Did you know - there was once a Potteries Loop Line railway?
|The Potteries Loop Line
was a railway line that served several towns in Stoke-on-Trent. It was
built by the North Staffordshire Railway off its main line (nowadays
referred to as the Manchester branch of the West Coast Main Line via
The geography of the route necessitated severe gradients and sharp curves, especially around Tunstall, Burslem and Hanley.
By 1910, Hanley had become the largest of the Six Towns, but the line only served the areas where a fraction of Hanley’s workforce lived. From the 1920s the line began to fall victim to road competition, and by 1961 there were just five passenger trains daily from Stoke-on-Trent to Hanley and Tunstall, and none at all outside the peak hours. In addition, most of the goods traffic had been transferred to road as the 1950s dawned.
The Beeching Axe signalled the final blow for passenger services, and services were withdrawn on 2 March 1964.
Freight workings continued for some years afterwards. In 1967 trains were frequently diverted onto the Loop Line between Longport and Kidsgrove via the Pinnox branch during the electrification of the West Coast Main Line, the upgrading of which involved construction of a new line avoiding Harecastle tunnel.
The northern part of the route remained open until August 1976 to transport coal from an opencast mine at Goldenhill.
more on the Potteries Loop Line
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