Chur­net Val­ley plans on track

Leek Post & Times - - FRONT PAGE -

THE next phase of bring­ing the rail­way back into Leek is be­ing put into place – and it could be ex­tended to Oakamoor and be­yond.

Af­ter the re­stored Leek­brook Sta­tion was opened last week, grant-as­sisted ap­pli­ca­tions are now in the process of be­ing made and Chur­net Val­ley Rail­way (CVR) is hop­ing that work could start within the next 12 months.

Di­rec­tor of CVR Tony Han­cock said: “The next step is into Leek which is now our pri­or­ity. We have re­ceived a lot of sup­port from Stafford­shire Moor­lands Dis­trict Coun­cil (SMDC) and it has cross party sup­port.

“It is hard to give a time when work could start but we hope it will be within 12 months.

“We now have full plan­ning per­mis­sion to in­stall the track to Leek and we are look­ing at a sta­tion in Leek sim­i­lar to the one in Froghall.

“We are also look­ing at re­in­stat­ing the rail­way to Oakamoor as we al­ready own the track bed.

“These are ex­cit­ing times for the rail­way and even­tu­ally I would love the see the rail­way opened up to the main line in Stoke.”

Leader of Stafford­shire Moor­lands Dis­trict Coun­cil, Coun­cil­lor Sy­bil Ralphs, said: “I was very pleased to open the Leek­brook sta­tion. The com­ple­tion is a trib­ute to the ded­i­ca­tion and fore­sight of the North Stafford­shire Rail­way vol­un­teers who have made this hap­pen, and they de­serve our thanks.

“I have al­ways been a strong sup­porter of the Chur­net Val­ley Rail­way be­cause I have seen the ben­e­fits that it has brought to the Moor­lands, and their fu­ture plans have the po­ten­tial to make an even greater con­tri­bu­tion to our vis­i­tor econ­omy.

“CVR can now of­fer Leek­brook as a for­mal stop where tourists and lo­cal peo­ple can use the rail­way. It pro­vides im­proved fa­cil­i­ties

for vis­i­tors and im­por­tantly helps pre­serve and tell the story of this her­itage line for fu­ture gen­er­a­tions.

“I am con­fi­dent that this is the start of an ex­cit­ing fu­ture for the rail­way. The next project is the ex­ten­sion of the track to Leek and we at SMDC are work­ing closely with CVR to drive this project for­ward.

“We are sup­port­ive of other plans such as the ex­ten­sion of the track to Oakamoor.”

Leek­brook Sta­tion, in­clud­ing the wait­ing room, was built to the orig­i­nal de­sign and sup­ported by Peak Leader fund and the Moor­lands Part­ner­ship Boards.

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