I am pleased to announce that I have sponsored a bid submitted to the Restoring your Railway Programme Ideas Fund, to investigate the possibility of restoring a mainline rail connection to Newcastle, out past Silverdale and to the West Coast Mainline.
The idea would be to run one stopping service to Manchester or Liverpool, via Crewe, and another to Birmingham via Stafford. Provisionally, there would be a terminus station by Pool Dam, and a second station - Silverdale (for Keele University) - near to the Garners' crossroads. I will put a plan of the route in the comments.
Passenger trains last ran to Newcastle in 1964, but we are the second largest town in the UK without a railway station of our own. We currently rely on Stoke-on-Trent for rail which causes substantial road traffic and air quality issues, and Keele University is the only major British university without a railway station close by.
This project is at a very early stage - the bid is simply for £50,000 of central Government funding to put together a more detailed business case and look at some of the initial engineering challenges.
Unfortunately reconnecting to the mainline at Stoke is prohibitively expensive because of the tunnelling costs, but I do support Jack Brereton MP's longer-term idea of a "Knotty Metro" connecting up the six towns of Stoke-on-Trent with Newcastle.
I would be really interested to hear your views in the comments, or emailed to email@example.com.
You can watch my contribution here: https://facebook.com/AaronBell4NUL/videos/440274460583788/