A project part financed by the European Regional Development Fund Consall station is located near the picturesque hamlet of Consall Forge, deep in the narrowest part of the Churnet Valley in an area of outstanding natural beauty. The wooden station building was opened on the 3rd March 1902 as a later addition to the other stations on the line to serve the immediate community. As road access was (and is) limited, this facility was used regularly by the locals for many years until its demise.
The station was closed on the 4th January 1965, along with the other stations on the southern part of the Churnet Valley line and quickly fell into disrepair. The wooden building finally disappeared in the early 1980s when the platforms were removed. The site quickly became overgrown and little evidence remained that the station had actually existed.
In the mid 1990s, volunteers started to clear the site in preparation for the re-instatement of steam train services to Consall. Eventually the trains returned but it wasn't until some time later, in 2000, that thoughts turned to recreating Consall station building.
After months of planning, careful research and very hard fund-raising, a near exact replica of the original was constructed by the North Staffordshire Railway Company and the Churnet Valley Railway in mid 2001 on the remains of the original brick base. The new station building was officially opened by Mr Pete Waterman on the 3rd March 2002, exactly 100 years to the day since the NSR had opened the original station building.
Restoration work by volunteers on site is always ongoing, under the ever watchful eyes of the station staff. The station building is once again open for business and worth a visit in itself, such is the attention to detail. Recent ongoing work includes the total restoration of the ex-Clifton NSR signal box at Consall and the installation of NSR Mackenzie and Holland signalling which now controls the passing loop enabling two-train operation on the Churnet Valley Railway for the first time in over 40 years. Additionally, the missing 'up' platform has now been totally replaced, complete with original style railings and signage.
A 1930s Telegraph Pole Route has been installed by the Telecomms Department to an exact 1930s specification. This is adding greatly to the general ambience of the site and is an exact replica of the three-arm pole route that ran the entire length of the Churnet Valley line until 1964. Many salvaged parts from the original route have been found, restored and re-used in this project.
A recent grant has also enabled the railway to repair the pedestrian station access bridge, replacing stonework missing for 40 years, and re-instate the 'up' platform and waiting room that so famously overhangs the Caldon Canal.
Attractions at Consall include:
• Authentic station with its cosy waiting room and convincing replica booking office, steeped in Victorian charm
• Toilet facilities, also suitable for mother and baby and the disabled
• Area of outstanding natural beauty, with many footpaths in the immediate vicinity
• Staffordshire County Council's Nature Reserve only a short walk from the station
• Picnic tables
• Light refreshments shop are available from the restored refreshment trolley on the platform (open most running days)
• The Black Lion public house only a few minutes’ walk away
Please note: there is no vehicular access to Consall Station
Consall station on the official opening day, 3rd March 2002 (Chris Barlow)
Consall Signal Box following its restoration (Dave Gibson)
General view of Consall station and the 1930s telegraph pole route (Dave Gibson)
The new 'up' platform and restored waiting room (Dave Gibson)
A 'down' service arriving at Consall from Kingsley & Froghall (Dave Gibson)