line on which electric service commenced in May 2018 along with the PrestonManchester Piccadilly line which saw electric service commence in February 2019.[38] Wigan to Liverpool via St Helens Shaw Street and St Helens Junction were also electrified in the 2010-2017 timeframe.

The Wigan North Western to Lostock Parkway branch is also scheduled to be electrified.[39]

Rolling stock

The majority of stock used on the West Coast Main Line is new-build, part of Virgin's initial franchise agreement having been a commitment to introduce a brand-new fleet of tilting Class 390 "Pendolino" trains for long-distance high-speed WCML services. The 53-strong Pendolino fleet, plus three tilting SuperVoyager diesel sets, were bought for use on these InterCity services. One Pendolino was written off in 2007 following the Grayrigg derailment. After the 2007 franchise "shake-up" in the Midlands, more SuperVoyagers were transferred to Virgin West Coast, instead of going to the new CrossCountry franchise. The SuperVoyagers are used on London–Chester and Holyhead services because the Chester/North Wales line is not electrified, so they run "under the wires" between London and Crewe. SuperVoyagers were also used on Virgin's London-Scotland via Birmingham services, even though this route is entirely electrified – this situation is, however, changing since the expansion of the Pendolino fleet; from 2013 onward Class 390 sets have been routinely deployed on Edinburgh/Glasgow–Birmingham services.

By 2012, the WCML Pendolino fleet was strengthened by the addition of two coaches to 31 of the 52 existing sets, thus turning them into 11-car trains. Four brand new 11-car sets are also part of this order, one of which replaced the set lost in the Grayrigg derailment. Although the new stock is to be supplied in Virgin livery, it was not expected to enter traffic before 31 March 2012, when the InterCity West Coast franchise was due to be re-let, though the date for the new franchise was later put back to December 2012,[40] and any effect of this on the timetable for introducing the new coaches remains unclear.

Previous franchisees Central Trains and Silverlink (operating local and regional services partly over sections of the WCML) were given 30 new "Desiro" Class 350s, originally ordered for services in the south-east. Following Govia's successful bid for the West Midlands franchise in 2007, another 37 Class 350s were ordered to replace its older fleet of Class 321s.

The older BR-vintage locomotive-hauled passenger rolling stock still has a limited role on the WCML, with the overnight Caledonian Sleeper services between London Euston and Scotland using Mark 3 and Mark 2 coaches. Virgin has also retained and refurbished one of the original Mark 3 rakes with a Driving Van Trailer and a Class 90 locomotive as a standby set to cover for Pendolino breakdowns. This set was retired from service on 25 October with a rail tour the following day. In November 2014 the "Pretendolino" was transferred to Norwich Crown Point depot to enter service with Abellio Greater Anglia having come to the end of its agreed lease to Virgin Trains.

The following table lists the rolling stock which forms the core passenger service pattern on the WCML serving its principal termini; it is not exhaustive since many other types use sections of the WCML network as part of other routes – notable examples include the InterCity 125 HST on certain CrossCountry services (primarily through the West Midlands area) and the London North Eastern Railway InterCity 225 between Edinburgh and Glasgow Central.

Commuter/regional trains

TrainsetClassImageTypeCars per setTop speedNumberOperatorRoutesBuilt
SprinterClass 153
East Midlands Trains Class 153, 153311, platform 4, Crewe railway station (geograph 4524820).jpg
(c) El Pollock, CC BY-SA 2.0
DMU1751208East Midlands RailwayDerby to Crewe1987–1988
Class 156Carlisle - ScotRail 156501 Newcastle train.JPGDMU27512090Abellio ScotRail
Northern Trains
Settle to Carlisle Line, Glasgow South Western Line, Shotts Line1987–89
Class 158158752 at Manchester Victoria.jpgDMU29014561Northern Trains
Transport for Wales
Settle to Carlisle Line
Birmingham International to Shrewsbury, Aberystwyth, Pwllheli, Chester and Holyhead.
Bombardier TurbostarClass 170Falkirk High - Abellio 170434 Glasgow service.JPGDMU210016111Abellio ScotRail CrossCountryAberdeen-Inverness Line, Borders Railway, Edinburgh to Aberdeen Line, Fife Circle Line, Maryhill Line, Cardiff Central to: Nottingham, Birmingham New Street to: Nottingham, Birmingham New Street to: Stansted Airport, Birmingham New Street to: Leicester1998–2002
Alstom CoradiaClass 175Hereford - Keolis Amey 175003 Carmarthen service.JPGDMU210016111Transport for WalesHolyhead to: Cardiff Central and Llanelli via Llandudno, Manchester Airport and Manchester Piccadilly to Bangor via Llandudno, Manchester Piccadilly, Crewe, Chester to Cardiff Central, Swansea, Milford Haven1999–2001
Siemens DesiroClass 185Class 185 at Manchester Piccadilly.jpgDMU310016051TransPennine ExpressTransPennine North West2005–2006
Class 318Hyndland - Abellio 318262 Cumbernauld service.JPGEMU39014521Abellio ScotRailGlasgow Central to Lanark/Carstairs1985–86
Class 319319375 Liverpool Lime Street.jpgEMU410016039West Midlands Trains
Northern Trains
LNR: Watford Junction to: St Albans Abbey, London Euston to Milton Keynes (Peak Hours)
NT: Liverpool and Warrington Bank Quay to Preston, Manchester Victoria to Liverpool Lime Street via Earlestown, Crewe to Manchester Piccadilly
Class 320/3Hyndland - Abellio 320321 Springburn service.JPGEMU39014522Abellio ScotRailNorth Clyde Line, Argyle Line, Whifflet Line1990
Class 320/4320414 at Gourock.jpg3[41]100160121989–90
Class 323323214 Aston (crop).jpgEMU39014526West Midlands Trains
Northern Trains
WMR: Birmingham New Street to: Redditch, Lichfield Trent Valley, Wolverhampton, Walsall, Four Oaks, Longbridge
and Birmingham International
NT: Crewe and Stoke-on-Trent to Manchester Piccadilly
CAF CivityClass 331331001 approaching Crewe platform 1.jpgEMU310016031Northern TrainsCrewe to Manchester Piccadilly2017–2020
Alstom JuniperClass 334
Train terminates at Milngavie (geograph 5819031).jpg
(c) Roger Cornfoot, CC BY-SA 2.0
EMU39014540Abellio ScotRailGlasgow Central to Lanark/Carstairs1999–2002
Siemens DesiroClass 350/1350, Northants Loop, Apr19.jpgEMU411018030West Midlands TrainsLondon Euston to Tring, Milton Keynes Central, Northampton and Birmingham New Street
London Euston to Liverpool via Birmingham New Street
Class 350/2350232 at Watford Junction.jpg372008–2009
Class 350/3Class 350, LNW, Rugby.jpg102014
Class 350/4Coventry - WMT 350410 London service.JPG102013–2014
Bombardier ElectrostarClass 377/2Southern 377 at Hemel Hempstead.JPGEMU410016012Govia Thameslink RailwayMilton Keynes Central to East Croydon2003–2004
Class 377/7377 708 at East Croydon.jpgEMU51001608Milton Keynes Central to East Croydon2013–14
Siemens DesiroClass 380/0Glengarnock - looking towards Glasgow.JPGEMU310016122Abellio ScotRailAyrshire Coast Line, Inverclyde Line, North Berwick Line, Paisley Canal Line, Argyle Line, Cathcart Circle Line2009–2011
Class 380/1416

High-speed trains

TrainsetClassImageTypeCars per setTop speedNumberOperatorRoutesBuilt
InterCity 125Class 43Hugh llewelyn 43 285 (6972426330).jpgDiesel locomotive712520012CrossCountryEdinburgh branch of the WCML between Glasgow Central and Edinburgh Waverley before joining / leaving the ECML1975–82
Mark 3 CoachCrossCountry Mark 3 TS 42378 at Tiverton Parkway.JPGPassenger coach401975–88
Bombardier VoyagerClass 220
CrossCountry Class 220, 220004, platform 3, Stockport railway station (geograph 4525172).jpg
(c) El Pollock, CC BY-SA 2.0
DEMU434CrossCountryBetween Birmingham New Street and Manchester Piccadilly and between Glasgow Central and Edinburgh Waverley before joining / leaving the ECML2000–01
Class 221Avanti Voyager departing Rugby 11.21.jpgDEMU520Avanti West CoastServices between London Euston to: North Wales, Chester, Shrewsbury, Blackpool North, Edinburgh Waverley and Glasgow Central.2001–2002
CrossCountry Class 221, 221124, platform 5, Manchester Piccadilly railway station (geograph 4512037).jpg
(c) El Pollock, CC BY-SA 2.0
22CrossCountryBetween Birmingham New Street and Manchester Piccadilly and between Glasgow Central and Edinburgh Waverley before joining / leaving the ECML
PendolinoClass 390Avanti liveried 390155 Euston.jpgEMU9 or 1156Avanti West CoastServices from London Euston to Manchester Piccadilly, Liverpool Lime Street, Blackpool North, West Midlands, Glasgow Central and Edinburgh Waverley. Selected Glasgow Central/Edinburgh Waverley services to Birmingham New Street2001–2004
CAF CivityClass 397Transpennine Express 397003 at Wigan North Western April 2019.jpgEMU512TransPennine ExpressManchester Airport and Liverpool Lime Street to Glasgow Central and Edinburgh Waverley.2017–19
Hitachi AT300Class 800 Azuma800104 at York.jpgBi-mode multiple unit510London North Eastern RailwayEdinburgh branch of the WCML between Glasgow Central and Edinburgh Waverley before joining / leaving the ECML2014–2018
Class 801 Azuma801220 LNER Azuma Kings Cross.jpgEMU5122017–2020

Sleeper trains

ClassImageTypeCars per setTop speedNumberOperatorRoutesBuilt
Class 9292038 Wembley Depot to Euston 5S95 (31488231503).jpgElectric locomotive1871406Caledonian Sleeper (x6)
Hired from GB Railfreight
All Caledonian Sleeper services between London Euston as far as Glasgow & Edinburgh1993–1996
Mark 5 CoachCAF mk5 sleeper coach.jpgLounge car
Seated Sleeper
Sleeping car
1610016175Caledonian SleeperAll Caledonian Sleeper services between London Euston to Scottish destinations[42]2016–2018

Future trains

ClassImageTypeCars per setTop speedNumberOperatorRoutesEntry to Service
Class 805AWC-AT300.jpgBi-mode multiple unit512520013Avanti West Coast[43]Services between London Euston to: North Wales, Chester and Shrewsbury.2022
Class 807AWC-AT300.jpgEMU710Services between London Euston to: Blackpool, Birmingham New Street and Liverpool Lime Street.


Avanti West Coast

The current principal train operating company on the West Coast Main Line is Avanti West Coast, which runs the majority of long-distance services under the West Coast Partnership rail franchise. In November 2016, the government announced that the (then named) InterCity West Coast franchise would be replaced by a new franchise called 'West Coast Partnership', which includes operating the planned High Speed 2 (HS2) service as well as the existing West Coast Main Line express services. In August 2019, the DfT announced that First Trenitalia West Coast Rail (trading as Avanti West Coast) was the successful bidder. Avanti West Coast commenced operating the franchise on 8 December 2019.[44][45]

Avanti operates nine trains per hour on the WCML from London Euston, with three trains per hour to each of Manchester Piccadilly and Birmingham New Street, one train per hour to each of Chester, Liverpool Lime Street and Glasgow Central via the Trent Valley (one Birmingham New Street train per hour continues to Scotland via Wolverhampton alternating between Edinburgh Waverley or Glasgow Central), five trains on a weekday to Holyhead and three trains on a weekday to Bangor. There is also one weekday train in to/from Wrexham General. Additional peak terminating services run between London Euston and Preston, Wolverhampton, Crewe, Birmingham International, Lancaster and Carlisle. Additional trains during the early morning, late evening, rush hour and night that terminate or start at Birmingham. There are also two daily services between London Euston and Shrewsbury and four daily (Monday to Friday) services between London Euston and Blackpool North.

Off-peak departure pattern from London Euston[46] [47]
TimeDestinationviaDurationCalling pattern
xx:00Manchester PiccadillyStoke-on-Trent2hr 05minStoke-on-Trent; Macclesfield; Stockport; Manchester Piccadilly
xx:03Birmingham New Street1hr 21minRugby; Coventry; Birmingham International; Birmingham New Street
xx:07Liverpool Lime StreetCrewe2hr 13minStafford; Crewe; Runcorn; Liverpool Lime Street
xx:10Chester or HolyheadCrewe1hr 58minMilton Keynes Central; Crewe; Chester; (Flint; Prestatyn; Rhyl; Colwyn Bay; Llandudno Junction; Bangor; Holyhead)
xx:20Manchester PiccadillyStoke-on-Trent2hr 07minMilton Keynes Central; Stoke-on-Trent; Stockport; Manchester Piccadilly
xx:23Birmingham New Street1hr 21minWatford Junction (pick up only); Coventry; Birmingham International; Birmingham New Street
xx:30Glasgow CentralTrent Valley4hr 29minWarrington Bank Quay; Wigan North Western; Preston; Lancaster; (Oxenholme Lake District or Penrith North Lakes); Carlisle; Glasgow Central
xx:40Manchester PiccadillyCrewe2hr 06minCrewe; Wilmslow; Stockport; Manchester Piccadilly
xx:43 (odd hours)Glasgow CentralBirmingham New Street5hr 32 minMilton Keynes Central; Coventry; Birmingham International; Birmingham New Street; Sandwell & Dudley; Wolverhampton; Crewe; Warrington Bank Quay; Wigan North Western; Preston; Lancaster; (Oxenholme Lake District or Penrith North Lakes); Carlisle; Glasgow Central
xx:43 (even hours)Edinburgh WaverleyBirmingham New Street5hr 39minMilton Keynes Central; Coventry; Birmingham International; Birmingham New Street; Sandwell & Dudley; Wolverhampton; Crewe; Warrington Bank Quay; Wigan North Western; Preston; Lancaster; (Oxenholme Lake District or Penrith North Lakes); Carlisle; Haymarket; Edinburgh Waverley

West Midlands Trains

West Midlands Trains provides commuter and long-distance services on the route, which terminate at London Euston. They are all operated under the London Northwestern Railway brand. There are two trains an hour from London to Birmingham; one calling at the majority of stations en route and one calling only at Watford Junction, Milton Keynes Central, Northampton, Rugby, Coventry, Canley, Tile Hill, Berkswell, Hampton-in-Arden, Birmingham International and Marston Green. There are three trains per hour from Birmingham New Street to London Euston. These London–Birmingham stopping services are roughly one hour slower, end to end, than the Avanti West Coast fast service. There is also an hourly service from London Euston to Northampton calling at Leighton Buzzard, Bletchley, Milton Keynes Central and Wolverton.

West Midlands Trains also operates an hourly service between London Euston and Crewe, serving Watford Junction, Milton Keynes Central, Northampton (peak times and Sundays only), Rugby, Nuneaton, Atherstone, Polesworth (once a day on Mondays to Saturdays), Tamworth, Lichfield Trent Valley, Rugeley Trent Valley, Stafford and Crewe. Some services also call at Hemel Hempstead, Berkhamsted, Tring, Cheddington, Leighton Buzzard and Bletchley. Trains also call at Long Buckby (Sundays only). This service was introduced in 2008 to coincide with the withdrawal of the similar Virgin Trains service. Under 'Project 110' this service was reconfigured in December 2012 and to operate 10 mph faster using enhanced British Rail Class 350/1 units.

A service to Tring is provided half-hourly from Euston; one calling at Harrow & Wealdstone, Bushey, Watford Junction, Kings Langley, Apsley, Hemel Hempstead and Berkhamsted and one calling at Wembley Central, Harrow & Wealdstone, Bushey, Watford Junction, Kings Langley, Apsley, Hemel Hempstead and Berkhamstead. An hourly service operates to Milton Keynes Central calling at Watford Junction, Hemel Hempstead, Berkhamstead, Tring, Cheddington, Leighton Buzzard and Bletchley.

West Midlands Trains also operates an hourly stopping train on the Marston Vale Line from Bletchley to Bedford as well as a 45-minute service on the Abbey Line to St Albans Abbey. These are both local branches off the WCML and classified as part of it.

After the Central Trains franchise was revised, London Midland took over services running on the WCML between Birmingham and Liverpool. In August 2017, London Midland lost the West Midlands franchise; West Midlands Trains took over in December 2017. Services on the WCML are all branded London Northwestern Railway services, and all local services around Birmingham are branded West Midlands Railway services.

TransPennine Express

As part of its North West route, TransPennine Express provides services along the WCML between Manchester Airport and Glasgow/Edinburgh (alternating serving each every 2 hours) as part of its Manchester Airport to Scotland service.


Southern provide an hourly service between East Croydon and Milton Keynes Central, which calls at all stations then Clapham Junction via Selhurst, then all stations on the West London Line then Shepherd's Bush, Wembley Central, Harrow & Wealdstone, Watford Junction, Hemel Hempstead, Berkhamsted, Tring, Leighton Buzzard, Bletchley and Milton Keynes Central.

London North Eastern Railway

London North Eastern Railway operates one train per day between Glasgow Central and London King's Cross via Edinburgh Waverley,[48] operating over the West Coast Main Line route between Edinburgh and Glasgow.


CrossCountry operates services from Plymouth, Bournemouth and Bristol Temple Meads to Manchester Piccadilly; these trains run also the West Coast Main Line between Coventry and Manchester Piccadilly. Some trains from Manchester Piccadilly to Bristol Temple Meads are extended to Paignton and Plymouth, and on summer weekends to Penzance and Newquay. CrossCountry services between Reading and Newcastle also use a small portion of the West Coast Main Line between Coventry and Birmingham New Street. Services towards Reading are often extended to Southampton Central (or occasionally Bournemouth) and 1 train per day towards Reading is extended to Guildford.

CrossCountry also operates a 2 hourly service to/from Glasgow Central, which operates to either Penzance, Plymouth, Newcastle upon Tyne, Bristol Temple Meads or Birmingham New Street. On summer weekends trains from Glasgow Central also operate to Paignton, Penzance and Newquay. These services use the West Coast Main Line from Edinburgh to Glasgow Central.

Abellio ScotRail

Abellio ScotRail operates services on sections of the West Coast Main Line for example near Glasgow with Argyle Line trains running on the section from Cambuslang to Carluke before veering off on the short branch to Lanark or heading along till Carstairs. The North Berwick Line runs from Glasgow Central High Level via Motherwell to Carstairs and onto Haymarket, Edinburgh Waverley and North Berwick.

At Carlisle the Glasgow South Western Line runs for several miles before heading west towards Dumfries, Kilmarnock, Ayr and Stranraer.

Caledonian Sleeper

Caledonian Sleeper operates services down the length of the West Coast Main Line, providing an overnight service between London and Scotland.

Recent developments

Felixstowe and Nuneaton freight capacity scheme

A number of items of work are under way or proposed to accommodate additional freight traffic between the Haven ports and the Midlands including track dualling. The 'Nuneaton North Chord' was completed and opened on 15 November 2012.[49][50] The chord will ease access for some trains between the Birmingham to Peterborough Line and the WCML. The Ipswich chord was opened at the end of March 2014 allowing trains to run without reversing from Felixstowe towards the Midlands.[51]

Stafford Area Improvements Programme

Planned flying junction and 2.5 mi (4.0 km) track diversion in the StaffordNorton Bridge area. This replaced the previous level junction where the Stafford to Manchester via Stoke-on-Trent line diverges from the trunk route at Norton Bridge, avoiding conflicting train movements to enhance capacity and reduce journey times, additional freight capacity was also provided around Stafford station. This allowed two extra off-peak trains per hour from Euston to the North West, one extra train per hour from Manchester to Birmingham and one additional freight train per hour. The resignalling work associated with this project was due to be completed in summer 2015 and the Norton Bridge work was complete in December 2016, followed by a new timetable introduced in December 2017.[52]

Weaver Junction to Liverpool signalling

Re-signalling work the WCML spur track from Liverpool to Weaver Junction was underway in 2016. Signal control moved to the Manchester Rail Operating Centre removing five local signal boxes. The signal improvements will improve journey times on this section of track.[53]

Proposed development

Outline map of the possible future Crossrail extensions as recommended in the 2011 RUS, which include the WCML[54]

Increased line speed

Virgin Trains put forward plans in 2007 to increase the line speed in places on the WCML – particularly along sections of the Trent Valley Line between Stafford and Rugby from 125 to 135 mph (200 to 217 km/h) after the quadrupling of track had been completed. This would permit faster services and possibly allow additional train paths. 135 mph (217 km/h) was claimed to be achievable by Pendolino trains while using existing lineside signalling without the need for cab signalling via the use of the TASS system (Tilt Authorisation and Speed Supervision) to prevent overspeeding. In practice, regulations introduced by the HMRI (now ORR) at the time of the ECML high-speed test runs in 1991 are still in force prohibiting this. Network Rail was aware of Virgin Train's aspirations;[55] however, in November 2009 Chris Mole MP (then Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, Transport) announced that there were no plans for this to happen and thus for the foreseeable future the maximum speed will remain at 125 mph (201 km/h).[56]

In promoting this proposal, Virgin Trains reported that passenger numbers on Virgin West Coast increased from 13.6 million in 1997/98 to 18.7 million in 2005/6, while numbers on CrossCountry grew from 12.6 million to 20.4 million over the same period.[57]

Crossrail extension

In the London & South East Rail Utilisation Strategy (RUS) document published by Network Rail in 2011, a proposal was put forward to extend the Crossrail lines, currently under construction in central London, along the West Coast Main Line as far as Tring and Milton Keynes Central. The scheme would involve the construction of a tunnel in the vicinity of the proposed new station at Old Oak Common in West London connecting the Crossrail route to the WCML slow lines with a potential for interchange with the planned High Speed 2 line. Under current plans, a proportion of westbound Crossrail trains will terminate at Paddington due to capacity limitations; the RUS recommends the WCML extension as it will enable these services to continue beyond Paddington, maximising the use of the central London tunnels. The RUS also notes that diversion of WCML regional rail services via Crossrail into central London would alleviate congestion at Euston station, and consequently reduce the need for infrastructure work on the London Underground network which would be required to accommodate HS2 passengers arriving at Euston. The Crossrail extension proposal has not been officially confirmed or funded.[54] In August 2014, the government launched a study into the Crossrail extension.[58]


  • Grayrigg derailment (at Lambrigg Crossovers, south of Grayrigg) – 23 February 2007; 1 killed
  • Tebay rail accident – 15 February 2004; 4 workers killed (no public involvement)
  • Norton Bridge rail crash – 16 October 2003; 1 injured
  • Winsford rail crash – 23 June 1999; 31 injured
  • Watford rail crash – 8 August 1996; 1 killed, 69 injured
  • Stafford rail crash (1996) – 8 March 1996; 1 killed, 22 injured
  • Newton rail crash – 21 July 1991; 4 killed; 22 injured
  • Stafford rail crash (1990) – 4 August 1990; 1 killed, 35 injured
  • Colwich rail crash – 19 September 1986; 1 killed 60 injured
  • Wembley Central rail crash – 11 October 1984; 3 killed, 18 injured
  • Nuneaton rail crash – 6 June 1975; 6 killed 67 injured
  • Watford Junction rail crash – 1975; 1 killed, 11 injured
  • Hixon – 6 January 1968; 11 killed, 27 injured
  • Stechford rail crash – 28 February 1967; 9 killed, 16 injured
  • Cheadle Hulme – 28 May 1964; 3 killed
  • Coppenhall Junction – 26 December 1962; 18 killed, 34 injured
  • Harrow and Wealdstone – 8 October 1952; 112 killed, 340 injured – worst accident in England and London.
  • Weedon (1951); – 21 September 1951; 15 killed, 36 injured
  • Lambrigg Crossing signal box between Grayrigg and Oxenholme – 18 May 1947 (express hit light engine through driver missing a signal while looking in his food box); 4 in hospital, 34 minor injuries[59]
  • Lichfield – 1 January 1946; 20 killed, 21 injured.
  • Bourne End rail crash – 30 September 1945; 43 killed, 64 injured
  • Winwick Junction – 28 September 1934; 12 killed
  • Weedon (1915); 14 August 1915; 10 killed, 21 injured
  • Quintinshill rail crash – 22 May 1915; 227 killed, 246 injured. – worst ever rail accident in the United Kingdom.
  • Ditton Junction rail crash; 17 September 1912; 15 killed
  • Chelford rail accident; 22 December 1894; 14 killed, 48 injured
  • Wigan rail crash – 1 August 1873; 13 killed, 30 major injuries.
  • Tamworth rail crash – 14 September 1870; 3 killed, 13 injured.
  • Warrington rail crash – 29 June 1867; 8 killed, 33 injured
  • Atherstone rail accident – 16 November 1860; 10 killed.


(c) Peter Christener, CC BY 3.0
Map of WCML

In June 2019 Network Rail formed five 'regions' for helping to support Britain's railways.[60] In August and September 2019, 14 'routes' responsible for the operation, maintenance and renewal of infrastructure were assigned across these regions. The West Coast Main Line runs through two of these regions ("Scotland's Railway" and "North West and Central") and is a part of 3 routes ("Scotland", "North West" and "West Coast Mainline South").

The cities and towns served by the WCML are listed in the tables below. Stations on loops and branches are marked **. Those stations in italics are not served by inter-city services run by Avanti West Coast but only by local trains. Between Euston and Watford Junction the WCML is largely but not exactly paralleled by the operationally independent Watford DC Line, a local stopping service now part of London Overground, with 17 intermediate stations, including three with additional platforms on the WCML.

The final table retraces the route specifically to indicate the many loops, branches, junctions and interchange stations on the core of the WCML.

The North Wales Coast Line between Crewe and Holyhead is not electrified. Services between London, Chester and Holyhead are operated by Super Voyager tilting diesel trains. Formerly in the case of one of the Holyhead services, a Pendolino set was hauled from Crewe by a Class 57/3 diesel locomotive.

London to Glasgow and Edinburgh

Town/CityStationOrdnance Survey
National Grid Reference
Branches and loops
LondonLondon EustonTQ295827
WembleyWembley CentralTQ182850
HarrowHarrow and WealdstoneTQ154894
WatfordWatford JunctionTQ109973
Kings LangleyKings LangleyTL080019
Hemel HempsteadHemel HempsteadTL042059
Leighton BuzzardLeighton BuzzardSP910250
Milton Keynes (Bletchley area)BletchleySP868337
Milton Keynes (centre)Milton Keynes CentralSP841380
Milton Keynes (Wolverton area)WolvertonSP820414
NorthamptonNorthamptonSP623666Northampton loop
Long BuckbyLong BuckbySP511759Northampton loop
LichfieldLichfield Trent ValleySK136099
RugeleyRugeley Trent ValleySK048191
Stoke-on-TrentStoke-on-TrentSJ879456Stafford–Manchester line
CongletonCongletonSJ872623Stafford–Manchester line
MacclesfieldMacclesfieldSJ919736Stafford–Manchester line
StockportStockportSJ892898Stafford–Manchester line
ManchesterManchester PiccadillySJ849977Stafford–Manchester line
Acton BridgeActon BridgeSJ598745
RuncornRuncornSJ508826Crewe–Liverpool line
LiverpoolLiverpool South ParkwayCrewe–Liverpool line
LiverpoolLiverpool Lime StreetSJ352905Crewe–Liverpool line
WarringtonWarrington Bank QuaySJ599878
WiganWigan North WesternSD581053
EuxtonEuxton Balshaw Lane
Oxenholme (Kendal)Oxenholme Lake DistrictSD531901
CarstairsCarstairs JunctionNS952454
GlasgowGlasgow CentralNS587651
Edinburgh (Haymarket/West End)HaymarketNT239731Glasgow–Edinburgh via Carstairs line
EdinburghEdinburgh WaverleyNT257738Glasgow–Edinburgh via Carstairs line

Branches and loops

Rugby–Birmingham–Stafford line
and other local routes
to Crewe
to Stoke-on-Trent
Colwich Junction
to Shrewsbury
Rugeley Trent Valley
Dudley Port
Sandwell and Dudley
to Burton upon Trent
Smethwick Galton Bridge
Lichfield Trent Valley
Smethwick Rolfe Street
to Bromsgrove
& Redditch
Birmingham New Street
Adderley Park
Water Orton
to Burton upon Trent
Lea Hall
Marston Green
Birmingham International
Tile Hill
to Leamington Spa
to London Euston
West Coast Main Line
Birmingham Loop Line
freight and diversionary lines
other lines

The WCML is noted for the diversity of branches served between the London and Glasgow main line. The adjacent diagram deals with the very complex network of lines in the West Midlands that link the old route via Birmingham with the new WCML route via the Trent Valley (i.e. 1830s versus 1840s).

In the following tables, related to the WCML branches, only the Intercity stations are recorded:

City/TownStationOrdnance Survey
grid reference
Tile HillTile Hill
Balsall CommonBerkswell
Hampton in ArdenHampton-in-Arden
Birmingham International AirportBirmingham International
SolihullMarston GreenMarston Green
BirminghamLea HallLea Hall
Adderley ParkAdderley Park
Birmingham city centreBirmingham New Street
SmethwickSmethwick Rolfe Street
Smethwick Galton Bridge
OldburySandwell and Dudley
TiptonDudley Port
City/TownStationOrdnance Survey
grid reference
ManchesterManchester PiccadillySJ849977

Tunnels, viaducts and major bridges

Major civil engineering structures on the West Coast Main Line include the following.[61][62][63][64][65]

Tunnels, viaducts and major bridges on the West Coast Main Line
Railway StructureLengthDistance from CarlisleELRLocation
Clyde Bridge8 chains102 miles 04 chains – 101 miles 76 chainsWCM2South of Glasgow Central station
Eglinton Street Tunnels200 yards (183 m)101 miles 22 chains – 101 miles 13 chains
Clyde Viaduct No. 3794 miles 16 chainsNorth of Uddingston station
Orbiston Viaduct No. 24 (River Calder)5 chains90 miles 62 chains – 90 miles 57 chainsBetween Uddingston and Motherwell stations
Mouse Water Viaduct5 chains76 miles 13 chains – 76 miles 08 chainsWCM1Between Carluke and Carstairs
Float Viaduct (River Clyde)5 chains72 miles 52 chains – 72 miles 47 chainsBetween Carstairs South Junction and Lockerbie
Lamington Viaduct (River Clyde)6 chains62 miles 70 chains – 62 miles 64 chains
Crawford Viaduct (River Clyde)5 chains55 miles 62 chains – 55 miles 57 chains
Harthorpe Viaduct (Elvan Water)6 chains47 miles 06 chains – 47 miles 00 chains
Elvan Water Viaduct42 miles 78 chains
Cogrie Viaduct (River Annan)4 chains35 miles 70 chains – 35 miles 66 chains
Dryfe Water Viaduct4 chains27 miles 32 chains – 27 miles 28 chains
Milk Water Viaduct7 chains23 miles 75 chains – 23 miles 68 chainsBetween Lockerbie and Carlisle stations
Mein Water Viaduct17 miles 65 chains
Kirtle Water Viaduct15 miles 60 chains
Sark Viaduct (Scotland/England Border)8 miles 55 chains
Esk Viaduct7 chains6 miles 50 chains – 6 miles 43 chains
Eden Viaduct3 chains1 mile 23 chains – 1 mile 20 chains
Caldew Viaduct7 chains0 miles 66 chains – 0 miles 59 chains
Distance from Lancaster
Eamont Viaduct5 chains50 miles 12 chains – 50 miles 07 chainsCGJ7Between Penrith and Oxenholme stations
Lowther Viaduct7 chains48 miles 57 chains – 48 miles 50 chains
Birkbeck Viaduct33 miles 28 chains
North Lune Viaduct32 miles 20 chains
River Lune31 miles 55 chains
Docker Garth's Viaduct6 chains24 miles 03 chains – 23 miles 77 chains
Beela Viaduct13 miles 02 chainsBetween Oxenholme and Lancaster stations
Lune Viaduct12 chains0 miles 38 chains – 0 miles 26 chains
Distance from Preston
Lancaster Canal20 miles 36 chainsCGJ6
Conder Viaduct16 miles 76 chainsBetween Lancaster and Preston stations
Wyre Viaduct13 miles 01 chains
Barton Viaduct4 miles 30 chains
Fylde Road Viaduct0 miles 64 chains
Distance from Newton-le-Willows Junction
Ribble Viaduct12 chains21 miles 33 chains – 21 miles 21 chainsCGJ5Between Preston and Wigan NW stations
River Yarrow Viaduct5 chains14 miles 55 chains – 14 miles 50 chains
Leeds Liverpool Canal4 chains6 miles 04 chains – 6 miles 00 chainsBetween Wigan NW and Warrington Bank Quay
7 chains4 miles 24 chains −4 miles 17 chains
Distance from London Euston
River Mersey181 miles 25 chainsCGJ2South of Warrington Bank Quay station
Acton Grange Viaducts (Manchester Ship Canal)5 chains180 miles 40 chains – 180 miles 35 chains
Preston Brook Tunnel78 yards (71 m)176 miles 07 chains – 176 miles 04 chainsNorth of Weaver junction
Birdswood Tunnel (Up Liverpool flyover)1 chain175 miles 44 chains – 175 miles 43 chainsCGJ1Weaver junction
Dutton Viaduct (River Weaver)22 chains174 miles 18 chains – 173 miles 76 chainsNorth of Acton Bridge station
Vale Royal Viaduct (River Weaver)6 chains168 miles 72 chains – 168 miles 66 chainsSouth of Hartford station
River Sow137 miles 52 chainsLEC4Between former Norton Bridge and Stafford stations
Baswich Viaducts (Staffs. & Worc. Canal and River Penk)7 chains131 miles 57 chains – 131 miles 50 chainsLEC2Between Stafford and Rugeley TV stations
Shugborough Tunnel777 yards (710 m)129 miles 01 chains – 128 miles 46 chains
Shugborough Viaduct (River Trent)3 chains127 miles 71 chains – 127 miles 68 chains
Trent & Mersey Canal127 mile 22 chains
River Trent Viaduct4 chains122 miles 18 chains – 122 miles 14 chainsBetween Rugeley TV and Lichfield TV stations
Trent & Mersey Canal121 miles 29 chains
Coventry Canal115 miles 18 chainsBetween Lichfield TV and Tamworth stations
River Tame4 chains112 miles 36 chains – 112 miles 32 chains
Tamworth Viaduct (River Anker)109 miles 70 chainsSouth of Tamworth station
Polesworth North Viaduct4 chains106 miles 53 chains – 106 miles 49 chainsNorth of Polesworth station
Polesworth South Viaduct (River Anker)4 chains105 miles 75 chains – 105 miles 71 chainsBetween Polesworth and Atherstone stations
Coventry Canal105 miles 59 chains
102 miles 05 chains
River Anker Viaduct2 chains96 miles 38 chains – 96 miles 36 chainsBetween Nuneaton and Rugby stations
Ashby Canal94 miles 61 chains
Oxford Canal89 miles 61 chains
88 miles 10 chains
85 miles 54 chains
Avon Viaduct5 chains84 miles 09 chains – 84 miles 04 chains
Oxford Canal82 miles 16 chainsHNRNorthampton line, between Rugby and Long Buckby stations
Crick Tunnel595 yards (544 m)79 miles 47 chains – 79 miles 20 chains
Grand Union Canal78 miles 60 chains
Watford Lodge Tunnel115 yards78 miles 52 chains – 78 miles 47
River Nene Viaduct5 chains67 miles 77 chains – 67 miles 72 chainsNorthampton line, between Long Buckby and Northampton stations
River Nene Viaduct5 chains66 miles 09 chains – 66 miles 04 chains
Earl Cowpers (River Nene)6 chains65 miles 19 chains – 65 miles 13 chainsNorthampton line, between Northampton and Wolverton stations
Grand Junction Canal4 chains65 miles 11 chains – 65 miles 07 chains
Hunsbury Hill Tunnel1152 yards (1053 m)64 miles 54 chains – 63 miles 70 chains
Roade Cutting ‘Birdcage’ support structure49 chains60 miles 76 chains – 60 miles 27
Oxford Canal79 miles 71 chainsLEC1Between Rugby and Wolverton stations
Kilsby Tunnel1 mile 656 yards (2209 m)78 miles 13 chains – 76 miles 64 chains
Leicester Branch Canal75 miles 11 chains
Grand Union Canal73 miles 09 chains
Weedon Viaduct4 chains69 miles 15 chains – 69 miles 11 chains
Stowe Hill Tunnel491 yards (449 m)68 miles 32 chains – 68 miles 09 chains
Grand Union Canal62 miles 59 chains
Wolverton / Haversham Viaduct9 chains53 miles 01 chains – 52 miles 72 chains
Grand Union Canal2 chains52 miles 42 chains – 52 miles 40 chainsNorth of Wolverton station
52 miles 18 chainsSouth of Wolverton station
Linslade Tunnels287 yards (262 m), down fast 283 yards (259 m)40 miles 73 chains – 40 miles 60 chainsNorth of Leighton Buzzard station
Grand Union Canal34 miles 53 chainsBetween Cheddington and Tring stations
Northchurch Tunnels349 yards (319 m)29 miles 12 chains – 28 miles 76 chainsNorth of Berkhamsted station
Grand Union Canal25 miles 21 chainsBetween Berkhamsted and Hemel Hempstead stations
22 miles 26 chainsBetween Apsley and Kings Langley stations
Watford Slow Tunnel1 mile 230 yards (1820 m)19 miles 44 chains – 18 miles 33 chainsNorth of Watford Junction station
Watford Fast Tunnel1 mile 55 yards (1660 m)19 miles 40 chains – 18 miles 38 chains
Colne Viaduct3 chains16 miles 66 chains – 16 miles 63 chainsNorth of Bushey station
Bushey Arches6 chains16 miles 11 chains – 16 miles 05 chains
Brent Viaducts6 miles 77 chainsWest of Stonebridge Park station
Kensal Green Tunnels320 yards (293 m)4 miles 59 chains – 4 miles 45 chainsWest of Kensal Green station
Primrose Hill Tunnel (Fast)1182 yards (1081 m)2 miles 27 chains – 1 mile 54 chainsNorth-West of London Euston station
Primrose Hill Tunnel (Slow)1170 yards (1070 m)2 miles 27 chains – 1 mile ? chains
Lower Park Street Tunnel127 yards (116 m)0 miles 68 chains – 0 miles 62 chains
Upper Park Street Tunnel162 yards (148 m)0 miles 67 chains – 0 miles 60 chains

WCML branches and junctions

Camden JnctBranch18Watford DC Line (WDCL)
+Junction6North London Line from Primrose Hill joins WDCL and WCML
Willesden JnctJunction6North London Line from West Hampstead joins WDCL and WCML
+Junction2West London Line from Clapham Junction joins WCML
+Junction6North London Line from Richmond joins WCML
Willesden JunctionInterchange6North London Line with Watford DC Line
Watford JunctionBranch18Watford DC Line terminates at separate bay platforms
+Branch18St Albans Branch Line (AC single line single section) to St Albans
BletchleyBranch18Marston Vale Line to Bedford
Bletchley High Level (Denbigh Hall South Jnct)Branch16Freight only line to Newton Longville (remnant of mothballed Varsity Line to Oxford)
Hanslope JunctionLoop18Northampton Loop leaves a few miles north of Wolverton and rejoins just south of Rugby
RugbyJunction17West Midlands Main Line to Coventry, Birmingham, Wolverhampton and Stafford
NuneatonJunction19The Birmingham to Peterborough Line from Peterborough
+Junction17The Coventry to Nuneaton Line
+Junction17The Birmingham to Peterborough Line to Birmingham
TamworthInterchange17The Cross Country Route (MR) Bristol and Birmingham to Derby and the North East
Lichfield Trent ValleyInterchange17The Cross-City Line Redditch to Lichfield
+Junction17north of the station
Rugeley Trent ValleyJunction17The Chase Line from Birmingham to Rugeley
Colwich JunctionBranch18to Stoke-on-Trent and Manchester (Route 20 from Cheadle Hulme)
StaffordJunction17West Midlands Main Line from Coventry, Birmingham and Wolverhampton
Norton BridgeBranch18to Stone to join line from Colwich Jnct to Manchester (Route 20 from Cheadle Hulme)
Stoke-on-TrentJunction19from Derby
KidsgroveBranch18to Alsager and Crewe
Cheadle Hulme20Route 18 London – Manchester Line becomes Route 20 through to Manchester
CreweBranch18from Kidsgrove (diesel service from Skegness, Grantham, Nottingham Derby and Stoke-on-Trent)
+Junction14The Welsh Marches Line from South Wales, Hereford and Shrewsbury
+Junction22to Chester and the North Wales Coast Line
+Junction20to Wilmslow, Manchester Airport, Stockport and Manchester
Hartford NorthJunction20(freight only) from Northwich
Weaver JnctBranch18to Runcorn and Liverpool (Route 20 from Liverpool South Parkway railway station)
Liverpool South Parkway20Route 18 London to Liverpool Line becomes Route 20 to Liverpool Lime Street
WarringtonJunction22from Llandudno and Chester to Manchester
Winwick JnctJunction20to Liverpool, Earlestown and Manchester
Golborne JnctJunction20to Liverpool, Newton-le-Willows and Manchester
Ince Moss/Springs Branch JunctJunction20The Liverpool to Wigan Line
WiganJunction20from Manchester
Euxton JnctJunction20The Manchester to Preston Line from Manchester
Farington JnctJunction23East Lancashire Line and Caldervale Line
Farington Curve JnctJunction23Ormskirk Branch Line, East Lancashire Line and Caldervale Line
Preston DockJunction23west
PrestonJunction20to Blackpool
Morecambe South JnctJunction23to Morecambe
Hest Bank JnctJunction23from Morecambe
Carnforth JnctJunction23Furness Line to Barrow-in-Furness and also the Leeds to Morecambe Line to Leeds
OxenholmeJunction23to Windermere
PenrithJunction23Route 23 uses two junctions to the north of the station
CarlisleJunction23Route 23 Settle-Carlisle Railway and Route 9 from Newcastle
+Junction23The Cumbrian Coast Line from Barrow-in-Furness
Gretna JnctJunction26to the Glasgow South Western Line
Carstairs South JnctJunction24Route 18 West Coast Main Line becomes Route 24 to Edinburgh
Carstairs South26Route 18 West Coast Main Line becomes Route 26 to Glasgow

See also

  • West Coast Main Line route modernisation
  • East Coast Main Line
  • Midland Main Line
  • Great Central Main Line
  • Highland Main Line
  • Portpatrick Railway
  • Castle Douglas and Dumfries Railway
  • Irish Sea tunnel
  • Rail transport in Great Britain


  1. ^ a b "West Coast Main Line Pendolino Tilting Trains, United Kingdom". railway-technology.com. Retrieved 1 December 2010.
  2. ^ a b "High-speed tilting train on track", BBC News Online, 12 December 2005.
  3. ^ Butcher, Louise (16 March 2010). "Railways: West Coast Main Line". House of Commons Library. Retrieved 26 October 2016.
  4. ^ "Supplement to the October 2013 Strategic Case for HS2 Technical Annex: Demand and Capacity Pressures on the West Coast Main Line" (PDF). gov.uk. Department for Transport. November 2015. Retrieved 26 October 2016.
  5. ^ West Coast Main Line, Network Rail, October 2007.
  6. ^ "General definitions of highspeed". International Union of Railways. Retrieved 17 March 2011.
  7. ^ a b c British Railways Board (1974).Electric All The Way. Information booklet.
  8. ^ History of the West Coast Main Line, Virgin Trains, July 2004.
  9. ^ Grand Junction Railway: History of the West Coast Main line, Virgin Trains 2004.
  10. ^ a b London and Birmingham Railway: History of the West Coast Main line, Virgin Trains 2004.
  11. ^ Awdry, Christopher (1990). Encyclopaedia of British Railway Companies. Sparkford: Patrick Stephens Ltd.ISBN 1-85260-049-7. OCLC 19514063.
  12. ^ The Manchester Lines: History of the West Coast Main line. Virgin Trains (2004).
  13. ^ "Carriages of LNWR Photographs". lnwrs.org.uk.
  14. ^ Thomas, John (1971). A Regional History of the Railways of Great Britain. Volume VI Scotland: The Lowlands and the Borders (1st ed.). Newton Abbot: David & Charles. OCLC 650446341.
  15. ^ Lines in Lancashire: History of the West Coast Main line. Virgin Trains (2004).
  16. ^ "Rail Album – LMS Steam Locos – Streamlined Princess Coronation Class Pacifics – Part 1". railalbum.co.uk.
  17. ^ "The winter timetables of British Railways: The West Coast speed-up". Trains Illustrated. Hampton Court: Ian Allan. December 1959. p. 584.
  18. ^ "Auction Announcements of Messrs. Knight, Frank, and Rutley". The Times. London. 27 April 1912. p. 22. "The Abington and Crawford Estates ... extending as they do for some 12 miles either side of the main road and the West Coast Main Line to the North, with Abington and Crawford Stations on the Estate.
  19. ^ Marshall, John (1979). The Guinness Book Of Rail Facts & Feats. Enfield: Guinness Superlatives. ISBN 0-900424-56-7.
  20. ^ a b Beloff, Nora; Eglin, Roger; Haworth, David (1 March 1970). "£25 million railway scheme shocks economists". The Observer. p. 1. Retrieved 27 February 2019. – via newspapers.com (subscription required)
  21. ^ Wolmar, Christian (2007). Fire and Steam, A New History of the Railways in Britain. London: Atlantic. ISBN 978-1-84354-629-0.
  22. ^ Passenger Timetable 1 May 1972 to 6 May 1973. British Railways Board, London Midland Region. pp. 83, 06.
  23. ^ British Railways Board (April 1966).Your New Railway: London Midland Electrification. Information booklet.
  24. ^ Potter, Stephen; Roy, Robin (1986). Research and development: British Rail's fast trains. Design and Innovation, Block 3. Milton Keynes: Open University Press. p. 12. ISBN 978-0-335-17273-3.
  25. ^ Stamp, Gavin (1 October 2007). "Steam ahead: the proposed rebuilding of London's Euston station is an opportunity to atone for a great architectural crime". Apollo: the international magazine of art and antiques. Archived from the original on 1 November 2007. Retrieved 9 November 2007.
  26. ^ Semmens, Peter (1991). Electrifying the East Coast Route.ISBN 0-85059-929-6.
  27. ^ Hay, Matthew (1 April 2016). "New Franchise Launches". www.tpexpress.co.uk (Press release). First TransPennine Express.
  28. ^ "Rail North Committee Meeting – Item 4.0" (PDF). Transport for the North. 23 August 2018. Retrieved 27 February 2019. the industry has decided that the timetable plan in the North of England for December 2018 will be largely consistent with the existing May 2018 plan. At the time of writing discussions were ongoing around the industry approach to timetable changes in 2019 (May and December being the change dates).
  29. ^ "'Queasy Rider:' The Failure of the Advanced Passenger Train" (PDF).
  30. ^ Meek, James (1 April 2004). "The £10bn Rail Crash". The Guardian. London.
  31. ^ "West Coast rail works completed". BBC News Online. 14 December 2008.
  32. ^ "First trains use Norton Bridge rail flyover". A Little Bit of Stone. 29 March 2016.
  33. ^ "Orphanage Road bridge to be replaced as work to upgrade railway at Watford continues". Network Rail Media Centre.
  34. ^ Network Rail media centre, December 2008.
  35. ^ "West coast main line upgrade". Corus rail. Retrieved 16 May 2009.
  36. ^ "Freight Route Utilisation Strategy – March 2007" (PDF). Network Rail. Retrieved 25 November 2009.
  37. ^ "Railroad/Railway Electric Traction Systems". crbasic.info. Retrieved 30 August 2012.
  38. ^ McDonnell, S. (12 February 2019). "First electric passenger trains finally entering service in Bolton". Bolton News. Retrieved 18 February 2019.
  39. ^ "North West electrification". Network Rail. Retrieved 30 August 2012.
  40. ^ "Virgin Rail Group welcomes West Coast franchise extension discussions". Rail Network. 21 May 2011. Retrieved 25 November 2011.
  41. ^ Converted from ex-Class 321/4 4-car sets.
  42. ^ TransPennine Express coach production begins Railway Gazette International 27 October 2016
  43. ^ Clinnick, Richard (5 June 2020). "Confirmed by Avanti West Coast that the IETs will be 805s and 807s". Twitter.
  44. ^ "West Coast marks new partnership model for rail". DfT. 14 August 2019. Retrieved 14 August 2019.
  45. ^ Gwyn Topham (27 November 2019). "West coast train services to be rebranded with Avanti logo". The Guardian. Retrieved 28 November 2019.
  46. ^ "Virgin Trains May 2017 Timetables". Virgin Trains.
  47. ^ "Avanti West Coast December 2019 Timetables". Avanti West Coast.
  48. ^ "Train Times" (PDF). East Coast. 5 May 2011. Retrieved 6 June 2011.
  49. ^ "Nuneaton North Chord freight line now open". Network Rail. 15 November 2012.
  50. ^ "Work starts on Nuneaton chord". Rail. Peterborough. 10 August 2011. p. 20.
  51. ^ "The new Ipswich chord will ease a major bottleneck on the Great Eastern main line". Network Rail. 25 March 2014.
  52. ^ "Stafford – Crewe rail enhancements". Network Rail. Retrieved 17 August 2015.
  53. ^ "£340m railway upgrade planned for Liverpool City Region". Network Rail Media Centre.
  54. ^ a b "8. Potential new lines". London and South East Route Utilisation Strategy. Network Rail. 28 July 2011. pp. 149–153. Archived from the original on 14 March 2012. Retrieved 20 January 2014.
  55. ^ Business plan 2007, Network Rail.
  56. ^ Hansard (House of Commons), 4 November 2009.
  57. ^ Connor, Neil (25 April 2006). "We won't bid if rail link becomes a 'bus run'". icBirmingham.co.uk. Retrieved 25 June 2013.
  58. ^ "Government launches study into potential Crossrail extension". GOV.UK.
  59. ^ "Ministry of Transport Accident Report Between Grayrigg and Oxenholme, L.M.S.R., 18 May 1947". Archived from the original on 18 September 2000. Retrieved 18 February 2008.
  60. ^ "Our routes". Network Rail. Retrieved 13 May 2020.
  61. ^ Historic England. "PRIMROSE HILL TUNNELS (EASTERN PORTALS), Camden (1329904)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 5 September 2017.
  62. ^ "Primrose Hill Tunnel – CRHT Web site". www.crht1837.org.
  63. ^ "Keeping Track: Primrose Hill and the railway". 29 November 2015.
  64. ^ Brailsford, Martyn (2017). Railway Track Diagrams Book 1: Scotland & Isle of Man. Frome: Trackmaps. pp. 1, 7, 8, 10. ISBN 978-0-9549866-9-8.
  65. ^ Bridge, Mike (2013). Railway Track Diagrams Book 4 Midlands & North West. Bradford on Avon: Trackmaps. pp. 1, 8–13, 26–29. ISBN 978-0-9549866-7-4.


Further reading

  • Ballantyne, Hugh (1989). The Colour of British Rail: West Coast Main Line. 2. Atlantic Transport Publishers. ISBN 9780906899328. OCLC 21600017.
  • *Nock, O.S. (1965). Britain's new railway: Electrification of the London-Midland main lines from Euston to Birmingham, Stoke-on-Trent, Crewe, Liverpool and Manchester. London: Ian Allan. OCLC 59003738.
  • Beecroft, Don; Pirt, Keith (2008). Steam memories: 1950's - 1960's. No. 21, West coast main line & branches in Lancashire : including Wigan, Preston, Lancaster, Morecambe, Carnforth and Blackpool. Challenger Publications. ISBN 9781899624997. OCLC 528374617.
  • Joy, David (1967). Main Line Over Shap. Dalesman Publishing Co. Ltd. ISBN 9780852060636. OCLC 12273695.
  • Longhurst, Roly (1979). Electric Locomotives of the West Coast Main Line. Bardford Barton. ISBN 9780851533551. OCLC 16491712.
  • McCutcheon, Campbell; Christopher, John (2014). Bradshaw's Guide: West Coast Main Line, Manchester to Glasgow. 10. Amberley Publishing. ISBN 9781445640419. OCLC 902726172.
  • Allen, David (29 January – 11 February 1997). "West Coast Signalling". RAIL. No. 297. EMAP Apex Publications. pp. 34–38. ISSN 0953-4563. OCLC 49953699.

External links

Route map:

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Ferry symbol for route maps (via {{Rail-interchange}} and similar)
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flying junction, straight and to the lower right (3rd quadrant)
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flying junction, straight and from the upper left (1st quadrant)
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Photograph of the underground sign at Westminster underground station.
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Author/Creator: Hugh Llewelyn , Licence: CC BY-SA 2.0
Class 43/3 HST (MTU) 2,250 hp Bo-Bo No.43 285 (ex-43 085 "City of Bradford") of Cross Country at Chesterfield on a Plymouth - Leeds service 04/12.
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First ScotRail unit 156501 calls at Carlisle with a Glasgow Central to Newcastle service.
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An Avanti West Coast Voyager departing Rugby. Unfortunately, this photograph is far from ideal, as the lineside vegetation and equipment partly obscured the front of the train, but I decided it was worth uploading anyway.
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A Southern class 377 EMU approaches Hemel Hempstead with a Milton Keynes Central to East Croydon service.
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East Midlands Trains Class 153, 153311, platform 4, Crewe railway station (geograph 4524820).jpg
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East Midland Trains Class 153, 153311, platform 4, Crewe railway station
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ScotRail's 320321 prepares to move away from Hyndland station on a cross-Glasgow service.
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Arriva Northern refurbished Class 319/3 No. 319375 at Liverpool Lime Street
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CAF mk5 sleeper coach. Photographed at Euston station on the first day of mk5 operation. Photo taken on the 'cabins' side of the coach.
158752 at Manchester Victoria.jpg
Author/Creator: Rcsprinter123, Licence: CC BY 3.0
158752, Northern's first 'as new' refurb back from the works, came to visit Man Vic from Leeds today in its shiny new corporate livery. These are the colours of things to come for Northern.
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London Northwestern Railway Class 350 EMU on the Northampton Loop, between Long Buckby and Rugby near Kilsby.
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A map of Milton Keynes, England
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LNER Azuma No. 800104 stabled at York after a training run
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Avanti West Coast 390155 awaits departure from London Euston to Manchester Piccadilly. This is wearing the new Avanti West Coast livery which came after they took over from Virgin Trains.
Glengarnock - looking towards Glasgow.JPG
Author/Creator: Rosser1954, Licence: CC BY-SA 4.0
Glengarnock railway station with a train to Glasgow on the electrified old G&SWR line from Glasgow to Ayr and Stranraer with a branch to Largs.
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A Class 390 EMU approaches Milton Keynes Central at Speed from Liverpool to London
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A vector logo for [[:en:Merseyrail|Merseyrail]], alternative to [[:en:File:Merseyrail logo.svg|File:Merseyrail logo.svg]], taken from an online timetable in PDF format.
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(c) El Pollock, CC BY-SA 2.0
CrossCountry Class 220, 220004, platform 3, Stockport railway station
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(c) Don Burgess, CC BY-SA 2.0
Lune Gorge The M6 and West coast mainline in the Lune Gorge
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87020 Carlisle
Crossrail extensions.png
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Map of proposed extensions to the planned Crossrail network in London, UK, as outlined in the 2011 Rail Utilisation Strategy document of 2011 (p.153). Extensions are proposed to Reading, Tring/Milton Keynes, Gravesend and Staines with a spur from Heathrow to the Great Western Line which has trains to Birmingham, Bristol, South Wales as well as Somerset, Devon and Cornwall
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Class 350 of London Northwestern Railway at Rugby.
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underground station
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350232 at Watford Junction.jpg
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350232 at Watford Junction, working a service to the capital's London Euston station.
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Transpennine Express 397003 at Wigan North Western April 2019.jpg
Author/Creator: Michael McNiven, Licence: CC BY-SA 4.0
Transpennine Express CAF Class 397003 passing through Wigan North Western 26th April 2019 whilst on test
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331001 on test 30th October 2018 on Crewe platform 1
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Unwatered canal to corner 3 from corner 1
320414 at Gourock.jpg
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Gourock railway station Platform 1 in June 2019, with Class 320 train. MV Ali Cat ferry in the background, leaving the pier.
92038 Wembley Depot to Euston 5S95 (31488231503).jpg
Author/Creator: Train Photos, Licence: CC BY-SA 2.0

According to Realtime Trains the route and timings were; Wembley Inter City Depot [XWF]...1917..........1902 1/2...14E Harlesden Junction...........................1928........1921 1/4.....6E Willesden West Ldn Jn.....................1931.........1923 1/2.....7E Queens Park (London) ......................1932 1/2..1926..........6E Camden Junction..............................1934 1/2..1929 3/4...4E Camden South Jn..............................1935........1931...........3E

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Author/Creator: Spookster67, Licence: CC BY-SA 4.0
Class 185 unit 108 in new TransPennine Express livery on day 1 of the new franchise.
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A Transport for Wales service to Carmarthen, in the shape of two-car diesel unit 175003, pulls away from a call at Hereford.
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CrossCountry Class 221, 221124, platform 5, Manchester Piccadilly railway station
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(c) Roger Cornfoot, CC BY-SA 2.0
Train terminates at Milngavie
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West Midlands Railway Class 323 No. 323214 at Aston
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CrossCountry Mark 3 Trailer Standard coach 42378 has been modernised with sliding doors and a retention toilet.
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Streamlined train between London and Glasgow - the 'Coronation Scot' - photographed at full speed.
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(c) Alan Murray Rust, CC BY-SA 2.0
Electric hauled train at Euston, 1966 The locomotive is E3078, one of the AL5 class, later Class 85, built between 1961 and 1964. Electrification had only reached Euston in the previous November; this view was taken less than a fortnight after the introduction of the full electric timetable on April 18th. The 1D66 headcode indicates that this is a Euston to Holyhead train.
Hyndland - Abellio 318262 Cumbernauld service.JPG
Author/Creator: Geof Sheppard, Licence: CC BY-SA 4.0
Abellio ScotRail's refurbished electric unit 318262 approaches Hyndland station with a North Clyde Line service across Glasgow.
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Coventry - WMT 350410 London service.JPG
Author/Creator: Geof Sheppard, Licence: CC BY-SA 4.0
A Liverpool Lime Street to London Euston 'slow' service arrives at Coventry. 'Desiro' 350410 has recently been released from the TransPennine Express franchise and now carries London Northwestern livery.
801220 LNER Azuma Kings Cross.jpg
Author/Creator: SavageKieran, Licence: CC BY-SA 4.0
LNER Azuma 801220 is seen at London Kings Cross before working a service to Edinburgh.
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