It has always been the long-term aim of the railways volunteers to re-open the line back into the market town of Leek, and after the Froghall extension of 2001 the railway made it clear that the extension into Leek would be the next priority in terms of physical expansion.
In January 2014 Moorlands & City Railways, in collaboration with the Churnet Valley Railway, announced their plans to rebuild this missing section of about 1-mile between Leek Brook Junction and Leek. Because the former station in Leek is now the site of a Morrisons supermarket a new station site will be required, as outlined in the Staffordshire Moorlands District Council's Masterplan for developing tourism in the area, and subsequently included in the planning application for the redevelopments of the Barnfield Industrial Estate.
With MCR's planned western extension to Stoke this new station at Leek should provide an interchange for CVR services, via the Stoke to Leek line, to the national network.
With regards to the actual extension into Leek, the project is being set up under the title "Reconnect Leek" and the main items of this will see all the following:
Beyond Leek, a supermarket access road built on the original route makes further expansion towards Rudyard Lake and the main line at North Rode (near Macclesfield) financially improbable for the foreseeable future.
A separate company are proposing redevelopments of the Barnfields estate in Leek, which is the mooted location for the new station. These plans were given Outline Planning Permission in December 2014, and include the construction of a new platform for the railway, a new Marina connecting into the Leek branch of the Caldon Canal, as well as a new restaurant and potentially a dedicated North Staffordshire Museum next to the new station.
Leek Station looking North in the 1960s (Photo Copyright Ian Burgess)
Sight to one day be recreated, as a BR Standard 4 Mogul departs Leek heading for Leek Brook Tunnel (Photo Copyright Ian Burgess)
Looking South in the 1960s. The new station will be built on the right further towards Leek Brook (Photo Copyright Ian Burgess)
Looking South along the former trackbed, from the proposed site of the new station. (Frank Richards)
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