The Opening and first 100 years
Rose Hill station was opened on 2 August 1869, by the Macclesfield Bollington and Marple Railway (MB&MR). The promoters of the MB&MR hoped to capture some of the London to Manchester traffic. It never succeeded in this aim and the MB&MR spent its life as a local line. Passenger trains ran from Macclesfield to Manchester via Bollington, Rose Hill, Romiley, Hyde and Guide Bridge. It also carried useful amounts of freight. The line opened with a service of four trains per day, each way, with two trains on Sunday. Over the years this increased gradually until, by 1960, Rose Hill had 15 trains/day to and from Macclesfield and 18 trains/day to and from Manchester, with 8 trains on Sunday. The Sunday service was withdrawn on 16 September 1962.
Closure to Macclesfield
The Beeching Report of 1963 proposed the closure of the whole of the line from Macclesfield. By late 60's more people were commuting into Manchester from Rose Hill. The decision was finally taken to retain the Rose Hill to Manchester service but to close the line south of Rose Hill to Macclesfield. This closure took place on 5 January 1970.
After sustained campaigning by the Friends of Rose Hill Station, one train/hour was switched from Marple to Rose Hill. This resulted in an immediate uplift in passenger numbers from 90,478 in 2008/9 to 114,700 in 2010/11. A re-casting of the timetable in Dec 2012, to give a better balanced service, saw a further rise in station usage.
The tracks south of Rose Hill were lifted in 1971. In the 80's the disused trackbed was turned into a bridleway which was opened on 30 May 1985 as "Middlewood Way", which is now part of the National Cycle Network route NCN 55. In 2012 a bridleway was created north of Rose Hill station via a new Chadkirk Bridge across the Goyt filling in a missing link in NCN 55.
The Station Building
The station had two platforms until 1980, when the line was reduced to single track and the signal box at the end of the platform was closed and demolished. The main station building on the east side of the tracks was demolished at the same time. The station had been built by the North Staffordshire Railway (NSR), one of the original promoters of the MB&MR. It is the most northerly NSR station. The present building was refurbished in 2007 when the original waiting room was brought back into use and the ticket office modernised.
Prepared by Craig Wright with input from Wikipedia, Warwick Burton and Tom Lord