Saturday, June 04, 2005


Stone station looks safe - but it looks like closure for Barlaston and Norton bridge

The citizens of Stone are lucky - the strategic rail authority (SRA) has stated than services to Stone will be reinstated as soon as possible. Stone station had previously been closed for months on the basis of low passenger numbers. BUT Barlaston, Norton bridge and Etruria stations are set for closure for the same reason. One person noticed how many senior members of the SRA came from London and others came from far away and said that this is a test to see if the SRA can get away with closures elsewhere. That meeting was yesterday - and now we wait and hope. OK passenger numbers MAY be lower than desired but the MAIN reason for these closures is to save time. - local stopping trains will no longer have to, well, stop..... But this is NOT right. The reason for such low numbers is the fact that they are running down the service. From 2 coaches to 1. Once every half hour to once an hour. A perfect example of this is on the Stoke to Derby line. The key to improving passenger numbers is a 1 coach service every 5, 10 or 15 minutes. Maybe 2 or 3 coaces at peak times.

But if the SRA are successful, it looks like they will move on to the Stoke to Derby line and close more local routes.


The section of line from Stoke to Norton bridge was the first opened by the North Staffordshire Railway on the 17th of April 1848. Stoke, Trentham, Barlaston, Stone and Norton bridge stations were all opened in time for this date and the first sevice hauled by No.1 Dragon.

Barlaston station under the NSR

Norton bridge station

Etruria station under the NSR

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