Gif of LNWR Emblem
London & North Western Railway Society
Bygone Lines of the LNWR

LNWR STAFFORD - NEWPORT (11½ miles)

Opened
1.6.1849
Closed
(Pass) 7.9.1964.
(Gds) 1.8.1966
Stations
Stafford; Haughton; Gnosall; Newport
Loco shed
Stafford 5C six-track shed (opened 1861 closed 1965)

History
This line was planned by the Shrewsbury & Stafford Railway and completed by the Shropshire Union Railways & Canal Company in 1849. By 1846, however, it had already been leased in perpetuity to the LNWR, so it passed to the LMS at the grouping. The passenger service in 1863 was Stafford - Shrewsbury with eight trains on weekdays and three on Sundays the Stafford - Newport journey taking 30 minutes. One hundred years later there were eight on weekdays and two on Sundays. Passenger trains were withdrawn in 1964 and two years later it closed to all traffic.

Route when open
It left the WCML just north of Stafford station at North Staffs Junction (SJ915243) and passed between Bagnall‘s Engineering Works and the Universal Grinding Wheel Company. After one mile it passed under the M6 motorway (opened only a few years before the line closed) to head SW and after a further three miles passed under the A518 at Haughton.

The A518 bridge at Coton looking west.                                  © Ralph Rawlinson Beyond Gnosall station (SJ826205), located mid-way between the villages of Gnosall Heath and Gnosall, it turned SW, and bridged the Shropshire Union Canal.

The bridge over the Shropshire Union canal at Plardiwick.            © Ralph Rawlinson

After passing under the A518 for a third time entered an imposing red sandstone cutting gradually turning west over the last three miles to reach Newport station (SJ750184) located on the old A41 (now unclassified) to the south of the town.

The last bridge before the A41 at Newport.                              © Ralph Rawlinson

Route today
Virtually the whole of the route between Stafford and Newport has been converted into a long distance footpath The Way for the Millennium. It starts from Castlefields (a housing estate half a mile out of Stafford) and ends at the new A41 bypass in Newport. The five miles between Stafford and Gnosall is also a cycleway part of NCN55.

Stations
Stafford still open (WCML); Haughton demolished site now a small car park and picnic area; Gnosall no trace; Newport housing now occupies the up side but the station house survives together with edging slabs of the down platform;

Bridges
most bridges in place including bridge carrying M6 at Doxey; bridges carrying A518 at Haughton and Gnosall and bridge over Shropshire Union Canal.

Loco sheds
Stafford located on west side of line at north end of the station (SJ916230), leased for industrial use.

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