AN £800,000 investment in railway tracks on the Mid Cheshire Line has more than tripled the potential speed of trains taking passengers between Knutsford and Manchester.

The Great North Rail Project scheme saw old sleepers, railway stone and rail brought completely up to date at 'Bleeding Wolf' through Hale, releasing trains from a 20mph limit up to 60mph.

Adrian Brookes, planning manager at Network Rail said: “This will help Cheshire and Greater Manchester passengers get to their places of work or leisure more comfortably, faster and more reliably.

“We are very grateful to passengers and lineside neighbours for their patience during late July and early August while the railway was closed to complete this vital renewal work.”

Work to lay around 2,500 tonnes of ballast, 700 new sleepers and 500m of new drainage on the 1km section of track ran over three consecutive Sundays – June 30, July 7 and 14 – and throughout last weekend.

Bleeding Wolf is so-called after a 13th century legend, whereby the Earl of Chester was attacked by an injured wolf and saved by 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.