Draycott Colliery probably closed in the 1940′s. A 1949 Ordnance Survey map shows the line back to the north portal of the tunnel and the exchange siding are still in place but the half mile of track into the colliery has been removed. Foxfield Colliery was the last survivor, finally closing in 1965. At that time Europa’s strategy was to create a balanced mining finance group with the three coal mining businesses generating the cash to fund their precious metals exploration activities centred in Western Europe and the US. Europa’s interests included a joint venture with Hecla Mining, exploring for gold in Montana; a platinum prospect in Bavaria; a joint venture exploration for gold in Alburquerque, Spain; and a gold concession at the mouth of the Pra River in Ghana. Europa also has a 22.7 per cent stake in Dana Exploration, an Irish exploration group, which has interests in Ireland, Ghana and Botswana. Europa’s faith in Draycott Cross was, however, short lived. The colliery closed early in 1991 and the land in the vicinity of the colliery was sold and the adits were sealed. In the summer of 1991, a few months after closure the railway tunnel was still accessible but it has subsequently been sealed and no further access is possible. There is no external evidence of the mine but when visited in 1991 although in the tunnel some sections of the narrow gauge track were still in place together with the cable haulage system and two upturned tubs. Beyond the adits the abandoned tunnel [...]
The sidings at Oakamoor are a relatively recent addition to the line’s history, and were first used as a siding to the quarry nearby. The sidings are currently used for storage as part of the Churnet Valley preserved Railway. When the line was first opened in 1849 there were no sidings at Oakamoor. The line originally ran between North Rode and Uttoxeter, primarily for heavy freight in and around the numerous limestone quarries and copper works dotted around the area. Further along the track is Oakamoor Tunnel which is 497 yards long, I didnt get to that part this time but will be heading back soon. Finally closed in 1964.
“The tunnel that has been exposed is the tunnel for the mineral line that ran from Hednesford siding on the Cannock -Rugeley line up Green Heath Common (now Pye Green Valley) and was built by the West Cannock Colliery Company Ltd in 1871 to get their coals from No.1 & 4 plants at the top of the common (below Pye Green Valley school) were the new road ends and No.3 plant on the opposite side of Belt Rd to the Bridge Inn hence the name down onto the main line.” Alan Dean, Chairman of the Cannock Chase Mining Historical Society