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Moorlands and City Railway

Discussion in 'Heritage Railways & Centres in the UK' started by Guest, Oct 14, 2009.

  1. Coboman

    Coboman New Member

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    A long time ago when the line was still seeing traffic, IIRC that Bridge was declared unsafe and loading was done by driving lorries from the quarry across the road and up that track we park on, and then loaded into wagons on the weigh bridge (thats why the other track was covered over). Those stones were put there as a crude buffer stop. I think the line was only very rarely used by that time, I think it was just stone for the channel tunnel project that resurected the line after quite along time of disuse. Others might know but I think the only major traffic it saw in the 80s was the thames barrier traffic and the channel tunnel traffic. I's still love to know how that 3rd rail insulator managed to end up there!
    Jim
     
  2. FJR8642

    FJR8642 Member

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  3. p/wayman

    p/wayman New Member

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    Looking at the track at Cauldon this week, it looked as though the only way to get to La Farge was to use part of the old trackbed of the Waterhouse branch. You can still see where it was but it does look another good incline. It would be interesting to see a loaded freight pulling up there. I suppose that it would come off the Cauldon line before the double arched bridge 0. Ah well I can but hope.
     
  4. toplight

    toplight Member

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    I have travelled on the Churnet Valley line but don't know the new MCR line. Some quick questions.

    1 Are the any station buildings/platforms etc that survive on the Stoke to Cauldon Low route ? and are they under control of MCR, are there plans to restore them etc ? or maybe build new stations ?

    2 Is there plans to restore heritage infrastructure such as old signal boxes etc or will it be run just as a modern operation with modern equipment etc
     
  5. Coboman

    Coboman New Member

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    Dont know about the Stoke to Leekbrook Jcn section, but between there and Cauldon the stations have all been demolished many years ago (last used in 1935). The plan is to recommision Leekbrook signal box at somepoint, but for the time being, the pointwork is controlled by a groundframe. I would expect the the Cauldon section will always be run using a 1 engine in steam principal as there are no passing loops. The Leekbrook to Stoke section however I would expect there to be some sort of signaling as the long turm plan is to run commuter trains from Leek, as well as Stone traffic from Cauldon, and I cannot imagine that lot could be fitted in if its just a single section between Leekbrook and Stoke.
    Jim
     
  6. p/wayman

    p/wayman New Member

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    There are a few buildings left mainly station masters houses and workers cottages all privately owned, don't know all but Fenton Manor, Stockton Brook, Wall Grange, Ipstones and Winkhill come mind. There are a couple of platforms in various states of disrepair. The signal box at Leek Brook, the weighbridge and hut at Cauldon and various p way hutsare sill there. As you see not a lot of infrustructure left, but I believe that if and when passenger trains to Leek restart again some park and ride stations will be built.
     
  7. Kenneth

    Kenneth New Member

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    There are certainly platforms remaining at Endon (which is perfectly placed for "commuter" trains if we have to use that horrible word), and also I suspect at Fenton Manor, Bucknall and Stockton Brook, although they look to be buried under considerable undergrowth. I eagerly await what will be found when the team starts work on this section in March. I would imagine that these stations, along with Milton and a new one at Abbey Hulton, would be highly successful in attracting passengers, bearing in mind the congestion along the neighbouring A53 and A5009.
    I still don't know what will happen at the increasingly busy Stoke station, as I understand that they won't allow trains to terminate there. Would they be allowed to run forward to Etruria, for Hanley and Newcastle-under Lyme, along the third, unused line? Now, that prospect would be exciting!
     
  8. Ash-SOT

    Ash-SOT New Member

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    Just a heads up to say ive sent you a private message Jeff
     
  9. Coboman

    Coboman New Member

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    Are you going to join our merry band Ash-SOT?
     
  10. Kenneth

    Kenneth New Member

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    Hot news from our local Newspaper, the "Sentinel". Talks are in progress to open the disused, but mainly intact branch line from Cresswell (on the Stoke-Derby line) to Cheadle. The Parties involved are "one of the railway owning bodies" and MCR. Many of the local councillors are highly supportive of this venture.
    Cheadle and Leek (along with Biddulph) are the three major towns of the Staffordshire Moorlands, and to have two of them connected by rail is very exciting news.
    The use of "light-weight dieisel trains" as suggested, would enable the opening up of long-closed stations, such as Fenton, Normacot & Meir, where there are very heavy concentrations of the population.
    It seems there is no stopping the MCR!
     
  11. oldmrheath

    oldmrheath Well-Known Member

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    Would be interesting to see where Cheadle station would be as the old site is now a housing estate- there is no obvious alternative with any road access. For some time there was talk of a freight railhead at Huntley for traffic to fill in Croxden quarry but nothing since.
     
  12. Christopher125

    Christopher125 Member

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    Im starting to feel a little concerned. It seems they are still rebuilding a line without any guarantee that Lafarge will use it; according to the Railway Herald the CVR are now getting involved and using funds from a share issue to negotiate a stake in MCR, helping pay for the reinstatement of Stoke-Leekbrook... and now they're looking at a different line?

    Chris
     
  13. Kenneth

    Kenneth New Member

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    The thing is, Christopher, that the Moorlands & City Railway is what it says on the tin, i.e. railways to connect the Staffordshire Moorlands with the City (of Stoke-on-Trent). I would be most disappointed if MCR did not have aspirations to connect Cheadle (and Biddulph as well!). North Staffordshire has been robbed of its public transport infrastructure, and our position is no longer sustainable, so three cheers to MCR for trying to put this right. We're all aware here that the heritage element will be treated most sympathetically, and, quite frankly, I have always found the combination of respect for the past combined with go-ahead business innovation most exciting, and conducive to public good, as well as benefiting both elements. I think that we in North Staffordshire are very lucky to have this venture taking place, and I think that we're in a position that many preserved railways would lose an eye for. Good luck to the CVR for buying in to a share of this particularly delicious cake!
     
  14. Lewisb06

    Lewisb06 New Member

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    Hats off to you all.....Hope you dont grow too quickly and the bubble bursts....
     
  15. Christopher125

    Christopher125 Member

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    Aspiration, enthusiasm and 'go-ahead business innovation' doesnt negate the need for a viable business case. However much we all want it to be a success, until MCR have some decent long-term guaranteed traffic the work going on to reinstate the line can only be described as speculative. Therefore im surprised the CVR are getting involved at the present time... unless MCR need the money. In which case the whole scheme is even risker and the Cheadle Branch speculation even crazier.

    When this was just the work of a couple of CVR directors with deep pockets, the harsh but fair criticism on WNXX about their future plans didnt concern me - the whole Alton Towers P+R thing is a little dubious, but the whole project is being privately financed and will be carried out at arms length from the heritage line - if it went belly up at least the wider impact would be minimal. Now they want, though hopefully not need, further investors and are to become more closely linked to the CVR i fear that might not be the case.

    (Apologies for being a little pessimistic, hopefully my fears are unfounded!)

    Chris
     
  16. Coboman

    Coboman New Member

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    What makes you think that Lafarge wont guarentee to use it? I know theres some question marks over Tarmac using it or not, but I was under the impression that Lafarge were all for it.
     
  17. Christopher125

    Christopher125 Member

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    Until there is a signature on the dotted line then nothing is 'guaranteed' - while moving from road to rail can produce savings, there are so many variables involved that its far from certain that enough traffic can be carried at an appropriate price to make it commercially viable for either MCR or its customers. This is why the decision to 'go it alone' as soon as they had access to the trackbed concerns me if they dont have enough money to see through the reinstatement of the rest of the line, and instead need other investors to make up the shortfall.

    Chris
     
  18. Gav106

    Gav106 Well-Known Member

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    from what i.have heard tarmacs bosses want to use mcr. its just the manager at cauldon tarmac doesnt like the railway. so i think that hopefully will be ok. and if cvr are only buying a stake in the project this could really be good for them if it becomes profitable. and as the cvr are doing lots of the work for mcr anyway they should get something back.
     
  19. Neil_Scott

    Neil_Scott Member

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    I've got a little query for those who are working on the MCR.

    From what I've read the line(s) being restored are supposedly in good condition. How much new ballast, sleepers and rail will be put down? Is the expectation that the freight traffic will run on track that hasn't carried trains for quite a few years?
     
  20. Sheff

    Sheff Well-Known Member

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    Clearly the newly restored lines will be fit for purpose and will undergo the usual statutory inspections before services operate. The amount of new ballast, sleepers and rail will be whatever is required to meet those criteria.
     

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