known as the "Knotty" after the
Stafford knot in the logo
The NSR logo on Longton
railway bridge, Times Square, Longton
Staffordshire Railway was formed in 1845 to promote a number of
lines in the Staffordshire Potteries. ‘giving the most ample accommodation
to the towns of Tunstall, Burslem, Newcastle-under-Lyme, Hanley, Stoke,
Fenton, Longton and Stone’, to join the Grand Junction Railway at Colwich.
The primary intention being to provide the area with railway services to
Manchester and London.
As a way of
eliminating opposition to the Company's Bills in Parliament, and to allow
it to promote a line to Liverpool, the NSR made an agreement to take over
the Trent & Mersey Canal Company.
The Loop Line from Etruria via Hanley, Cobridge, Burslem, Tunstall,
Pitts Hill, Newchapel & Goldenhill to Kidsgrove Liverpool Rd. and a
junction with the Manchester line was the last of the N.S.R.’s major
of the Loop Line
"The Potteries Loop Line was a very short line, which assumed great
importance with increasing local developments. Schemes for the Loop Line
were influenced and affected by the plans of other companies in the world
outside Staffordshire who wished to gain access to the industrial riches
of the Potteries.......
......as a child I remember the tumult at Etruria when travelling on
the main line train from Crewe — crowds of passengers swarming across
the island platform between main lines and Loop Line trains. And for
further diversion, on the up side there were two elevated ground signals
mounting large rotating Bs into the sky for the benefit of coal trains
off the Loop which had to be backed across into the down Grange Sidings;
an operation which of necessity had to be performed as quickly as
possible. What with one thing and another, Etruria was hardly beautiful,
but it was full of interest and activity, the gateway to a romantic
world of mystery behind the steelworks.
The North Staffordshire Railway today exercises a deep affection
amongst lovers of railways, just as it did to Arnold Bennett and his
generation to whom the Loop Line was a major factor in local transport."
Dr. J Hollick - foreword to "The Potteries Loop Line"
- A.C. Baker
|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 Stoke).
It was opened in
many short sections due to the cost of railway construction during
the 1870s. The complete route of the line was sanctioned by
Parliament but the NSR felt that the line would be unimportant
enough, to forget continuing with construction.
residents of the towns through which the line was planned to pass
so they petitioned parliament to force construction which they
The geography of the route
necessitated severe gradients and sharp curves, especially around
Tunstall, Burslem and Hanley.
lines of the North Staffordshire
the Potteries Loop Line is shown in blue
|The line was
authorised and constructed as follows:
Etruria - Shelton:
authorised for construction on the 2nd of July 1847 opening for
goods in 1850 and passengers in January 1862.
Shelton - Hanley:
authorised for construction on the 13th of August 1859 opening to
goods on the 20th of December 1861 and passengers on the 13th of
The entire section to the NSR main
line at Kidsgrove was authorised on the 5th of July 1865 opening as
Hanley - Burslem:
opened to passengers and goods on the 1st of November 1873.
Burslem - Tunstall:
opened to passengers and goods on the 1st of December 1873.
Tunstall - Goldenhill:
opened to passengers and goods on the 1st of October 1874.
Goldenhill - Kidsgrove:
opened to passengers and goods on the 15th of November