Trentham Park branch line
|Trentham Park Branch Line|
The Trentham Park branch line was a 1 1⁄4-mile (2.0 km) railway line that ran through the Trentham area of Stoke-on-Trent. It was last branch line to be built by the North Staffordshire Railway. Intended to route traffic to Trentham Gardens, the branch was authorised in 1907 and opened on 1 April 1910. It left the main line at Trentham Junction where there was a platform connected by a short path to Trentham, although Trentham Junction itself never appeared as a separate station in the timetable.
By the time of its opening, local traffic was already being carried by road. As a result, the only intermediate station, Hanford Road Halt, was closed after just three years. However, the original plan was to extend the line to Pool Dam, Newcastle-under-Lyme, to form a four mile long route around the growing suburbs. In preparation for this a steel bridge was constructed in September 1914 over London Road (now part of the A34) just beyond Trentham Park, but the extension was halted by World War I. It remained as a bridge to nowhere until 1940, when it was dismantled for scrap for the World War II effort.
World War II
During the war, the branch was at its busiest due to the Bank of England having temporarily relocated its clearing house to Trentham Hall. Numerous unpublicised passenger trains ran to serve it, along with a daily freight working.