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Churnet Valley Railway


RCD’s Overview

This heritage railway traverses interesting and diverse countryside, including the attractive Churnet valley as well as the edge of the Staffordshire Moorlands on the outskirts of the Peak District. It is easy to reach by car, located near the market town of Leek, although more difficult by public transport. The length of the line is impressive at 10 miles, and has reasonable prospects of extending further, potentially to Leek. The headquarters of the line is at Cheddleton. The railway follows the course of the River Churnet for most of its course and attractive walks along the river are also possible. The railway is well known for operating a number of large US Army Transportation Corps steam locomotives.

The support group is the 'North Staffordshire Railway Company' (see 'Information on the Suport Group' below).


Happening This Month on the Railway

  • Go to 'Homepage' and click into 'Railway Club Calendar'

Key Facts (where and when)

Extent of Railway (where to where):

Cheddleton to Kingsley and Froghall (south) and Leek Brook and Ipstones (north) 

Principal Visitor Centre:

Cheddleton Station (ST13 7EE)

Period of Operation*

- March and April: (Weekends)

- May, June and September: (Weekends and Wednesdays)

- July and August (Weekends, Tuesdays and Wednesdays)

- October: (Selected Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays)

- November & December (Special event trains)

 [* This is a summary. Please go to the railway’s website for definitive operating days] 


Key Facts (what you’ll see)

Services usually steam or diesel?

Varies. Both steam and diesel can operate

Type of Steam / Diesel Locomotives Used:

Large and mid-sized steam and diesel locomotives

Length of Line:

10 miles

Time taken for a round trip:

2 hours

Number of trains per day:

Up to 4 in each direction

Number of Stations:

4 stations

Prices (Online)

Rover Adult: £20 Senior: £16.40. Child: £11.80 (on the day, add £2 for each)

Time to allow for Visit:

3 hours





Picnic/Play areas:


Preservation Established:


Car Park Facilities:

At Cheddleton and at Froghall


Key Facts (Galas/Events/Dining)

Dining Trains:

- Breakfast Train

- Mid-Week Lunch Train

- Saturday Lunch Train

- Sunday Lunch Train

- Staffordshire Cream Tea

- Bombay Express

- Pie & Mash 

Event Trains:

- Polar Express: Mid November and December                                                   

 Principal Galas:

- Winter Steam Gala: February

- Diesel Gala: May

- Steam Gala: October




Telephone:                                                           01538 360522


Social Media:                                             

                                                                             Also on Twitter/ Instagram/ YouTube/ Flickr


Brief History of the Railway and its Preservation  

The former Churnet Valley railway was built in 1849 by the North Staffordshire Railway and ran from Uttoxeter to North Rode, where it connected with LNWR lines to Macclesfield and Manchester. Envisaged as a main route between Manchester and Derby, the line never reached that potential, as alternatives routes existed and the necessary cooperation with the LNWR was not forthcoming. Train services became just a small number of local trains between Macclesfield and Uttoxeter, and occasional shorter workings such as Leek to Macclesfield. The line however carried significant amounts of local freight serving the local mineral industry, with iron and copper being mined and limestone and sandstone being quarried. Copper wire works were located at Froghall and sand traffic ran from Oakamoor. Passenger numbers declined in the 1960’s and the entire line had been closed to passengers by 1965. However the bulk sand traffic continued to Oakamoor up until 1988. As early as 1971 a preservation society was looking for a preservation site in the area, and it had secured a lease on Cheddleton Station by 1976. When the Oakamoor line closed to freight in 1988, the society took over the line from Cheddleton to Kingsley and Froghall and commenced its heritage operations.


Principal Aspiration

To extend its line north to Leek and south towards Oakamoor


Steam Operational Locomotives:

(1) USATC S160 - No. 5197

(2) USATC S160 - No. 6046

(3) Polish TKh - No. 2944 ‘Hotspur’


Diesel Operational Locomotives/DMU:

(1) BR Class 08 shunter - D3800 (08633)

(2) BR Class 33 - (D6513) 33102 ‘Sophie’

(3) BR Class 33 - (D6539) 33021 ‘Eastleigh’

(4) Yorkshire Engine Co shunter - No.6 ‘Roger H Bennett’

(5) Yorkshire Engine Co shunter - ‘Brightside’


Steam Locomotives Under Overhaul:

LMS 8F (Stanier) - No. 48173

Diesel Locomotives Under Overhaul:

BR Class 25 - (D7672) 25322 ‘Tamworth Castle’ (waiting overhaul)


Stored/ Under Restoration/ Out of Service:

- Polish TKh49 - No. 2871

- BR Class 20 - D8057



Name of Support Group:

North Staffordshire Railway Company

Annual membership fee:

Adult: £19. Senior: £16 Junior £16. Family £27. Life: from £360



Use contact box on website


Benefits of membership:

-          Three standard Churnet Valley Railway day tickets

-          Discount (15%) on all advertised Moorlander dining experiences

-          Opportunities to become a volunteer

-          Invitation to NSRC social events       

-          Tri-annual Magazine, ‘The Knotty’


How to Join:                                                    Go to


What They Say About Volunteering:

With less free time available it is getting ever so important to find your perfect distraction from the increasingly electronic world. Volunteering is a brilliant way to make friends, get some fresh air and to switch off whilst learning new skills. Few volunteering opportunities take you into the heart of the Staffordshire Moorlands. Only 20 minutes’ drive from Stoke-on-Trent City centre you will be able to find your department easily with the help of other staff.


How to Volunteer:                                     Go to


How to Donate:                                         Go to


WHY JOIN:  Help the railway extend to Leek and towards Oakamoor



Those interested in this railway may also be interested in the following railway societies also listed on this



Traditional Railway Societies:

- North Staffordshire Railway Study Group

- Stafford Railway Society


Model Railway Clubs:

- Stafford Railway Circle

- Macclesfield Model Railway Group 


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