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More info on Manchester, Buxton, Matlock and Midlands Junction Railway

Manchester, Buxton, Matlock and Midlands Junction Railway: Wikis

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This view of the Headstone Viaduct across Monsal Dale typifies the country through which the line passed
  Manchester, Buxton, Matlock and Midlands Junction Railway
Legend
Midland Line 
 
to Manchester 
 
New Mills Central 
Continuation to right Station on transverse track Track turning from right
 Dore and Chinley Railway
Buxton Line LNWR 
Straight track
 
to Manchester 
Continuation to right Track turning from right Straight track Continuation backward
 
New Mills Newtown LNWR 
Station on track Unknown route-map component "eBHF" Exit tunnel
 Bugsworth
Furness Vale LNWR 
Station on track Track turning left Station on transverse track Unknown route-map component "ABZq+lr" Track turning right
 Chinley
Whaley Bridge LNWR 
Station on track Straight track
 
 
Straight track Unknown route-map component "eBHF"
 Chapel-en-le-Frith (MR)
 
Unknown route-map component "xABZlf" Transverse track Station on transverse track Unknown route-map component "KRZu" Track turning from right
 Chapel-en-le-Frith (LNWR)
Future Ashbourne Line 
Unknown route-map component "exCONTf" Straight track Straight track
 
 
Enter tunnel Straight track
 
 
Track turning from left Transverse track Transverse track Transverse track Track turning right
 Dove Holes Tunnel
Dove Holes LNWR 
Station on track Exit tunnel
 
To Buxton 
Continuation forward Unknown route-map component "eBHF"
 Peak Forest
To Buxton 
Continuation to right Transverse track Unknown route-map component "xABZrd"
 
 
Unknown route-map component "exBHF"
 Manchester - London trains
 
Unknown route-map component "exSTR"
 Millers Dale
 
Unknown route-map component "exBHF"
 Monsal Dale
 
Unknown route-map component "exBHF"
 Longstone
 
Unknown route-map component "exBHF"
 Hassop
 
Unknown route-map component "exBHF"
 Bakewell
Haddon Tunnel 
Unknown route-map component "exTUNNEL1"
 
 
Unknown route-map component "exBHF"
 Rowsley
 
Unknown route-map component "xENDEa"
 
 
Track turning from left Junction to right
 
Rowsley MPD 
Non-passenger end station Station on track
 Rowsley South
Peak Rail 
Station on track
 Darley
 
Station on track
 Matlock Riverside
 
Unknown route-map component "exSTR"
 
 
Station on track
 Matlock
 
Enter and exit tunnel
 Holt Tunnel
River Derwent 
Bridge over water
 
 
Enter and exit tunnel
 High Tor Tunnels (3)
 
Station on track
 Matlock Bath
 
Enter and exit tunnel
 Willersley Tunnel
 
Station on track
 Cromford
 
Unknown route-map component "exCONTr" Unknown route-map component "eABZlg"
 Cromford and High Peak Railway
 
Unknown route-map component "eBHF"
 High Peak Junction
River Derwent 
Bridge over water
 
River Derwent 
Bridge over water
 
 
Enter and exit tunnel
 
 
Bridge over water
 River Derwent
 
Straight track
 
River Derwent 
Bridge over water
 
 
Enter and exit tunnel
 Whatstandwell Tunnel
 
Station on track
 Watstandwell
 
Straight track
 for National Tramway Museum
 
Station on track Exit tunnel
 Ambergate
Midland Main Line  
Junction from left Track turning right
 
River Derwent 
Bridge over water
 
River Derwent 
Bridge over water
 
River Derwent 
Bridge over water
 
 
Station on track
 Belper
River Derwent 
Bridge over water
 
Milford Tunnel 
Enter and exit tunnel
 
 
Station on track
 Duffield
Ecclesbourne 
Continuation to right Junction from right
 
Valley Railway 
Unknown route-map component "eABZrg" Unknown route-map component "exCONTl"
 former line to Ripley
River Derwent 
Bridge over water
 
 
Station on track
 Derby
 
Junction to left Continuation to left
 Midland Main Line
Crewe to Derby Line 
Straight track
 
Cross Country Route 
Continuation forward
 
Sketchmap of the Manchester, Buxton, Matlock and Midlands Railway and connections

The Manchester, Buxton, Matlock and Midlands Junction Railway initially served neither Manchester nor the Midlands, since its connection with the North Midland Railway at Ambergate Junction was in a northerly direction. This was possibly because of a planned intention to join with the proposed Ambergate, Nottingham, Boston and Eastern Junction Railway which would meet it a little further north along the North Midland line. The Act for a line from just south of Stockport to Ambergate was passed in 1846.

Contents

Original Plans

The initial plan was to build a line from Ambergate to Stockport as a joint venture between Manchester and Birmingham Railway and the Midland Railway, using the former's line to allow the latter to gain access to Manchester. However, almost immediately the Manchester and Birmingham became part of the LNWR, which was averse to the Midland entering Manchester.

The line opened as far as Rowsley in 1849, but went no further, giving its promoters something of a problem. In order to derive some income from it, they developed Matlock Bath as a tourist town.

Expansion

In 1853, a junction was made by the Cromford and High Peak Railway now LNWR-owned. Meanwhile, with LNWR's support, the Stockport, Disley and Whaley Bridge Railway connected Manchester to the north end of the C&HPR, and in 1863 extended to Buxton, which blocked the Midland's plans. However, undaunted, the Midland extended from Rowsley to Buxton, at almost the same time.

The section between Rowsley and Ambergate was still jointly leased with the LNWR. For many years, the town of Wirksworth had been campaigning for a branch line from Duffield. The CH&PR was interested, but had insufficient funds. The Midland was initially unenthusiastic, but then realised that the branch could be extended to Rowsley, avoiding the section to Ambergate, being unsure about what might occur when joint lease expired in 1871.

If the LNWR gained control, it would cause considerable problems. However, the LNWR gave up its share of the lease on a line that was isolated from the rest of its system when it expired, and the Midland was relieved of the necessity of extending from Wirksworth over a very difficult piece of terrain.but the LNWR did not pursue its obstruction of the Midlands use of the original line. The branch opened to Wirksworth in 1867 but was not carried further.

Meanwhile the Midland had joined with the Manchester, Sheffield and Lincolnshire Railway (another competitor to the LNWR) to extend from Millers Dale to New Mills to meet the MS&LR's line into Manchester London Road. This became known as the Sheffield and Midland Railway Companies' Committee and provided the route the Midland had been looking for. The whole line had been extremely costly to build, with many tunnels and earthworks. With its bends and gradients, it proved a challenge to footplate crews.

The Midland's main line

The Midland thus had a path from London to Manchester London Road (now Piccadilly), and later constructed a new line from New Mills into Manchester Central station. In LMS days it featured named expresses, such as The Palatine and the Peaks.

Closure

The line from Matlock to Buxton was closed in 1968. Continuing support is being given by a heritage group Peak Rail who have restored the section from Matlock to Rowsley. The line from Matlock to Ambergate, plus the section of the Midland Main Line to Derby, are now referred to as the Derwent Valley Line. Meanwhile, the Wirksworth branch still exists and is currently being restored as the Ecclesbourne Valley Railway.

Current status

Although the track has been lifted between Rowsley and Buxton and is now part of the Monsal Trail, plans to re-open it are still proposed from time to time, and the Derbyshire County Council has pledged to keep the trackbed free of development.

Part of the line has been re-opened by the heritage railway organisation Peak Rail who run services from near Matlock to Rowsley.

There are plans to extend to Bakewell via a proposed Rowsley North train station as part of the Buxton extension project. It will involve reinstating the whole section and bakewell train station to their former use once planning permission has been granted.

References

  • Pixton, B., (2000) North Midland: Portrait of a Famous Route, Cheltenham: Runpast Publishing
  • Truman, P., Hunt, D., (1989) Midland Railway Portrait Sheffield: Platform 5 Publishing
  • The newsletter of the Friends of the Derwent Valley Line,May 2005.
  • Derbyshire County Council (2004) Derby to Manchester Railway Matlock to Buxton / Chinley Link Study. Main Report, Volume 1A: Version: Final.

External links


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