Stoke on Trent railway station is a main-line railway station in central England. It is located on the Stafford to Manchester branch of the West Coast Main Line and serves the Staffordshire city of Stoke-on-Trent. The station also provides an interchange between various local services running through Cheshire, Staffordshire and Derbyshire. The very fine Victorian station buildings were opened October 9, 1848. The other buildings located in Winton Square, including the North Stafford hotel, were opened in June 1849.
All these buildings were constructed by John Jay to the design of H.A. Hunt of London, using an architectural style referred to as robust Jacobean manor house. The station was built by the North Staffordshire Railway Company and, until the amalgamation of 1923, housed the Company's Boardroom and its principal offices. Stoke-on-Trent has always been and still is the hub of North Staffordshire's passenger train service.
Stoke-on-Trent station is managed by Virgin Trains. It has three passenger platforms, and one central through line without a platform (which is due to be taken out within the next few months). The entrance to the station is from Winton Square, opposite the North Stafford Hotel, into a large modern booking hall with an enquiry office, Fast Ticket machines, a HSBC cashpoint and level access to platform 1 from which southbound and eastbound trains normally depart.
On this platform are the main buildings, refreshment room and bar which sells cigarettes, newspapers and a selection of magazines, free CCTV-covered cycle-locking racks, a post box, free newly refurbished toilets for both ladies and gentlemen, a refurbished waiting room, a first class lounge with Wi-Fi and offices for the British Transport Police. In April 2006, Network Rail organised its maintenance and train control operations into 26 Routes. The main line through Stoke-on-Trent forms part of Route 18 (The West Coast Mainline). The line from Derby to the junction just south of Stoke-on-Trent station forms part of Route 19 (The Midland Main Line and East Midlands).
Major destinations served by 'through' (i.e.: direct service) express trains in 2007 include: to the south London, Birmingham, Birmingham International Airport (for the airport and the NEC), Coventry, Oxford, Leamington Spa, Reading, Bournemouth; and to the north Stockport, Manchester, Preston, Carlisle and Edinburgh. Destinations served by local and regional trains include: to the north Longport, Kidsgrove, Alsager, Crewe, Congleton, Macclesfield, Cheadle Hulme, Stockport; to the east Blythe Bridge, Uttoxeter, Tutbury and Derby; and to the south Stafford and Wolverhampton. There will be an hourly semi-fast direct service from Stoke to Lichfield, via Stone, from January 2009.
The nearby Etruria railway station, one mile to the north, was closed to passengers in 2005. The small village stations of Wedgwood and Barlaston, a few miles to the south, are permanently served by buses only and this is unlikely to change in the future.Freight trains, carrying Cornish clay for use in Stoke's pottery industry, pass through the station. These trains supply an industrial spur line just north of Stoke station.
Network Rail is a British not for dividend company limited by guarantee whose principal asset is Network Rail Infrastructure Limited, a company limited by shares. Network Rail owns and operates the fixed infrastructure assets of the British railway system. the goods yard road entrance, when the A500 upgrade was completed in 2006/7.
Winton Chambers (a self-contained section of the main station building, including the entire upper floor) is currently leased to the Staffordshire University, which has its main Stoke-on-Trent campuses in College Road off Station Road and in Leek Road nearby. The University also leases Nos. 1, 2 & 3 Winton Square and Nos. 4 & 5 Winton Square, which with the North Stafford Hotel and the station comprise the original 1848 station complex. There is also a Subway outlet situated to the right of the North Stafford Hotel as you look at it.