Churnet Valley plans on track
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.