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Written by Gary S. Smith - 19 Aug 2009
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Location notes
This is former railway land not far from Hednesford Station in Staffordshire. The Chase Heritage Trail uses part of the formation of the Rawnsley branch line that joined the Walsall Rugeley railway at what was Pool Pits Junction.
Railway type and traffic
London Midland class 170+153 DMU formations on the local Birmingham Rugeley service
Freightliner class 66s on the coal traffic to Rugeley, plus the occasional limestone train.
Environment
The location is beside an urban footpath, part of the popular Chase Heritage Trail, with dwellings on the opposite side of the railway. Trees now grow where there used to be sidings.
Road directions
From Rugeley:
Pass through Cannock Chase on the A460. Pass the road on the right (Walkers Rise) that leads up to the Cannock Chase Enterprise Centre and take the next right, at the car dealership, then immediately turn left into the road that runs alongside the dealership. Park on this road.

From the M6, junction 11 (Cannock):
Take the A460 Wolverhampton Rugeley road (the Cannock eastern by-pass). When you reach the double-roundabout junction at Hilltop, Hednesford, stay on the A460 by taking the right turn at the first roundabout and the left at the second roundabout. Pass through two sets of traffic lights and pass the memorial on the right and the park on the left. Pass through the next set of traffic lights but then immediately turn left, and left again into the road that runs alongside the car dealership. Park on this road.

Then:
You will see the Heritage Trail leads up to, and along, the embankment that used to form the branch from Rawnsley. Walk along this path, towards Hednesford, until you reach the palisade fencing that runs alongside the railway.

There is no access to the path from Green Slade Grove or The Sidings.

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Pool Pits Junction, Hednesford map co-ordinates
Parking
It should be safe to leave the car outside the dealership during the daytime but be aware access is needed to the industrial estate that is on this side of the railway.
Public transport
From Hednesford railway station:
From the Rugeley bound platform, cross over the railway by means of the road bridge. Walk down on, or alongside the road bridge to the mini roundabout. Cross the road to walk along Victoria Street, pass the bus station and into the park. Stay on this path through the park and you will reach the location.
The Arriva Midlands service 32 Walsall Aldridge Rugeley passes along the A460 Rugeley Road: Those unfamiliar with the area are advised to alight at the bus station and walk through the park.

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Amenities
There are shops and banks in Hednesford town centre. Toilets are at the bus station.
Accommodation
The visit Cannock Chase website list some local hotels. The nearest being the Uxbridge Arms and the Cross Keys.
Sun Compass
Sun Compass using Suncalc by brought to you by Vladimir Agafonkin:
It might be necessary to adjust the time to suit your visit, this link should open with the current day.
Pool Pits Junction, Hednesford

Googly map
Streetmap links
Pool Pits Junction, Hednesford general view map
Pool Pits Junction, Hednesford close up map

Windows Local Live Link - image quality may vary
Pool Pits Junction, Hednesford



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Photographic notes
This location has the benefit of semaphore signals and is quiet but a steps/ladder (standing on rough grass) is needed to tackle the palisade fencing.
The line runs roughly north-east to south-west on a gentle curve. The trees are set back from the railway therefore their shadows should not be a problem. By 14:00 GMT photographs of trains from Walsall would have the camera facing the sun. On the other hand, trains from Rugeley are heading into the sun and the industrial estate, on the site of the West Cannock number 5 colliery, can be seen on the hillside on the edge of Cannock Chase in the distance above the Station Road bridge. Trains from Rugeley are still climbing the gradient but the empty coal trains are often held at the signal here for a short while until the preceding local DMU clears the block to Bloxwich.


General views - All photographs © Gary S. Smith unless otherwise stated
Fig 1 - Looking north


Fig 1 - Looking north


Fig 2 - Looking north


Fig 2 - Looking north


Fig 3 - Looking south west


Fig 3 - Looking south west


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