Once a major home of the British railway industry and the Rolls Royce car works, Crewe is still an important train junction. Its station is a regular stop on services to London Euston from Liverpool (just 45 minutes away) and Edinburgh (a distance of slightly over 4 hours). Trains from London Euston run to Crewe 2 to 3 times hourly, taking roughly 1 hour and 40 minutes, and there's also a direct service from Manchester Piccadilly than gets passengers to Crewe in under an hour.
Crewe Station is on Nantwich Road, close to the Manchester Metropolitan University grounds and a 10 minute walk from Grand Junction Retail Park and Crewe Business Park. A large station with 12 platforms connected by lifts and stairs, it has two coffee shops, a WHSmith, an Upper Crust outlet for sandwiches and pastries, vending machines and a First Class lounge. There are short and long stay car parks, and a drop off/pick up point outside the main entrance.
Virgin Trains runs the station and operates services from London Euston and Scotland (the former also calls at Milton Keynes and Rugby). Meanwhile, Northern Rail and West Midlands Railways run trains from Manchester and Liverpool respectively. Virgin Trains services tend to be fast. The other two providers cater to regional passengers with a number of stops at smaller towns, while still generally making good time.
Trains tickets to Crewe can be inexpensive if one shops around, especially for passengers travelling from Manchester and Birmingham. For journeying down from Scotland, the train to Crewe compares favourably in terms of price, travel time and general convenience compared with catching a flight to Manchester airport.
Even if one is planning to be in Crewe for only a few hours, it's worth making the 20 minute train ride to Chester. This medieval walled city is a delight to the eye with its timber-framed houses, Roman ruins and cathedral. Its racecourse attracts thousands of visitors, and The Rows offer a unique shopping experience. From Chester train station there's a frequent Rail Link bus service to the city centre, as well as other buses to some extremely quaint surrounding villages.