Tag Archives: Stowe-by-Chartley

News – Amerton Railway’s Celebrations

Amerton Railway’s Celebrations


On Saturday May 5th we paid our first visit of the year to Amerton Railway.  It was the day of the Railway’s special day to celebrate 20 years of running passenger trains and the purchase of the land on which the railway runs.

The Mayor of Stafford, Councillor Stan Highfield, cut a ribbon in front of the 115 year-old Bagnall locomotive, Isabel, at 1.00pm to commemorate the opening of the 2012 running season on this very special occasion.

Three of the resident steam engines were in action, besides Isabel, Jennie and the vertical-boilered Paddy were also in action.

After the ribbon-cutting ceremony and the first train run, refreshments were provided – very much appreciated and enjoyed – thank you.

The remainder of the day was spent riding round the line behind and on the various locomotives – thank you and congratulations Amerton Railway on such a wonderful day and we look forward to visiting you for the Summer Gala on June 16th and 17th.  (See below for details).

Now on youtube:


Some early Lines – Stafford and Uttoxeter Railway

Stafford and Uttoxeter Railway



The North Staffordshire Railway opened its station at Uttoxeter in 1848, while the Shropshire Union Railways & Canal Co. opened its line to Wellington from Stafford in 1849, making the link between the two even more logical. Accordingly plans for the Stafford and Uttoxeter Railway were submitted in 1861.

In support of the line were the growing shoe-making industry in Stafford and the Leighton Ironworks in Uttoxeter, of the Bamford family, forebears of J.C.Bamford. The latter was destined to become one of the largest agricultural equipment maker in the country. Support came initially from the Shropshire Union Railway, for transport of cattle from Wales, but when it was taken over by the LNWR this was withdrawn, and the line was also opposed by the North Staffordshire. However the Royal Assent was given in 1862.

The Stafford and Uttoxeter Railway was created by Act of Parliament in 1862, to run between Stafford and Uttoxeter in Staffordshire, England.  It opened for traffic in 1867. It was nicknamed the Clog and Knocker.

Construction and operation

Construction began almost immediately. There were problems with the price of land and with labour. The contractors were Brassey and Field and by 1866 the cost had become £10,000 a mile. In addition there would need to be a tunnel at Bramshall and a major cutting at Hopton, the latter being 60 feet deep in solid rock.Hopton Cutting

Initially four stations were built, at Salt, Ingestre, Stowe and Grindley, substantial enough to last well into the 20th century.Stowe-by-Chartley Station

The line opened for general traffic in December 1867. It owned seven coaches, sixteen wagons and one goods van but, initially, no locomotive. Motive power line was provided by the contractors who had become shareholders in the company. Instead of booking office staff, tickets were sold on the train, and there was little in the way of telegraphic or signalling equipment. The first locomotive was a 2-4-0 tank engine supplied in 1868 by Beyer, Peacock and Co. and was named Shrewsbury and Talbot after a local landowner. By 1874, Stafford had expanded northwards and a new station was built at the Common, where there was horseracing, fares and agricultural showsIt was purchased for £100,000 by the Great Northern Railway in July 1881 as a means of reaching Wales. The latter thus gained a through route from Grantham via the Ambergate, Nottingham, Boston and Eastern Junction Railway and the GNR Derbyshire and Staffordshire Extension.  From Stafford it would reach Shrewsbury by the Shropshire Union Railways and Canal Co. line which had opened in 1849 and continue over the Potteries, Shrewsbury and North Wales Railway. Passenger services ended on 4 December 1939.


After the war public freight services resumed until nationalisation in 1948, when the line became part of British Railways, Eastern Region passing to the Midland Region in 1950.

The line finally closed to all traffic, apart from the Air Ministry sidings, in 1951 and the stations were closed and the bulk of the signalling removed in 1953. The last train on the line was in 1957, a special organised by the Stephenson Locomotive Society. The track was lifted between 1957 and 1962.

The junction at the north end of Stafford station is still known as “Uttoxeter Line Junction Number 5”

The through line closed on 5 March 1951 a stub survived at Stafford to serve the RAF Stafford 16 Maintenance Unit, which closed on 1 December 1975.

Stafford and Uttoxeter Line.  Great Northern Railway


This was one of the lines under consideration as a running line for the West Midlands District of the Railway Preservation Society.

16 members of the West Midland District walked along the Great Northern Railway disused branch line from Chartley to Stafford on Sunday, 27th March 1960.  Members assembled at Stafford Station and were taken by car to Chartley.  Our President, Mr. C. E. Ives, although not being able to take part in the walk, very kindly took members to the starting point.  A considerable number of photographs were taken en route for record purposes, as demolition of this line had already begun.  Very keen interest was shown in station buildings at Chartley, Ingestre and Weston and Salt.  Hopton cutting was duly noted as a great work of civil engineering, a tribute to the railway navvies of the 1860s.  The walk finished at Stafford Common Station (part of which is still worked by BR) where a welcome cup of tea brewed by Mr. A. Holden was much appreciated by all.  A special note must be made concerning one of our very enthusiastic members, Vice President Mr. J. Strong of Hereford, who stayed overnight in Stafford in order to take part.

Stafford Common Station

Chasewater Railway Museum 1962 Sep.Dec 1.5,6 Bits & Pieces 19

I enjoyed this piece as it showed the stock available for preservation in the early 1960s – Princess Elizabeth would have looked nice in Hednesford and just imagine her in the Heritage Centre now!!

The Mercian – Sept,Oct, Nov,Dec, 1962

From the West Midlands District 3rd AGM

Held in Wolverhampton September 29th 1962

We were fortunate to have with us Mr. Bell, Secretary of the Princess Elizabeth Preservation Fund, and Mr. K Vincent of Dowty Sports.

Mr. Bell mentioned that No.46201 Princess Elizabeth must be purchased on withdrawal from service with B.R. for preservation.  As the money will have to be raised very quickly the Society concerned cannot possibly afford a site for the loco at the moment.

The W.M.D. said they might be able to help out for the time being by either accommodating the loco at the Hednesford Depot or with the help of Mr. Vincent to accommodate it at Messrs. Dowty’s Ashchurch or Tewkesbury factories. Not only is this going to save the loco but it would give added attraction to the R.P.S. and may even boost membership in both Societies.

Mr. Cotterell ( Hon. Treasurer of the 0-6-0 ex Midland Tank engine) reminded us that up until now he had not received any donations from any R.P.S. members!  He also mentioned that we are going to need a loco for our branch line to pull the stock that we already have, and at the moment this one (last off works) seems to be the most likely.  So it rests with us to support these funds and publicise them as much as possible as we all want to see our own train on our own branch line very soon.

The two loco funds were: 46201 Princess Elizabeth £2610 and ex Midland 0-6-0 tank £750.  Not much in 2010 but very large sums in 1962!

46201 was bought by the then Princess Elizabeth Locomotive Society straight from BR service when withdrawn in 1962. Initially kept at the Dowty Railway Preservation Society’s premises at Ashchurch, Glos, and then subsequently at the Bulmers Railway Centre in Hereford. When the Bulmers Centre closed in the 1990s the loco moved to the East Lancashire Railway. Since April 2009 it has been based at the Crewe Heritage Centre Princess Elizabeth is one of two preserved Princesses; the other being 46203 Princess Margaret Rose.

News in Brief


Chasewater, the piece of line which the West Midlands District were negotiating for might now seem impracticable for our Branch Line owing to inadequate storage and water supply, etc.  This matter has been left pending from the A.G.M. for the new Committee to discuss.

The Mysterious “Gents”!!

In the Autumn edition of Forum it was stated that the W.M.D. of the R.P.S. were negotiating with B.R. for a Victorian cast iron vintage ‘gents lavatory’, its position was on the disused Stowe-by-Chartley station in Staffordshire.

While negotiations were still in progress for the purchase of the above relic, it disappeared mysteriously from the station.  B.R. were contacted about the disappearance, they are looking into the matter.  Whereas the RPS are of the opinion it was (to quote our Hon. Sec.) the work of some unscrupulous scrap merchant, and he certainly went to a lot of trouble for half a ton of iron by dismantling it and carrying it away.

The National Press did get hold of the story and it may have given us some much needed publicity!!

East Midlands District News

The result of our second membership has been 100% successful. A collection of small relics has been donated by a new member – Mr. R. J. Buckler, including a LNWR signal wire pulley.

The Nottinghamshire members have been very active during the last few months, especially P. Gibbons, who has been concerned with a written survey.  The Northamptonshire members too have not been idle.  Messrs. Webb, Popham and myself have been occupied with the membership campaign, and Messrs. Gubbins and Buckler have written an historical account of one of our local disused branch lines.

Membership in Leicestershire and Derbyshire is very low.  Could members in these areas possibly remedy this?

J. M. Harvey (East Midlands District Organiser)