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13 November 2014

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You are in: Stoke & Staffordshire > History > Railways > The Lost Railways of Staffordshire

Leycett Station © Donald Morris

Leycett Station © Donald Morris

The Lost Railways of Staffordshire

Over the twentieth century, the railways in Staffordshire shrunk - and many stations and lines simply disappeared. We go looking for them.

It's astonishing to think that much of Staffordshire's railway structure, much of it less than a hundred years ago, has simply gone.

Stations, lines, halts, good yards and sidings were razed to the ground; and are now invisible, covered by car-parks, greenways, housing developments and the like.

A few vestiges remain of course.  Some station-houses were renovated and became private residences.  Some old rural bridges are still used by livestock moving from one field to another, and may even bear signs still of what they once were.  In some places, old track is overgrown and rusting, but still unmoved.

Photos

We'd like to put together a photo-record of these signs in the present of what once was. And we need your help...

*Do you take walks on an old railway track now used as a path? - send us a photo!
*Do you know of an old goods shed now used for another purpose? - send us a photo!
*Do you ever see the ruins of an old platform?  - send us  photo!
*Does a car-park cover over what once was your town's railway station? - send is a photo of it!
*Is there a pub or other building near you with an old railway memory to it? - send us a photo!

To see the photo-gallery we have amassed so far, click on the link below:

To email us your photos, use the email link...

Hanley Station © Donald Morris

Hanley Station © Donald Morris

Lines

But which exactly are the lines and stations that have gone?

Well, this is not the final list perhaps (if you know more, please contact us!!), but here's a guide..

  • Burton to Tutbury line (via Stretton, Rolleston-on-Dove at al) - closed 1960
  • Burton to Ashby (tram) - closed 1927
  • Walsall to Lichfield/Wichnor (via Brownhills, Pelsall, Hammerwich et al) - closed 1965
  • Shropshire to Stafford (via Gnosall & Haughton) - closed 1964
  • Uttoxeter to Leek (via Rocester, Alton et al), and Leek to North Rode (via Rudyard Lake et al) - closed 1965
  • Rocester to Asbourne - closed 1954
  • Cannock to Walsall - closed 1965
  • Stoke to Congleton (via Bucknall, Black Bull, Knypersley et al) - closed 1927
  • Bucknall to Leek (via Endon, Milton, Stockton Brook et al) - closed 1956
  • Stafford to Uttoxeter (via Chartley, Salt, Bromshall et al) - closed 1939
  • Stoke to Silverdale - closed 1964
  • Silverdale to Shropshire - closed 1956
  • Silverdale to Harecastle (via Audley, Keele, Pipe Gate, Madeley) - closed 1931
  • The 'Potteries Loop Line' from Etruria to Kidsgrove (via Tunstall) - closed 1964
  • Cresswell to Cheadle (via Tean) - closed 1963
  • Leek to Waterhouses (via Ipstones, Caldon Low et al) - closed 1935
  • Waterhouses to Hulme End, aka The Manifold Valley Light Railway (via Wetton Mill, Thor's Cave et al) - closed 1935
  • Trentham to Trentham Park - closed 1935

*Some lines near collieries or mineral workings (like Silverdale) remained open for longer than the official closure time for the mines' use only

*The name 'Knotty' is sometimes confused with the Potteries Loop Line, but the title is in fact the affectionate nickname given to the company that originally managed the line, that is, the North Staffordshire Railway - or NSR - Company.  (A famous play was written about the Knotty, and performed at the New Vic Theatre in Stoke in the 1960s)

Of course, even on lines that remain open, stations have disappeared.  Madeley, Colwich, Whitmore and Great Bridgeford, towns which are all on the West Coast Main Line, are examples of places which lost even their railway stations to economies.

Cresswell on the present Stoke to Derby line is another to have lost its station.

We'd like photos relating to their present state too...

Can you help? 

So... if you go on a walk in Staffordshire over the next few weeks, and spot a piece of history, would you send us the photo?

We'd be grateful - and so will a few rail historians!

Mark Righter

last updated: 20/10/2008 at 10:18
created: 20/10/2008

You are in: Stoke & Staffordshire > History > Railways > The Lost Railways of Staffordshire



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