An area of railway named after a legendary act of bravery will see an important railway upgrade this summer to ensure faster journeys for rail passengers in Cheshire.

The section of railway known as ‘Bleeding Wolf’ near Altrincham will benefit from an £800,000 investment by the Great North Rail Project when just over a kilometre of track is overhauled.

The area is so-called because in the 13th century, as legend has it, the Earl of Chester was attacked by an injured wolf and saved by local forester Adam De Lauton.

As a reward, King John granted him as much land ‘as he could walk in a day’ – land on which the railway now stands.

The major improvements will allow a 20mph speed limit to be lifted on the Mid-Cheshire line.

Trains will then be able to run at 75mph meaning faster and more reliable journeys for Northern passengers.

The work will see 2,500 tonnes of railway stone and 700 sleepers replaced.

New drainage will also be installed during the work which takes place over three consecutive Sundays – 30 June, and 7 and 14 July – and throughout the weekend of 10 and 12 August.

Adrian Brookes, planning manager at Network Rail said: “Our Great North Rail Project work along the ‘Bleeding Wolf’ section of railway in Hale will make passengers’ journeys between Greater Manchester and Cheshire faster and smoother.

“To get the best weekend travel advice, we’re asking people to check before they travel with their train operator and Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM).”

Chris Jackson, regional director at Northern, said: “This is vital improvement work which will protect the journeys of our customers in Cheshire for years to come. Whilst any disruption is regrettable, I hope our customers understand the importance of this work and I’d like to thank them in advance for their patience.

“This work, alongside our own introduction of improved trains in Cheshire, is proof that the Great North Rail Project is making a real difference for rail travellers across the region.”

Caroline Whittam, TfGM’s head of rail franchising, said: “This work is another example of The Great North Rail Project delivering real benefits for the people, communities and businesses of our region. It will mean faster and more reliable connections for thousands of passengers. During the work we advise people to check their travel options with us in advance, including bus or Metrolink”

During the work rail replacement buses will be in operation and passengers are advised to check before they travel at

Notes to editors

When Network Rail will be carrying out the work

On the Sundays of 30th June and the 7th July, track and drainage upgrades take place between 12am and 5am on each Monday morning.

On Sunday 14th July, work will stop at midday and trains between Stockport and Chester will resume from midday.

Throughout the weekend of the 10th August, work will start at 12am Saturday night and will be complete at 5am Monday 12 August.

Travel advice

During the two Sundays of 30 June and the 7th July, and during the morning of 14th July, bus replacement services will be in operation between Chester and Stockport.

On Saturday 10th August, bus replacement services will run between Altrincham and Stockport and on Sunday 11th August, they will be put on between Altrincham and Chester.

Metrolink services into Manchester from Altrincham will continue to operate as normal.  

Passengers should check or follow @NationalRailEnq on Twitter for travel information.