Trains first arrived in Ellesmere Port in 1863, by which time the industrial revolution had brought rapid growth to the nearby docks, effectively transforming the town. Change accelerated in the 1890s, as the new Manchester Ship Canal joined the River Mersey just west of the town. Today the station looks similar to the way it did then, and is the terminus for services from Liverpool and Birkenhead, as well as more infrequent services to and from Warrington Bank Quay via Helsby.
The station in Ellesmere Port is located between the docks and the town centre, which is dominated by the Port Arcades shopping centre. Both are roughly ten minutes' walk from the station. Although industry remains important to the economy in Ellesmere Port, the historic docks themselves have been transformed over recent decades with residential developments, restaurants and other leisure facilities, and the National Waterways Museum.