A SHORT REVIEW OF THE SLS/MLS RAILTOURS
The Potteries Railtour 1952
This tour took place on Saturday 26th of April 1952 and explored the
byways of south Cheshire and north Staffordshire.
The reporting code was W575 and the train consisted of four express
bogie coaches hauled throughout by Aspinall 2-4-2T no 50703 of
Warrington Dallam shed. It was assisted over one section by Stanier
2-6-2T no 40201.
The tour commenced at Crewe just after quarter past two and here we see
50703 blowing off impatiently before departing for the first leg of the
journey to Sandbach. This loco survived less than a year after this
photograph was taken, being withdrawn on March 31st 1953 and cut up at
Horwich Works where it had been built in 1893.
The special arriving at Sandbach - it's first port of call, where a
reversal will take place.
50703 has now run round her train and is ready to continue, chimney
first, towards Stoke-on-Trent by way of Wheelock, Lawton Junction and
A stop was made at Wheelock to explore what was left of the station. It
was closed as long ago as 1930 by the LMS. The trackbed at this
location forms part of a footpath named 'The Wheelock Rail Trail'.
The safety valves on 50703 have lifted indicating that she has got her
breath back and is ready to continue her journey towards Kidsgrove. The
participants make their way back to their seats.
Passing Lawton en route to Kidsgrove
Taking water at Kidsgrove Central. There was an allowance of five
minutes in the booked timings for this task, from 15.17 to 15.22 then
away via Harecastle tunnel to Stoke-on-Trent and Stoke Junction for the
route to Leekbrook and Cauldon.
Assistance was obviously required for the run to Caldon and it was
provided in the shape of Stanier 2-6-2T no 42201.
This is the train at Caldon (or Cauldon) Quarry awaiting deparure back
to Leekbrook Junction.
We are now back at Leekbrook. 42201 has come off and the L&Y
veteran has run round and is being made ready for the next part of the
journey. This will be via Leek to North Rode, the junction with the
Manchester to London main line, where yet another reversal will take
Another stop for water was made in Leek Station. Note the fine gas
lamps on the platform.
From North Rode the train changed direction again and ran down the main
line to Congleton Upper Junction where it turned left to take the loop
line to Stoke Junction. A photo stop, shown here, was made at Biddulph.
The rest of the tour was Stoke, Newcastle under Lyme, Keele, Leycett,
Alsager East Junction (reverse) then via Alsager Station back to Crewe
where the day ended at 8pm. All for the princely sum of thirteen
shillings and sixpence!
All photographs are from the MLS collection.
Last update November 2015. Comments