Visited this with my girlfriend as she is doing some degree fieldwork in the area. Like other heritage lines, it doesn't offer student concession fares and so it did smart to be charged £22 for two tickets, but I can see they put their money towards good work maintaining the station and engines (which must be hugely expensive).
Firstly, I think those complaining about the buildings and train upkeep should remember that it's pretty much entirely dependent on donations and fares, but it's stuck in an area that doesn't see much tourism. As a result I have a feeling they're not very well off. Nonetheless I didn't see anything wrong with the stations or the locos - the stations are all very pretty, especially with the lovely flowerbeds, and the trains are clean, tidy and comfortable. There was a problem with the steam train on our journey back from Froghall-Consall which resulted in a delay, but all the train staff were friendly and helpful - they kept us well informed and it wasn't a very long wait.
Following that the steam train had to be put out of service and replaced with a diesel loco - I think this is understandable considering the age and work of the steam engines, and the diesel (not sure what type it was) is a heritage engine in itself!
The tearooms at Froghall are nice, if a little cramped, and there are ample picnic tables at all the stations. We enjoyed a nice cup of tea at Froghall for a very reasonable £1.15 per cup. Unfortunately due to a diet I wasn't able to sample any of the delicious looking cake :(
There is a good museum at Cheddleton, small but they have packed many exhibits in!
Overall we had a nice day out with friendly staff and a great period feel. We will definitely go again.
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