Biddulph Valley line

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The Biddulph Valley line was a double tracked line that ran from Stoke-on-Trent to Brunswick Wharf in Congleton. The line was named after the town of the same name as it ran via the Staffordshire Moorlands and covered areas of East Staffordshire and Cheshire.[1]

Biddulph Valley line
Brunswick Wharf
Congleton
Mossley Halt
Biddulph
Knypersley Halt
Black Bull
Chell Halt
Ford Green & Smallthorne
Milton Junction
Bucknall and Northwood
Stoke on Trent
Fenton Manor tunnel (
106 yd
97 m
)
Fenton Manor
Biddulph Valley Way passing through the former Biddulph railway station

Stations and halts on the line[edit]

The line was connected to the same line as the Leek Brook to Stoke Line.

Opening[edit]

The Biddulph Valley line was authorised by an act of parliament on 24 July 1854 and was later authorized at a cost of £190,000. It was also heavily promoted by the owners of local collieries, of these people were brothers James Bateman and John Bateman and the mayor of Congleton.[2]

Construction of the line began on 27 April 1858 and was built by the North Staffordshire Railway who were responsible for opening of other lines in the surrounding areas of Staffordshire.[3]

The line opened in sections to mineral traffic with the first part opening to Childerplay and then in 1859, following another act of parliament along with an additional £35,000. The remaining 4 1/2 miles of track were laid for mineral traffic, opening in 1860.[3]

Stations opened along the line in 1864. The stations at Ford Green & Smallthorne, Black Bull and Biddulph opened on the same day, 1 June 1864. Subsequently halts at Chell, Knypersley and Mossley opened between 1890 and 1919. Passenger services ran from Stoke to Congleton involving a reversal of direction at Congleton Junction where the Biddulph Valley line met the main line between Manchester and Congleton.

The line was also linked to the Stoke–Leek line which ran to Leek and connected to the same junction as the Churnet Valley Line (Uttoxeter-Leek-Macclesfield) and the Waterhouses branch line.

Decline[edit]

The stations along the line closed to passengers in 1927 due to poor usage while the halts closed earlier between 1923 and 1927.[3] Freight traffic, mainly coal, continued. Closure came in stages; Congleton Upper junction to Congleton Lower junction closed on 1 December 1963 and all long distance traffic to Congleton Brunswick Wharf then had to come via Stoke. Brunswick Wharf to Heath junction followed on 15 January 1969 and then Heath junction to Ford Green when rail traffic ceased at Victoria colliery in January 1976. The last section from Ford Green to Milton junction was taken out of use on the closure of Norton colliery in June 1977.[4]

The stations (except Biddulph) were demolished after closure and the track was lifted from Bucknall and Northwood to the junction near Congleton.

Present day[edit]

The line from Stoke-on-Trent to Bucknall and Northwood remained in use for stone traffic to and from Oakamoor and Caldon where they served the sand sidings and the quarries but the line was mothballed in 1988 as a result of this traffic stopping.

The line from Ford Green and Smallthorne to Mossley via Biddulph now forms the Biddulph Valley Way and is used by cyclists and walkers. It follows the course of the entire line.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Potteries Bidduplh and Congleton Railway". PastScape. Historic England. Retrieved 19 October 2018.
  2. ^ Donald J. Grant (31 October 2017). Directory of the Railway Companies of Great Britain. Troubador Publishing Ltd. p. 458. ISBN 978-1-78803-768-6. Retrieved 19 October 2018.
  3. ^ a b c "Activities and Information About the Biddulph Valley Way". Chesire East Council. Retrieved 19 October 2018.
  4. ^ Allan. C Baker. An Illustrated History of Stoke and North Staffordshire's Railways. Irwell Press. p. 54. ISBN 1-903266-11-4.

External links[edit]