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GWRSwindon

North Staffordshire Railway Derby to Crewe line

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For its small size, the North Staffordshire Railway had a great deal of quirky charm. A layout depicting their Crewe to Derby line has the potential to include four other lines: the LNWR throughout the system, the GNR from Etwall to Bromshall, a GWR goods train to Stoke (I think), and the Midland at Derby.

 

I know traffic on the line included coal, and of course pottery. Does anyone know what else they carried?

 

I had thought of included the GCR, supposing they had gotten running powers over the NSR from Macclesfield to Derby. Would this be plausible?

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The short answer to the last question is no, because the LNWR exerted a lot of power over the NSR for its Manchester-London trains and viewed the GCR as a competitor. The NSR was a plucky little system which kept its independence but was highly reliant on the MR and LNWR.

 

David

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9 hours ago, GWRSwindon said:

For its small size, the North Staffordshire Railway had a great deal of quirky charm. A layout depicting their Crewe to Derby line has the potential to include four other lines: the LNWR throughout the system, the GNR from Etwall to Bromshall, a GWR goods train to Stoke (I think), and the Midland at Derby.

 

I know traffic on the line included coal, and of course pottery. Does anyone know what else they carried?

 

I had thought of included the GCR, supposing they had gotten running powers over the NSR from Macclesfield to Derby. Would this be plausible?

Milk from Uttoxeter and Ashbourne; beer from Burton to Stoke; iron and steel products from Shelton Bar; sand from Cheadle and Oakamoor; stone from Cauldon Low; agricultural machinery from Bamfords at Uttoxeter.

I think the GWR exchanged traffic at Market Drayton, rather than working through to Newcastle or Stoke.

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Some years ago I used to help operate a joint NSR/LNWR layout, Childs Ercal.  One interesting quirk we discovered was that we coiuld separate the goods traffic by colour, all the companies with brown wagons came and went via the NSR goods services and all the grey ones via the LNWR ones. That layout was set in Shropshire, Childs Ercal being a real place between Market Drayton and Newport but which never had a colliery or a railway, as far as I know. I don't know if the same split by colour would work for other NSR served places.

Jonathan

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Can't be sure, but the NSR GN may have carried Scandinavian pig iron from the docks to a large malleable iron  foundry (Leys) at Derby, who had a siding (1875 -on) alongside the main lines approaching Derby station, and an array of sidings within the works which expanded with the growth of the business. see  Industrial Railway Record (No. 125 IIRC) 

The pig iron was in approx 6-inch square by 18  to 24 inch long ingot form, a size which allowed manual unloading and stacking neatly. The supply was restricted by adverse weather in the North Sea, so stock-piling in the summer months was normal. 

This foundry supplied castings to the motor industry , typically rear axle and gear box housings.

Unfortunately, the foundry's weigh-bridge records, listing wagons and contents moving in and out of the sidings, disappeared (along with the cabin clock!) when the sidings were abandoned in favour of road transport of supplies.

EDIT.. Sorry, I was thinking of the NSR but wrote GN  They both used the junction at Egginton  GN Derby Friargate to Burton (now a cycle path), NSR Derby to Crewe. The road level crossing  on the Derby side of Egginton junction still exists as Manually operated (steel) gates, with modern auto-barrier crossings nearby either side. 

 

Edited by DonB
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The GC's workings usually ended at Macc. as there were no running powers beyond. However the GC exchanged quite a lot of goods traffic there with the NSR from both its own and the CLC systems. (In Per Rail the GC's goods handbook for the public there is a map showing the entire NSR as a "connection", a distinction not granted to the LNWR lines which are shown, if at all, as "other".

 

In one timetable, I rather think the 1903 one, there was a passenger train off the GC to Stoke or Leek or some such place, but it is not clear whether the GC engine worked through. This practice was not perpetuated, and may have been a "one off".

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35 minutes ago, Poggy1165 said:

The GC's workings usually ended at Macc. as there were no running powers beyond. However the GC exchanged quite a lot of goods traffic there with the NSR from both its own and the CLC systems. (In Per Rail the GC's goods handbook for the public there is a map showing the entire NSR as a "connection", a distinction not granted to the LNWR lines which are shown, if at all, as "other".

 

In one timetable, I rather think the 1903 one, there was a passenger train off the GC to Stoke or Leek or some such place, but it is not clear whether the GC engine worked through. This practice was not perpetuated, and may have been a "one off".

Thank you, I was suggesting a "might have been" where the GCR got running powers over the NSR from Macclesfield to Derby. Someone else has already pointed out to me that this wouldn't be possible considering the NSR's relationship to the LNWR. 

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The NSR used the LNWR's rails on the approach to Derby. I have seen a 1934 Photo of the partly demolished LNWR's loco shed on the site of a development at  Ley's  foundry . 

I believe that this Photo, part of a series which also show the dismantling of the LNWR turntable in March 1934. These photo are, I believe in the Local Studies  museum and library at Derby,currently closed due to council cuts.  

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Just a thought?

 

A link line from the NSR at Burton on Trent to the GCR at Loughborough would have been relatively easy to build. A direct link to the GC main line from the Potteries and Burton.

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1 hour ago, Armchair Modeller said:

Just a thought?

 

A link line from the NSR at Burton on Trent to the GCR at Loughborough would have been relatively easy to build. A direct link to the GC main line from the Potteries and Burton.

Hmm, I think the Midland might block any attempt to build a line parallel to their own. That said, others are certainly better informed than I, so take what I say with a dash of salt.

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The LNWR certainly did, as noted above, assert themselves over the NSR (to the extent that as part of their agreement to allow the NSR build their Market Drayton and Audley branches, they had to make provision for a junction with the WCML at Madeley. This junction was never used; in fact it was nearly 100 years between the embankment being built and track being put on it by British Rail, but it had to be provided for), so the Great Central idea would never have been allowed by them. I'd also guess that the above mentioned 1903 service would have been pulled by an NSR engine rather than a GCR one; no evidence for this, but in similar vein I recall an attempt by the GNR to boldly run a train into Nottingham Midland due to a loophole, which didn't end well.

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21 minutes ago, GWRSwindon said:

Hmm, I think the Midland might block any attempt to build a line parallel to their own. That said, others are certainly better informed than I, so take what I say with a dash of salt.

I must admit to being a bit puzzled by that response (in a nice way!) . Looking at a map I can't see a directly parallel line by any company. The Midland and GNR lines are well to the north on the far bank of the Trent and a long way around. The GC excelled at building parallel lines, like the GC Main Line to London itself, for example. The beer barons were very powerful too and would have welcomed a shorter route to London - at least in my imagination ;) 

 

As for the all-powerful LNWR, the GC and NSR got away with building the Macclesfield, Bollington & Marple despite the LNWR so I think other lines could easily have been possible - especially away from LNWR territory and in the Edwardian era.

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30 minutes ago, Armchair Modeller said:

I must admit to being a bit puzzled by that response (in a nice way!) . Looking at a map I can't see a directly parallel line by any company. The Midland and GNR lines are well to the north on the far bank of the Trent and a long way around. The GC excelled at building parallel lines, like the GC Main Line to London itself, for example. The beer barons were very powerful too and would have welcomed a shorter route to London - at least in my imagination https://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/uploads/emoticons/default_wink3.gif 

 

As for the all-powerful LNWR, the GC and NSR got away with building the Macclesfield, Bollington & Marple despite the LNWR so I think other lines could easily have been possible - especially away from LNWR territory and in the Edwardian era.

I had thought such a NSR line would take traffic away from the Midland's Burton-Leicester and Castle Donnington lines.

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I'm not sure, but I think if the NSR agrees to give the MS&L running powers to Stoke and Derby in the 1860s or 70s before they become a threat to the LNWR, I think I could have the GCR without it seeming too implausible.

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The Great Northern might be a better bet, as it had a close working relationship with the NSR in the Staffordshire area. Both companies exchanged running powers, including NSR to Nottingham. Just a suggestion.

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15 hours ago, DonB said:

The NSR used the LNWR's rails on the approach to Derby.

 

Surely that should be the other way round Don? The LNWR using NSR tracks to join the MR just north of Willington.

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For an imaginary scheme you just have to imagine that railway history changed from what it actually was. No one will put you in jail for coming up with something improbable.

 

In the 1890s or very early 1900s the GC had a scheme for a massive "cut-off" from the Nottingham area to the Manchester area by way of Leek and Ashbourne. (I came across this when reading a book about the history of the Leek and Manifold.) I have to say it was one of a number of grandiose schemes the GC was allegedly involved in at this time, for which greater or lesser amounts of evidence exist.

 

How they (or anyone) imagined the capital might be raised is beyond me. However you could, for example, imagine a situation where the NSR granted running powers to avert such a proposal. If I wanted to model such a scenario, I'm afraid I would not allow trifles such as financial probability stop me, nor yet the likely opposition of the LNWR. After all, the London extension was not exactly built on the basis of the plaudits and support of other companies.

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For what it is worth and if anyone is interested, in 1841 there was a proposal to build a railway from Macclesfield to Derby via Rudyard and Leek, down the Churnet Valley through Oakamoor and Alton to Denstone and Rocester, then across country through Boylestone and Trusley to Mickleover (through the site where the GNR eventually built their station). East of Mickleover the line would split in two with one branch joining the North Midland line near Chester Green and the other joining the Derby and Birmingham line just south of London Road bridge.

 

Who would have eventually operated it, if it had ever been built, is anybody's guess. You could take your pick from Midland, North Stafford, LNWR or MS&LR.

 

The County Record Offices at Matlock and Stafford both have copies of the proposal and, presumably, there should be one somewhere in Cheshire.

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3 hours ago, Poggy1165 said:

For an imaginary scheme you just have to imagine that railway history changed from what it actually was. No one will put you in jail for coming up with something improbable.

 

In the 1890s or very early 1900s the GC had a scheme for a massive "cut-off" from the Nottingham area to the Manchester area by way of Leek and Ashbourne. (I came across this when reading a book about the history of the Leek and Manifold.) I have to say it was one of a number of grandiose schemes the GC was allegedly involved in at this time, for which greater or lesser amounts of evidence exist.

 

How they (or anyone) imagined the capital might be raised is beyond me. However you could, for example, imagine a situation where the NSR granted running powers to avert such a proposal. If I wanted to model such a scenario, I'm afraid I would not allow trifles such as financial probability stop me, nor yet the likely opposition of the LNWR. After all, the London extension was not exactly built on the basis of the plaudits and support of other companies.

This could work, thanks for pointing this out poggy. Had the GCR tried to pursue this, they may have found it easier to simply get running powers over the NSR to Derby. 

 

Good old Watkin...

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3 hours ago, Poor Old Bruce said:

 

Surely that should be the other way round Don? The LNWR using NSR tracks to join the MR just north of Willington.

 

Can't argue from a firm footing here. I don't know whether the NSR predated the LNWR at Derby. I based my assumption on someone referring to the pair of lines adjacent to the foundry wall as being "LNWR metals", the evidence of the LNWR loco shed being on land which became part of the foundry, and the S.Staffs Willington Junction from Derby and B'ham metals.

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In response to what someone said earlier, as far as I can tell, the GWR did operate a weekly goods train over the NSR, but not much more than that. It was really a missed opportunity, as the two could have operated through trains from Stoke to Wales.

 

I'm aware of the book on NSR wagons put out by Wild Swan, but does anyone know of a similar book on NSR coaches? A book on track plans probably wouldn't go amiss either.

Edited by GWRSwindon

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Hi GWRSwindon (you need to change that name! :P)

 

I live a hundred yards from the old Macclesfield - Uttoxeter (Churnet Valley) line and planned to give the NSR running powers over my proposed imaginary 7mm scale line (now in stasis).

This has given me an interest in the NSR and I'm slowly amassing what published information is available on the NSR.

Also a couple of years ago I worked in Derby and occasionally used the Stoke-Derby service to commute to work.

 

In terms of freight traffic on the Derby - Crewe line two items of freight specific to the line have not been mentioned.

 

The area around Tutbury has significant gypsum deposits and various plaster mills existed along the line. There has been a very nice compact model of one of these in 4mm scale set in the early LMS period.

Also near Tutbury is a very large Nestle factory which was built around 1900. This would have generated inbound traffic with ingredients, predominantly milk, and out bound finished product.

 

7 hours ago, GWRSwindon said:

I'm aware of the book on NSR wagons put out by Wild Swan, but does anyone know of a similar book on NSR coaches? A book on track plans probably wouldn't go amiss either.

 

There is no book specifically on NSR coaches, the NSR is a relatively esoteric subject.

There are three nice elevations of the NSR 49' bogie stock in Historic Carriage Drawings Volume Two LMS and Constituents by David Jenkinson (Etches also available from the Allen at the Worsley Works http://www.worsleyworks.co.uk/?LMCL=eSZazE ) .

 

There is also a slim volume entitled North Staffordshire Railway Locomotives and Rolling Stock by R.W. Rush which contains drawings of the four and six wheeled carriages as well as the later bogie stock. The drawings are quite small though (four to an A5 size page).

 

For track plans I suggest you look for the various line histories, there isn't a specific book of track plans.

 

Hope that all helps.

 

Edited by Argos
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I should also add one imaginary line that was planned although I don't think got submitted to Parliament might be worth investigation.

 

The NSR did at one point promote its own line to Liverpool across the Cheshire plan with a viaduct across the Mersey of a similar length to the bridge at Runcorn.

 

If my memory serves me correctly this was probably more political manoeuvring because the LNWR at the time was running its Manchester traffic via Crewe over its own rails thus depriving the NSR of revenue. The route through Stoke to Manchester is shorter.

 

The NSR were very conscious of the power of their larger neighbour and the fact the the majority of their traffic departed (or entered) via connections to the LNWR at Colwich, Norton Bridge, Macclesfield and Crewe.

 

The LNWR in turn was always concerned that the NSR might fall into the ownership of a rival in the form of the Midland or the GCR (if memory serves even the GWR were sniffing around at one point).

 

They reached a truce whereby the LNWR routed a proportion of its Manchester traffic via Stoke and had running rights over the entire NSR network with a similar reciprocal arrangement for the NSR.

 

The NSR used these running rights for its longest passenger service from Derby to Llandudno which ran further on the LNWR than on its own metals, despite being NSR hauled for the whole journey.

It also accessed Buxton over the LNWR from the Middlewood curve off the Macclesfield - Marple line.

Edited by Argos
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Do you know what locos and stock were used on the derby to Llandiudno service (and what years it was in operation? (asking for a friend with a bit of the Chester to Holyhead)

 

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Hi Webbcompound,

 

The NSR built some 4-4-0 tender engines specifically for this service.

As it was their premier express I would think it would use the modern bogie stock.

 

I'll see if I can dig out some details tomorrow.

 

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