The Railway Era

The Railway Era.
London & North Western Railway & The North Staffordshire Railway

Shown here is the L.N.W.R station at Madeley on the West Coast Mainline.

Further Information Regarding The North Staffordshire Railway Can Be Found At
which is the web-site for the North Staffordshire Railway Study Group –
a society for anyone with an interest in the history of ‘The Knotty’.

Audley Branch Line

The Audley branch measured 7 miles 37 chains from Alsager East junction through Leycett and onto Honeywall Junction at Keele. It was opened for goods on the 24th July 1870 utilising double track. This was singled  in 1934 eleven years after the North Staffordshire Railway was amalgamated into The London Midland and Scottish Railway in 1923. Passenger traffic commenced on the 1st of July 1880 and withdrawn in on April the 27th 1931. Closure of this branch occurred in 1965.

Honeywall Junction west curve was closed when on October the 1st 1881 the east curve was opened. Presumably this was to alleviate the climb up to Keele by mineral traffic. A more direct route was onto the L.N.W.R. main line via Madeley Road.

A branch line from Leycett to Silverdale called The Cuttings was laid but never used. Today, the remnants of the old bridge and embankments can still be seen where the road dips on the Silverdale side of Leycett.

Leycett had the steepest gradient on the branch of 1 in 37.

Hayes Wood and Minnie Collieries closed in 1930.

Madeley Colliery closed in 1957.

Market Drayton to Newcastle Branch Line

The Market Drayton branch opened in sections, with Stoke on Trent to Newcastle under Lyme being the first on the 6th September 1852. This was followed eleven years later by the Newcastle to Silverdale section in May of 1863. It wasn’t until the 1st of February 1870 that the connection to Market Drayton was completed, giving Madeley an east \ west route.

Keele Station
3 coach train headed by a class 4 2-6-4T No 42323 bound for Market Drayton from Newcastle-under Lyme and Stoke-on Trent, stands at Keele platform in September 1954.

Keele Park had its own station, not to be confused with Keele station and is where horse races were held. The station was opened in 1896 and closed in March of 1907.

Although initially the line was double track, it was converted to single track in 1934. Passenger services were withdrawn on May 6th 1956 and on the Silverdale to Stoke on Trent section on 2nd March 1964. It was finally closed to goods trains on the 9th January 1967, although coal trains still ran from Silverdale colliery to Madeley Road and onto the former LNWR line. With the closure of Silverdale colliery in 1998, all traffic on this line ceased.

Madeley Road station was opened in November 1870 and closed in 1931.

Based on Bradshaw’s tables and the passenger services timetables, the number of passenger trains per day through Madeley are as follows:

1859 0
1875 10
1890 12
1904 10
1923 12
1956 service withdrawn

Click Here For Larger Map

North Staffordshire Railway map Circa 1870 – 1934.

Showing both LNWR and NSR lines.

(© Andrew T. Finney)

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