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of Stoke-on-Trent owes its superb 21st Century railway service
to the foresight of the North Staffordshire Railway Company, which
established its main office and boardroom at its principal station in
Stoke-on-Trent. The fine Victorian Station that they built is ideally
situated on this main line (part of the shortest route between
Manchester and London) and near the junction with its line to Derby.
station buildings were
completed in 1848 to the design of H.A. Hunt of London in a style
referred to as ‘robust Jacobean manor-house’. Together
with the North Stafford Hotel and the officers’ houses, they occupy
Winton Square, in what Sir Nikolaus Pevsner has described as ‘the
finest piece of Victorian axial planning in the county’. They were a
masterpiece in their time and quite remarkably they have survived
(among the earliest principal station buildings so to do), very well
maintained, little changed, and still largely fulfilling their original
purposes. They provide a
facility of which the city can be justly proud.
The North Staffordshire Hotel in the same
Statue to Josiah Wedgwood - North Staffordshire's most famous son
and father of the Pottery Industry.
Waiting for the 16:01 on a Mid-November afternoon.
Photographs © by Noel
Walley taken November 16th
NORTH STAFFORDSHIRE RAILWAY PASSENGER
- 1910 was the year of the
six-towns federation that created the County Borough (later City) of
- In that year 186 passenger trains left Stoke-on-Trent
every day (Mondays to Fridays).
- Of these three were express trains to London and
30 more were destined for Crewe, Manchester, Derby or Birmingham.
remaining 153 trains were local trains travelling on average less than
ten miles before returning to Stoke-on-Trent.
- These local trains provided a service
to almost a hundred stations on the North Staffordshire Railway.
- By 1947 the number of local trains had fallen by
two-thirds to 50 and although there were a few more expresses, the
service had otherwise varied little in 37 years and the total passenger
train milage remained about the same.
- Great changes and a new approach came, with
electrification in the mid 1960s and Inter-City in the mid 1970s. Local
services failed to meet any observable need and continued to decline.
- By 1999 there were only 14 former North
Staffordshire Railway stations still open
for passenger travel.
- In that year, of the 117 trains daily, there were 16
express trains to London, 40 to Manchester or beyond (e.g. Carlisle
Edinburgh), 23 to Birmingham or beyond (e.g. Oxford, Reading and
Bournemouth), 15 to Crewe, 15 to Derby (with most continuing to
Nottingham or Skegness) and just eight short journey local trains.
- In 2007 there were 153 passenger trains leaving
Stoke-on-Trent daily: 29 to London, 62 to Manchester, 32 to Birmingham
or beyond, 15 to Crewe and 15 to Derby. Etruria station had been
closed and the local trains between Stoke-on-Trent, Wedgwood,
Barlaston, Stone, Norton Bridge and Stafford had been replaced by a bus
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