In the early 1830s Crewe was only a small hamlet with only a wayside station beside a turnpike road. However, in 1837 the village became the junction of three lines, the Manchester & Birmingham, the Great Junction and the Chester & Crewe.
In 1840 the Great Junction company purchased the Chester & Crewe Railway and large areas of land in Crewe. The company then moved its locomotive and carriage works from Edge Hill, Liverpool to the town. For the next hundred and fifty years, an average of one locomotive a week was produced in Crewe. By 1843 the company had built 200 houses for its workers.
Other railway companies built lines to Crewe: the North Staffordshire (1848), Great Western (1863) and the Midland (1867). The original station was constructed in 1849 but was rebuilt eighteen years later with widened platforms and bays to accommodate the extra railway lines.