The Anonymous Widower

Could High Speed Two Trains Serve Stoke-on-Trent?

The city of Stoke-on-Trent lobbied hard for High Speed Two to call, but it is going through closer to the West Coast Main Line, which is a few miles to the West.

Current Services

Stoke-on-Trent station is on the Stafford to Manchester branch of the West Coast Main Line.

It is served by two trains per hour (tph) between Euston and Manchester Piccadilly via Milton Keynes Central (1tph), Stoke-on-Trent, Macclesfield (1tph) and Stockport. The fastest journey time is one hour and 24 minutes.

Possible Routes Using High Speed Two

It should be noted that to serve Stafford on the West Coast Main Line, High Speed Two trains will use the West Coast Main Line, rather than High Speed Two between Lichfield and Crewe.

This map clipped from the High Speed Two web site, shows the two routes between Lichfield and Crewe.


  1. The straighter route is the new High Speed Two route.
  2. The bendy route is the West Coast Main Line.
  3. The two routes split to the North of the city of Lichfield in the South-East corner of the map.
  4. Stafford can be seen between the two routes.
  5. Stoke-on-Trent can be seen to the North-East of the routes.
  6. The new route through Crewe station is shown in orange.

To give an idea of scale, the West Coast Main Line is about forty miles long between the two junctions at Lichfield and Crewe.

Possible Ways High Speed Two Could Serve Stoke-on-Trent Station

There are several ways that High Speed Two trains can serve Stoke-on-Trent station.

London Euston And Stoke-on-Trent Direct

The simplest way is to run a direct service between London Euston and Stoke-on-Trent

  • It would use High Speed Two from Euston to Lichfield, where it would take the Trent Valley Line.
  • It would proceed to Stoke-on-Trent via Rugeley Trent Valley and Stone.

I estimate that the service would take one hour and two minutes.

The service could either turnback at Stoke-on-Trent or go on to Crewe, Manchester or some other convenient terminus.

Manchester services might even call at Macclesfield and Stockport, as the current services do now!

Times between London and Manchester by various routes could be.

  • Current via Stoke-on-Trent, Macclesfield and Stockport – Two hours and seven minutes.
  • Planned using High Speed Two – One hour and seven minutes.
  • High Speed Two and current route to Manchester – One hour and forty-one minutes

Manchester will get three tph from London and one from Birmingham, so perhaps one of the four services should go via Stoke-in-Trent.





January 23, 2020 - Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. Not sure how well you know Stoke on Trent; it is a conglomeration of 7 small towns and they all think they are better than the other 6 and deserve better of everything. Although if it is going through an existing station that may not cause problems.

    You mention trains “may stop at Stockport like the others” If they are going through Manchester they are legally obliged to stop at Stockport, from a charter of some sort insisted upon by the person who donated the land for Stockport Station. I have lived just over a mile from Stockport Station for half my life and only recently found this out. But it is very useful and no doubt helps congestion in the City Centre. When I worked in Withingon it was normal practice to tell visitors coming by train to get off at Stockport and take a cab to us. Manchester Piccadilly may have been slightly nearer, but with the traffic around Piccadilly very very heavy it was cheaper to take a cab from Stockport to Withington than from Piccadilly.

    Living a short walk from Stockport Station makes visits to London for meetings etc so much easier for my husband than having to schlep into the city centre first.

    Comment by nosnikrapzil | January 24, 2020 | Reply

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