Until yesterday, I was under the impression that the Sunday service on the Mid Cheshire railway line between Stockport and Chester consisted only of three trains running each way. There is some vague memory of a timetable of that shape lodge in the back my brain but it’s two-hourly these days and proved to be good enough to lure me as far as Chester yesterday. There may have been a delay to my outbound journey of the order of 35 minutes because of a delay to the train from Southport but I was far from incensed. The extra time was used to potter around Stockport’s nicer parts (around Stockport Village where its markets are held) and the sun stayed out to shorten the journey around by Knutsford and Northwich. Chester was under cloudy skies when I arrived but the clouds had dissipated by the time that I came to leave the pleasant spot.
A subsequent shamble around the web has revealed active community involvement in the line with there being websites for the associated community rail partnership and local users group. It makes you wonder if any service improvements are a result of the added involvement and the enhanced Sunday service then would make sense. My web wandering also took by the website of the community rail partnership for the Manchester-Crewe line and there would seem to have been improvements there too.
This vein of thought is beginning to make me wonder if a community rail partnership for the Manchester-Macclesfield-Stoke line is in order with Northern only running three services each way of a Sunday and none of these going northbound earlier than the first Virgin service starting from London. Unlike others, we might have been spoilt with what we have and I am getting to wonder if we are paying for any complacency and if we could be made to pay even more. There is the East Cheshire Lines Rail User Group but could it be more active? Where I am going with this is that is a question that only we can answer and it might be time for all of us to give it a bit of added oomph, particularly after the reduction in CrossCountry services and the disruption that we suffered for far too long during the West Coast Mainline upgrade.