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Railways around Stoke/Staffordshire in the 1970's/1980's

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I've been doing a bit of research into the lines around Stoke/Staffordshire in the 1970's for some inspiration to build a quick N Gauge layout based around this area.

 

These shots I found on Flickr are particularly inspiring based around Milton Junction:

 

http://www.flickr.co...in/photostream/

 

http://www.flickr.co...in/photostream/

 

Does anyone have any shots of this signal box or something similiar. Presumably it was built by the North Staffordshire Railway?

 

What I'd like to do is incorporate the atmosphere of these photos within a small station and a coal yard that is still served if that would be appropriate in this period. Does anyone know if such a prototype existed?

 

The Farish Class 24 would be the main motive power inspired by photographs such as this:

 

http://www.flickr.co...N07/3303266879/

 

http://www.flickr.co...N07/3871722388/

 

DMU wise would Class 108's have been found in the area or would a Class 101 be more appropriate?

 

Be interested to hear peoples comments, see any photos and just get some ideas together.

 

Thanks,

 

Mark

Edited by 46444

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The 24 in http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/3303266879/ is on a revenue stone train from Caldon Low Quarry to Witton (Birmingham)- these had to reverse at Cockshute Yard. The first wagon is an almost-new MTV, built on a 35t oil tank chassis. At the time you're looking at, Caldon not only sent out aggregate, but also large boulders on 22t Plates, destined for the Thames Barrier. The branch also saw the sand trains from Oakamoor, which had different stock for the different destinations served; wagons included the hoppers shown in the Milton Junction photo, MSV and MTV tipplers, Covhops and Prestwins. I worked alongside the branch, at Joiner's Square, from early 1978 to summer 1979- 24081 was the regular branch engine.

The other branch of the line at Milton served Chatterley-Whitfield pit; coal was taken out in BR 21t minerals, and also the ex-Midlands Electricity Authority 21t tippler http://paulbartlett.zenfolio.com/cegbtippler

I seem to remember that the DMMUs used on the Derby-Crewe service were normally Swindon Cross-Countries, though I think 108s were used for some Stoke-Crewe workings- one of these, in the morning peak, was booked to run to the platform at Crewe Works. This working had started in the 1920s, to transport ex-NSR workers after Stoke works shut; it seemed to hang on by some sort of inertia.

Because of the number of pits still open in the area, most domestic coal traffic was dealt with by the 'Landsale Yards', rather than in station coal depots; the only oneof those I remember being open was that at Kidsgrove.

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Hi Brian,

 

Thanks for the info which is most useful.

 

On the Flickr pictures of Milton Junction there is a series taken around/or of sand trains on the Oakamoor working.

 

I never realised this branch existed and it looks to have a great deal to offer in terms of modelling.

 

It's good to know I can get away with running a Class 108.

 

Cheers,

 

Mark

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I'd echo Fat Controller on the Swindon Cross Country sets (Cl 120) between Crewe-Derby.

My 1978 timetable shows them continuing to Nottingham and beyond, mostly Lincoln St Marks, and even Cleethorpes, the 1114 Cleethorpes-Crewe arrive 1552 (stopping at all stations from Lincoln to Crewe - painful).

On those peak hour working, it also shows short workings between Stoke and Crewe at

0655 Stoke-Crewe

0805 Crewe-Stoke

0841 Stoke-Crewe-Llandudno

and

1707 Crewe-Stoke

(and a much later evening N Wales-Crewe-Stoke)

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Thanks for the reply EWD.

 

My 1978 timetable shows them continuing to Nottingham and beyond, mostly Lincoln St Marks, and even Cleethorpes, the 1114 Cleethorpes-Crewe arrive 1552 (stopping at all stations from Lincoln to Crewe - painful).

 

 

Blimey. That journey sounds like you would loose the will to live!

 

Cheers,

 

Mark

 

 

B

Edited by 46444

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Just found these videos on You Tube of Class 24's/25's working around Milton/Oakamoor:

 

 

 

The video of 24057 fly shunting is lovely.

 

Thanks,

 

Mark

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POB???

 

Sorry. Should have been EWD!

 

Have corrected now!

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Here's a pic of the box diagram taken 30/3/1982.

It's scanned from a slide and the quality's not wonderful I'm afraid.

For the up line (conveniently going up in the diagram) the signals are, starting from the bottom, fixed distant 805 yards from home 1, home 1 - lever 2, home 2 - lever 3, starting - lever 6, at the very top Stoke PSB 1st stop signal.

On the down line from the top, fixed distant 230 yards from home 1, home 1 - lever 33, home 2 - lever 29, starting - lever 30 (this signal is mounted on the same post as signal 2 and not really visible on the photo).

The points were lever 17 and FPL lever 18.

Between signal 6 & 33 was Abbey Level Crossing, worked from a ground frame; it was released by Milton Junction SB and the release lever was lever 7.

Signal 29 used to be the left hand signal of a 2-armed junction signal as a line used to go off to the right of the signal box to Congleton. This line closed in the late 1970s.

The up line to Stoke PSB was worked under track circuit block regulations, the down line from Stoke was worked under absolute block regulations and the single line to Leek Brook Junction was worked under electric token regulations.

I have some other slides of Milton Junction SB. I will scan and post them if you like tho' as I say the quality's not great.

post-6748-0-82345700-1328733154_thumb.jpg

 

In my notes I have put the box was built by McKenzie & Holland who did a lot of signalling work for the NSR.

Edited by flyingsignalman
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Evening Keith,

 

Your right about McKenzie and Holland being a contractor for the NSR railway. Thought the Milton box was of their making but the window pains are different to other boxes I have seen in the area. The positioning of this box 90 degrees to the line is also interesting.

 

Thanks for the signalling diagram from the box and the information re: working. If the offer still stands then I wouldn't mind seeing some other photos of Milton Junction box.

 

Cheers,

 

Mark

Edited by 46444

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Mark, as promised some pics of Milton junction all taken on the same day as the diagram.

post-6748-0-78210800-1328810876.jpg

Looking at the box from across the Leek Brook Jcn line

post-6748-0-94416100-1328810897.jpg

post-6748-0-51082400-1328810909.jpg

Two views of the lever frame

post-6748-0-64576700-1328810923.jpg

The key token instrument to Leek Brook Jcn with all the essentials around it including the steri milk bottle!

post-6748-0-34095300-1328811022.jpg

A view from the box steps looking towards Stoke

post-6748-0-64813400-1328811066.jpg

post-6748-0-32869700-1328811083.jpg

post-6748-0-86956100-1328811097.jpg

Views of the box exterior. I mentioned the line that went to Congleton that closed before I went there; here is a quick sketch I've done of an undated diagram by J Swift that shows the arrangements when the line was open.

post-6748-0-88162000-1328811521.jpg

 

The NSR had a couple boxes built in the vee of junctions like Milton Jcn, North Rode being one and I think there was another one at Uttoxeter.

Edited by flyingsignalman
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Whilst doing the previous slides I also found some at Leek Brook Junction taken on 23/11/1981.

Here's 2 views of a double headed stone train heading for Stoke.

post-6748-0-42217700-1328811891.jpg

post-6748-0-95280900-1328811907.jpg

 

I didn't get the numbers, at the time it was somewhat inclement( trying to keep things polite!).

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Hi Brian,

 

Thanks for the info which is most useful.

 

On the Flickr pictures of Milton Junction there is a series taken around/or of sand trains on the Oakamoor working.

 

I never realised this branch existed and it looks to have a great deal to offer in terms of modelling.

 

It's good to know I can get away with running a Class 108.

 

Cheers,

 

Mark

And of course Mark.......this branch is looking set to re open in the next few years.

http://www.mcrailways.co.uk/

Bob

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Guest Phil

I'd echo Fat Controller on the Swindon Cross Country sets (Cl 120) between Crewe-Derby.

My 1978 timetable shows them continuing to Nottingham and beyond, mostly Lincoln St Marks, and even Cleethorpes, the 1114 Cleethorpes-Crewe arrive 1552 (stopping at all stations from Lincoln to Crewe - painful).

On those peak hour working, it also shows short workings between Stoke and Crewe at

0655 Stoke-Crewe

0805 Crewe-Stoke

0841 Stoke-Crewe-Llandudno

and

1707 Crewe-Stoke

(and a much later evening N Wales-Crewe-Stoke)

 

There was a lot of Cross Country action on the Crewe-Derby line but not exclusively. I had a shot of a blue/grey 2 car Derby unit on Stoke holding sidings in the company of an original light blue 150/1, on my old fotopic site. Couldn't tell you which number though.

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Re-reading your first post, I wondered if these pics of the ex NSR branch terminus at Cheadle would be of any interest?

(any excuse to post some pics!)

They were taken on 28/10/1981

post-6748-0-35884300-1328816466.jpg

The station building from the end of the line. Only the room nearest me seemed to be in use.

post-6748-0-90438100-1328816478.jpg

The other end. The station building was demolished later but before the line closed (in 1985?)

post-6748-0-02934300-1328816500.jpg

post-6748-0-87625100-1328816517.jpg

Two views looking into the yard. The high level dock was for lorries unloading sand into the wagons.

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They are to me Keith........I'm part of a small group of modellers, they all live in Cheadle, I'm sure they will be interested in these and anything else like them.

Thanks.......Bob.

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The sand at Cheadle was for railway use, I believe, for 'blanketing' before putting geo-textile down when deep re-ballasting was being done. The only time I ever saw anything on the branch, it was a train of engineers' stock. Has the branch finally been lifted? It seemed to exist in a sort of limbo for twenty or more years.

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The sand at Cheadle was for railway use, I believe, for 'blanketing' before putting geo-textile down when deep re-ballasting was being done. The only time I ever saw anything on the branch, it was a train of engineers' stock. Has the branch finally been lifted? It seemed to exist in a sort of limbo for twenty or more years.

I do beleive the rails are still in place, they branch off the main line at Cresswell, by Blythe Colours, where I worked for over 30 years from 1969.

I'll check if the rails, or what rails are still in place.

Bob

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Morning chaps!

 

Woke up this morning to see you had all been busy posting last night.

 

Thankyou Phil, Dave and Bob for the insights into the working of this line and the area in general.

 

Keith, you've come up trumps totally there. A real big thankyou. I can scratch build the box now. I'll get some windows etched I think. However, I can't work out as to whether or not there is an external framework added at a later date in front of the windows (The darker timber). This is why I said it didn't look like the similiar McKenzie and Holland boxes I'd seen in the NSR area.

 

The photographs of the station at Cheadle fit the bill nicely too and I could probably get away with using the latest Farish Scenecraft station building for this.

 

Although stone and sand trains were the main traffic on the line I'm going to change these trains for cement using the excellent Farish Presflo. A small yard still open will be served by a domestic coal flow, though the idea of the sand loading bank is certainly another idea to keep in mind.

 

Track plan wise I'm going to adapt Iain Rice's plan of Bradfield St.Clare which is the kind of plan I'm looking for. This will then include the junction.

 

The photographs show the desolation of the setting and the overall run down look which will be great to achieve.

 

Best start looking at the two 4ftx1.5ft boards I have ready made in the garage.

 

Thanks once again to all the replies-especially for Keith for the excellent photographs of Milton Junction and the box/track plans etc.

 

Cheers,

 

Mark

Edited by 46444
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Could that external framework over the windows on the Milton box have been to support some sort of anti-vandal mesh? This was fitted to quite a few railway structures around North Staffs.

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https://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/uploads/monthly_02_2012/post-6748-0-64576700-1328810923.jpg

The key token instrument to Leek Brook Jcn with all the essentials around it including the steri milk bottle!

 

Forgot to mention Keith, that steri milk bottle is a real blast from the past! For some unknown reason the style of the bottle always put me off drinking steri milk as a kid. Thanks for reminding me!! Nice shot however.

 

Could that external framework over the windows on the Milton box have been to support some sort of anti-vandal mesh? This was fitted to quite a few railway structures around North Staffs.

 

Brian,

 

You've probably hit the nail on the head. I guess this box wasn't open 24hrs a day (Though Keith may know?) and was quite vulnerable to vandalisim. Removing the external framework on the model will make things a lot easier.

 

Cheers,

 

Mark

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The branch had two trains a day during the period you're looking at; one to and from Caldon Low and one to and from Oakamoor- I'm not sure when traffic from Chatterley-Whitfield stopped, but I doubt there'd be more than a couple of trains from there.

The steri bottle (disgusting stuff) reminded me of one of the odder jobs I did for Manpower in Hanley- stock-taking a corner-shop around Northwood way, prior to its sale. Part of the 'display' in the front window was held up by an aged steri bottle- the vendors insisted I include it in the valuation. Fast-forward a year; I get called to do a stock-take for the previous purchaser, who was now trying to sell it- guess what? The steri bottle was still in the window, and they still wanted the bottle including in the sale.. They wondered why they had struggled for business..

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Hi Brian,

 

The branch had two trains a day during the period you're looking at; one to and from Caldon Low and one to and from Oakamoor- I'm not sure when traffic from Chatterley-Whitfield stopped, but I doubt there'd be more than a couple of trains from there.

 

Sounds like the making of an excellent exhibtion layout! https://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/uploads/emoticons/default_wink3.gif

 

The steri bottle (disgusting stuff) reminded me of one of the odder jobs I did for Manpower in Hanley- stock-taking a corner-shop around Northwood way, prior to its sale. Part of the 'display' in the front window was held up by an aged steri bottle- the vendors insisted I include it in the valuation. Fast-forward a year; I get called to do a stock-take for the previous purchaser, who was now trying to sell it- guess what? The steri bottle was still in the window, and they still wanted the bottle including in the sale.. They wondered why they had struggled for business..

 

Hmmm! :bo_mini:

 

Where's the anti-emetic? All of a sudden I don't fancy my lunch! :biggrin_mini2:

 

That bottle of steri-milk must have had a few live cultures in it after that time and goodness knows what it smelt like if you'd have opened it? Perhaps it should have been sent to Porton Down?

 

Cheers,

 

Mark

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I do beleive the rails are still in place, they branch off the main line at Cresswell, by Blythe Colours, where I worked for over 30 years from 1969.

I'll check if the rails, or what rails are still in place.

Bob

Largely, the rails are still in place, never been lifted, unless any local scrap dealers have been around.

Bob

Edited by 250BOB
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