The Foxfield Colliery was situated in the Cheadle Coalfield of North Staffordshire. Originally, transport of coal from the colliery was by packhorse and tramway. A production increased thoughts turned to the provision of better transport. Up to that time every scheme to build a railway to Cheadle had failed, the owners of the colliery decided that they had to take matters into their own hands.

The Foxfield Railway was built in 1892-1893 to provide a link to the national railway network for the Foxfield Colliery, on the Stoke-Derby main line. The railway itself was built by local labour provided by the North Staffordshire Railway employees at weekends and supervised by the NSR (North Staffordshire Railway) foreman plate layer Noah Stanier. The railway was built with second hand material from the NSR. 

In order to keep the cost of the railway to a minimum there are almost no earthworks on the railway, the only notable ones being a cutting, dug through rock and a road over Rail Bridge . The total cost to build the railway was £3000. The lack of earthworks have resulted in a railway with huge gradients, running as steep as 1:19 in places and the steepest adhesion worked standard gauge line in Britain.

The railway, once built, led a quiet but productive life until the eventual closure of the colliery by the NCB (National Coal Board) in August 1965.