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A Chronology of the North Staffordshire Railway

Jump To:
Beginings 1825 - 1845
North Staffordshire Railway 1845 - 1923
London Midland Scottish Railway 1923 - 1948
British Rail 1948 - 1994

Beginings 1825 - 1845

Year Event
1825 The Stockton and Darlington Railway opens - the world’s first public steam railway.
1830 The Liverpool & Manchester Railway opens - the world’s first public passenger steam railway.

This same railway holds the Rainhill Trials, won by George Stephenson with his engine ’Rocket’.
1835 The Great Western Railway is incorporated.
1837 The Grand Junction Railway opens - from Birmingham, through Stafford, Whitmore and Crewe, to Newton and a junction with the Liverpool & Manchester Railway. Whitmore is the rail-head for North Staffordshire, with a horse-drawn carriage connection between the station and Newcastle. This situation prevails until 1848.
1840 The Manchester & Birmingham Railway opens - from Manchester, through Cheadle Hulme and Holmes Chapel, initially only as far as Sandbach, because of a dispute with the Grand Junction, but eventually into Crewe. The M&BR handed over all of its traffic to the GJR at Crewe. It’s name was somewhat grander than its reality.

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The North Staffordshire Railway 1845 - 1923

Year Event
1845 The North Staffordshire Railway - an amalgamation of the Churnet Valley and Staffordshire Potteries Railways - is incorporated. The Chairman is John Lewis Ricardo, M.P. for Stoke-on-Trent, George Parker Bidder is Consulting Engineer and Samuel Parker Bidder is General Manager and resident Engineer.

The Manchester & Birmingham Railway opens its branch from Cheadle Hulme to Macclesfield.
1846 The main lines of the North Staffordshire Railway are authorised.

The London & North Western Railway is incorporated, principally by amalgamation of the London & Birmingham, Grand Junction (including the Liverpool & Manchester) and Manchester & Birmingham Railways.
1848 Initial lines opened. Congleton to Norton Bridge. Crewe to Burton.

Forty two locomotives delivered from eight different builders.

James Curphey Forsyth appointed as Resident Engineer, succeeding Samuel Parker Bidder who remains as Manager.

Locomotives are painted bright green with a wide black lining, edged on either side with white. Coaching stock is claret (a very common colour at the time, as was the use of green for the locos).
1849 Stone to Colwich, Congleton to Macclesfield and Churnet Valley lines opened.
1850 Etruria to Shelton, Knutton to Pool Dam and Knutton to Silverdale opened.
1851
1852 Lawton Junction to Ettiley Heath, Stoke to Knutton via Newcastle and Rocester to Ashbourne opened.
1853 Apedale Junction to Apedale and Whitebarn opened.

Samuel Parker Bidder succeeded as Manager of the Line by James Curphey Forsyth who retained his position as Resident Engineer.
1854 Pool Dam to Newcastle Canal Basin opened.
1855 Vulcan Foundry 0-6-0s delivered.
1856
1857
1858
1859 Mr. Fothergill, a Consulting Engineer of Manchester, is commissioned to report on the state of every locomotive owned by the company.
1860 Talk o’th’ Hill branch and the Biddulph Valley line opened to Congleton Upper Junction and Brunswick Wharf.
1861 Shelton to Hanley opened
1862 John Lewis Ricardo, Chairman of the company since inception, retired. Thomas Broderick appointed as his successor.

Horse drawn trams introduced between Hanley and Burslem only two years after their introduction to Britain, in Birkenhead.

Two double-framed 0-6-0STs supplied by Robert Stephenson & Co.
1863 Percy Morris appointed Manager succeeding Forsyth.
1864 Hanley branch opened to passengers.
1865 Lt-Col. Charles Pearson appointed Chairman succeeding Thomas Broderick.

James Johnson appointed Engineer succeeding Forsyth.
1866 Ettiley Heath to Sandbach and the Chesterton branch opened.
1867 Milton to Leekbrook Junction opened.
1868 Stoke Works delivers its first locomotives - three 0-6-0STs.
1869
1870 Silverdale to Market Drayton, the Audley Line - Alsager to Honeywall Junction - and the Bignall Hill and Jamage branches opened.

Thomas W. Dodds appointed Engineer succeeding Johnson.

VF 0-6-0s of 1855 rebuilt as STs.

Locomotive Renumbering scheme introduced.
1871 E Class 0-6-0 and No. 19, a 2-4-0 introduced.
1872 Grange branch opened.
1873 Hanley to Tunstall opened.

69 Class 0-6-0 introduced.
1874 Tunstall to Goldenhill and the Newfields branch opened.

Colin Minton Campbell appointed Chairman succeeding Lt-Col. Charles Pearson.

Robert Angus appointed Locomotive Superintendent succeeding Thomas W. Dodds.

38 Class 2-4-0 and 9 Class 2-4-0T introduced.
1875 Goldenhill to Kidsgrove (completion of the Loop Line), Longport to Tunstall (the Pinnox branch) and the Longton, Bucknall and Adderley Green railway (Botteslow Junction to Normacot Junction) opened.

Charles Clare appointed Locomotive Superintendent succeeding Angus.

All except branch carriages are brown - not Victoria Lake (brown) but an undiagnosed shade. It appears that waist panels may also have been painted brown. Top panels were 'cream' (varnished white). For at least some time after this 'branch trains' (probably Loop Line stock) continued to be claret.
1876 Martin Smith appointed Manager succeeding Percy Morris.

Introduction of 29’3", (28’6" without tumblehome), carriages with the standard 32’8" six-wheeled underframe.
1877 Last E Class 0-6-0 delivered.
1878 A Class 2-4-0T introduced.
1879 Two A Class 2-4-0Ts delivered.
1880 0-6-0STs No. 59 introduced (no. 58 followed in 1881).
1881 A single Uttoxeter station opened. Original stations at Dove Bank, Bridge Street and Uttoxeter Junction closed, and the west to north curve opened. East curve to the Audley line opened at Keele Junction and Honeywall west curve closed.

B Class 2-4-0T introduced.
1882 William Douglas Phillipps appointed Manager succeeding Martin Smith.

Luke Longbottom appointed Locomotive Superintendent succeeding Charles Clare.

Horse drawn tram service converted to steam operation.

C Class 2-4-0 introduced - No. 54 John Bramley Moore and No. 55 Colin Minton Campbell.

A new locomotive livery is introduced. Green is replaced with a rich chocolate brown, known as Victoria Brown. Lining consists of a black band, edged on both sides with yellow, and on the inner side with an additional thin vermillion line.
1883 Sir Thomas Salt appointed chairman succeeding Minton Campbell.

D Class 0-6-0T introduced.
1884 Five D Class 0-6-0Ts and two C Class 2-4-0s delivered.
1885 Four D Class 0-6-0Tsdelivered.
1886 Two D Class 0-6-0Ts and two B Class 2-4-0Ts delivered.

Victoria Lake (brown) is introduced for carriage ends and panels below the waist.
1887 Two D Class 0-6-0Ts and two B Class 2-4-0Ts delivered.

The Railway Clearing House produces the first of its standard specifications for railway wagons.
1888 Two D Class 0-6-0Ts delivered.
1889 Two D Class 0-6-0Ts delivered.
1890 One B Class 2-4-0T delivered.

The first 35’6" six-wheeled carriages running on a radial underframe introduced.
1891 Three D Class 0-6-0Ts and one B Class 2-4-0T delivered.
1892 Cresswell to Totmanslow (the Cheadle Railway) opened.
1893 Four D Class 0-6-0Ts delivered.
1894 Rebuilding of the overall roof of Stoke Station completed.
1895 Park Hall to Adderley Green closed.

Electric carriage lighting introduced.
1896 100 Class 0-6-0 introduced.

All over Victoria Lake is adopted as the livery for carriages.
1897 Two D Class 0-6-0Ts and two 100 Class 0-6-0s delivered.
1898 Two D Class 0-6-0Ts and two 100 Class 0-6-0s delivered.
1899 Joint station (with the L&NWR) at Ashbourne opened. Track extended from old station to new station site and end-on junction with L&NWR line from Buxton.

Electric trams commence operation - by the Potteries Electric Traction company, referred to in the local dialect as the Pay Ay Tay.

DX Class 0-6-2T introduced. The forty-ninth, and last, D Class 0-6-0T, No. 153 delivered.

The use of dumb buffers on new wagons in England and Wales is prohibited.

1900 159 Class 0-6-0 introduced.

The P.E.T introduced motor buses. These fully replaced trams by 1928, the system closing on July 11th of that year. The company did not however change its name to Potteries Motor Traction - the P.M.T. - until 1933.
1901 Totmanslow to Cheadle (completion of the Cheadle railway) opened.
1902 John Henry Adams appointed Locomotive Superintendent succeeding Longbottom.
1903 L Class 0-6-2T introduced.

Late in the year the main colour of the locomotive livery is changed to Madder Lake. Black boiler bands are edged on either side with straw and vermilion lines. Tender and tank panels are lined out with a 1" straw coloured band, lined on each side with vermilion.

The use of dumb buffers on new wagons in Scotland is prohibited from October 1st.
1904 The Rt. Hon. Lord Anslow succeeds Sir Thomas Salt and becomes the last chairman of the company.

No new locomotives introduced.

From approximately this date onwards, Madder Lake is adopted for the carriage livery. (See the recent series of articles in various issues of the HMRS Journal for more detailed information on coaching stock and liveries).
1905 Leekbrook to Caldon Low and Waterhouses opened.

Three Railmotors, Nos. 1, 2 and 3 introduced. Built by Beyer Peacock. 19 Class 2-4-0 introduced by rebuilding No. 19 of 1871.
1906 Nos. 15 and 54 built new for 19 Class.

Bogie carriages introduced - a 49’ body on a 52’6" underframe.
1907 M Class 0-4-4T and New 100 Class 0-6-0 introduced.
1908 New L Class 0-6-2T introduced.
1909 H Class 0-6-0 introduced.

Elliptical roofs introduced. All new bogie stock built with the elliptical (as opposed to an arc) roof contour from this date. Note that the NSR never had the third roof contour variant, the cove roof, which was particularly popular on the LNWR.
1910 Trentham Park branch opened.

G Class 4-4-0 introduced.

Steam heating on carriage stock was introduced.
1911 K Class 4-4-2T introduced.
1912 KT Class 4-4-0 introduced.

Second Class was abolished. Most Second Class compartments were designated Third Class except on a small number of vehicles, which became First Class.
1913 The use of dumb buffers in England and Wales is banned entirely from December 31st.
1914 New C Class 0-6-4T introduced.
1915 J.A. Hookham appointed Locomotive Superintendent succeeding Adams.

The use of dumb buffers in Scotland is banned entirely from the end of this year.
1916 F Class 0-6-4T introduced.
1917 The Battery Electric locomotive introduced.
1918 Three F Class 0-6-4Ts delivered.
1919 F.A.L. Barnwell appointed Manager succeeding William Douglas Phillipps.

The Kerr Stuart 0-6-0Ts introduced.
1920 New M Class 0-4-4T introduced.
1921 Five New L Class 0-6-2Ts delivered.
1922 4-cylinder D Class 0-6-0T introduced.

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LMS Days 1923 - 1948

Year Event
1923 Incorporated into the London Midland & Socottish Railway.

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British Railways 1948 - 1994

Year Event
1957 DMUs take over Crewe - Derby services at the commencement of the Winter timetable on 16th September.

Cockshute DMU maintenance depot opens in October.
1958 DMUs take over Manchester - Birmingham services on 3rd March.

The information in this chronology has been derived from and checked against many of the sources referred to in Published Resources, but especially the two books sharing the common title of The North Staffordshire Railway, by ’Manifold’ and Rex Christiansen & R.W. Miller respectively, and also North Staffordshire Locomotives by Ken Hopkins.

If you have found this page to be of interest you may also be interested in a similar page giving a chronology of the LNWR.

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Last updated 17/11/15.