Metal thieves fail to derail plans for restored train line
RAIL chiefs are pressing ahead with plans to re-open a train line, despite thieves stealing the tracks.
Talks are underway over the ambitious project to restore Cheadle to the rail network by re-opening a mothballed track connecting it to the Stoke to Derby line.
Thieves have stolen 600 metres of track between Cheadle and Cresswell since Christmas.
Company chiefs say they have removed the tracks before any more could be stolen.
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Plans to re-open the line have been put forward by the Moorlands and City Railways (MCR), which has successfully re-opened a disused line to Cauldon Lowe and is currently restoring the Stoke to Leekbrook line.
MCR commercial director David Kemp said:"We have to take the track up because it is totally obsolete and we have had 600 metres stolen since Christmas."
He said the proposals to re-open the line, which closed in 1963, were still at a very early stage.
He said: "We are investigating how practical it would be to create a connection to Cheadle.
"It is a possibility, we are only talking about two-and-a-half miles of track."
The stumbling block for MCR could be finding a suitable location for a station because the old rail head is now in a residential area.
If the proposals are supported, lightweight diesel trains could operate on the track linking Cheadle with the rail network at Cresswell.
The Churnet Valley Railway has installed security cameras to stop metal thefts, which has cost the scenic railway thousands of pounds.
Mr Kemp, who is also a CVR director, said there had been minor thefts of railway property but insisted it was not a significant problem.
He said: "The main CVR locations are covered by video cameras and the railway has a good working relationship with the local police.
"The railway always reports any incidents which are then investigated by the police and appropriate action taken."