Travel on trains can now resume between Birmingham and Manchester via Stoke-on-Trent and Macclesfield after flood water subsided.The advice is to check your journey before you travel as delays are expected.
More rain and snow is expected in the next week with the prime minister urging people to follow advice to stay safe.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson warned of more rain to come during a visit to flood-affected areas.
Snow last night was a "godsend" that kept flood waters from rising higher, according to Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham.Copyright: Reuters
Mr Burnham told BBC Radio Manchester the "snow really helped us at a crucial moment", adding:Quote Message: It was a bit of a godsend, to be honest, because with it just lying on the ground, it didn't add to the levels.Quote Message: Finally, we can say something went right.
However, he said that "while the most risky moment might have passed the danger’s not gone completely, because the water levels in the Mersey will stay very high and there’s the effect of the snow as it melts".
"We’re not out of the woods yet," he said.
The Environment Agency says people should sign up for flood updates or use its website to make sure they can keep safe.
Rail operator Northern has announced some of its routes, which had been affected by flooding, are now reopening.
BBC weather presenter and meteorologist
What happened in Greater Manchester on Wednesday evening was unprecedented.Copyright: PA
It was about a month’s worth of rainfall in 48 hours.
There was a crazy situation where we saw snow falling.
I don’t think we have been in a situation where we have had severe flood warnings and snow settling as well.
Rail operator Northern has advised passengers not to travel on many of its routes in the North West "due to increasingly poor conditions following torrential rain across the region".
The firm said routes covering "north of Manchester, Lancashire and Cumbria" were affected and a number had "experienced issues with flooding and... seen closures and significant disruption".
A spokesman said Northern had worked "alongside Network Rail throughout the night to prepare as many rail services as possible to resume on Thursday, [but] despite this hard work, flooding is persisting, and it has become increasingly difficult to operate a reliable service".
Regional director Chris Jackson added:Quote Message: We have worked for the last few days, in conjunction with colleagues from across the industry, to keep our services operating and, where possible, supported those services with replacement buses when the flooding meant running trains was impossible.Quote Message: Unfortunately, we have had to make the difficult to advise our customers that they should not travel before 12:00 on Thursday across many of our North West routes.Quote Message: The situation is constantly changing so I urge anyone who needs to make essential journeys over the next few days to allow extra time for travel and to check carefully before setting off.
By Sallie George & Judith Moritz