South Midland

A DMU railtour run by the Institution of Mining Engineers covering rare track in the Midlands on Sunday 22nd October 1989. Highlights were: Daw Mill, Lea Hall, Silverdale and Holditch Collieries. The tour was severely curtailed by a DMU failure.



Lea Hall 22/10/89 (p0575.jpg)

The second location visited was the colliery at Lea Hall in Rugeley. With Rugeley Power Station in the background, the tour is seen on the colliery branch. The colliery closed in 1990, and the power station in 2017.

Holditch 22/10/89 (p0576.jpg)

The highlight of the tour was the visit to Holditch Colliery in Newcastle-under-Lyme, reached by 3 reversal from Madeley Chord Junction on the West Coast Main line between Stafford and Crewe. The colliery had closed 3 months previously and lifting of the track from Silverdale was due to start the follwoing day. Here the train approaches the colliery screens.

Holditch 22/10/89 (p0577.jpg)

Beyond the screens, the train proceeded through the 'empty' sidings. This shot shows the front of the train as it starts its return to Apedale Junction.

Holditch 22/10/89 (p0578.jpg)

A view in the other direction. The train reached a point about 2 coach lengths beyond the concreate pad. The most noticeable feature of this colliery was how neat and tidy it was.

Madeley 22/10/89 (p0579.jpg)

On the return, the train crossed the West Coadt Main line near Madeley, where a Class 87 is seen on a northbound working.

Stafford 22/10/89 (p0580.jpg)

After reversals at Madeley Road, Madeley Chord Junction and Stafford, disaster befell the tour and the DMUs failed near Stone. Eventually we were rescued by 47287 and dragged back to Stafford where the tour terminated.

For more details on this tour and the route taken visit Six Bells Junction

A fuller description of this tour with maps and more pictures is available on the Branch Line Society website