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The future of Barlaston / Norton Bridge / Wedgwood railway stations.

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Apologies if this has been covered before but what is the reason that no trains call at Barlaston / Norton Bridge / Wedgwood railway stations? I understand that London Midland trains regularly pass through these three stations but none of them stop. Why is there not even a parliamentary service? I believe that Stone had services withdrawn and then reinstated so will these stations ever get their services reinstated as well? Also is it possible to visit these three stations or have they been fenced off like Newhaven Marine?
 
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RichmondCommu

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Apologies if this has been covered before but what is the reason that no trains call at Barlaston / Norton Bridge / Wedgwood railway stations? I understand that London Midland trains regularly pass through these three stations but none of them stop. Why is there not even a parliamentary service? I believe that Stone had services withdrawn and then reinstated so will these stations ever get their services reinstated as well? Also is it possible to visit these three stations or have they been fenced off like Newhaven Marine?

I seem to remember that Norton Bridge station is very difficult to access but I might be wrong on that :)
 

NorthernSpirit

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Going by the latest Rail mag (one with the Sleeper service on the front), either Barlaston or Wedgwood is to reopen but not both.

I'm expecting Barlaston to reopen.
 

najaB

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Apologies if this has been covered before but what is the reason that no trains call at Barlaston / Norton Bridge / Wedgwood railway stations? I understand that London Midland trains regularly pass through these three stations but none of them stop. Why is there not even a parliamentary service? I believe that Stone had services withdrawn and then reinstated so will these stations ever get their services reinstated as well? Also is it possible to visit these three stations or have they been fenced off like Newhaven Marine?
There is no way to access the platforms at Norton Bridge.
 

sd0733

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Apologies if this has been covered before but what is the reason that no trains call at Barlaston / Norton Bridge / Wedgwood railway stations? I understand that London Midland trains regularly pass through these three stations but none of them stop. Why is there not even a parliamentary service? I believe that Stone had services withdrawn and then reinstated so will these stations ever get their services reinstated as well? Also is it possible to visit these three stations or have they been fenced off like Newhaven Marine?

Their 'Parlimentary' service is basically to accept tickets on a bus route which goes to the stations. As no extra track is visited for these stations I believe the bus will suffice whereas Newhaven is down a branch so is a different situation in order to technically keep that line open
 

BurtonM

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To clarify the above, Norton Bridge was only accessible by footbridge, and the footbridge got taken out to improve overhead clearance. The bus service is a token service in a very similar vein to the old Croxley Green system.

Can't imagine Wedgwood reopening as the only thing in the direct vicinity of the station is the pottery factory.
 

Bletchleyite

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Going by the latest Rail mag (one with the Sleeper service on the front), either Barlaston or Wedgwood is to reopen but not both.

I'm expecting Barlaston to reopen.

Yes, I'd expect it to be Barlaston, it is at least near somewhere useful.

Looking at a map, a station at Trentham would be more useful than both!
 
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The Planner

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You are looking at it now, not 10 20 30 years. It could well end up being Wedgwood.
 

swt_passenger

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I seem to remember that Norton Bridge station is very difficult to access but I might be wrong on that :)

I thought the recent track realignment works (in connection with the diversion/flyover etc) had finally demolished the remaining platform edges anyway. Might have been an internet rumour that never happened of course...
 
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CaptainHaddock

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Here's a recent story from the Stoke Sentinel that gives a bit more background but doesn't really give any firm details.

http://www.stokesentinel.co.uk/plan...ions-back-on/story-29669124-detail/story.html

I did get the train to Barlaston back in 2003 shortly before its "temporary" closure on a walking trip - it's a sizeable, albeit fragmented village which you would think could sustain a reasonable commuter service to the Potteries. I suppose it's just a question of how much it might slow down the Virgin express services on that line.
 

bramling

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Apologies if this has been covered before but what is the reason that no trains call at Barlaston / Norton Bridge / Wedgwood railway stations? I understand that London Midland trains regularly pass through these three stations but none of them stop. Why is there not even a parliamentary service? I believe that Stone had services withdrawn and then reinstated so will these stations ever get their services reinstated as well? Also is it possible to visit these three stations or have they been fenced off like Newhaven Marine?

Both Barlaston and Wedgwood platforms had wooden fences blocking the approach paths when I last visited. It wouldn't be too hard to circumvent these if one were that way inclined, although I'd imagine this would probably be regarded as trespass.
 

Polarbear

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The reason the stops were withdrawn was to accommodate revised timetable patterns whilst the West Coast upgrade was being worked on. Of course, Stone station was also closed at the time the others were shut, but this re-opened a few years ago.

Since then, the footbridge at Norton Bridge has been removed, making it unlikely that this station will ever re-open, (although I understand that it's fate is part of the current review).

As for the other two stations, Barlaston would be the favorite as there is a population around the station. There's (I think) an hourly bus service from the village to Hanley so there should be a market for a train service.

As for Wedgewood station, there is only the factory nearby, though this does have a visitor centre & museum. I could envisage a few off peak trains calling there, but if any serious work has to be done to make the station usable again, I suspect that will put the kybosh on it ever happening.
 

swt_passenger

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Doesn't Norton bridge sit between the up fast and the reversible east chord? So AFAICT there is no likelihood of a down direction service ever stopping there at all, even if it was accessible?
 

Bletchleyite

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I think this (Barlaston/Wedgwood) is made easier by the plan to reroute the LM Trent Valley stopper up the mainline and substitute with another service via Stoke. That service is likely to be able to accommodate a couple of extra minutes in the timetable to stop at one of the two stations, as a path south of Northampton where the WCML is really full is not a concern any more.
 
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Personally i think that they should reopen both Barlaston and Wedgwood. I think it would make more sense to reopen both of them. Both of the stations seem to have fully usable platforms so all that is needed is for trains to stop there. These two stations are probably the most simple easy station reopenings in the UK.

Thats a shame that Barlaston and Wedgwood have had the platforms blocked off. I was hoping to visit these stations and tick them off my list at some point. I am not planning on doing this but out of interest would it be counted as trespass if you got around the fences and went on to the platforms? These stations are still officially open so surely it would only be trespass if you went on to the tracks?

Can much of Norton Bridge station be seen from any roads or fields around the area? From looking on Google Streetview i cant seem to find it anywhere.
 

MidnightFlyer

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Personally i think that they should reopen both Barlaston and Wedgwood. I think it would make more sense to reopen both of them. Both of the stations seem to have fully usable platforms so all that is needed is for trains to stop there.

I'm not 100% sure and can't see clearly from Google StreetView but it looks as if Barlaston has had its coping stones and a significant chunk of platform level removed; Wedgwood looks in better nick but the photo they provide is seven years old and being built of wood on concrete probably isn't in great nick. Both would also presumably need quite a thorough assessment after essentially being mothballed for a decade - are both platforms stable and secure? Are the station buildings at Barlaston safe, do you reopen the old shelters etc or do they require demolition or refurbishment to make them safe? How much of the other station furniture needs updating?

As for your question re: access, it's probably not going to look great if the forum advocates ignoring features which are obviously meant to block people accessing it! Whilst you may be able to get away with it, if a member of traincrew or other staff witness someone on a platform disused for a decade and clearly out of bounds, it may cause quite a commotion. There are many secured, locked, out of bounds etc locations on the network I and everyone else would love to explore, alas I don't advise interfering with the safe and secure (and legal!) running of the railway!
 
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Hornet

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Left BARLASTON 14:00 EUSTON TO MANCHESTER PICCADILLY 11/10/1991
Centre NORTON BRIDGE 14:10 LIVERPOOL LIME STREET TO EUSTON 11/10/1991
Right WEDGWOOD 15:18 MANCHESTER PICCADILLY TO POOLE 11/10/1991
 

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thenorthern

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All three of them along with Stone closed in 2003 for West Coast Main Line upgrades, they reopened briefly but in 2004 Virgin Trains wanted the train path that the Class 153 used on the Stafford to Stoke-on-Trent local service and as a compromise Virgin Trains got its own way.

Stone reopened in 2008 but the other 3 stations closed and haven't reopened.
 

swt_passenger

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...Can much of Norton Bridge station be seen from any roads or fields around the area? From looking on Google Streetview i cant seem to find it anywhere.

Google Earth has an overhead view from 2003 showing the footbridge in position.

On Google Maps Street View you can just about make out a short length of the Up Fast side of the island near the disused platform building, behind the green security fencing:

https://goo.gl/maps/EyseH4kCsp42

the tracks are at a slightly lower level than the road at this location. The imagery is from 2011 so may not reflect the present condition.
 
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LNW-GW Joint

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Was there at one time a station at Trentham?

Yes, it closed 1964.
There was at one time also a branch from there to Trentham Gardens which closed much earlier.

Barlaston and Wedgwood stations are only 45 chains apart, so there's no point in reopening both.
Wedgwood was only opened in 1940, specifically to serve the relocated Wedgwood factory.
Barlaston has the greater claim to reopen, but the problem is initiating closure proposals in this day and age.

Norton Bridge station is now between the new Up Fast from Crewe and the (reversible) East Chord to/from Stone.
There is no connection to the Slow lines.
I can't imagine NR, after rebuilding the entire layout, would be at all interested in running stoppers on the Fast lines from Stafford to call at Norton Bridge on the East Chord.
There doesn't seem to be provision for platforms on the new Flyover route.
 
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Deafdoggie

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As a local, I think it would be reasonably easy to restore Barlaston to being usable again (it is only the edge stones that are removed) However, Wedgwood is a much more difficult one. As a wooden platform structure I think it is probably past its best!

Barlaston however can probably not support a bus and rail service. As the bus service is already financially supported, and change to rail will make it uneconomic. However, as the bus goes to the City centre, and the train (obviously) only goes to Stoke station, how many would switch? Then the rail service becomes uneconomic!

With the new World Of Wedgwood attraction, maybe-just maybe-, Wedgwood is the better bet to reopen.

Norton Bridge has no chance of reopening. There are six houses at most, and a small christian conference centre. No way, even if everyone travelled daily, could that be justified!

You could take photo of Barlaston and Wedgwood easily through the fences. Norton Bridge has an area (where access to the bridge was, and the buses now use) where you can see through the fence to the overgrown platform. There's a rail timetable poster on the roadside, with the bus times. But that is it. No shelter, no seat, no nothing else!

Longport is the mystery here. An open station, with London Midland Trains passing through! Southbound, they then sit at Stoke for 5 mins, so could easily of called! Northbound, the extra min or two, is neither here nor there, and there is nothing following close behind anyway. Yet they shun it! With Port Vale Football ground an easy walk away, match traffic would be plentiful!

The eight coach trains don't call Stone. The original reason given was that they would go over the pedestrian crossing, fair enough. However, Network Rail have now built a bridge, but still they don't call! They don't call at Kidsgrove, although noone seems sure why. Alsager could accommodate them, but requires a little undergrowth clearing, so they don't!

The problem isn't the closed stations, but the open ones not being used!
 

The Planner

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Norton Bridge will never reopen so people need to stop clutching at that straw.
 
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LNW-GW Joint

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Longport is the mystery here. An open station, with London Midland Trains passing through! Southbound, they then sit at Stoke for 5 mins, so could easily of called! Northbound, the extra min or two, is neither here nor there, and there is nothing following close behind anyway. Yet they shun it! With Port Vale Football ground an easy walk away, match traffic would be plentiful!

The eight coach trains don't call Stone. The original reason given was that they would go over the pedestrian crossing, fair enough. However, Network Rail have now built a bridge, but still they don't call! They don't call at Kidsgrove, although noone seems sure why. Alsager could accommodate them, but requires a little undergrowth clearing, so they don't!

The problem isn't the closed stations, but the open ones not being used!

LM are going to solve that one by using 4-car only and running to Birmingham rather than Euston.
None of the Potteries stations (bar Stoke) are well used for current services.
Alsager is busier than the rest.
I've never seen a crowd at Stone, or Kidsgrove.
 

Deafdoggie

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LM are going to solve that one by using 4-car only and running to Birmingham rather than Euston.
None of the Potteries stations (bar Stoke) are well used for current services.
Alsager is busier than the rest.
I've never seen a crowd at Stone, or Kidsgrove.

I think that probably sums the situation up! If they continue the cheap fares it will be fine for all. However, when they were approached by Alsager council a couple of months back about loosing the London services, LM denied it!

That said, how many years have they been running? And LM have only just turned on the first class fares!
 

thenorthern

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Longport is managed by East Midlands Trains because pre-2007 it was served by Central Trains on the Crewe to Derby line and a couple of Northern services per day. In 2008 however London Midland drew up the present London to Crewe via Stoke-on-Trent service and there was no requirement to serve Longport, at the same time Northern increased the amount of Manchester to Stoke-on-Trent services but at the same time reduced the amount of trains stopping at Longport to 2 trains per day Northbound only.

Regarding Barlaston I don't think a reopening would just involve replacing the coping stones. The shelter is boarded up and would need refurbishment, the platform would need clearing.

Also given the platform has been out of service for so long I think it would need a new Health and Safety certificate to reopen and I think there would be issues about the width of the platform there as its rather narrow.
 

ag51ruk

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Stone was reopened due to local demand.

Longport is managed by EMT for some reason.

As is Kidsgrove - it's a mystery to me how the ticket office has survived there when there are no other staffed local stations between Derby and Crewe, despite places like Uttoxeter and Blythe Bridge seeming to have far more passengers.

Edit - a quick look at the usage figures shows that Kidsgrove is busier - so that would probably be the reason!
 
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