John Speller's Web Pages Cauldon Lowe Branch

John Speller's Web Pages - North Staffordshire Railway
Cauldon Lowe Branch
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The Leek, Caldon Low (sic) & Hartington Light Railway was authorized by a Light Railway Order of 1898. In the event it was decided to build the line as far as Cauldon Lowe as standard gauge, to build the section from Cauldon Lowe to Hulme End as the narrow gauge Leek & Maniforld Light Railway, and to abandon the section between Hulme End and Hartington, which was served by the L&NWR's Buxton to Ashfield line. The 8-mile section from Leekbrook Junction to the limestone quarries at Cauldon Lowe, which contains some of the heaviest grades in Britain (including a 1 in 45 section near Apesford Crossing), opened in 1905, but was mothballed in 1991. However, following the organization of Moorland & City Railways, as part of a proposal for a freight line from Cauldon Lowe to Stoke-on-Trent, the Cauldon Lowe Branch was restored. A first test run by Stanier 8-F locomotive No. 8624 was made on 19 October 2010, and a gala reopening was held on 13 and 14 November 2010, featuring BR 4-6-2 No. 71000 "Duke of Gloucester."
Map of the Cauldon Lowe Branch and connections
Froghall Wharf on the Caldon Canal, where the Caldon Low Tramways ran from Caldon Low Quarries between 1778 and 1920. Note limestone being loaded onto the railway on the left and the canal on the right
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