The North Staffordshire Railway Company Limited (NSRC) was set up as a charity in 1978 to try to preserve a section of the original 1840s North Staffordshire Railway - known as the "Knotty". It has over 800 members drawn predominantly from Stoke and north Staffordshire, the Moorlands and south Cheshire. This represents the geography of the old "Knotty".
The basis of charity's operations was Cheddleton, and from there it sponsored the setting up of the Churnet Valley Railway (CVR) in 1992, as it was better able to raise money through share issues to buy the line out of traffic from British Rail and so run from Leek Brook junction to Kingsley and Froghall station.
CVR now operates over 5 miles of line as a heritage railway as part of the tourism offer in the Moorlands with over 80,000 passengers a year - second only to Alton Towers.
Roughly 150 NSRC volunteers work with CVR paid staff to enable this to happen, and NSRC is now an accredited museum with the Museums, Libraries and Archives Association.
Very recently Moorlands and City Railways has been formed to reopen the freight route from Stoke (with a main line connection to the national rail network) to the quarries at Cauldon Lowe, and will in conjunction with CVR lay new track into Leek, and to Alton.